May 27 2006

An Easy Side Dish for your Holiday BBQ Table

One of the General’s favorite side dishes is a salad he received inspiration for when he visited our friend and BBQ legend Bob Lyon in the Pacific Northwest. Not only does this taste great with all things BBQ, but it has gorgeous color!

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TG bought a cookbook, Northwest Alder Smoked Salmon, at the Wild Salmon Seafood Market at the Fisherman’s Terminal in Seattle, WA. TLW cannot find a way to purchase the book, but she did find the publisher’s great website with some wonderful salmon recipes. Those people in the PNW really know how to cook!


BTW if you have never had the opportunity to try some WILD salmon (as opposed to farm-raised) give yourself a real treat!


There is a recipe in this cookbook for Smoked Salmon and Corn Salad. Depending on the menu, and The General’s inclination, he starts out with the basic recipe and gets creative. (In the salad pictured above, of course he left the salmon off, since we had pork loin and beef ribs on the menu.)


Smoked Salmon & Corn Salad

6 C Fresh or frozen corn kernels, cooked

1/2 Sweet red pepper, chopped

3 T green onions, minced

1 C cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 C NW style smoked salmon

Dressing

3/4 C Olive oil

1/4 C Balsamic vinegar

2 Cloves garlic, minced

4 Shallots, minced

3 T Fresh parsley, minced

6 T Fresh basil, chopped


Whisk the dressing ingredients together and let stand at least 1 hour to combine the flavors.


Cook the corn. In a large bowl toss the corn, peppers, cherry tomatoes and green onion.


Carefully break up the salmon, and add to the bowl.


Add the dressing and toss again.


Add salt and pepper and optional Tabasco sauce to taste.


**TG often adds black beans to this salad as he did in the one pictured above. Also he is prone to adding a can of Original Rotel, some chili peppers and anything else he feels like being creative with.


May 27 2006

Happy Memorial Day…Free Grill Courtesy of your local grocery story!!!

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Just watch the plastic ones…and please don’t tell’em The General sent you!


May 24 2006

What a Crock!

Carnival of the Recipes is up and running at Practigal this week. It is absolutely amazing what a variety of things can be created using that versatile piece of kitchen equipment. Check it out and get creative!


May 21 2006

The Crab Shack on Tybee Island

After an absolutely gorgeous spring in Savannah this year, we went from spring to summer all in one day! Yesterday we hit a high of 96* and beat out the previous record from 1902 of 94*. Today, is another hot one, and The General took advantage of the warm weather and suggested we do something we don’t do very often, so I took my bride to The Crab Shack on Tybee Island…their slogan is “Where the elite eat in their bare feet!”

The Crab Shack started out as just that…a simple little shack on some back water. Years ago, they had smudge pots always burning on the decks…but perhaps fire laws have put an end to those. Over the years, the place keeps expanding with patios and decks and enclosed areas. Last year they added a “gator lagoon”… a swimming hole for gators. A little freaky with the recent news of all the gator attacks around Florida…but nevertheless a good marketing idea for attracting kids. Plus, for a small fee $$$ one can purchase some ‘gator treats’ and feed the gators using a fishing pole….

This is probably the most diversified place you will ever visit…upside down peach baskets for light shades, and the tops of the peach baskets are covered with aluminum foil for use as serving trays. Tables are made from a piece of plywood and holes are cut in the middle with a trash can poised underneath the hole to accept any trash from the table (except heavy shells…they get mad about that.) I don’t think the couple who own this place ever throw anything out…I think they believe in recycling in a big way. Don’t let this fool you…they really have it goin’ on. Although they are not as famous as Paula Deen, I would guess that their overall dollar volume would come close to rivaling that of Ms. Deen’s Lady & Sons. I would call this place a ‘must see’ when visiting the Savannah area.

The food is mostly boiled or steamed seafood…crab legs, shrimp, mussels, oysters, etc. TLW got a whole bucket of steamed oysters…and they were huge. TG got the sampler platter…boiled shrimp, crawfish, mussels, crab legs, corn, potatoes and sausage.

It is fun to eat out, but I still believe the best kitchen is your own!


May 20 2006

Lamb Chops and Asparagus

The General bought some lamb chops this week and in deciding how to prep them I remembered that at a food show a while back the good folks from ICA (Ingredients Corporation of America – Memphis, TN) had given me some Greek seasoning. That made the prep process very easy because all I did was use the seasoning and then liquefy it with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil. After lighting the Weber, and when the coals were ready, I seared the chops over direct heat for about 5 minutes per side and then moved them back into the indirect zone. They stayed there until reaching an internal temperature of 135*…then they were ready for plating.

ICA can be an excellent resource for you if you have a secret spice blend that you would like to have bottled in large quantities. Talk to Derenda. I’m not sure wether they are set up to ship small quantities or not…but it wouldn’t hurt to ask!

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TLW has been on a pretty strict diet and she likes to consume large quantities of asparagus. In a previous post, TG explained how to grill asparagus. The oven method works well, too, and it is really easy!

Cut the woody part off the stalks and place them in a baking pan along with a medium coating of minced garlic, some sea or kosher salt and semi-generous amount of olive oil. Turn the oven on at 325* and bake for about 20 minutes. Check for desired doneness. TLW likes them crispy asparagus and TG likes his a bit softer. Make sure your olive oil does not start to smoke, as The Little Woman heard today it can become toxic.

Yummmm…I can still taste ’em!!!


May 19 2006

Beef Short Ribs with Cabernet BBQ Sauce

A couple weeks ago, I bought Weber’s Big Book of Grilling by Jamie Purviance and Sandra S. McRae. The General is always challenged by beef ribs…simply because I haven’t cooked them often.



On p. 124 I found a recipe for Beef Ribs with Cabernet Sauce.

Cabernet Sauce

I doubled the recipe, but here is the original:

1.5 C BBQ sauce

1 C Cabernet Sauvignon (of course, we had plenty available and I used TLW’s Barefoot Cab)

Combine the two ingredients along with some Kosher salt and some freshly cracked black pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring the ingredients to a boil stirring frequently. Keep warm until serving.

Beef Ribs

I substituted Short Ribs that I found at Sam’s.

For the rub I used our own steak seasoning that primarily consists of Kosher salt, coarsely ground black pepper, and granulated garlic. I also added some of Emeril’s Essence and liquefied them with olive oil.

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The directions call for searing the ribs, but my fire was entirely too hot, and short ribs are pretty delicate and just couldn’t take the heat, so I cooked them for about an hour in the indirect zone. Here is the key that we don’t normally do, but I don’t know any other way to get them tender. After the hour of indirect cooking, I wrapped them in aluminum foil and coated them with the Cabernet BBQ Sauce. I sealed the package up and cooked them in the indirect zone for another two hours.


You will need to make adjustments if you are cooking a full beef rib.


It is virtually impossible to accurately use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of beef short ribs. TLW and I taste tested and agreed after one hour of covered cooking that they were not tender enough, so I cooked them for a second hour.


The results were fantastic! I had cooked these as a test and our company glommed them all…Kerry even claimed that it was the best beef she had ever tasted!


May 17 2006

Crock Pot Hash: A Delicacy of South Carolina

Marie, over at PractiGal, has announced that this week’s Carnival of the Recipes will be devoted to crock pot recipes. The General loves a challenge,and I had to do a lot of thinkin’ since our crock pot does not get used very often these days…in fact it didn’t take the trip here to Savannah…in fact where is it ?? TLW used to be the Queen of the Crocks years ago, but I have cured that…since she does not have to cook these days 🙂

Reading the latest National BBQ News this week, I came across an article on South Carolina and their love for BBQ hash. TLW and I spent some time reminiscing about our early days on the BBQ circuit and our attempts at cooking hash for a couple of contests. Our first attempt was in Tryon, NC. TG looked at many recipes and, along with my partner at the time, came up with what we thought was an acceptable product. TLW took one bite and said that it tasted like (and looked like) dog food. It WAS miserable…but we entered it in the side contest and I think if we didn’t come in last we were very close to the bottom. Anyway two Atlanta boys had given it the ole’ Bulldog try…and what did we know about HASH???

Next time we wanted to enter a hash contest, TLW stepped up to the plate and, along with some input from our friends Ed and Muriel, she created a hash that she remembered from her childhood in Boston. Very much like corned beef hash patties (but using beef brisket) drizzled with BBQ sauce. Again, my memory fails me, but I think she took first place and was very proud of that honor!

Back to the National BBQ News article entitled Hash: A South Carolina delicacy written by John Waldrop of the South Carolina BBQ Association. He directs those who want to learn more about South Carolina’s hash to go to Stan Woodward’s website. Stan is a documentary film maker who does projects on Southern foods and culture.

Carolina Hash: A Taste of South Carolina. “Finding that a stew called hash was what displaced Brunswick stew as the stew of choice in South Carolina, Stan, with the support of The Museum in Greenwood, SC, traveled the Palmetto state learning the story of the popularity and historical roots of this indigenous-to-South-Carolina-stew cooked in the black iron pots. This documentary won a CINE Golden Eagle in Washington and was shown alongside entries from The Bill Moyers show, “Now” and ABC’s Dateline.”

Back to the crock pot! John Waldrop has re-formulated the recipe that he still cooks in his large black iron pot to work in a crock pot!!

CrockPot Hash

4 to 4.5 lb. Boston butt roast

1.2 to 2 lb. beef chuck roast

3 baking potatoes, peeled and diced

3 medium onions, peeled and diced

Seasonings: (use only as a guide…)

5 T white vinegar

2 T spicy brown mustard

1 T red pepper flakes

2 t cayenne pepper

4 T tomato paste

1 stick butter

2 T worcestershire sauce

salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Step 1: Pre-heat 5 quart crock pot on high. Rub both roasts with salt and cracked pepper, then place in the crock pot. Add the diced potatoes and onions, and then fill the pot with hot water or stock and cover. Let it cook 6 to 7 hours until the meat falls apart. Keep check on the water level

Step 2: Remove the meat from the pot and pull apart to let cool. Next remove the bone, fat, and connective tissue. Pull the meat apart in small pieces and then give it a light chop. Break up the potatoes and onions in the pot with a potato masher. Return the meat to the pot. Still on high, let it cook another 4 hours. Add the butter and reduce heat to the lowest setting. Let it cook another 6 hours or until it is the consistency you like.

Step 3: Add your seasonings one at a time and taste as you go.

Step 4: Place over your choice of white rice, or white bread.

Enjoy!

***DISCLAIMER: The General has not tried this recipe, and cannot guarantee its results.***


May 15 2006

The General Store – Grillz Gone Wild

TLW thought it would be fun to create some cool BBQ things at our own cool store…like the name??…The General Store. Take a look and make some suggestions….TG

Grillz Gone Wild


May 15 2006

Texas Rib Rangers Catering Classes

Want to learn how to cater like a BBQ champion? It’s easy! Take a class from Barbara and Bill Milroy. The General can guarantee that these Texas Rib Rangers know their stuff.


Using a unique format, the students take a two day class in which they prepare and serve a benefit catering for a local charity. Cooking everything on smokers, the class will cook several different BBQ meats, side dishes and dessert! Not only will the students be learning the catering skills of the Rangers, but they will also learn their recipes!


Email Bill for more information! Bill@TexasRibRangers.com

Bottles Home

You can also order their sauces online. Mmmmm, they are great!


May 15 2006

James Beard Award Nomination

Our friend, Mike Mills of Memphis Championship BBQ in Las Vegas, was recently nominated for a 2006 James Beard Foundation Award, one of the nation’s top honors for culinary professionals. Mike’s book, co-written by his daughter Amy, was one of three nominated in the category “Food of the Americas.”



“Peace, Love, & Barbecue : Recipes, Secrets, Tall Tales, and Outright Lies from the Legends of Barbecue” (Mike Mills, Amy Mills Tunnicliffe)

Congratulations, Mike!