Category Archives: BBQ
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February 24, 2012
I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
The slow cooker is your friend.
For those that already know this, awesomeness!
For the rest of you, what are you waiting for?
If it’s the beast that mine is, I know it’s a pain to lug it out of the cabinet.
To clean up the pot after you’re done using it.
Especially if you have to configure your other dishwasher contents to not only make sure it fits, but also that it gets clean.
Every time I think “slow cooker,” I think of Ron Popeil’s popular saying “Set it and forget it.” Of course he’s talking about his fancy rotisserie cooker thing. That none of us needs. But it’s still the basic concept.
Put a bunch of ingredients into your slow cooker.
Go to work.
Forget about it.
Work all day.
Come home tired, spent, and ready to occupy the middle cushion of your couch and watch the newest episode of fill-in-your-blank favorite show.
Open your front door and exclaim, “What IS that smell? It smells delicious.”
Oh right. That’s YOUR DINNER. That’s all done. As soon as you walk in the door.
Smoky Slow Cooker Beef Brisket
3 lb beef brisket
6 oz can tomato paste, plus 1 can water
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp liquid smoke
1 tbsp honey
salt and pepper, to taste
Rinse and pat dry the brisket. Salt well all over with kosher salt. Place into the slow cooker.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, water, molasses, liquid smoke, honey, salt and pepper. Pour over the brisket. (or to be even easier just throw on your favorite BBQ Sauce
Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 4-5 hours until fall-apart tender. Or cook on low for 8-10 hours until fall-apart tender.
Pull the brisket out and break apart with two forks into shreds. Return to the slow cooker and stir with the sauce. Serve. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Posted in BBQ
, Main Dishes
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February 3, 2012
As we approach Super Bowl festivity time, let’s be honest…we’re in it for the food. It’s like the Kentucky Derby, except your dish serves as your fancy hat. Everyone wants to bring the “it” plate.
Should you need help inventing your staple, we have the ultimate suggestion…BBQ Onion Rings! It’s a creative twist to an already popular snack. The coin toss is already in your favor!
Use 1 cup of your choice of BBQ sauce (you can even make separate sections for different flavored rings should you want to incorporate a variety of sauces).
Baked BBQ Onion Rings
2 large eggs
¼ cup flour
2 cups bread crumbs
2-3 medium onions, sliced into ½ inch rings
Preheat oven to 450
Mix BBQ sauce, eggs and flour
Dip onion clices into BBQ mixture then dunk into bread crumbs
Spray cooking sheet and place onion rings on surface
Bake for 8 minutes, then turn for an additional 6 minutes.
Congratulations, you’ve wowed the crowd with what they really came for – good food! Enjoy the biggest hit off the field. Chow time!
What will y’all be chowing down on during game time? Let’s share some recipes!
When not hovered over the snack table, I can be found writing positive thinking excerpts at Uplifting Reflections
. Stop by the blog
page and say HI! I’d love to hear from you!
Posted in BBQ
, Side Dishes
Tagged onion rings
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February 3, 2012
Yakiniku – The Art of Japanese BBQ
The rough and rugged mountainous topography of Japan that gave us the Kobe Beef
is also the home of one of the most refined barbecue cultures in the world outside of the United States: Yakiniku. Literally translated as ‘grilled meat’, Yakiniku was introduced in Japan at the end of the 19th century by Emperor Meiji in an attempt to encourage western culture in Japan. What was at first a novelty soon became a part of Japanese culinary tradition, and ranks as one of Japan’s most sought after cultural exports (besides Nintendo and Sony, of course!).
The Origins of Yakiniku
Steak, ribs and grilled chicken have been a staple of the western diet for centuries. In the middle of the 19th century, as Japan was opening up to the world following the restoration of imperial rule (the Meiji Restoration), delicacies borrowed from the western world were thought of as an expedient to the modernization of Japan. Emperor Meiji was a big believer in modern, industrial practices and sought to break Japan away from centuries of cultural stagnation. And food, as it usually is, was a big part of his strategy of breaking down the stranglehold of a stifling culture.
Historically and gastronomically, Japanese culture has borrowed generously from neighboring China. The Japanese diet, prior to the propagation of ‘civilization and enlightenment’ following the Meiji Restoration, was largely traditional with a heavy focus on poultry and pork and lots of influences from China and Korea. After Emperor Meiji took over the reins of the empire, the ban on the consumption of beef was lifted – an event which ultimately led to Japan becoming the supplier of the world’s favorite beef. With no restrictions on the consumption of cattle, western style steaks suddenly became a (very delectable) possibility.
But of course, rather than duplicating the western culinary tradition, Japanese chefs worked their own cultural history and gastronomical influences into the new-found hunger for grilled meats. Borrowing heavily from the Korean tradition of ‘bulgogi
‘ and ‘galbi
‘, they whipped up the signature Japanese barbecue dishes that we now collectively call ‘Yakiniku’.
Making it Their Own
Katarzyna Cwiertka, author of ‘Modern Japanese Cuisine: Food, Power and National Identity’, argues that Japanese cuisine reflects the Japanese tendency to borrow from abroad and adapt it to local tastes and customs. This tendency made Japan the modern industrial powerhouse that it is today, and also led to the birth of the unique flavors of the Japanese barbecue. Despite overt Korean and American influences, Yakiniku, or Japanese BBQ, is very typically Japanese both in terms of the spices used, and the methods of cooking.
A typical Yakiniku recipe would include ingredients you’ll never find in an American barbecue: miso paste, sake, scallion paste, etc. And yet, the basic cooking method – grilling on an open charcoal or gas fire – is distinctively American.
This is also perhaps the reason for the burgeoning popularity of Japanese barbecue in the western world. It works as the perfect ‘middle-of-the-road’ dish, combining the familiarity of the barbecue with the exoticness of Japanese flavors.
Starting With Yakiniku – A Medley of Meats and Spices
Beef is the most common meat in Yakiniku style barbecue. However, it is rarely cut into steaks. Instead, most Yakiniku recipes call for thick chunks of meat, typically cut from loin.
Pork ribs and pork belly are also very common meats.
The Japanese barbecue tradition does not hesitate from using ‘Horumon’ or Offal. Beef liver, heart, tongue, diaphragm and intestines, etc. all find a place on the Yakiniku grill. Of course, this can be a little too adventurous for most western consumers, who tend to largely stick to the tried and tested meats.
Chicken is another popular meat. It is usually cut into bite sized pieces and marinated in sake and miso sauce, skewered onto a wooden stick and grilled over a charcoal fire. This form of barbecue is called ‘Yakitori’ and is a common sight on streets across Japan.
And of course, no Japanese barbecue would be complete without seafood. Lightly spiced shellfish, squids, etc. make for excellent Yakiniku meats.
The characteristic feature of Japanese barbecue is the bite-sized or thinly sliced meat pieces. Large racks of ribs are a rarity, and you won’t find anything even close to steaks or pulled pork in a Yakiniku restaurant. All meats – from squids to beef – are cut into small, thick chunks. And since bite sized chunks are so easy to eat, street-side stalls selling Yakiniku have sprung up all across Japan, offering savory grilled delights to businessmen out on lunch, or a tasty snack for families out on an evening stroll.
Japanese barbecue utilizes very typically Asian spices. Soy sauce, sake, miso paste (made from soybean), sesame oil, garlic, pepper, etc. are commonly used to marinade the meats before grilling.
Almost any recipe you’ll find online will make heavy use of sake and soy sauce. Japanese cuisine utilizes sesame oil almost exclusively, although many ‘Americanized’ recipes call for regular olive oil. Typically Japanese seasonings such as ‘Hondashi seasoning’ are commonly used as well. Most Yakiniku dishes are served with a slice of grilled vegetables and a generous sprinkling of soy sauce and special Yakiniku BBQ sauce.
The typical Yakiniku combines a number of complex flavors, from the pungency of ginger and garlic, to the sweetness of honey, the tang of sake and the spice of chili flakes. While traditional recipes call for charcoal fires, most restaurants these days use the much more convenient gas grills The end result is a barbecue unlike anything you’ve experienced before: slightly sweet, slightly savory, with a very Asian aroma but a texture entirely American. Little wonder there’s a Japanese barbecue restaurant in almost every major city these days!
So what about you guys, anyone ventured into more exotic barbecuing like this? How did it turn out?
Kevin is a barbecue enthusiast with an undying passion for food. He runs a savory site for barbecue recipes and reviews of the best gas grills at GodOfTheGrill.com
Posted in BBQ
, Grilling Basics
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December 31, 2011
Superstition has never been so delicious.
Forget black-eyed peas and collard greens, let’s ring 2012 in with a meal we can look forward to! We have a 3-course-meal that will assure lady luck a seat at your dinner table.
Drink: Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail
The ancient Egyptians regarded the pomegranate as a symbol of ambition and Persian cultures linked it to fertility.
6 tbs Pomegranate syrup
1 bottle brute Champagne
6 lemon twists
Place one teaspoon of syrup at the bottom of each champagne flute or glass. Gently pour in champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.
Course 1: Cabbage Ramen Noodle Salad
In Germany and Ireland, rich, green cabbage is consumed on New Year’s Eve to assure prosperity and fortune is a component in the year to come. Add the Chinese ritual of eating noodles to symbolize a long life and you have quite the starter!
1/2 head cabbage, finely chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 pkg. Top Ramen noodles (beef or chicken), crumbled
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1 pkg. sunflower seeds (optional)
Mix together except the noodles and refrigerate a few hours.
2 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. vinegar
1/2 c. salad oil
1/2 tsp. pepper
Flavor packet from the noodles
Course 2: BBQ Salmon Skewers
Asian cultures associate fish with moving forward since fish constantly swim ahead. Throw some fresh vegetables into the mix for a fresh start to the New Year to tie your main course together.
1 pound salmon, wild, steaks or filet
1/3 cup barbeque sauce
Pre heat grill to medium heat. Pat salmon dry with a paper towel, then cut salmon into large bite size pieces. Divide the salmon equally and thread on to skewers. Brush the salmon with the sauce and pepper lightly if desired. Grill kabobs for about 4 minutes per side or until done.
Course 3: Greek Vaselopita Cake
On New Year’s Day, Greek families cut the Vasilopita to bless the house and bring good luck for the new year. It is traditional to bake a coin into the Vasilopita. The one who receives the coin is considered to be especially blessed for the year.
2 cups of sugar
8 oz of butter
3 cups of plain flour, sieved
4 leveled teaspoons of baking powder
1 cup almonds, ground to powder
1 tablespoon vanilla
¼ cup of brandy (or congac)
2 oranges (grated zest)
I cup of milk
Sieve the flour and baking powder together in a bowl. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, so that each egg is fully incorporated before you add the next. Add the vanilla, grated zest and brandy. Then add the almonds. Finally add the flour and the milk, a little at a time. Grease with butter and line with greaseproof paper a 30cm (12 inch) baking tin. Empty the mixture in. Add the traditional coin. Bake at 170ºC (340 F), in a well preheated oven, for approximately 1h and 10 minutes. Garnish with sieved icing sugar.
This year don’t just have luck in your corner- serve it on a platter!
Fully planning on indulging in this luck feast, I embrace 2012 with open arms! Please look for my eBook, “Uplifting Reflections: Thought for the Week Soul Journal” in January! In the meantime, visit me at www.upliftingreflections.com – Kat Cowley
Posted in BBQ
, Booze & Beverages
, Main Dishes
, Party Ideas
, Sweet Endings
Tagged bbq salmon skewers
, cabbage salad
, champagne cocktail
, foods that bring luck
, lucky foods
, pomegranite cocktail
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December 8, 2011
Growing up, I loved diners. I gravitated towards he old school jukebox stainless steel kind (and still do), and for many years, I dreamed of opening my own place up. Now the dream has shifted, but I still live out my diner love when I watch Food Network
‘s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
. Hosted by Guy Fieri
, his constant road trips introduce viewers to little hole-in-the-wall type places that serve fabulous food. Even though he put out a cookbook
with some of the recipes featured from restaurants that he’s visited, it’s not enough. I literally watch the show with a notebook and pen, jotting down ingredients of the dishes they’re highlighting on each episode.
Brisket is one of those things that has been on my to-try list forever and a day, yet I hadn’t gotten around to it, but after catching a recent episode with brisket that looked so good, my mouth was watering, I was done for. This is one of those recipes that you’ll thank me for later, and it’s barely a recipe at all. You can commit it to memory in about 30 seconds, and you really only need one ingredient past a few pantry basics. It cooks for 12 hours in the oven, but trust me when I tell you … it’s worth it to figure out your schedule so you can make this.
The recipe? Buy brisket. Put garlic powder, salt and pepper all over it. Put it in a baking dish and bake at 225 for 12 hours.
See? That’s it. I ended up putting it into the oven after dinner, and then took it out in the morning before I for work. Within only two hours of cooking, it smelled amazing, and my mouth is watering again now, just thinking about the leftovers (hello lunch!).
The meat is fall apart good and is juicy and tender, and everything it should be after cooking for 12 hours. And for a 30-second recipe, what better reward?
When the diner owner made it, he didn’t elaborate on how they served it, so I had to put my thinking cap on. Truth be told, you can just slice it and serve it w
ith some traditional BBQ sides and just call it a day. But instead, I dug out one of my BBQ cookbooks, Legends of a Texas BBQ
, and looked up a brisket BBQ sauce. While I was getting dinner ready, I made the barbecue sauce, and then I put the sliced brisket in the sauce to warm it up. The cookbook also had a suggestion for a brisket sandwich, and I followed that idea, serving the now-sauced meat on a toasted roll with sliced raw onion and pickles.
To produce something that is close to OMG good for as little effort as this took is a wonderful reward indeed. I sent a sandwich over to one of our neighbors, and she came back asking for the meat and BBQ sauce recipe. One of the easiest recipes I have on this site so far, yet one of the most delicious… enjoy!
Cook All Night BBQ Beef Brisket
Recipe courtesy of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 225. Sprinkle garlic powder, salt and pepper all over the brisket and put in baking dish. Bake for 12 hours. When serving, you can slice meat and serve with your favorite BBQ sides, or put the meat in the below BBQ sauce (or your favorite Pig of the Month BBQ sauce!
) and serve as a sandwich (toasted roll, raw sliced onion, pickles).
Ancho Barbecue Sauce
Recipe courtesy of Legends of a Texas Barbecue Cookbook
3 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded (I skipped)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups diced onion
7 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1-1/2 tablespoons mustard
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
Soak the anchos in hot water for 30 minutes or until soft. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes, or until they begin to wilt. Add the ketchup and anchos and saute for 4 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients and simmer gently for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool. Place in a blender or food processor and puree. (I skipped that step)
Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 3 weeks. Reheat before serving.
Makes about 4 cups (I halved recipe)
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