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Cooking with a veteran

Dave cooks up ‘Dirty Rice’

By DAWN HANKINS - dhankins@t-g.com
Posted 1/22/22

Today’s cooking segment by Dave Rogers travels well, North to the South, and is certainly delicious no matter which direction you hail from these days.  

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Cooking with a veteran

Dave cooks up ‘Dirty Rice’


Today’s cooking segment by Dave Rogers travels well, North to the South, and is certainly delicious no matter which direction you hail from these days.  

Dave is a U.S. Army veteran who is taking social media by storm with his “Cooking with a Veteran” segments. He’s a native New Yorker and moved here a few months ago to start a new life with his working dog, “Grunt.”  

If you see the two around Shelbyville, say ‘hi.’ But remember, Grunt’s a working dog, so he’s pretty involved in taking care of Dave.  

Dave is involved in veterans’ affairs, particularly the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) of Murfreesboro. He likes to accentuate the positive, so we will be hearing from him from time to time on veteran issues as well.  

Welcome to Bedford County, Dave and Grunt. Did we mention that Dave’s also an artist? (Look for that story soon in T-G.)  

Today, Dave shares his recipe for Dirty Rice, which of course is a favorite in the South. Dave also shares his recipe for Philly Cheese Steak Egg Rolls.  

Catch his cooking segment “Cooking with a Veteran” on YouTube and on Facebook. You know when you’ve gotten to the end of one of Dave’s recipes. There’s always a big “Hoorah!

Take it away, Dave . . . . 

Dave’s Dirty Rice  

This is a mostly unknown dish in the North, but one you can find in the South especially around Louisiana. Traditionally Dirty Rice is made with pork and chicken livers, but has transformed over the years to sausage, or sometimes beef.  

1 lb, Italian sausage (optional to add andouille sausage, or to make with andouille sausage and shrimp)  

1 Bell Pepper (I like to mix hot and sweet peppers for more flavor)  

2 C. rice  

4 C. water (you can use chicken broth or beef broth instead, just be sure to check the salt content before adding salt)  

½ chopped yellow onion  

3 garlic cloves, minced  

1 tsp. ginger  

1 Tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce  

Seasoning to taste: Smoked Paprika, Cumin, Cayenne Pepper, White Pepper, Black Pepper, Adobo, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme. (Optional)  

Bourbon (For this meal I am using Jesse James Depree Bourbon) 

I have had this meal many times, and each place makes it just a little different, to me it is the Creole Paella. In New Orleans I had it with Chicken Liver and in Alabama with andouille sausage and shrimp.  

Each area kind of makes it their own, which is something I love about this meal. I also like that this is one of those one pot dishes that are easy to make and clean up.  

While not required, I love to cook this meal in my well-seasoned 13 inch. Lodge Cast Iron Pot. The way you know it is well seasoned is the meat won’t stick to the bottom.  

Start by browning the sausage and andouille sausage. Once browned add in your peppers, onion, garlic, ginger to sauté. Be sure not to burn the meat or onions, peppers, and Worcestershire sauce. If you are going to add Bourbon this is the time to do so. Add your seasoning: Smoked Paprika, Cumin, Cayenne Pepper, White Pepper, Black Pepper, Adobo, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme. Let cook until the meat is brown with a little char, then add the rice.  

I know most people are used to boiling water for rice first, but this is a Pilaf way of cooking the rice, by letting it brown first. Once the rice is browned some, add the water, or in my case the chicken broth. Let the broth come to a boil for 1 min, turn flame to low, cover and let cook for 25 min, or until the rice is soft. Remove from heat let site for 5 min and serve.  

You can watch this episode of “Cooking with a Veteran” on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CMDRDaveRogers/videos/1255389421621357 Don’t forget to like and share the page with others.  

If there is a dish you would like to see Dave make, or want to find out more about the show and the project you can email Dave at dave-rogers1969@live. Com.  

Dave is also looking for guests to come on the show, so if you are a veteran or help veterans and would like to share your love for cooking feel free to email Dave.  

Until next time: Hoorah! 

Philly Cheese Steak Egg Rolls  

I love this dish for many reasons. First I am a big fan of a good Philly Cheese Steak; second, I can eat Egg Rolls all the time; and third it is a great easy to make eat with your hands food. The other great thing about this dish, is you can change it up in many ways, while you can make a traditional Cheese Steak filling, you can mix it up with pork, chicken, lamb or just really any meat or even vegetarian style.  

1 lb. shaved beef (or whatever meat you want)  

10 slices of Pepper Jack Cheese (while I love the taste of the pepper jack for this, any cheese will work)  

1 C. Italian shredded cheese mix (again you can use any cheese you want)  

½ sliced onion  

1 sliced green pepper  

1 sliced red pepper Minced garlic Salt and pepper to taste  

Smoked Paprika to taste  

If you want to make it spicy, simply add cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes  

1 pack egg roll wrappers  

1 egg  

1 Tbsp. milk Vegetable Oil  

In a preheated pan add your garlic, onions and peppers sauté them, being sure not to burn them, but brown them. Once your vegetables are almost cooked, add your shaved beef (or meat of your choice). Add salt, Pepper, Paprika and other spices to taste and cook the meat until done. For a Cheese steak I like a little char on the meat.  

Once the filling is done, place it on the side and start heating your oil. Be sure to only fill about ¼ of the bottom of the pan, this is not a deep fry, as they are not frozen, and you just want to cook the wrapping. Now you don’t have to fry these, you can bake them or even air fry them, see your device for timing.  

While the oil is heating it is time to start rolling your egg rolls. In a bowl whisk your egg with the milk. This will be a bounding agent for the egg roll. Lay out your egg roll wrapper, place 1 piece of pepper jack cheese, add your meat, onion, and pepper mix, top with shredded cheese.  

Now it is time to roll the egg roll, there are a couple of different ways to do it. You can roll halfway, add egg, turn in the sides, finish rolling and add egg to seal. Or you can flip in the sides roll halfway, egg finish rolling and add egg to seal. There are lots of videos you can watch on this.  

Once you have finished rolling your egg rolls, be sure to make sure your oil is hot enough to fry. Place the egg rolls in the pan and let sit for about 45 seconds or until the outer wrapper is golden brown, flip and do the same until all the outer wrapper is golden brown. Remove from pan and let sit for 2 min for the excess oil to fall off. I recommend cutting them in half before serving, so this way each first bite of this dish is filled with the filling. 


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