Jan 17 2007

BBQ Trail et al

One way to easily spot a BBQ addict is to see what they do on weekends or their time off. It was not at all uncommon for us to get up on a Saturday morning and take a field trip by driving 100+ miles to some BBQ joints we had heard about. Now with the sophistication of technology a lot of the research and work has already been done for you by the Southern Foodways Alliance of which we are proud members. Check out their BBQ trail of Northern Alabama. Using their words “Download an SFA trail map, gas up the car, put some extra cash in your wallet, and hit the road.” They even went beyond BBQ and created a Tamale Trail in the Mississippi Delta and The Boudin and Gumbo Trails in Louisiana. Take a look, get inspired and get eatn’

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The Southern Foodways Alliance and Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q invite you to set out on the BBQ Trail. Meet Susie Headrick, who taught her family about cooking bbq when they purchased the Green Top. Learn about the origins of the sauce that’s made every week at Top Hat Barbecue. Visit Chuck’s Bar-B-Que, where your belly will be filled pork, your soul with the gospel. The Southern BBQ Trail includes oral histories, photos, film snippets, audio clips, and an interactive map for hungry travelers. Grab a napkin and go!



Boudin Home Enter

The SFA and McIlhenny Company, makers of Tabasco, invite you to set out on the Boudin Trail. Visit T-Boy’s Slaughterhouse, one of the last of its kind, where the boudin is as fresh as it can get. Learn about the days when casings were stuffed using cow horns from Jimmy Guidry, the boudin maker at Don’s Specialty Meats. Meet Robert Cormier, co-owner of The Best Stop, who has traced his Cajun heritage back a handful of generations to family in Nova Scotia. The Southern Boudin Trail includes oral histories, photos, film snippets, audio clips, and an interactive map for hungry travelers. Grab a link and go!



Gumbo Home Enter

The SFA and McIlhenny Company, makers of Tabasco, invite you to set out on the Gumbo Trail. Learn how to make a roux with Billy Grueber from Luizza’s by the Track. Meet Lionel Key, an artisan whose uncle taught him to make file from sassafras leaves. And then visit the Olivier family for dinner, where you might find three different versions of gumbo on the table. The Southern Gumbo Trail includes oral histories, photos, film snippets, audio clips, and an interactive map for hungry travelers. Grab a spoon and go!



Tt Home

The Southern Foodways Alliance and Viking Range invite you to set out on the Tamale Trail. Meet Elizabeth Scott of Scott’s Hot Tamales, who has been making and selling hot tamales for more than fifty years. Visit the Bourbon Mall, where the tamales are fried. And learn how Sicilian immigrants factor into the Delta’s long history with these bundles of meat and masa. The Mississippi Delta Hot Tamale Trail includes oral histories, photos, film and audio clips, a “Hot Tamale How-To,” as well as an interactive map for hungry travelers. Grab a shuck and go!

A big shout out from The General to SFA’s Amy Evans for her effort to spur culinary tourism!


Jan 17 2007

Grilled Pizza

Well, we can now check off one of our New Year’s Goals…to learn to make pizza on the grill. It must have been good because last night after I offered to take TLW out for fried shrimp she said she would rather stay home and make another pizza on the grill!

For my initial research, I went to and a magazine that just showed up at our door called Cuisine at Home. In regards to the items that go on the pizza the articles/recipes stimulated my imagination and I will be the first to tell you that I got a little carried away with my shopping list. All the time that we were shopping, we were in plain sight of 1 pound 16″ pizzas selling for $10.00. We probably spent 5 times that.


Lesson Learned #1: The economy in cooking pizza at home comes in when using leftovers from previous meals…and for good reason. Most pizza toppings must be pre-cooked…either from the manufacturer or in your kitchen. The ingredients have no time to thoroughly cook on top of the pizza. In this case TG used the evil microwave to get things started.


Lesson Learned #2: Your imagination is the key to making an interesting/custom pizza. Even with TG’s research I was still a little confused as to how to put it all together.

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Once your items are prepared, take a brush and brush both sides of the pizza crust with olive oil.



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The pizza crust recommended by the BBQ Queens was Boboli which is a thick crust pre-prepared. Unfortunately the Boboli was sacrificed on the grill due a timing error. Luckily we had a back up of a thin crust pre-prepared shell. The instructions said to grill each side over direct heat for two minutes each and then move to the indirect zone. Once you are in the indirect zone start with your tomato sauce, and then begin to add your other ingredients with cheese being the last. You know that your pizza is done when all your cheese has melted.

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Not bad for a first attempt…according to TLW we will be having grilled pizza often! She likes the fact that we control the ingredients and can make a great tasting pizza without a lot of fat. She promises to learn how to make pizza dough…we’ll see about that!


Jan 13 2007

Prosciutto-Baked Tilapia

Finding some tilapia fillets in my freezer coincided with a recipe for it published in the local fish wrapper newspaper. Having all of the ingredients handy led TG to give this recipe a whirl.

Farm-Raised Tilapia

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 8 slices prosciutto
  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 roasted red peppers from jar, drained, patted dry and finely diced
  • 4 toothpicks
  • Preheat oven to 400*. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Arrange four slices of proscuitto evenly spaced on the baking sheet. Place a second slice on top of each of the top four. Set one tilapia fillet over each pair of prosciutto slices.
  • Season the fish with salt and pepper, then drizzle each with about 1/2 T olive oil. Spoon a quarter of the diced red pepper over each fillet, using the back of the spoon to spread it evenly.
  • Starting at one end of the fillet, carefully roll it up, holding the prosciutto so that it wraps around the outside of the fish. Poke a toothpick through the center of each roll to help it hold together.
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the flesh feels firm and flakes easily.

Note: The General was going to grill the tilapia rolls on the Weber, but the weather didn’t cooperate…so we did bake them.

Unhealthier variation: I have some thick cut maple-flavored bacon in the fridge. Thought I could fry up the bacon in my cast iron skillet, then add the tilapia fillets coated with some blackening seasoning, and some roasted red peppers. Cook until firm. Throw the bacon, tilapia, and roasted red peppers on a bun along with some tartar sauce. Mmmmm.


Jan 13 2007

Happy Birthday, Radar!

Just have to celebrate our German Shepherd’s 11th birthday. We are so happy he is still with us after the loss of his brother Mars and his diagnosis of bone cancer. The ole boy still has a little kick in him yet…especially if he gets to go for a ride in the car or is treated with some ‘people food!’

Happy Birthday, Radar!

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Jan 11 2007

As Seen On TV

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At one time or another we have all been amused with some of the infomercials they through at us. For most of us we don’t buy anything but we are always a little bit amazed at the claims proffered. This year, TLW broke the cycle by giving The General a ‘Vidalia Chop Wizard.’ This thing really works! Now we have a commercial model, but the problem with it is that if you just dice one bell pepper you have to clean it as much as if you diced 100. This slick little unit is a real workhorse and the best part is all parts fit nicely into our home dishwasher. It has two different sized blades (fine and coarse). She bought it at Walgreen’s in their “As Seen On TV” section for all of $19.95 with no shipping and handling. We even went back and bought one for our daughter! I have only been allowed to use it for a sample test run as TLW has taken it over!


With a renewed confidence in “As Seen On TV” we came across a cordless no-hands can opener…
One Touch…of course, sold for $19.95. Guess what? It works!


Now moving up the scale. There was a lot of chatter on the
BBQ Forum about a cordless electric knife…Sonic Blade. Now this moves out of the category of the $19.95…from $59.95 and up. We bought it because we have 500 lbs. of brisket to produce this month and thought it might give us a ‘leg up.’ Now you will not find this at the Walgreen’s retail outlets because of the higher retail but you can go to Walgreens.com to find it. We haven’t had a chance to use it yet, but TLW keeps threatening??? to practice. Will let you know after we do all of our brisket just how good this is!


At the top of the gift list from TLW this year was a new bright red
George Foreman G5. It has interchangeable plates to actually bake cookiws and make waffles as well as grill. We have had a smaller version for a long time, but the downside was that it was not immersible and was difficult to clean…but it was $19.95!! This little baby usually was used when the weather was so nasty that I didn’t want to fire up the grill…or I was just lazy. The beauty of the G5 is that these plates can be tossed in the dishwasher. Not real grillin’ or smokin’ but sometimes just right for the occasion!


Jan 3 2007

Hot Squat 3000 Gold Series

This post on the BBQ Forum caught TG’s eye.

Hs12

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Jan 2 2007

2007 Food Goals

One goal is to learn how to perfect fish tacos along with grilled pizza…and learn how to do them on a fairly large scale. TG got some inspiration from a Christmas present TLW gave me.



“Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens: Making Meals Fast and Fabulous” (Karen Adler, Judith Fertig)

Our good friend Karen Adler, along with Judith Fertig, give recipes in this book for both items. Stay tuned for some of our experimentation!


Jan 2 2007

Calling All Jack Daniel's Fans

A few years back my friend Eddie, an avid BBQ fan and collector of Jack Daniel’s paraphernalia, nominated TG to the Tennessee Squire Association from Lynchburg, TN. I have thoroughly enjoyed my membership (which is free, BTW). Every year I receive a new JD calendar. I was awarded a plot of land in Lynchburg (which I have never seen and is probably not very big). During the year I receive some interesting correspondence from caretakers and neighbors regarding my ‘land.’ It is a fun thing to be part of. In addition to the above mentioned items, I have been given the right to nominate one additional squire each year. This year I decided to award this nomination to one of our readers. Here are the rules:

  1. You must be of legal drinking age in the county of your residence.
  2. You must be a devoted fan of Jack Daniel’s whiskey.
  3. You must be someone who drinks or gives Jack Daniel’s by preference with consistency.
  4. You must be respected in your community and/or field of endeavor.
  5. You must not be connected with the liquor industry in any way.

So, if you are interested in this nomination, please write TG or comment below as to why you should be considered. If you are selected, I will need your full name and address, occupation, company or organization, birth date and gender in order to complete the Squire application.

Time is of the essence. I need your nomination by January 15, 2007.


Jan 2 2007

Rack of Pork

The last discussion item regarding the holidays is rack of pork. Next to turkey it is one of The General’s favorites. You should ask your butcher if he is able to secure this cut of meat for you. It smokes up perfectly on the grill. It is sometimes sold as a seasonal item, and we used to be able to get it around the holidays at Costco. Whenever we want to impress guests or clients we always pull one out of the freezer. It is like 10 or so huge pork chops all stuck together. Wow, try this and discover why it is one of our favorites!

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Jan 2 2007

Just Under the Wire

Last year TLW told me I could not blog about turkeys except during the holiday season. So, I want to slip this one in before I get out of season again…for my own reference as well as our readers.


As already noted in November TG cooked 148 turkeys for the Old Savannah City Mission to serve in Forsyth Park. What we found living here in Savannah is that Savannahians use a simple mixture of black pepper and seasoned salt all blended together for their rub for both turkey and pork…and who knows what else. TG got lucky at Sam’s recently and found a product I hadn’t seen before and that is Rosemary and Garlic seasoning. I used it as part of my rub on the turkeys I sold to customers. The rosemary and garlic put off a wonderful aroma as the meat cooks. In the absence of fresh whole rosemary, I put bay leaves in the cavity. I also combined the Rosemary and Garlic Seasoning by Tone’s with another product of theirs which is Sea Salt and Parsley.


Our old faithful is Morton’s Tender Quick which I have been using for years to brine my turkeys. This product is sold often times in hardware stores of all places. Since this is not always found on your local grocery store’s shelves, I would suggest if you have trouble finding it to just
order it online. They also have a 32 page illustrated guide to curing meat, so you might want to inquire about that also. Remember always cook your turkey to 170* in the thickest part of the bird.


We also have found recipes on the internet for different brines. This is fun way to experiment for all The General’s chemistry buddies.


This wraps up my turkey discussion until the holiday season of 2007.

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Brining in a heavy duty bag is a great space saver. Just remember to ‘flip the bird’ often!

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Hot and ready to be delivered.