Friday, December 18, 2015

A Trifle of Dessert Fun

While I love BBQ it's not the only thing I cook. I like to try out various things and especially desserts. I like to find new things I can feed my friends and family.

This time of year I like to make and play with desserts. One dessert I make every year is biscotti, the recipe is from The Joy of Cooking pg 834 (in my edition). This year I received some 3.4oz dessert cups from Cambro to do try some things with. So once again I got to play with my food.

Homemade Andouille Sausage

One of the things I like to make with left over turkey is turkey gumbo so this year I decided to make the sausage for it too. I used a recipe from the cook book Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing (Revised and Updated). It is a great book all about curing and smoking meat. Defiantly worth the investment. This time I also decided to use real hog-casings, which I hadn't done before.

Making the sausage is fairly simple but takes time. and when it's done it tastes so good.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

BBQ 101 - Sauces

This is a topic I have been avoiding. It is very personal and can be very divisive as we have seen in NC. The state is split into two camps, Eastern Carolina Sauce and Western Carolina Sauce, and woe be unto you if you choose either or neither when asked. I will be trying to avoid choosing one over the other but just sharing the differences of our great country's sauces with you.

I know we can get into specifics for each region on flavors and profiles, thickness and consistency but I'm going to write using broad strokes to help those who are just starting out or want to find out about the general differences in sauces around the country are. There are many and I like many of them for various reasons. But for this post I will focus on the five main categories.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Kansas City BBQ Tour

I finally got to go to Kansas City where I heard the streets are paved with brisket and the faucets run with BBQ sauce. Ok, not quite. It is a city known for its jazz, BBQ and the head of the Santa Fe trail. It is a city with roots that go back the the US's expansion West, where cattle was sold to head East. Due to its ties to cattle it is also a haven for BBQ and said to be the birth place of burnt ends.

I got to go for work, but didn't squander the opportunity to try some of the BBQ they are famous for. It was a whirl wind tour but I was able to try some great BBQ at four great restaurants. The first was Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que, the second, Fiorella Jack Stacks, followed by Gates and finally Author Bryant's. Each was good, but none were Carolina BBQ.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Birthday Cook

July 4 is my birthday. I'm a firecracker. Each year we have a party and invite over a bunch of friends. I smoke some meat and make some cake and our friends bring side dishes. We eat, drink and watch fireworks in the neighborhood. It's fun.

This year was no different. I cooked pork, brisket and hot dogs,made a batch of baked black beans and two birthday cakes.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Review - Grilled Pizza The Right Way

Title: Grilled Pizza the Right Way: The Best Technique for Cooking Incredible Tasting Pizza & Flatbread on Your Barbecue Perfectly Chewy & Crispy Every Time
Author: John Delpha
Price: $19.99

This is one of the three books I was sent to review back in April. It's been a little hectic lately with end of school and work so I haven't had a chance to review it until now.

The book is by John Delpha who is a former Army officer and Helicopter pilot. He became a chef and cooked in some of Bostons top kitchens such as Clio, Mistral, Harvest, Sorellina and La Campania. He is a member of iQue, who won the 2009 Jack Daniel's World Barbecue Championship and loves to cook with fire. He learned how to grill pizza at Al Forno in Providence, RI and brings his experience and skill to the masses via this book.

I love to use my grill and I love to eat pizza. This book is perfect for people with similar tastes. If you want to try something new on the grill this book will help you learn how to grill a pizza and other flatbreads. It starts with savory pizzas and ends with dessert pizzas. There are a couple parts I found a little confusing, but overall it is a pretty straight forward cook book.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review - RockyTop Swine Shine and Carolina Q Rub

Company: Rocky Top BBQ Co. LLC
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Carolina Swine Shine: $6.25 + Shipping and Handeling
Carolina Q Rub: $7.95 + Shipping and Handling

It's been a while since my last post. Life and work have been busy, but I haven't stopped cooking, tasting and testing. You might recognize the name Rocky Top BBQ Co. from BBQ Pitmasters or the interview I did with them (you can read it here).

Jonathan and his crew have added a few more trophies and catered a few more events and come out with a rub and sauce they use on their divine swine. I have tried both and both are good. Their sauce has become my go to Carolina sauce. It's that good.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review - Ultimate Book of BBQ

I received an email a couple weeks ago asking if I would be interested in reviewing a BBQ cook book. My initial response was, "Is this a trick question?" I'm always looking for new recipes, tips on cooking and just improving my BBQ skills in general.

I agreed to review Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ - the complete year-round guide to grilling & smoking. A couple days later I received it and two other grilling books which I will be reviewing later.

Pitmaster Christopher Prieto of PRIME Barbecue in Wendell, NC has worked with Southern Living to compile over 200 recipes, creating a hefty cook book that covers the basics to the finer points of BBQ.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Review - Triple Whammy Sauces

Name: Triple Whammy Sauces
Location: Charlotte, NC
Price: $8

At the 2014 Q City BBQ Championship I came across Triple Whammy Sauces selling their sauces. The samples they had were good so I got a bottle of each.

The sauces were created in 2007 by Tyler Fraiser. He started with a honey mustard sauce, then created an all purpose sauce for other foods. Each sauce has a unique flavor and works well on a variety of foods. Each one has a little sweet, a little savory and a little heat giving you the Triple Whammy.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Review - 521 BBQ

Name: 521 BBQ
Location: Fort Mill, SC 
Price: $$

In my town it can be difficult to find good BBQ. It shouldn't be hard in SC, but if you want to go out for it, it can be. One of my favorite BBQ places opened up a second location closer to me and I was finally able to try it out. I was happy I did.

I took my family out to give it a try and we all enjoyed it. My first experience with 521 BBQ was about six years ago. We were looking for a local BBQ joint and found 521 BBQ off of highway 521. We headed out to get some food around 6pm and when we got there we were disappointed because they had sold out. This was a good sign. It meant they were doing something right. We went back a couple weeks later, earlier this time, and enjoyed generous helpings of chopped pork, ribs, hushpuppies and fries. We've been back a few times and have recommended it to others.