Oct 19 2006

Blackeye Pea Hummus

The General is away…so TLW has been able to ‘play’ (with her good friend Sandra from Atlanta)! The girls have had a fun week shopping and playing Savannah tourist…making Nantucket baskets…and eating out! One memorable meal was yesterday’s lunch at Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House. Food is served family style. Tourists will wait hours for the chance of getting a seat at one of the tables. All the food is cooked from scratch in their small kitchen. Mrs. Wilkes has passed away, but her grandson is now running the place just as Grandma would have wanted! For those of you who come to Savannah to eat at Paula Deen’s Lady and Sons, I suggest you put Mrs. Wilkes on your short list of places to visit!


We made hummus Monday and have been munching on it all week. It is a blackeye pea variation TLW found on a package of blackeyes from Publix grocery store. It is simple, healthy and yummy! Healthy food in the General’s camp??? Only if it tastes as good as this! Try it with baked pita chips.

Blackeye Pea Hummus

4 sprigs fresh cilantro

4 sprigs fresh parsley

3/4 C diced onion

1/2 C roasted red pepper

1 t celery salt

1/2 t cumin

1/4 C tahini

1 T fresh lemon juice

2 T white balsamic vinegar

2 T Dijon mustard

1 t soy sauce

3 C cooked, drained blackeye peas (follow package directions)

salt and pepper to taste


Place cilantro, parsley and onion in food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Makes 3 1/3 cups.


Oct 16 2006

Successful Saturday

There is an old saying that if you want to get something done…find a busy person to help you. I have known this from catering for years! Some of the best parties TG has ever done have been multiple events occurring all in one day. It seems you automatically go to a higher efficiency level. Now TLW has never experienced this. Here we were coming back from NYC Friday afternoon and we had a party Saturday night for 200 people and on top of that I wanted to compete in a local cook off at the local Bass Pro Shops that required no set up the day before. We had to get up at 4:30 am to get our equipment on site. There were several heated debates over whether to drop the cook off and just do the dinner. TLW had serious reservations about how we could pull it all off. She also had concerns that this cook off was a non-sanctioned event with celebrity judges. This is a formula that can easily spell ‘disaster’ and she felt TG was unnecessarily putting his reputation on the line. After much thought, I suggested that we not use our ‘Savannah BBQ’ business name and just make up a name. Our friend Brooks was going to cook with me, so I came up with the name “B & W” Team…first initials of both of our names.


There was another formula that I was also hesitant about…that we both cook and decide at the end what product to turn in. That is not a good thing to do at crunch time when you have egos involved. So I then suggested to Brooks that we pay an additional entry fee and it could double our chances of winning something. He agreed and so we had the “B & W” team and the “B & W Also” team.


Well, I am proud to report that it worked! I had to leave as soon as turn in was over to get to the next party. On the way, I got a call from Brooks telling me that he got a third place in Ribs. He hesitated and I am thinking, “Be thankful for small blessings.” Then he said, “That’s not all!” I replied,”What else, Brooks?” He said, ” Well, (in his slow Southern drawl) you took first place in Ribs (I’m thinking…that’s really good). But that’s not all…you took first place in Pork Butt, also!” Out of the six prizes awarded we took 50% of them…along with $1,200 in Bass Pro Shops Gift Cards!!

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Now, on to the party…When I got there, the line had already opened. The crew was serving and everything went very well due to the fact that TLW was there to supervise. As usual, our brisket stole the show!

A day that started at 4:30 am finished at 11:30 pm….finally we were able to put our tired feet up and toast our success with a nice glass of wine…make that several glasses!


Oct 15 2006

Char-Broil's TEC Grills

Wow! What a week we have had! The good folks at Char-Broil invited us to New York City to preview their new line of grills for 2007. They had their ‘press party’ at the Bryant Park Grill… truly a beautiful setting for this tented affair.

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We arrived early due to our fear of becoming lost in Metropolis. Thursday turned out to be a beautiful fall day, unlike the deluge of the day before. The General savored the moment to have a good stogie (a Padron) under the watchful eyes of Willliam Cullen Bryant.

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TLW was fascinated with the filming of an upcoming Hugh Jackman movie, ‘The Tourist‘. She was able to get a few good shots of the movie set without being too pushy bothersome.

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The luncheon started with two chefs (one the executive chef of the Bryant Park Grill, and the other an import from Atlanta) demonstrating Char-Broil’s new TEC series, that is a patented glass top infrared cooking system…far more advanced than traditional ceramic infrared burners. This series offers the infrared as well as the conventional grill to add to your versatility! TG will be bringing you more information on this technology as I learn it…I can’t wait to get my hands on one of those ‘babies.’ But for simplification, this is the same technology that steakhouses like Ruth’s Chris use in their restaurant operation….but far more affordable for the home chef (well under $1000)! If you are interested in this new hi-tech grilling machine and want to locate a retailer carrying the product, call Kristen Stone at Edelman 404-832-6778.

Now, back to the luncheon. The two chefs were cooking a wide variety of foods…anything from flounder to beef tenderloin to grilled fruit kebobs to s’mores (a brownie dessert prepared on the grill. All the food was nicely presented and very well prepared as evidenced by the following pictures. The hospitality was superb and we were honored to be there with major media type folks.

Thanks, Char-Broil, for a wonderful trip!

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Oct 5 2006

Seafood

The nice thing about living on the coast is the abundance of fresh seafood…treated The Little Woman to some steamed clams last night! Just steam the clams until they open. I place a colander/strainer inserted inside a larger pot with water. The colander never touches the water. Once the water “boils over” the clams are perfectly steamed.

Just received my ‘fishing report’ from Inland Seafood and here’s what hot right now!

1. Gulf Red Snapper…always one of TG’s favorite

2. Halibut…from Homer, AK…a very versatile fish and mild flavored

3. Mahi Mahi…great for your grill

4. Have you ever had shark? Now is the time to try some black tip shark on your grill

One thing The General is not short of is recipes! I was going through some old recipes in a file drawer and found a 3 page article, out of the Seattle Post dated Wednesday, June 5, 2002, called “Know Your Salmon.” This article is a great resource and has helped clear up some of my confusion about the different types of salmon.

Here are the Pacific wild salmon species (NOT the farm raised)

  • King (chinook) is the largest species…often more than 30 pounds. It is prized for its high oil content, which enriches the flavor of the soft, orange-red flesh. Kings run in the spring.
  • Sockeye (reds) runs from late spring through the summer and contains less oil than kings. Some prefer the milder taste. The texture is firmer than the kings. Sockeyes weigh 6 to 10 pounds.
  • Coho (silver) runs in the fall and weighs 10 to 20 pounds. It has light red flesh and a mild flavor, which makes it good for pickling or smoking if you don’t like a heavy salmon aroma.
  • Pink (humpy) is the smallest species and is used for canning. Pinks tip the scale at 2 to 5 pounds.
  • Chum (keta), about 7 pounds, contains the least amount of oil. It is also known as dog salmon because it is frequently fed to sled dogs.

Any of the above salmon can be considered “Copper River salmon.” It merely describes where the fish was caught. Watch when your market sells Copper River salmon, as there can be a big difference in price based on the type of salmon it is!

**A word of warning, and I know TG is repeating myself, once you have tried any of the wild species, you will not want to return to the “color added” farm raised varieties.

I have a good friend and BBQ comrade who lives in the Pacific Northwest, Bob Lyon. He is a retired school teacher who now makes BBQ his favorite passion…and he is a BBQ legend. Here is his recipe for salmon:

Bob uses alder wood to grill fish, but if you can’t find it he recommends substituting apple wood chips.

4 C alder wood chips

1 T finely shredded lime peel

2 T grated fresh ginger root

1/2 t salt

1/4 t white pepper

2 pounds fresh salmon fillet or salmon steaks cut 1″ thick

Nonstick spray coating

2 T butter, melted (can substitute margarine)

2 t lime juice

  • Soak chips for 1 hour in water; drain.
  • Combine lime peel, ginger root, salt and pepper. Rub on top of salmon fillet
  • Fold a 12 by 12 -inch piece of foil in half to form a rectangle that is 12 by 6 inches. Spray with nonstick coating.
  • Place salmon on foil, skin side down, cutting off any part that is longer than 12 inches. Combine butter and lime juice. Brush half of the butter mixture on top of the fish. Sprinkle the wood chips over the coals. Place salmon on a covered grill directly over medium coals.
  • Grill 10 minutes. Baste with the remaining butter mixture. Cover and grill 10 to 15 minutes more until fish flakes easily with a fork. (For steaks, grill about 8 to 12 minutes, or until done, brushing again after about half the time.)

Oct 3 2006

Dijon Mayonnaise

Over the last nine months TG has talked a lot about a couple of my favorite authors (Karen Adler and Judith M. Fertig).

Their book Fish and Shellfish, Grilled and Smoked is my “holy grail” for seafood to which I refer all the time.



Last night I bought a beautiful piece of tuna, but I wasn’t sure what sauce might go well with it. Turning to the “holy grail” I found a Dijon Mayonnaise recipe that TLW made up, since she follows directions better than I do! It was simple to make and we had all the ingredients
since i didn’t want to go to the da** store yet again.



Dijon Mayonnaise

1 cup mayonnaise (Hellman’s or Duke’s)

2 T dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 t fresh lemon juice


Mix all ingredients together. Voila!


The tuna (which I grilled over direct heat in a fish basket to 130*) and the sauce were dynamite together!


I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys seafood! The flavored mayo recipes are on p. 309.