Posts Tagged ‘yummy’

Smoked Bacon wrapped Meatball Christmas Tree

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Meatball Tree

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Meatball Tree Moink

 

I thought it would be a nice idea to try a new presentation for my bacon wrapped meatballs.

I have made many traditional Crockenbouche for past Christmas events and I thought the design would be super festive for meatballs. This worked really well and it was fun and easy to make.

This was fun to do and everyone at our annual Christmas party loved it. It didn’t last long lol.

I started with an 8” foam core tree shape and wrapped it in foil.

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I used extra-long “Clubhouse sandwich” toothpicks. The meat balls were 2 boxes (almost 3 lbs) of Angus Beef Meatballs from Sobeys that are pre-cooked. I wrapped them each with 1/3 slice of bacon each then sprinkled with Smoky Mountain Smokers Chipotle rub.  They were smoked on my Traeger for just over an hour at 225F. I used Hickory & Oak pellets. When I removed them I glazed them with Garland Jack’s Secret Six Hickory Spice BBQ Sauce.

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Pretty simple after that point  just poke them in tightly until the tree is full. I also made a bacon star that took me a few tries to get right btw a super cute when done. The star bacon shape was baked on a silpat sheet to keep it flat. I did the star at 225F and it took 3 strips of bacon to make.

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All of the bacon I used was 18/22 slice size.

The tree was simply garnished with the last sprigs of rosemary from my garden. It was a great appetizer for my Christmas party guests who have a serious love for all things bacon & BBQ.

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Roast Chicken with garlic thyme & red wine reduction

Simple easy to make chicken that is drool worthy.  Love a good roast chicken. The kind that is full of flavor, juicy and the skin is crispy.

 

Here is what I used to make this beautiful chicken

  • 2 – 4-5lb Chickens Cleaned & Rinsed
  • 40 or 50 peeled garlic cloves (4-5 heads)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup your favorite red wine ( I used Corte Majoli Amarone della valpolicella)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet white onion
  • 1/4 lb salted butter
  • 2 large bunched thyme
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper

Hickory chips or pellets

Preheat your pellet grill to 325F or create an indirect fire zone on your gas or charcoal grill.

Fill each cavity of the chickens up with 20 garlic cloves. Insert a few sprigs of thyme and place 1/4 whole piece of onion at the cavity opening to seal in the garlic and thyme.

Place the birds on a BBQ safe pan and sprinkle the remaining thyme and garlic cloves around the birds.

Use your hand to separate the skin from the breast meat. Spread the butter out on the breast and pat it down with the skin.  Its messy work but well worth it.

Slather the birds with the olive oil and generously season with salt & pepper.

Fill the pan with the water and the wine. Place on the BBQ and grill until the internal temperature of the breast registers 155F and the thigh meat is 175F approximately an hour.

When the chicken is done remove and rest covered in foil.

 

 

Strain pan juices into a pan. Squish the garlic through the strainer to add to the sauce. Bring to a simmer skimming off fat and serve with the chicken. Absolutely delicious.

Make sure to make 2. You will want leftovers.

 

 

This is sure to become a family favorite at your house.

Shiitake & Herb Crusted Umami Chuck Roast = 3 meals

I love smoking chuck roasts. I think they are so versatile. You can smoke them to a nice rare (125F) or take them to the pot roast stage where you have broken down all of the protein strands.

Shiitake & Herb Crusted Umami chuck roast

2-4lb boneless chuck roasts
4 cups low sodium organic beef broth
2 sweet onions peeled & slivered

Marinade ingredients:
1 cup cold pressed olive oil
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushroom powder (place dried shiitakes in coffee grinder – works great!)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup kozliks horseradish mustard
(Or a combination of 1/8 cup horseradish & 1/8 cup Dijon mustard)
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp granulated onion
2 tbsp cracked black pepper
2 tsp kosher or sea salt

In large sized casserole dish combine all of the marinade ingredients. Completely coat both the roasts in the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours. Turn the roasts over at least once during the marinade time.

Preheat grill to 225F creating an indirect heat zone or alternately directly on the grill if using a pellet grill (Traeger)

Remove each roast from the marinade.
Place roasts on grill – use  hickory & oak chips or pellets or mesquite for chuck roasts * If using chips add a small handful of each every hour until you foil

Baste with the remaining marinade

Grill chuck roasts until the internal temperature is 175F  approx 2-3 hours

Place each chuck roast in a 1/2 size disposable aluminum pan

Add 2 cups organic beef broth & slivered onions to each chuck roast.  Cover tightly with heavy duty foil.
Grill (approx 1-2 hours) until internal temperature is 205F or when the chuck roast easily comes apart with a fork.

Remove from au jus and rest covered with foil.

Strain the fat from the au jus and serve with the chuck roast.

  

  

  

  

Served with some creamy mashed potatoes, veggies and biscuits it makes a great meal.

But….

You can do a lot of things with a chuck roast like:

CHILI!!! Perfect for these fall days! 

Substitute slices or shreds of chuck roast in your favorite Chili recipe. I like caramelizing a big batch of onions first then adding in some tomatoes, garlic, spices and peppers. Last add the chuck roast and bring to a simmer. Where I am from beans are always added too.

Then how about some chuck roast stew? I really prefer to serve my stews over mashed potatoes. Simply take some of the shredded chuck roast add some low sodium beef stock and add your favorite veggies like onions, mushrooms, carrots & green beans. Throw in a handful of whole garlic cloves and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for at least an hour. Then to thicken make a corn starch slurry and add that to the pot. Bring to a boil and serve over mashed potatoes. Super easy.

 

psst.  If by any chance you have any left shredded chuck roast is also awesome in quesadillas, burritos, nachos and tacos too!

Smoked Chicken Jalapeno Corn & Hominy Chowder

Having been on the road pretty much for the last 6/7 weeks I have been craving a lot of comfort foods. Since coming home last week from filming BBQ Crawl I have been looking forward to getting back to my grills at home.

Its been raining and cold and generally not the nicest weather either. This leads me to making soothing bowls of happiness.

This is not so much as a recipe that needs to be followed exactly but really a lot of what I had at home at home already just thrown together.  No fuss no muss and its ready quickly. All of my kids love it too so no arguments at the dinner table either. PS- You can also add some bacon to this for added goodness.

  • 5 cups hominy
  • 5 large jalapenos or more to taste
  • 3 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 box low sodium organic chicken broth
  • 1/4 c Pork Barrel BBQ All American Rub
  • 1/8 c Smoked Paprika
  • fresh thyme to taste
  • fresh chives to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp corn starch

 

Generously season the chicken breasts with pork barrel BBQ rub and smoked paprika. Preheat your grill to 250F  Using hickory wood smoke the chicken breasts and the jalapenos until the internal temperature of the breasts is 155F. Remove both the chicken and jalapenos when done and set aside.

In a large heavy stock pot pour in the chicken broth and the cream of chicken soup. Chop the chives and the thyme and add them to the pot.  Add the hominy and the frozen corn. Bring to a simmer. Chop the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the pot. Now here is where it gets personal. If you like spicier foods chop the smoked jalapenos and add them to the pot. Or as we do in our house add the jalapenos whole and then for individual portions chop the jalapenos. This way you benefit from the good smokey flavor of the jalapenos but none of the heat.

To thicken I took the super duper easy route. I had no time to make a roux today so I opted for the corn starch slurry program. In a small bowl mix 1/2 c water with a couple tablespoons of corn starch. Mix until completely dissolved and lump free. Add the entire slurry to the simmering chowder and keep stirring until thickened. Bring the chowder to a boil and then serve. I did not add any additional salt as the rub on the chicken was plenty for my family. Adjust salt & pepper to your liking and dinner is done.  Pretty darn easy for a Tuesday dinner.

Summer reading – Beerlicious by Ted Reader

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.

Memphis BBQ Co. – World Championship BBQ

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!)

  he really liked it.

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

709 Desoto Cove, Horn Lake, MS 38637, USA

Pizza on the Big Green Egg – Pizzapalooza

I have a serious obsession with making pizza on my BGE. It makes wicked good pizza among other things. However I cannot ever seem to make just one or two. No it just has to be a big variety.

This is a great thing to do if you have leftover bits in the fridge. Not enough to make a meal out of them but enough to make a pizza or 5

Our pizza ingredients were:

  • sauteed mushrooms
  • rapini with evoo and sliced garlic
  • green and black olives
  • thinly sliced red onions
  • roasted red peppers
  • arugula
  • parmesan
  • Drained seasoned stewed tomatoes
  • basil
  • oregano
  • granulated onion
  • steamed acorn squash
  • grilled chorizo
  • cooked and crumbled hot Italian sausage
  • grilled eggplant
  • Lots of mozzarella

There is no recipe for this. Just a few general guidelines. I use store bought pizza dough from Highland Farms. I like their pizza dough a lot. It is very reasonably priced. Now you can go all Martha Stewart on this and make your own from scratch – all the best to you. Personally if you you find a reasonably priced very good quality dough its a heck of a lot easier.

Your BGE needs to be at least 600F before you even think of getting a pizza on.  I find that I have the best pizzas come out at this temperature. Also don’t be using any crappy dollar store pizza stone. Think of it as an investment. Mine came from Ontario Gas BBQ. Its awesome. I have used it many many times over and over again.

Make sure your pizza stone comes up to temperature with your BGE. Do not put a cold pizza stone on a 600F BGE. It was crack and shatter and then you will have a load of stuff to clean up. Not to mention ruined dinner plans.

Use enough flour when stretching your dough that it doesn’t stick to your pizza peel. Its a lot easier to slide off dough covered with toppings if you have used enough flour. They make the crust soggy. Of course if you like a soggy crust that’s your business but I prefer a nice crispy crust.

Other than that go nuts. You can even make vegans happy. OR gluten free people (just make sure you give them a gluten free crust). Or nut allergy people happy. The choices are endless.  These pizzas cook in about 6-8 minutes at the most so you want to make sure your meats are cooked ahead of time if using and you slice your veggies thinly.

After placing your pizza on the stone close the lid. Open it up again at about the 2- 3 minute mark and turn the pizza half way. Close the lid again and leave it closed for 3-4 more minutes until nicely browned and golden. Remove to a cutting board and rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

Repeat with the other pizzas. Seriously it is so easy. Get the kids involved. I have not ever met a kid who didn’t like making pizza. Let them decide what toppings they want. Pizza dough is just like play doh for adults so they love stretching it too.

  

  

One of my favorites from tonight:

Grilled eggplant, sauteed rapini with sliced garlic and evoo, steamed acorn squash, sauteed mushrooms and mozzarella. When it came off the grill I topped it with a bunch of arugula and some really good quality balsamic vinegar, Parmesan and evoo.

I also enjoyed the meat pizzas….

  

The kids had their own ideas of what they wanted on their pizza- Chorizo, tomato sauce, basil and lots of mozzarella

 

Last but not least we made a panzerotti to use up the last bits of all the ingredients. It was stuffed full. By this time my stone was getting pretty black from the flour so I placed the panzerotti on a piece of parchment paper directly on the stone. Worked great and the panzerotti was delicious and crispy full of yummy ingredients.

 

It was a delicious dinner full of pizza goodness. Plus there is lots for lunches tomorrow!!

 

 

Tropical Mango Jalapeno BBQ Sauce

This is a really vibrant  BBQ sauce with a nice level of heat. Great for topping chicken and pork and grilled fish.

Ingredients

  • 2 Mangos Chopped
  • 2 large jalapenos seeded and diced
  • 1 small red onion finely diced
  • 1 lime juiced and zested
  • 1 navel orange zested and segmented
  • 1/4 cup Trader Joes Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp allspice powder
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

 

Assemble all of the ingredients in a medium sized pot with lid. Simmer (stirring occasionally) on medium low for 15-20 minutes covered until the fruits and vegetables have softened. Using an  immersion blender puree the ingredients until as smooth as possible. Press the sauce though a strainer. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. Serve on fish, pork or chicken.

  

  

Love the color and flavor – sweet, heat and tangy a great change from tomato based sugar loaded sauces. Enjoy!!

Highway 61 BBQ – Great BBQ in the heart of Toronto

http://www.highway61.ca/

1620 Bayview Ave

Toronto ON

416-489-RIBS

 

Recently I was in Toronto for a visit. Decided to head to Hwy 61 with some friends to try their BBQ.  I had heard and read some very mixed reviews about it. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got there.

The decor feels right. What I mean by that is the place feels like a BBQ joint from the South. Tucked into a storefront on Bayview Ave its got great curb appeal with flames and barn boards.  The inside is even better. Lots of blues (of course) , Jazz and other music posters , comfortable seating upstairs and down with a couple of friendly bars you want to saunter up to and have a beer. They have a terrific selection of craft beers.

  

  

I spoke with the General Manager Matt and asked if I could see their pits. He was really accommodating and let me see their kitchen and their pits. They use 2 Cookshack Electric smokers in the kitchen and a HUGE custom made 2 ton Ole Hickory in the back. They use organic apple wood for all their smoking.

As I headed to sit down for lunch I asked if  could try a sample platter with my friends and a few of their sauces. What happened in the next hour or so was a bit of a blur. Ribs. Lots of ribs, from their original signature side ribs (my fav) to their Dakota beef ribs ( they had a little heat to them) and then their Mississippi back ribs . Bourbon glazed pit chicken – super moist and flavorful, tender but not too tender brisket that yielded well to a snap test and had a lightly smoky flavor,  Texas style sausage – that had a great snap, great texture to it and a beautiful scent of smoke plus the best onion rings I have ever had anywhere.  Alongside of all this was their sauces… 61 BBQ, Dakota, Memphis, and a really unique creole sauce I could have drunk a cup full – it was so good.  I didn’t even capture a before picture the BBQ enticed us all so much. I think that says a lot. The aroma was captivating.  The food was gorgeous to look at. Nothing was over sauced or shellacked so much that the meat didn’t come through. Here’s the bones:

Seriously as soon as they bottle this stuff I will buy a case or 3  Hwy 61 Creole Sauce.

The meats mentioned above were all incredibly well done. We liked it all. –  The pulled pork was however not my favorite. I found it to be on the mushy end and not all that appealing. It was also lacking flavor. I like bark. I like bark on pork especially since it captures so much flavor. This certainly would not keep me from going back again.

I talked to Matt about the restaurant a bit. I asked him where they learned to BBQ – he told me that the crew had done their own thing but also had gone to learn from a couple of folks who know BBQ inside and out because it literally is in their blood…. Mike Mills yes.. that Mike Mills of 17th Street BBQ fame and his lovely daughter Amy Mills.  They all had gone to the OnCue and business of BBQ course.

Matt also talked a bit about the challenges they had with bringing such a large smoker into the downtown Toronto area. The amount of challenges they had to overcome was huge. From the smokestack length to the building they had to create behind the restaurant to accommodate a hand wash station and prep table were just a couple of obstacles.  They have overcame them all and made all of the health inspectors, fire departments and councils happy.

This was a really good BBQ experience. We all thoroughly enjoyed our meal. The warm hospitality, the great ambiance and the kick ass Q all led to some very happy people with full bellies who are already thinking of making a repeat visit. There are a whole lot of other things on their menu I still want to try.  Kudos to the crew at HWY 61 BBQ. They make some of the best BBQ I have ever tried in Ontario. I’ll be back for sure.

 

 

 

Stuffed Burger Awesomeness

I love stuffed burgers. They are like Christmas packages full of surprises.  There are thousands of stuffed burger recipes out there. With good reason .. burger consumption is continuing to rise throughout North America. Economical and easy to make we just love burgers.

Source

 

This isn’t so much aa recipe as it is a method of how I make stuffed burgers.

start with your ground beef. I use ground brisket wherever possible but use whatever you prefer.  The final mixture should be 80/20. I have found any more % fat – the stuffing comes out too easily.

Place your ground beef on a cutting board. Here I have made mine into balls that give e a general idea how many burgers I will be making. Each was the size of a hardball.

 

Squish them down into one large rectangle shaped patty. Cover with plastic wrap and roll out with a rolling pin. This really does help make sure they are all an even thickness.

Using a pizza peel makes cutting easy. Much easier than dragging a knife through.  Figure out how many burgers you want. I decided on 8. Enough to feed my family and also provide lunches the following day.

 

Then take inventory of your fridge. You can go out and buy foie gras and lobster if you would like but I need to get rid of some stuff in my fridge.

I love this stuff. We always have it on hand.

Bacon, jalapeno, mushroom, red onion and to bring it all together in one creamy package Philadelphia Herb and garlic cream cheese.

 

 

Spread out a few tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture on one patty for each of the burgers

 

Add some sauteed mushrooms

Add some sauteed onions, roughly chopped cooked bacon and finely minced  jalapenos

 

Generously sprinkle the burgers with freshly cracked black pepper and kosher salt.

 

 

Time for the assembly. I use a slotted fish spatula. Its easy to side under the ground beef and flip it over.  Then seal the edges pressing them together and molding the burger shape.

 

 

Then its time for the grill at medium high heat. I used my Big Green egg for today’s burger cook. I also used Basques an all natural lump charcoal.

Cook until the internal temperature is to your liking. The recommended minimum temperature for ground beef is 160F

These burgers hold up well even with all the stuffing. You won’t have a lot of leakage. Using the rolling pin really helps you make sure that you have a uniform thickness.

Lots of flavor and great texture. This is a favorite of our house.

Make sure you let them rest for 10 minutes after they come off the grill.

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