Hey all I am hitting the road hard for BBQ Crawl. We have covered over 4600 km/2600 miles already in just a short while.
Catch you on the BBQ trail!!
Its been an incredibly busy and exciting time as I get ready to hit the road for BBQ Crawl !! Fantastic working with RTR Media, Glassbox TV and the Travel & Escape Channel. Its seriously awesome to know Ill get to eat at some of my favorite BBQ joints with some amazing BBQ folks and compete in KCBS contests as well ! 10 States, 32 cities in 6 weeks plus BBQ competitions= amazing!! In addition we have been competing every weekend we can on the KCBS circuit. I really want people to see the world of BBQ through my eyes. How much fun it is from Competitions to legendary pitmasters and BBQ people from all over. I love the stories I love the history of BBQ and hell it just tastes damn good too!! Starting where I had my BBQ Epiphany in Texas and ending at the worlds largest BBQ contest the American Royal its going to be a blast!
I hope to catch you on the BBQ trail…….. I’ll post locations as we confirm them
Its no shock that I am a HUGE fan of Ted Reader. I have written about him many times and he is a personal friend of mine. He is a king of all things BBQ and grilling. It makes sense in his long line of books to have one all about beer and BBQ. Ted is insane. Certifiably insanely talented with all things on the grill. He is a trained chef that has masterminded such incredible incredible recipes as plankies. Just go make them and trust me they are decadently delicious and absolutely bad for you. He has a big heart too. Each year he goes above and beyond to support Camp Bucko a camp for kids who are burn survivors.
You need to get this book. Its full of fantastic recipes and terrific ideas for summer time meals and lots of fun gatherings. Available on Amazon.
I love this video from Ted. It cracks me up.
I ♥ Pork and so does Teddy
Also be sure to check out my recipe on page 301 for Diva Q Double Grilled Jalapeno Cornbread . Delicious awesomeness.
BBQ Pitmasters Returns for another season with a sneak peak on Destination America tomorrow at 10 p.m. Eastern and premieres on Sunday, June 3, at 9 p.m. Eastern.
Here is our BIG news:
I am really excited to be able to share that once again team Diva Q was thrilled to be on BBQ Pitmasters. Yup thats right you heard it here first that I can finally confirm that our team got another go at it. To be chosen to go back again was terrific. We have to thank Original Media and the entire crew. They worked their butts off.
It was a freaking blast to be with the crew again. To be judged by 3 UBER awesome real BBQ judges Myron Mixon, Aaron Franklin and Tuffy Stone. This time around things are different. I loved this years format. Real meats. Real Time. Real Pressures. ALL BBQ!! I can’t give away any more details you will have to tune in to the show. Thanks to our friends and family for all their support. I am truly the luckiest woman in BBQ. Blessed beyond blessed.
Well our first official contest is now in the books for 2012! Roc City Ribfest puts on an amazing contest each and every year. The organizers are the UBER successful team Good Smoke BBQ. They know what teams like and they do a fantastic job each year making this one of the best contests in North America.
They provided breakfast each morning. A catered dinner and the legendary MIMOSAS!!! They also make sure everyone has plenty of water and power. They also give out one heck of a swag bag every year with lots of goodies. Its just the best place to be on a Memorial Weekend!
I really enjoyed teaching the class at Roc City. We had an amazing group of students and the class was a sold out success!! Nice to see some students doing well already! I got to give some media interviews with some of the people locally and it was a great time.
The dynamic duo of Jessie and Kerry making parsley boxes for the Class.
Then onto the New England BBQ Society (NEBS) grilling contest. Fun categories- Chicken Breasts, Meat Balls, White Hots and our favorite category BACON!!
Our chicken category getting all fired up. Super delicious chicken breasts in Smoke on Wheels Marinade were awesome!!
We had a great time with friends and got everything turned in on time. The team worked their butts off and I am one heck of a lucky lady to be surrounded by so many great PPL!
The awards ceremony came and we didn’t hear our name very much. Until BACON. Then woot woot and hell yeah !! We got a perfect 180 score for our Bacon Entry!!
Here is the picture of our entry (pls note it may not be an exact representation
How about the award pic though?
Fun times for sure. When we got the overall results we were thrilled out of 58 teams we came in 3rd !!!
Then we had to immediately turn around and get our game faces back on…. OK maybe we got it on after a few cocktails. After all everything is better with bacon and cocktails… Mimosas courtesy of Good Smoke BBQ !
The team worked like a dream machine and we got all 4 entries in. Chicken, Ribs, Pork and Brisket.
I was happy with the chicken ribs and pork. The brisket had good flavor but the texture and appearance needed some work.
No calls in chicken, no calls in Ribs 10th in Pork and 17th in Brisket….. and a solid ending of 10th overall out of 81 teams. We are trying some new recipes for the first contest of the year. We got the cobwebs out and we are good to go !! It was an excellent weekend with good friends, good family and a whole lotta Q!
HUGE congratulations to our friends Smokin’ Hoggs BBQ who for the second time were the Grand Champions and to the RGC KC and the Smokehouse!
After spending the weekend at Memphis in May the very best thing to do is….. well of course to eat more BBQ! Where better to eat than the World Champions – Yazoo’s Delta Q and Natural Born Grillers partnered up and opened a restaurant months ago. MEMPHIS BARBECUE CO. They have more World Championships than any other restaurant anywhere.
Yazoo’s Delta Q also just won MIM 2012 ! It came down to the wire and was incredible to see both of them took 1st place in their respective categories of Whole Hog and ribs. That says a lot about their skill set. We knew we were about to eat some great BBQ!
My buddy Wayne Brown from Big Wayner’s BBQ Blog and I talked about doing this and I am sure glad we were able to make it happen. Both of us had to fly out yesterday so we didn’t have any time to spare.
Even better was that a few really awesome BBQ folks were there too – Shane Draper and Mike Owings from Drapers BBQ , Ron Worby, and Tim from Tiger Q concessions. They had all been at the Tucker Cooker site for MIM. I had a wonderful time hanging out with them and I even got to watch their whole hog judging on Saturday. I got to see Melissa again and we talked about the challenges of opening the restaurant. One of their biggest challenges was keeping up with demand. It has been a massive success right from the moment they opened the doors!
Picture Credit – Wayne Brown Big Wayners BBQ Blog
We ordered an array of appetizers -
Cheese fritters, sausage and cheese platter, bbq nachos, fried green tomatoes, bacon wrapped shrimp and they also give complimentary made in house pork rinds to every table. Everything was really quite enjoyable. I would say my favorite had to be the cheese fritters, and the bacon wrapped shrimp. They even cure and smoke their own bacon in house. All of the items in the restaurant are made from scratch daily.
Then everyone ordered more BBQ! Well everyone except Ron. He decided to go with a fun item…. their Donut burger…and a half rack of ribs (this was not a health food day for sure!)
I ordered wet baby back ribs, pulled pork, and sausage. My sides were potato salad and macaroni & cheese. (Still keeping with the not so healthy options)
The pork was fantastic. Great smoky flavor, really great texture. I love the fact that the pork had chunks and pulled. It had a great bark to it. Full of flavor. It was my favorite meat from the day. The ribs had a nice crust to them, the rub was very mild. The sausage has a very fine texture to it. The potato salad was off the charts awesome though. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a potato salad so much with its creamy goodness and hints of dill.
The place was packed. With seating for 300 they have a ton of crew all serving people good BBQ.
We hurried through our meal sadly and grabbed t-shirts before we left racing back to the airport to catch our flights… I know Ill be back for another visit the next time I am in town.
Memphis Barbecue Co. on Facebook
Memphis Barbecue Co. on twitter
Sunday to Thursday 11am to 10pm
Friday to Saturday 11am to 11pm
I have just come home from a terrific time at Memphis in May with the awesome Char-Broil Tour !!
Memphis in May is a fun place to spend a weekend for sure. Hundreds of teams from all over come and compete in three categories Shoulder, Ribs or Whole Hog
The first event for the weekend was a TV segment with a local FOX Memphis Station
We talked about everyday grilling and we made some delicious Thai Chicken Kabobs, Grilled veggies, and one of my favorites – grilled tater slices with blue cheese and herb crumbles.
The recipes were inspired by Char-Broil’s new cookbooks
On Saturday AM bright and early we did multiples of TV segments with The Weather Channel. I got to work with an amazing Meteorologist Paul Goodloe. He was terrific to work with. Lots of fun!
Over the course of the morning we made some delicious lip smacking BBQ all using Char-Broil TRU Infrared grills
Here are the recipes from each segment:
I have to tell you though one of the highlights for the entire weekend was working with the amazing – yes truly amazing people on the Char-Broil Mobile Tour !!
The Tour crew did an excellent job grilling up awesome tasty items from the tours sponsors: Flatout, Bubba Burgers, Beano’s, Dole, Arla, Pork,and Amerigas. Thousands of people stopped by.
They are an incredibly upbeat happy happy group of people.
They have very happy grill experiences. It is a proven fact that happy people just make better BBQ.
It was a really great experience! Thanks so much to the people at Char-Broil, the Weather Channel and the entire Mobile Char-Broil Tour
Each year Mom’s everywhere will be treated to he obligatory Card, flowers and dinner out. If they are lucky maybe breakfast in bed or brunch. How about something different for your Mom. Something that shows you put thought and care into her special day.
My first recommendation isn’t BBQ. This may come as a shock. As a Mom of 3 and a busy one at that I like nothing better than coming home to a clean house. Yes that makes me very very happy. IF the laundry is done even better. Even if you are broke a little sweat equity is sure to make your Mom happy.
I love these coupon templates. Perfect for giving your Mom a break.
Once you get through the coupon giving or cleaning … then I think you need to give your Mom this if she likes to cook:
The super fast splash proof Thermapen from Thermoworks. Every person on the planet that cooks should have one. I love mine. Available in an array of colors you can even co-ordinate it with her purse. Plus if she carries it in her purse (and yes I have one in my purse at all times- you just never know when you will be grilling or cooking) she could also protect herself from creeping marauders, wanna be thugs etc. The thing is sharp. Sharp as a shiv. (Please note in no way does Thermapen support this use of a Thermapen in this manner – just my own ideas).
If your Mom doesn’t cook well then its time for you to giddyup and stock her freezer full of BBQ goodness. BBQ Jerk Chicken, Smoked Meatloaf and Pulled pork all freeze wonderfully. Stocking your Moms freezer would give her a break come meal time planning.
There is also of course the option of making your Mother a beautiful BBQ feast.
Start with a yummy cocktail:
Mix 2oz Jack Daniels honey with 4 oz Peach cider or Mango nectar. Serve shaken over ice in a chilled stemmed glass.
Then serve with a grilled appetizer flatbread
Diva Q Goat Cheese Spinach Flatbread
A terrific quick mid week dinner or a delicious appetizer for BBQ parties…..
1/2 cup Roasted Red Pepper Spread
1/2 cup Baby Spinach Leaves stems removed
140 gr Goats Cheese thinly sliced
1/8 cup Basil Chiffonade
1/4 cup Thinly sliced ham (prosciutto, black forest etc)
1/2 tsp garlic pepper
Preheat grill to 325F
Hickory Oak Apple pellets/wood chunks/chips recommended
Spread the 1/2 cup Roasted red pepper spread over the flatbread
Layer the spinach, slices of goats cheese and thinly sliced ham.
Sprinkle the garlic pepper and basil over the flatbread
Grill until the cheese is just beginning to melt and the spinach begins to wilt.
Slice into 12 pieces.
One of my all time favorites is herb crusted Prime Rib served with grilled asparagus and parmesan topped grilled mushrooms. Any Mom I know would be happy to feast on this.
For dessert I love anything to do with apples and caramel. This simple grilled dessert pizza paired with a glass of Prosecco is a wonderful finish. Then make sure to drive your Mom home. She has had a few cocktails by this time. Happy Mothers Day to all.
This originally ran in the Toronto Star May 18, 2010
Danielle Dimovski, Diva Q, outdoes herself with this over-the-top grilled dessert. To fully gild the lily, sprinkle this with sanding or demerara sugar, and whip up any leftover 35 per cent cream and dollop it over everything. Look for fresh pizza dough in the refrigerated area of supermarkets, usually in the bakery or pasta area.
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1/2 cup (120 ml) packed brown sugar
1 tbsp (15 ml) corn starch
1/3 cup (80 ml) whipping cream
2 tbsp (30 ml) corn syrup
2 tbsp (30 ml) unsalted butter
1/2 tsp (2 ml) pure vanilla
750-g bag fresh pizza dough
All-purpose flour and cornmeal for dusting
2 Ontario apples (such as Gala or Red Prince), unpeeled, cored, thinly sliced
Ground cinnamon for sprinkling
125 g (5 oz) cream cheese (half a package), at room temperature
2 tbsp (30 ml) granulated sugar
Skor toffee bits for sprinkling
For caramel sauce, in small saucepan, combine water, sugar, corn starch, cream and corn syrup. Bring to boil over high heat. Boil 2 minutes, reducing heat slightly if needed. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Reserve.
For pizza, bring to room temperature as per package instructions. Remove from bag; divide into 2 balls.
On lightly floured surface, pull and shape into 2 pizzas, about 9-inches (23-cm) wide. Crimp edges as you would with pie. Prick dough all over with fork tines. Let rest at room temperature 30 minutes. Slip onto cornmeal or flour-dusted pizza paddle. Place on oiled grill preheated to medium-high (about 550F/280C); close lid. Grill about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Let cool.
Place apple slices directly on grill. Grill 1 to 2 minutes per side, until softened and browned. Transfer to platter. Dust with cinnamon.
In medium bowl, combine cream cheese and granulated sugar. Mash well with fork and beat with wooden spoon until fluffy.
To assemble, spread sweetened cream cheese over each pizza as desired. Divide apples evenly over pizzas. Generously drizzle each with caramel sauce. (Refrigerate any remaining cream cheese and caramel sauce for another use.) Sprinkle each with Skor bits. If needed, return pizza to grill for 1 to 2 minutes to quickly warm.
Makes 2 pizzas (about 12 slices).
Continuing on my personal NC BBQ tour of NC Historic BBQ joints I stopped in a cute place – Richards BBQ in Salisbury NC.
Eastern Carolina style sauce is served here. Apple cider vinegar, red pepper flakes and a touch of sweetness. Straight forward and moist hand chopped BBQ. You walk into this place and you want to stay. The walls and booths and chairs are all inviting. They even have a small salad bar. The place is impeccably clean.
There is a poster menu showing pictures of all the plates they serve in addition to paper menus. The ladies at the counter are all sorts of loveliness and they just radiate hospitality.
I ordered a chopped BBQ sandwich and a cheerwine. I think I may be addicted to cheerwine now. Absolutely refreshing and a perfect match to BBQ. Plus I was driving so beer was not an option.
The sandwich came wrapped in wax paper. Served on a plain white hamburger bun there had to be almost 1/2 lb of meat on it.
It was a delicious sandwich. Full of porky goodness and super moist. It had quite the pepper kick but not a lot of heat. It was chopped super fine as was the slaw. You really don’t have to chew a lot when its chopped this fine. They pile all their wood outside. You can see the door to their pits from drive thru pictures.
I would love to bring my family to this place. They also have a convenient drive thru if you want to take it to go.
I am so glad I had the opportunity to stop here. The food the atmosphere and the hospitality made it just a really nice experience.
For a great history on Richard’s BBQ and many more check out NCBS The North Carolina BBQ Society. I found it was an excellent resource to use when travelling through the state. The North Carolina BBQ Society is also on Facebook.
Richard’s Bar-B-Q, Salisbury
522 N Main St
Salisbury, NC 28144
Smiley’s has been making pit cooked BBQ for over 50 years. They use hickory wood. They have changed ownership a couple of times but the food has always been NC BBQ. I found something different at this particular BBQ joint you could ask for half brown pork. Half brown to them means with bark. Options you can ask for are chopped or sliced. The tables and benches haven’t changed in years. Its got a really nice comfortable vibe to it. Sepping back in time its like going to visit an old friend. They also have curbside service outside. Apparently all you have to do is honk the horn and people come to you. This is new to me as I am only used to drive thru windows and the drive up menus at Sonic. Overall condiments on the table are kept very simple. Texas Pete, lemon juice and their vinegar based sauce (dip) . I never did ask what the lemon juice was for but I am guessing the sweet tea.
This pit is only used a couple times yearly for events. Their other pit is inside.
Fine chopped, Coarse chopped and slices.
I enjoyed their pork chopped (both fine and coarse) with bark. I also thoroughly enjoyed their super moist pork slices. Great flavor and a distinctive texture. I really liked the fact that smoke was a definite ingredient. It also wasn’t mushy at all. The texture was more firm but very silky. The slaw was really pleasing to eat. Tangy and refreshing. I loved their “dip” – it was a great balance of tangy vinegar, sweet, peppery and a bit tomato from the ketchup. There is something else in that dip I just can’t put my finger on it and they are not offering up their secrets It really complimented the pork and was super finely chopped. I didn’t have to add anything to the pork. When it came I ate and I didn’t think it needed anything else. The pork made me smile it was so good. Just a couple of bites in and I had to stop myself. I had other joints to visit as well. Hard to put the fork down.
I got to meet the proud owner Steve Yountz. Great guy. Super friendly. Glad I got to talk with him about his passion for BBQ. They take a lot of pride in their shoulders everyday.
The hush puppies had a nice sweet corn flavor – they were not greasy at all. There was nothing bad about them but I found them to be very dense and heavy. Unique shape (saw these many times in NC ever anywhere else this shape) versus the typical round hush puppies in most other BBQ locations.
I am really glad I stopped here and Ill be back again for sure to eat. Loved the balance of vinegar and peppery goodness. The staff were all amazingly sweet and friendly. A great place to chow down on some NC BBQ. One of my NC favorites for sure.
Smiley’s Lexington BBQ
917 Winston Rd.
Lexington, NC 27295
HOURS: Tuesday – Sunday 6:00 am till 9:00 PM