Smoked Apple Quesadillas

Smoked apples, bacon, smoked gouda, and grilled onions make for a perfectly savory/sweet combination. Dipped in homemade bbq sauce, these quesadillas are the perfect snack for your next fall gathering.

Makes two quesadillas

- Ingredients -
2 apples

Apple Brine
1 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt

4 slices bacon
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/4 cup smoked gouda, shredded

(2) 12-inch flour tortillas

Homemade BBQ Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup molasses
3 dashes Tabasco
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

- Tools - 

How To 

Use your Apple Peeler to slice and core your apples (peeling them is optional). 

Place them into a Vacuum Sealer Bag or Canister and pour in the brine. Let brine for at least 4 hours. If not using a Vacuum Sealer, allow them to brine at least overnight. 

Preheat your Smoker to 200. Smoke the brined apples at 200 for 45 minutes. 

Fry the bacon until crispy in a large skillet. Remove bacon from pan, reserving the grease. Fry the red onions in the grease over medium heat until soft, then remove the onions. Place a tortilla into the pan, then sprinkle with half of the smoked gouda. On one half, layer on half of the smoked apples, crumbled bacon, and onions. Use a spatula to fold over the quesadilla. Allow to brown for a minute, then flip and brown the other side. Remove from the pan and repeat for the other tortilla.

Slice and serve. 

Apple Tacos

There's more to apples than apple pie. In fact, sometimes apples don't have to be dessert at all! We paired apples with carrots and onions, sprinkled them with a zippy curry-like seasoning, topped them with a tangy slaw, then wrapped them in a tortilla and called them apple tacos. 

Makes 3 tacos

- Ingredients -

Taco Filling
2 apples
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For Blanching
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup shredded cabbage
handful fresh cilantro leaves
1 coin ginger, minced
2 tablespoons sweet & sour dressing

3 tortillas

- Tools - 
Weston Apple Peeler
Weston Vacuum Sealer
Weston Deep Fryer

How To 

Use the Apple Peeler to slice and core the apples (you can also peel them - your choice).

Dissolve the sugar and salt in the cold water. Place the apple slices and carrots into a vacuum canister or bag, then pour in the blanching liquid. Vacuum seal and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Why blanch? Not only are we infusing the apples with salty sweetness, we're preparing them for the deep fryer. Blanching helps the apples and carrots crisp, while also maintaining their color. 

Preheat your Deep Fryer to 375°F. Drain the apples and carrots of liquid, then drop them into the fryer basket with the sliced onions. Deep Fry for 10 minutes, or until apples are soft.

While the taco filling fries, prepare the slaw by combining all of the slaw ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.

When the apples, carrots and onions are ready, transfer them to a paper-towel lined bowl and allow to rest a few minutes (so that some of the oil is removed and they are no longer scolding hot). Toss the apple mixture with cumin, cardamom and cinnamon. Fill the tortillas with this mixture and top with slaw, then enjoy!

Compressed Watermelon & Jicama Salad

It's simpler than it sounds. If you have a vacuum sealer, you MUST make this recipe. If you don't have a vacuum sealer, you MUST get one just to make this. You can skip compressing the watermelon and just toss together these ingredients, however, you'll miss out on the glory that is sweeter, more flavorful compressed watermelon. 

- Ingredients - 
half of a large watermelon, sliced into thin 1/2" cubes
1 jicama, julienned
half of a red onion, sliced
1 jalapeno, sliced
juice of two limes
handful cilantro
10 large mint leaves

sea salt, to taste

- Tools - 
Weston Mandoline
Weston Vacuum Sealer & large vacuum seal bag

How To 

First, we used our Mandoline Slicer to thinly slice the jalapeno and onion. We then used it to julienne the jicama.

Toss together all ingredients (except the salt).

Pour into a vacuum sealer bag and seal completely. A chamber sealer is ideal for this because the air and juice will escape from the watermelon (that's what makes it compressed), leaving only the sweet, flavorful fruit. If using an out-of-chamber sealer, place a folded paper towel before the seal to catch the juice.

You can choose to enjoy the compressed salad immediately, fresh out of the bag, or refrigerate up to 3 days. The longer you leave it, the more flavorful the salad will become and the more infused the watermelon will be. When you're ready to enjoy it, drain, then serve the watermelon jicama salad with a little sea salt sprinkled on top.

Quick Pickled Watermelon Rinds

- Ingredients - 
2 lbs watermelon rind, cubed
(melon removed and green skin peeled off, leave about 1/4 inch of red flesh)

1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 coin fresh ginger
1 stick cinnamon
10 cardamom pods
½ teaspoon anise seed

- Tools - 
Weston Vacuum Sealer  & Gallon Zipper Seal Bag


How To 

In a pot, combine the brine ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Place the watermelon rinds into a vacuum sealer bag and pour in the cooled brine. Use your Vacuum Sealer to seal the bag. Be sure to use the manual seal to seal the bag before any liquid enters the chamber. We recommend using our zipper seal bags. That way, once you open the vacuum sealed bag, you can easily reclose it. You could also transfer them into a jar once you've opened the bag.

When using your vacuum sealer to pickle, place the sealer at the edge of your counter and hold the bag vertically underneath the sealer. That will slow the liquid from pulling into the sealer right away. We brought the bag back up onto the counter to take this photo. 

Refrigerate overnight. They'll be ready to enjoy after 8 hours in the fridge. The longer you keep them sealed in the fridge, the more pickled they will become.

What to do with them: Most people eat them right out of the jar, just like regular cucumber pickles. You can also add them to a salad or chop them into a chutney that pairs well with pork. 

How To Make Pickled French Fries

Pickle your fries in this rosemary garlic brine before you fry them. Trust us, you'll be thanking us later. 

 - Ingredients -
4 Russet potatoes
1 cup apple cider vinegar
5 cloves garlic, smashed
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
¼ cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup ice

black pepper, to taste

- Tools - 
Weston French Fry Cutter
Weston Vacuum Sealer with a gallon bag or canister
Weston Deep Fryer

Combine vinegar, garlic, rosemary, salt and sugar in a medium pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and pour in the ice. The brine should become lukewarm. If not, chill in the refrigerator for a half hour or pour the brine back and forth between two cups to cool it.

Use your French Fry Cutter to slice the potatoes into french fries.

Immediately place the sliced fries into your vacuum sealer bag or canister and pour in the cooled brine, then seal. Place into the refrigerator to pickle for 3 hours (longer will simply intensify the flavor).

Preheat the Deep Fryer to 375ºF. Fry the pickled potatoes for five minutes at 375ºF, until golden.

 Let them rest for about 5 minutes, then fry them a second time, for just 3 minutes. This will help them crisp up. Toss with black pepper and serve.

Moco Loco Burger Recipe

The signature burger of Hawaii, the Moco Loco is a hearty, gravy covered patty sitting on a bed of rice and topped with egg. 

makes 4 burgers

 - Ingredients - 

1 lb venison or beef, cubed
1 sweet onion, half sliced and the other half diced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Weston Black Pepper & Garlic Jerky Seasoning
8 oz mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup white rice
1 ½ cup beef stock
¼ cup corn flour
4 eggs
1 sprig green onion, sliced

- Tools - 
Weston Meat Grinder
Weston Burger Press

Step One | Prepare Burger Patties

Run the meat and the diced half of the onion through the coarse plate of  your meat grinder, then run half of the resulting ground meat through the fine plate.

Mix the ground meat with Worcestershire sauce and Seasoning.

Use the Burger Press to press four ¼ lb patties. Store them in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest.

Step Two | Prepare Rice
Follow package directions or bring two cups of water to a boil. Pour in the rice, bring the water to a simmer and cover it. Simmer for 15-30 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave the lid on the pot for a few minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork.

Step Three | Prepare Gravy

While the rice cooks, prepare the gravy. Saute the sliced onions and mushrooms in one tablespoon of butter until onions are translucent. Transfer the onions and mushrooms into a bowl and set aside. Reserve the juices in the pan. Add 1 cup of beef stock to the pan and bring to a boil. Dissolve the corn flour in the remaining ½ cup of beef stock. Once the beef stock is boiling, whisk in the corn flour. Sprinkle in pepper, to taste. Continue to whisk until the gravy is to your desired thickness. Reduce to low and stir in the grilled mushrooms and onions. Keep the gravy warm while you prepare the burgers - but keep an eye on it.

Step Four | Grill Burgers

Grill the burger patties to your preference.

Step Five | Fry Eggs

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once the butter begins to foam, crack your eggs into the pan, being sure not to break the yolk. Cook to your preference.

Step Six | Assemble

Spoon rice onto a plate. Pour the gravy over the bed of rice, then place a burger on top. Top with a fried egg and sprinkle with green onions. Serve.

Slow Cooker Ratatouille with a Mandoline Slicer

National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day is August 8th! If you're fortunate enough to be one of those neighbors, you're going to need a solid zucchini recipe. You can only eat so much zucchini bread, right? This slow cooker ratatouille combines zucchini with yellow squash, eggplant, onions, and bell peppers for a fresh summer vegetable meal.

- Ingredients -
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 yellow onion, finely chopped (We used our Mandoline with the julienne setting to dice the onion. Simply slide the onion over the blades, then rotate the onion 90 degrees and slide it over the blades again. Repeat for the rest of onion.)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1/8 cup olive oil

1 zucchini
1 eggplant
1 yellow squash
1 red onion
3 small bell peppers: 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange

1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme

handful of basil leaves for serving

- Tools -
Weston Mandoline Slicer
Weston Slow Cooker

Preheat your Slow Cooker on high. Pour in the olive oil, minced onion & garlic, basil and grape tomatoes.

Use your Mandoline to slice the zucchini, eggplant, squash, red onion and bell peppers to uniform thickness.

Arrange these slices along the outer edge of the slow cooker crock, alternating between vegetables.
Work in a circle toward the center. Sprinkle with the rosemary, oregano and thyme.

Place the lid onto the Slow Cooker and cook on high for 2 hours, or until the vegetables are soft, but not complete mush (could take up to 4 hours depending on your slow cooker).

When you're ready to serve, spoon the tomato pan juices over the vegetables. Serve with fresh basil.

Gazpacho with the Weston Tomato Press

Our Tomato Press makes homemade gazpacho ridiculously easy. 

 makes about a quart

- Ingredients - 
2 lbs tomatoes, quartered
1/2 lb strawberries, halved (stems & leaves removed)
1/2 English cucumber, cubed
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons salt

1 avocado, sliced (for garnish)

- Tools - 
Weston Tomato Press
Salsa Screen for Tomato Press

Use your Tomato Press with the standard (included) screen to juice the tomatoes and strawberries.

Remove the standard screen and replace it with the Salsa Screen. Load the Tomato Press with the cucumber, pepper, onion, jalapeno and garlic, then turn the handle (you will need to use a bit more force this time).

Combine the tomato & strawberry juice with this puree. Stir in the vinegar and salt.

Chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving. Serve with avocado slices (optional).

How to Make Smoked Salad

You may be privy to the Grilled Salad trend, but have you ever tried Smoked Salad?  
Now you will!

1 small bunch asparagus
1 tablespoon Weston Black Pepper & Garlic Jerky Seasoning (any of our dry jerky seasonings work well for this recipe)
1 head romaine lettuce
6 slices crisp bacon
¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
⅛ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
(or balsamic vinegar if you prefer - probably use a little more)

- Tools - 
Weston Vacuum Sealer
Weston Smoker & wood chips (we used hickory)

Step One | Marinate Asparagus

Use a vacuum sealer to marinate the asparagus. Place asparagus into a quart vacuum bag. Sprinkle in the Jerky Seasoning, then seal the bag. Place into the refrigerator and allow to marinate 4-6 hours.

Step Two | Smoker Prep

Soak your woodchips for 30 minutes. Preheat your Smoker to 200ºF. Just before you're ready to smoke it, place the head of lettuce into a gallon vacuum sealer bag. Pour in 1/2 cup water. Vacuum seal so that the water gets sucked into the lettuce, but do not crush the lettuce. Remove the lettuce from the bag immediately - it's ready for the smoker.

Why seal the lettuce with water? Two reasons: To keep the lettuce crisp in the smoker and to adhere the smoky flavor to the lettuce quickly. Infusing the lettuce with water will keep the stems and leaves strong. Smoke tends to get trapped in moisture, so the flavor will be locked within the water in the lettuce. You must be careful not to go through the full vacuum process and crush the lettuce. You just want to pull the water in, not break the cell walls (which is what makes lettuce mushy). 

Step Three | Smoke
Fill the wood chip box. Place the lettuce head and asparagus into the smoker and smoke for 20 minutes.

While they smoke, bake your bacon at 400ºF for 15-20 minutes.

Step Four | Assemble Salad

Remove the lettuce and asparagus from the smoker and allow to cool. You may want to chill them in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Chop the lettuce & asparagus, crumble in the bacon, toss in the blue cheese, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze. Enjoy!

DIY Freeze Pops: Cucumber Lime Mint

You can make this recipe with any juice you like. We used our juicer attachment for our meat grinder to make our own fresh juice from cucumbers, limes, and mint — for a refreshing, grown-up freeze pop. You can mature the recipe even more by adding a couple ounces of tequila, vodka, or rum. 
makes twelve 6 oz pops

- Ingredients - 

4 cucumbers
¼ lime
1 oz fresh mint
½ c sugar

- Tools -
Weston Meat Grinder & Juicer Attachment
or another Home Juicer
Weston Vacuum Sealer (Our Chamber Sealer is ideal, but you can do it either way)

| Step One: Prepare Juice |

Use your Juicer to juice the cucumbers, quarter of a lime and mint.

Making the cucumber lime mint juice with our juicer attachment

Closeup of the ingredients

Closeup of the resulting juice

Pour the sugar into the juice and stir rapidly until sugar has dissolved.

| Step Two: Make Pouches | 

Use your Vacuum Sealer to create pouches. We recommend using quart sized vacuum bags for this. You can make the pouches in a couple of ways:

Option 1: Freeze Pop Packs 
1. Use a permanent marker to mark the bag width at every third (or however wide you'd like your freeze pops to be). We used 8" bags that had a 7" opening. So we marked the bag at 2.3" and 4.6". 
2. Use the sealer to divide the bag into 3 separate 2.3" wide pouches. To do this, lay the bag onto the seal bar so that the length of the bag is parallel with the seal bar. Align the 2.3" mark with the seal bar and close the lid. Press start, then press seal to create your first seal. Repeat for the 4.6 mark. You will now have a freezer pop 3-pack bag.  
Here you can see how we used the sealer to separate our quart bag into 2" compartments
*note: while not necessary, rather than making one seal at each of the 2.3" & 4.6" marks, we made seals on either side of the two marks. This gives you more space in between the pouches. This way, you don't have to be as precise when you cut the pouches apart.
Option 2: Individual Freeze Pop
This option is ideal because your seals will be more quality. That said, you will have to individually seal each pop (which doesn't take much time at all). The freeze pop packs allow you to seal three pops at a time. 
For option 2, follow the same steps as in option 1, then cut the bag apart into 2.3" strips by cutting down the middle of each seal. 
We cut the compartments apart to make individually packaged freeze pops

| Step Three: Fill Pouches |

Use a funnel or a pitcher to pour the juice into each pouch. We filled each pouch with 6 ounces, or about 2/3rds of the way full.

| Step Four: Seal Pouches |

There are also a couple of ways to accomplish this.

Option 1: Chamber Vacuum Sealer 
If you have a chamber sealer, you can seal these while the freeze pops are still liquid. 
1. Set the vacuum pressure to minimum & the seal time to 6.
2. Fold the pouch until you get to the liquid. Hold the bag there tightly. Gently lay the bag into the chamber, still holding it tight. Quickly unfold it and lock the open end of the bag down with the bag holder, then close the lid down tightly and quickly (so that the seal bar is holding the liquid back, rather than allowing it to spill into the chamber. 
This individual freeze pop bag is ready to be sealed in the Chamber Sealer

3. Press the start button. If liquid begins to escape, press the seal button to quickly seal the bag, otherwise allow the cycle to run its course. Repeat for the remaining packs of freeze pops, then you're ready to freeze them!

All sealed and ready for the freezer

Option 2: Vacuum Sealer  
Sealing liquids with a regular out-of-chamber sealer can cause damage to your sealer. To seal these freeze pops with a regular sealer, you'll need to freeze them first.  
1, Simply place the liquid-filled pouches into your freezer (prop them up so that the liquid doesn't spill) for about 3 hours, or until the juice is completely frozen.  
2. Now you can use your sealer to seal the pops. Press the start button, then press seal immediately. Your pops are ready to be stored in the freezer.  
You can also use this method with your Chamber Sealer if you're having trouble keeping the liquid in the bag. 
That's it. Making homemade freeze pops is as simple as making juice (if you so choose), preparing your special freeze pop bags, pouring in the juice, sealing and freezing.

The sealed freeze pop posing with our Chamber Sealer

Here are our 3-pack of freeze pops