Posts Tagged ‘BBQ Canada’

You don’t have to be an Egghead to appreciate this cookbook

Well I am once again adding to my ever increasing list of BBQ books. The folks at Big Green Egg were kind enough to give me a copy of their latest book. Just for the record. I don’t have a Big Green Egg. Yet. I am a firm believer that having multiple types of grills is a good idea. They all have different personalities. I love my Traegers. I compete with my Traegers. I really do believe they are the easiest BBQ to own and to operate. So I am definitely a pellet head. However I love playing with charcoal too. Playing with fire can be a lot of fun and certainly a challenge at times. Some women collect shoes I prefer to collect BBQ’s. It makes the whole BBQ experience fun.

So the cookbook is really quite expansive. This is a big cookbook. 320 pages. It is a gorgeous cookbook to own. The pictures are incredible. The recipes many I have tried and would recommend -Smoke Beef Short Ribs done with hickory chips for example. I have found many of the recipes are easily transferable to other BBQ equipment in addition to Eggs.

Some of the recipes also use the stove top (ex Kale on page 307 with the apple wood smoked bacon). It is a delicious recipe.

I like the format of this cookbook. I enjoyed reading the Chef & Pitmaster Biographies. Overall this has to be one of the best laid out cookbooks for BBQ I have ever seen. Plus God bless them they realize there are Canadians and International Folks that BBQ since they even included a Metric Conversion table as well.

From the Gourmet (ex Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Creme Fraiche & Caviar) to the most basic (ex Italian Sausage subs) this cookbook has it all for anyone who loves to grill & BBQ. I would highly recommend it for the recipes whether you own a Big Green Egg or other grill/bbq.

The book is only available at Green egg dealers, it will be late summer before it’s available through Amazon

Competition season prep has begun

After reading Startin the Fire last night I decided this year I am going to try to eliminate as much prep as possible on Thursdays/Fridays before a competition.

I started with my brines. I have portioned them all for as many contests I believe we are going to be doing for the year. additionally I then portioned out my injections into baggies as well. I am too cheap to use a foodsaver for this. SO baggies it is.

I am going to try to work through and prep as many of these types of items as I can over the next couple of weeks in prep for the season.

New classes added for 2010

Just an FYI we have announced two classes for 2010 with more dates being announced in the future. Please see our Classes tab for more information. Please note all of our past classes have sold out continuously so sign up soon.

This weekend!! Bradford Greenhouses Garden Gallery Spring Garden & Home Show & Traeger Grill Zone

This weekend Ill be with Traeger Canada in the Traeger Grill Zone at Bradford Greenhouses Garden Gallery in Barrie. Its a indoor show featuring lots of interesting indoor ideas, live stage shows and loads of fun. Bring the family! Best part is there is free admittance! Come meet Frankie Flowers as well Frank will be there on Sunday doing a demo on enviro gardening!

My Ultimate Mac N Cheese a great BBQ side dish.

Was craving a comfort dish so decided to make my ultimate Mac n Cheese. I only make this dish about once a year. Its a real treat to eat it. This year I made one for tonight and another for the freezer. It freezes and keeps well for about a month. (1 month is about as long as it has ever lasted in our freezer)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dry elbow pasta cooked (*please do not boil past about 7 minutes this should be just a little harder than al dente)
  • 6 cups Colby Cheese Shredded
  • 1 cup Cendrillon Goat Cheese Shredded
  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons dried chives
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fine grind black pepper
  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 2 cups 1/2 & 1/2 cream
  • salt to taste *depending on the cheese you use this can vary wildly

For the topping

  • 1 pkg 170 gr panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

I start by melting the butter then adding the flour on medium heat. I cook the flour and butter mixture for about 5 minutes. Then I add the milk and cream. Make sure you keep an eye on it so it doesn’t scorch the mixture. I usually have it on about medium low.

Fry the bacon in small pieces. Remove from the bacon fat. Fry the onion in the bacon fat. Don’t even think about draining in the bacon fat from the onions.  Bacon fat is wickedly good in Mac N Cheese. Just add the onions and the warm bacon fat to the milk and cream mixture and whisk to combine.

Really it is really simple from this point on. Add everything else (other than the cooked bacon) and cook until all of the cheese has melted. I prefer the Colby and the Cendrillon since they give it a great deep cheesy flavor. I consistently whisk this making sure there are no lumps.  This is where you should be taste testing for salt. Since the salt levels can vary so much in cheese it will be left up to you to determine how much.

I used two corelle dishes for layering.I use a layer of macaroni, a layer of the cheese mixture then sprinkle on some of the bacon. Repeat until both dishes are full.

For the topping simply melt the butter and mix with the Panko breadcrumbs and the smoked paprika. Spread liberally on both casserole dishes.

Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Make sure to let this rest at least 10-15 minutes.

This is great cold the next day or even made into mac balls rolled into flour then an egg wash and even more panko then deep fried. Its creamy bacon cheesy goodness.

Diva Q on – Celebrity Grill Podcast Available today on iTunes

J.M. From Celebrity Grill has me on his latest Podcast available on iTunes.

Also be sure to check out his website.

Lots of Fun!! Anytime to talk about BBQ is a good time. Check it out!!

Remember Life is too short for bad BBQ ®

Kosmo’s Q chicken soak vs. Regular brining

 

Well I recently had the opportunity to try Kosmo’s Q Chicken soak. I thought it would be best to do a simple test to see if the Chicken Soak made a substantial difference vs. regular brining. I consistently have been using a brine for turkey or chicken at home and also in competition.

 

I used 10 lbs of chicken pieces for each test. 10lbs for each application for a total of 20 pounds chicken pieces.

 

These two plates were for the Kosmo’s test. It was a mixture of chicken thighs legs and wings some with skin and some without.

 

The ingredients listed on the package are:

 

Salt, Brown Sugar, Worcestershire Powder, Dextrose, Hydrolyzed Soy & Corn Protein, Citric acid, Caramel Color, Natural Flavor

 

The package of chicken soak weighed 8.6 oz. Thats .6 oz. more than the listed weight.

 

 

In one bucket I used the Kosmo’s Q Chicken Soak 1/2 lb sample mix cost – $4.95 plus shipping- I mixed it according to the directions on the package (doubled for 10 lbs) – Mix 3/4 cup with 64oz (1/2) gallon of liquid. For this test I used plain old tap water for Kosmo’s and the standard brine.

 

 

 

 

* this was the color of the Kosmos at 5lbs then I added the remaining chicken and soak mix. It mixes up very easily as the particles are very small.

 

My Standard Brine

 

In the second bucket I mixed a standard brine I make for Chicken Brown Sugar, Kosher Salt, Peppercorns and All spice berries – cost $2.25 approx for enough brine for 10lbs chicken.

 

 

  • Both sets of chicken were left in their mixtures for the recommended 4 hours.
  • They were both rinsed thoroughly afterwards with tap water.
  • They were both then rubbed with my own personal chicken rub.

 

**The only difference I noticed on the chicken when they came out of the brine was that the Kosmo’s chicken had some very fine red particles that adhered to the chicken. I could not rinse it off. I also could not get a clear picture of it. They were very tiny.

 

For this test I used my Traeger Texas Style with hickory pellets. The grill was set at 300F. All of the chicken parts were taken to 165F.

 

All of the pieces looked great. Nice color on both. They were glazed with my own competition sauce.

 

 

After the chicken came off I rested it on a plate uncovered for 10 minutes.

 

Here are two pieces the one on the right is from Kosmo’s and the one on the left is my own standard brine.

 

 

Now for the all important taste/tenderness test picture:

 

 

Picture of the chicken with standard brine (juices on the plate very moist and tender):

 

 

Picture of Kosmo’s Q Chicken(juices on the plate very moist and tender):

 

 

Even after an additional 15 minutes both chicken pieces were still tender and moist.

 

Conclusion:

 

Kosmo’s Q chicken soak works. So does regular brining.

 

I could not find any discernible difference between the two other than cost and convenience.  There was no taste difference whatsoever. Nothing stood out.  They were both tender and moist.

 

Personally I’ll be sticking with my own brine.

Day 1 Travelling to Memphis with Mr. Happypants and Jungle Jims International Market

Day 1

Traveling to Memphis is a bit of an adventure for sure. However I have even more of an adventure on this trip as I am traveling with my Dad aka Mr. Happypants. Dad is letting me drive him to Memphis then he is carrying on to Florida. Don’t get me wrong my Dad is a great guy but he has some definite views on the world. Many of which I tend to disagree with.  He was a cop for 25 years and after then a small business owner. My Dad talks in a certain way that’s well….. lets just say direct.  Its either that or pretty much unnerving dead air silence from him. My brother and I often refer to Dad’s way of talking as the cop talk. Its the “let me ascertain the facts” type of lingo. We have reminded him of this over the years. He gives you this defiant look and we all sort of move on. It just always better to move on. Think Ray Romanos Dad – Frank on Everybody loves Raymond. That’s pretty much my Dad.

 

 

Want to guess which one is my Dad?

 

To my Dad food is just food.  Its either good or bad with no gray. Ask my Dad what flavor profiles he is getting from something and he will look at you like an alien.   Then he will tell you he thinks you are full of nonsense.  He is a straight up salt & pepper, canned peas, cook it till its deader than cement kind of guy.  Burgers, hot dogs, meatloaf  and M&M meat shops kind of guy. NTTIAWWT  Don’t mess around with him on that either. No, just don’t -I have tried on many occasions. 

 

 

Plus don’t even try to get him to buy any other roast other than eye of the round cooked to a limp gray. (Dontcha know its good value look at how lean it is!!) He is also the same guy who tried to buy Walmart’s ready made “BBQ” ribs that you microwave in front of me. He couldn’t figure out why I was a little annoyed.  So that’s pretty much my Dad in a narrow focused sort of way.  He is also a really thoughtful out of the blue kind of guy.  Last year knowing we needed a fridge for the competition trailer he offered to buy it for us as a very early Christmas gift. He is that kind of guy. Gruff on the outside not tolerant of anything, or anyone,  and unfailingly thoughtful at the oddest and most unexpected of times. He also helped me paint some of my house and fix things.

 

 

Prior to getting in his truck to drive I got “the” lectures. I knew they were coming I was prepared. The don’t you dare go a km over the speed limit lecture. The you are not smoking in my truck lecture, the I am not eating at any where fancier that Cracker barrel lecture, the why do you need to buy anything at duty free lecture, the well what time are we getting there lecture, the I don’t want to stop anywhere lecture, the I don’t want to learn how to use a cell phone lecture, the don’t mess with my “golden oldies” radio tuning lecture, the can’t you turn that black butter (My blackberry) thing off lecture, the why do you need so many clothes when I can go away for 2 months and take only this minuscule bag lecture , the well I only need 1 pair of shoes why do you need 3 lecture, and so on and so on.  Dad has become over the last couple of years since my Mom has passed on very, very stuck in his own ways of doing things. (Understatement of the year) Yup that’s my Dad. I love him.Wouldn’t want to trade him for any other Dad either.

 

 

So Mr. Happypants and I set of this morning at 5am. It was -15 in Barrie this morning. Damn. Cold. Loaded up with timmies we crossed through the great white North of Barrie Ontario and headed to the Detroit border. Stopping a couple of times for the inevitable potty breaks we talked about his trip to Florida and my trip to Memphis. My father is as obsessed about Florida as I am about BBQ.   Explaining to my Dad about BBQ competitions is always complicated. He does not understand why I pay to go and stand sometimes in field full of mud praying that my meat will turn out well.  Why I am paying the potty mouth guy (what Dad and my daughter call Myron Mixon) to take his class.  When I inevitably come home from a competition he does not understand why I am beyond thrilled with a Fourth place like I was this past year in Louisa Virginia. He does not understand that beating Tuffy Stone, LeeAnn Whippen and others just once was a thrill for me like no other.  That I did not need a GC to feel awesome. He just  turns to me morosely and says better luck next time. Hopefully you will actually win. Yup thats my Dad.

 

 

 

We stopped for lunch at Cracker barrel. I always have the same meal there. Its always chicken fried steak. Always. I have this artery clogging meal once or twice a year and thats it. Dad tried it for the first time. (It took some convincing) I don’t think he liked it as he ate fries and biscuits and not much of it.

 

 

Along the way I got cut off by an idiot in one of those supped up Honda Civics that remind me of beetles on acid – and I cursed at him. Douche noodle. Yup thats what I called the little twit. (Please make sure to click the link to find out who came up with that most interesting of curses on January 30th its epic) Well let me tell you that lecture was one of the longest. The why don’t you talk more like a lady lecture was combined with the I know we did not raise you to speak like that lecture, which further rolled into the I don’t know whats wrong with you people which he made an even further lamented lecture into the I am sure your Mother would not be proud of you for speaking like that lecture. Trust. It was a long and benevolent (in my opinion) silence that I received after those lectures.

 

We set out for our final destination. Jungle Jims International Market for the day.  I had heard about this most interesting of places from a friend of mine Cam. He has gone back twice. I now understand. This is like a playground for foodies. Truly it was. I could spend days in this place. For my Dad not so much. So we left but not before I managed to grab 7 bottles of wine and some snacks. Ok and also some spices and a few other things. As quick as I could I got out.  I didn’t like to keep Mr. Happypants waiting.  We will be off again early in the AM. We will be staying downtown in Memphis tomorrow night. I will probably need to crack open one or more of those bottles of wine. I am 100% sure I will get a lecture about that :-)

 

Heading to Memphis LOL Hope they are ready for me.

Ill be on the road for the next couple of days travelling to Memphis to attend the NBBQA conference. I had such a good time last year in Austin for the conference . I have been looking forward to this a LOT!! Also will be taking Myron Mixon’s class while I am down there. Should be an interesting trip and I’ll blog about it as much as I can.

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