Sep 21 2007

Grilled Swordfish

I can’t say enough good about the June issue of Food and Wine magazine. Plenty of smoking and grilling recipes, and a lot of them were done by our BBQ friend Steve Raichlen. Last night we cooked their recipe for swordfish steaks that was out of sight! It consisted of a very basic one hour marinade consisting of salt, freshly ground black pepper, minced garlic cloves, lemon juice and olive oil. (TLW has convinced me that using fresh garlic cloves and mincing them gives a superior flavor than the already minced garlic out of the jar.)

Reading the recipe for the ‘ketchup’ which requires the roasting of fresh tomatoes, reminded me of how good roasted tomatoes are and what fabulous salsa they make. The recipe for the ketchup calls for 1 1/4 pounds of tomatoes. It has a lot of ingredients including allspice, ginger and capers.

TG highly recommends that you find this issue and look for the recipe on p. 188 or check it out

online. Remember not to exceed the internal temperature of 140* for your swordfish steaks.



Sep 20 2007

BBQ Calendar

Yesterday a package arrived in The General’s mailbox from Los Angeles CA. It contained a 2008 calendar entitled ‘A Pig a Day’ Icons of Barbecue. Earlier in the year TG received an inquiry from the publisher as to how to reach Dr. Porkenstein, a cooking team from Cape Cod. Happy to receive the info, Dick, the publisher promised to send us a complimentary copy. Thanks, Dick for remembering!

For The General, it has been fun to page through the calendar and see many of the icons we have seen on the bbq circuit for years.


Click here for more information. Seems to be a great opportunity for a Christmas gift for your BBQ friends!

One fun part of writing this blog is that you never know what is going to show up at your door. Before the calendar, we received a turducken from the Cajun Grocer. TLW and I can’t eat a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey all on our own, so we are getting together a delegation to help us with this monumental task. Can’t wait! Needless to say, we can’t recommend the turducken until we try it, but if you are looking for Cajun foods on the internet you may want to give Cajun Grocer a chance. TG is anxious to try their boudain sausage which we use in our famous championship shrimp and grits recipe.

Sep 18 2007

Strange Coincidence

In August, on our way to vacation at Lake Chautauqua in upper New York State with our good friends Sir Charles and Kathleen, TG was worried that the Lake might be too remote since I brought no reading material. After lunch in Cleveland, we found a Border’s Discount Book Store…and it truly was a discount store. Since I liked the low prices and their selection of cookbooks, I bought several. I didn’t pay much attention to them until we reached the Lake.

I began reading one called Cook-Off America Volume 2 and suddenly discovered that I was in the book! “The Original Q Company Brisket” National Capital Barbecue Battle. It goes on to call me a consistent winner and a “circuit” celebrity. Funny though, the recipe isn’t mine nor is the picture one of our shots…even though it is a darn fine one.

From then on, I was like a celebrity chef and our friends told anyone who would listen about this strange coincidence! I was then put on the spot when Sir Charles went to his freezer and pulled out a standing rib roast and announced that we were having a dinner party Saturday night and I was to smoke the roast as well as other parts of the meal.

Being away from all my spices and tools, I was able to go back into the archives of my mind and remember an old beef marinade that I used to use all the time. It consists of one third teriyaki, one third red wine vinegar, and one third water. The water keeps the teriyaki from turning the meat too dark. Also add a good shot or two of bourbon. The bourbon breaks down the fibers in the meat and acts as a tenderizing agent…as well as a flavoring agent. I let the meat marinate a couple days before cooking it. I must say that it was one flavorful piece of meat…and all the guests agreed.

I also found out something that most home chefs don’t realize. I was looking for some spices to use on the roast and I found that some of Charles’ spices were out of date…some by two or three years! Most spices are only good for a year or less…depending on geographic location (temperature and humidity). When in a pinch, the old standby is seasoned salt, black pepper and granulated garlic and that is what I used on the rib roast.


Sep 17 2007

Another Burst

Received an email from Steve from Sullicom yesterday. He has spotlighted The General on his blog. After some fine compliments, he comments that The General’s blogging is sporadic. He is correct! Both The Little Woman and I are trying to rectify this situation. Blogging for the BBQ General is, I think, a bit harder than for most bloggers because we collaborate on almost every entry…so we both have to be “in the mood” and “available.” Thanks, Steve, for giving us a kick in the pants, and we will try to be more consistent! Also, congrats on a great blog!

Sep 17 2007

Linguine with Clam Sauce

As TG has stated before, I have had marginal luck using recipes from magazines. In fact, I have stopped several magazine subscriptions recently. One that I continue to subscribe to is Fine Cooking and I have had success with many of their recipes. If you don’t subscribe to it, it would be a worthwhile addition to your cooking arsenal.

In their November 2007 edition, there is a recipe for Linguine with Clam Sauce that I thought The Little Woman might like. I asked her to try it…she was very willing since she has an addiction to clams of any kind! We both loved the result and plan to make it again tonight!

24 littleneck clams (TLW used 36)

6 T extra virgin olive oil

1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes

1/3 c dry white wine (TLW used Barefoot Chardonnay)

5 T finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

3 large cloves garlic, minced

Kosher salt

8 oz. linguine (FC recommends De Cecco, Due Pastori, or Rustichella d’Abruzzo brands) (TLW used the spaghetti we had in our pantry)

Freshly ground black pepper

Scrub the clams under cold water and set aside. In a heavy 3 qt. saucepan, heat 3 T of oil over medium heat. Add the pepper flakes and cook briefly to infuse the oil, about 20 seconds. Immediately add the wine, 2 T of the chopped parsley and half of the minced garlic. Cook for 20 seconds and add the clams.

Cover and cook over medium high heat, checking every 2 minutes and removing each clam as it opens. It will take 5 to 6 minutes total for all the clams to open. Transfer the clams to a cutting board and reserve the broth. Remove the clams from the shells and cut them in half, or quarters if they are large. Return the clams to the broth. Discard the shells.

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until it’s almost al dente, 6 to 9 minutes. Don’t overcook.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining 3 T olive oil in a 10 or 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 3 T parsley and the rest of the garlic and cook until the garlic is soft, about 1 minute. Set the skillet aside.

When the pasta is done, reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and then drain the pasta. Add the pasta, the clam and the broth the clams were cooked in to the skillet. Return to low heat, toss the past in the sauce and simmer for another minute to finish cooking it, adding a little of the pasta water if you prefer a wetter dish.

Taste for salt and add a large grind of black pepper. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley leaves.

Sep 17 2007

Fried Squirrel

Here we are with a party to get out on Saturday…and, guess what? …our power goes out. No power equals no stove/oven. Usually power outages around here are fairly temporary, but this one didn’t appear to be….especially when 5 Georgia power trucks show up. After the first two hours, we had to come up with an alternate plan for preparing our menu for the party to be held later in the day. Six hours later and with the party under control we learn the cause of the outage….a very dumb squirrel trying to chew through a line !


Sep 17 2007

Green Beans

If you stay in the catering business long enough, you get some really different gigs/jobs. We experienced this phenomenon this past weekend when we catered a party in Port Wentworth for a regional conference of The Little People of America. As different as we imagined it to be, it was probably one of the better parties (most fun) we have catered in our whole career. They had a talent show, a DJ, dancing and… even though their stature is small, they have large appetites! It was really a fun party to do!

In the last couple of years, we have started adding green beans to the menu. The General despises canned green beans because they taste canned, so I have been buying the frozen 5 pound long cut package at Sam’s. They are very easy to prepare. Simply bring your water to a boil (TG uses the turkey fryer pot) and add the green beans…for this party I used 15 pounds. This will cool the water, so wait until the water comes back to a boil. In the meantime, add a handful of minced garlic along with 1/3 cup of Lea and Perrin’s Worchestershire sauce. Once the water returns to boiling, cook for no more than 5 minutes. Do not over boil them!! Remove the beans from the pot and put them in half pans and add plenty of butter. As Paula Deen says, “The more butter, the better they taste.” These beans retain a nice green color and have plenty of texture and flavor…and have really been a hit at the parties where we serve them.

Sep 4 2007

Cajun Remoulade

TLW takes great pride in her Cajun Remoulade and Crabcakes recipes which she may post later…if I can bribe her. But here is one that is quick, simple and good. It was given to us by our neighbor, Ernie, and it is a replica of the sauce used at the Longfellow House (TG thinks in New Orleans). Apparently one of Ernie’s relatives had been searching for this recipe for over 25 years. It is supposed to be used with shrimp, but it tasted great with some frozen crab cakes we thawed the other night.

1 C Mayo – We prefer Hellman’s

1/4 – 1/2 C Creole Mustard – Zatarain preferred

1 T Horseradish

Juice of 1 lemon

2 shakes Worcestershire sauce

1 Garlic clove, smashed


Sep 4 2007

Foolproof Gazpacho

While on vacation at Lake Chatauqua NY with our good friends Sir Charles and Kathleen, they introduced us to gazpacho. Even though both TLW and I had sampled it before, their recipe was especially tasty. They tweaked a version from the Joy of Cooking. Once home, TLW found a version of it on another blog Dope on the Slope. We enjoyed the Dope’s version very much!

* 4 or so lbs of field ripened tomatoes

* 1 quart of quality tomato juice (Dope used Looza brand…TLW used Publix brand)

* 2 firm, fresh cucumbers

* 2 firm, fresh green bell peppers (you could use red or yellow)

* 2 smallish fresh red or white onions

* 3 or 4 handfuls of fresh herb (parsley, basil or oregano)

* 1/2 cup of quality red wine vinegar (not balsamic!)

* 1/4 cup of quality olive oil (or more to taste)

* 3 cloves of garlic (or more, but be careful)

* 3 teaspoons of salt (or more to taste)

* fresh ground black pepper

* cayenne pepper sauce (optional) OR

* minced jalapeno (optional)

1. Open an ice cold beer or pour yourself a glass of chilled white wine.

2. Put a large pot of water on to boil and place a colander in your kitchen sink.

3. Wash the tomatoes and cut a small “x” at the stem and stern of each tomato.

4. Peel the cucumbers, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and chop them into large chunks.

5. Peel and core the bell peppers and chop then into large chunks.

6. Peel the papery skin and first layer of flesh off of the onions and quarter them.

7. Flatten the garlic with the blade of your knife, remove the peel and mince. Set aside in a small bowl.

8. Finely chop the herbs and set aside in a small bowl.

9. Pour the vinegar into a measuring cup.

10. By now, the water should be at a nice boil. Set your kitchen timer for 2 minutes, and place all of the tomatoes into the boiling water. After the timer beeps, remove the tomatoes to the colander in the sink. They will need to cool there for at least 10 minutes before you peel and seed them.