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Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Kushari – Egyptian Fast Food

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Kushari on The Survival GourmetI was watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations the other night and became fascinated with a dish on the show. It was an Egyptian dish called Kushari. Basically it is their version of fast food and there are hundreds of places that sell it.

It is a mixture of rice, pasta and lentils topped with a spicy tomato sauce and sauteed onions. Deceptive in it’s simplicity, this dish has some complex flavors and it is truly satisfying.

Not having a clue as to how to make it, I scoured the internet for a recipe and came up with this one from

Kushari (Lentils, rice, and macaroni mixture)

Kushari is often referred to as “Egyptian chili”, and is a specialty of street vendors in Cairo.

2 cups cooked rice
2 cups cooked pasta (such as macaroni or penne)
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon ground Cumin, divided
½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 cup cooked lentils
1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed pepper
2 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

1. Combine rice and pasta; spoon into bottom of shallow serving platter. Keep warm.
2. Whisk together vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Add cooked lentils and stir to combine. Spoon over rice and pasta.
3. Combine tomatoes, water, sugar, cinnamon, salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin and red pepper in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Spoon tomato mixure over lentil layer. Partially stir tomato mixture into other layers, but do not completely combine all layers.
4. Sauté onions in 1 tbsp oil over high heat until browned and starting to crisp. Scatter over top of the kushari and serve.

Egyptian Fast Food on The Survival

Now being who I am, I improvised with what I had in the house. I used Garbanzo Beans instead of lentils and spaghetti instead of macaroni. Nothing to severely alter the taste or texture but purists (if there is such a thing a kushari purists) will probably point out that it isn’t traditional. You will also notice swome smoked chicken in the picture. Sorry, I’m not a vegetarian.

Anyway, I recommend that you try this dish at home. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.



The Survival Gourmet


Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Sometimes the simplest meals are the best.

Pasta, brisket, BBQ, recipe

It seems that between catering and practicing for competitions, I always seem to have some meat leftover in a baggie in my freezer. This time it was some brisket. You could just as easily use some pork or chicken.

I put some rotini pasta in a pot to boil. In another pot, I mixed the thawed out chopped brisket with some Super Smokers Tennessee BBQ sauce and let it simmer while the pasta is boiling. When the pasta was done, I drained it and added it to the pot with the meat and sauce. I mixed it and tasted it. It was bland. Apparently, the sauce mellows as it cooks. So I added a few shots of Bigmista’s Secret Sauce and that kicked it right up. I’d recommend using a bold flavored sauce from the beginning when you try this recipe.

So that’s it. No special ingredients. No special trips to the store. Just a tasty meal that anyone can whip up!

Barbecue, Pasta, Beef, Brisket, recipe



The Survival Gourmet


Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Enchillasagna, Mexican, Italian, Cheese

So the other night I need to make dinner but I didn’t want to go to the grocery store because we were going away for the weekend. I need to improvise with what I had in the house. But that’s what I do right?

So I took up the challenge. I looked at what I had in the fridge, freezer and pantry and came up with some Italian and Mexican ingredients. Fusion it is!! I call the dish I came up with Enchillasagna.

Here are the ingredients:

1 lb. Hot Italian Sausage, cut into small rounds
2 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes

1 tbsp Kosher Salt
2 tsp Black Pepper
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tbsp Chili Powder
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning

8-10 Corn Tortillas
8 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese
6 oz. Queso Fresco Mexican Cheese, crumbled

Brown the sausage in a sauce pan. Crumble it with a spatula or a spoon. Remove the sausage from the pan. Pour in the tomatoes and add all of the seasonings. Puree (blend) with a hand blender and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

Warm the tortillas. (I usually do this on the burner on the stove but you can also wrap them in a damp towel and microwave for 15-20 seconds.)

Cover the bottom of a casserole dish with a layer of tortillas. Sprinkle half of the crumbled sausage on top of the tortillas. Spoon half of the tomato sauce on top of that. Cover with half of the cheddar cheese. Sprinkle half of the Queso Fresco on top of that. Repeat.

Put the casserole dish in a 350 oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Serve and eat.

Enchillasagna, Mexican, Italian, Meat, Cheese



The Survival Gourmet

Bacon Wrapped Salmon

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Bacon Wrapped Salmon with Rice and Spinach Cucumber Salad

I wanted something simple for dinner tonight so I took a look in the fridge to see what I could improvise with. I decided I would try Bacon Wrapped Salmon. It’s hard to think of anything that bacon doesn’t make better so how could I go wrong?

I started out by frying the bacon for a few minutes. My reasoning was that if I cooked the fish long enough for the bacon to cook from raw, I would dry out the fish.

Frying Bacon

When the bacon was about 3 pieces of salmon. I seasoned them with Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder and Italian Seasoning.Then I wrapped the salmon with 3 pieces of bacon each.

Wrapped the Salmon

Then it was into a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Nothing hard about that.

Bacon Wrapped Salmon

I served it up with some rice and a spinach cucumber salad. A nice summer meal in about 30 minutes. Now I have to go flip a coin with MrsMista to see who gets to take the extra piece for lunch.



The Survival Gourmet

T-Bone, taters & greens

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

I made a simple dinner tonight for me and MrsMista. T-Bone Steaks, Crash Hot Potatoes made from a recipe on The Pioneer Woman and some collard greens. I used the Garlic Lover’s Steak seasoning from on the T-bones (Thanks Kevin!). Really Good Stuff!

And now for the pictures…

Yes I know I used an Electric Grill. BBQ guy took the easy way out. Whatever man. Can’t argue with results.



The Survival Gourmet

Smoked Spaghetti

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Spaghetti Chicken Sausage The Survival Gourmet Bigmista

Ok I didn’t really smoke spaghetti.

That would be stupid. Besides the damned noodles kept slipping through the grates.

Anyway, I was trying to come up with something different to do with some leftovers in the fridge and I decided that it is really hard to mess up pasta. I also came up with 1/2 a pound of italian breakfast sausage and some leftover smoked chicken. Put them all together with some ingredient that I keep around the house and I came up with smoked spaghetti! Wanna know how I did it?

Of course you do!

Here are the ingredients:

1/2 lb. Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled (I used Jimmy Dean)
1 lb. leftover chicken, roughly chopped (Mine was smoked but any cooked chicken will do.)
1 onion, diced
1 dried chipotle chile, rehydrated and seeded
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 15oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce

1/2 pound spaghetti cooked al dente

2 tbsp butter

Saute the onion and chipotle in 2 tbsp of oil in a large pot until the onion is see-through. Chipotle is a smoked Jalapeño and it adds to the smokiness (is that a word?) of the dish.

Seeding the chipotle

Chipotle Spaghetti The Survival Gourmet Bigmista

Next add the garlic and saute 2 more minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and all of the other seasonings to the pot and stir well. Mash or blend the sauce to make it like a puree. I like to use my hand blender for this but a potato masher will work in a pinch. If this is too much work for you, you can just use canned tomato sauce and skip this step. I just prefer to control the salt and seasoning in what I cook.

Now add the meat!


Italian Sausage Spaghetti recipe

Smoked Chicken

Smoked Chicken BBQ Spaghetti recipe

Mix well and simmer for 20 minutes. Now would be a good time to cook your pasta.

When the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the sauce. Mix it until all the pasta is coated. Serve and eat!

Smoked Spaghetti

Smoked Spaghetti recipe Bigmista The Sruvival Gourmet



The Survival Gourmet

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