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Dave's Fiery Front Page

Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke
Tags >> entertainment

ThrowdownRippin’ Red Wing Sauce, the newest product from Rizzotti Foods, LLC will be going head to head with the one and only DEFCON Sauces! The gauntlet was thrown in a thread on peppersandmore.com in August, and both Rippin’ Red Wing Sauce and DEFCON have accepted the challenge.

“It is an honor and pleasure to challenge the mighty DEFCON sauces. We have nothing but respect and admiration for John Dilley and his products,” said Rizotti Foods owner John Rizzotti.Rippin Red Hot Wing Sauce

Hosted by Peppers and More, the contest will feature a blind taste test using tasters who have never tried either of the two sauces. The sauces will be judged on a list of four criteria, rating the food with a 1 to 5 number system, 5 being the best:

  1. How well does the sauce cling/stick to wings? 1-2-3-4-5
  2. Aroma? 1-2-3-4-5
  3. Color of sauce 1-2-3-4-5
  4. Overall taste? 1-2-3-4-5Defcon Sauces

To find out more about the Throwdown, visit www.scottrobertsweb.com, or read the original thread on www.peppersandmore.com!

Learn more about the challengers: DEFCON Sauces and Rippin' Red Wing Sauces.


Deep Fried BeerMany wondered which deep fried concoctions would snag the Big Tex Choice awards for Most Creative and Best Taste at the 2010 State Fair of Texas; this year’s winner for “most creative” fried food is something every football-loving, beer-guzzling guy dreams of—Fried Beer. It’s really a deep fried pretzel pocket filled with Guinness, but the process doesn’t burn off the alcohol, so the recipe is strictly 21 and over.

“I was lazy,” said inventor Mark Zable of his motives for frying up a pocket of battered beer. Zable, who runs a Belgium waffle stand at the fair, has been a Big Tex Choice finalist twice before.

The Big Tex Choice award for Best Taste went to Texas Fried Frito Pie from the boys over at Bert’s Burgers & Fries stand. It’s a combination of Texas chili, sharp cheddar cheese and Frito corn chips lightly battered and deep fried, and according to its creator, it takes tastes back to the Golden Age of Fair Food.

Other entries included Deep Fried S'mores Pop Tarts, Fried Chocolate, Deep Fried Frozen Margaritas, Fried Lemonade, Fernie’s Fried Club Salad and Fried Texas Caviar.

Want more fried State Fair delicacies? Click here!


Food Books That Make You Think

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: smoking , science , history , entertainment , books

Savage Barbecue, by Andrew WarnesFood history is a relatively new scholarly discipline, going back onlyCatching Fire, by Richard Wrangham about thirty years.  It evolved from two seemingly disparate human endeavors, cooking and recording general history.  The late food historian Karen Hess observed in 1981: “Few scholars are cooks—and fewer cooks scholars. Perhaps this accounts for the fact that no other aspect of human endeavor has been so neglected by historians as home cooking.” And not only has home cooking been neglected as a subject for historians, so have the history of food ingredients, inns and restaurants, food philosophy, and food in culture—until the last three decades.

Before then, accounts of culinary subjects were “regarded as relevant only to a kind of anthropology of ceremony,” in the words of Paul Freedman, editor of Food: The History of Taste. He goes on to point out that the history of cuisine had been viewed as part of the history of fashion, “hence of frivolity.” In other words, not a serious subject for a historian to explore.  But how that has changed!  The turning point seems to be the publication of Food in History by Reay Tannahill in 1973. It was a bestseller then and is still in print and in the revised and expanded edition published in 1988, Tannahill commented: “When the idea of Food in History first occurred to me, I was mystified by the fact that no one had already written such a book.” Indeed, The New York Times book reviewer observed: “Here at last is what may serve as the first textbook for what should become a new sub-discipline; call it Alimentary History I.” Tannahill continued, “And it came to pass. Since 1973 there has been unprecedented academic interest in the subject and a spate of books on different aspects of it.”  And whether you call it alimentary history, food history, or cooking history, for me it is completely fascinating.

In Savage Barbecue:Race, Culture, and the Invention of America's First Food, Andrew Warnes searches for the origin of barbecue and is alternately overly scholarly and very interesting, especially when he finds great quotes, like this one from journalist David Dudley: "Barbecue's appeal isn't hard to fathom and may explain why barbecue cookery seems such a Neanderthal corner of modern gastronomy.  It elegantly embraces several stereotypically Guy Things: fire building, beast slaughtering, fiddling with grubby mechanical objects, expensive gear fetishes, afternoon-long beer drinking, and, of course, great heaps of greasy meat at the end of the day.  Top this off with the frisson of ritual tribal warfare and you've got the mother of all male pastimes."

Another scholar, Richard Wrangham, in Catching Fire, tracks the origin of cooking over fire back to Homo erectus, the immediate precursor of Homo sapiens, some 1.8 million years ago.  This was about the time mankind first controlled fire, and he notes: "Effects of cooking include extra energy, softer food, fireside meals, and a more predictably food supply during periods of scarcity.  Cooking would therefore be expected to increase survival, especially of the vulnerable young.

Both books are highly recommended but with a warning that they tend to be quite academic in places.  Warnes is a Lecturer in American Literature and Culture at Leeds University in England and Wrangham is the Ruth Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology at Harvard University.


 

Fiery Foods Mag

Or...

Combust Digital Mag

We have the preliminary results of our Digital Magazine survey. After 70 responses, we know this: our readers are 61% male and 39% female; 40% of them are 36-45, 37% are 46 or older, and a mere 23% are 35 or younger; 85.7 % said “Yes” or “Maybe” about subscribing; 58% wanted editorial content very similar to the SuperSite, but 19% wanted us to add more babes, booze, etc. Everyone wants recipes and more recipes, and got 'em. When asked about their favorite cuisines, the response was American Southwest and American Barbecue taking first, Mexican second, Asian third, and Italian fourth.

We continue planning the design, content, and engineering of a digital magazine called Burn: Peppers, Spice, and Smoke, or something like that. We have secured the domain iburn.com and will be producing a smart phone/pad app in conjunction with the magazine, plus a lot more features.

Meanwhile, I'd like more responses to the survey, so I'm keeping it posted here for a few more weeks.


 

Check out the Events Calendar at the bottom of the Fiery Foods & BBQ homepage for fiery events taking place across the country. Use our handy events list to satisfy your craving for all things spicy! Here's a tasty sampling for the weekend of August 21-22:

• Mammoth Festival - Wine, Music, Food & Art, August 20 - August 22 in Mammoth Lakes, CA

• Diamond State BBQ Championship, Saturday, August 21 in Dover, DE
• Salsa Showdown, Saturday, August 21 in Holland, MI
• Taste of Los Alamos Fundraiser, Saturday, August 21 in Los Alamos, NM

Click here to see all upcoming events. Have an event to add to the menu? Contact us at fiery-foods@comcast.net.


 

Fiery Foods Mag

Or...

Combust Digital Mag

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!

The SuperSite is a great resource, but it's not a magazine--it's an archive.  We think SuperSite readers deserve a new monthly magazine complete with fresh content from the best writers around the world, including articles, how-tos, recipes, and so on, but we want to make sure we create the kind of digital magazine our readers will enjoy.

A digital magazine looks exactly like a print magazine but with enhanced features including embedded video, recipes for easy printing, and links to related subjects all over the web.  It is delivered to subscribers via the Internet rather than USPS, and can be downloaded--it is compatible with mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, and Blackberries as well as your home computer.

A link to the new issue will be posted on the SuperSite home page the first of every month.  Magazine content will be unique and not repeated on the SuperSite but rather retained in a back-issue archive.  Subscribers can read or download any issue to their own devices, or print it out.  We will notify subscribers by email when a new issue is posted. The estimated subscription price will be $36 for a 3-year subscription, $15 for a one-year subscription. That means you get the best new content about the hot and spicy/smoky universe delivered to your mobile device...it's easy, convenient, and costs as little as $1.00 per issue!

Please take our quick, two-minute survey to help us plan the magazine here.

Dave DeWitt, SuperSite Publisher
Former Publisher, Fiery Foods & BBQ magazine (1997-2008) and Founding Editor of Chile Pepper magazine (1987-1996)


End of the World BeerAt the BrewDog Micro Brewery, in Fraserburgh, Scotland, the whacked-out brewers have created the strongest and most expensive beer in the world.  In fact, it's called End of the World, and it's packaged in a taxidermied squirrel or stoat (weasel).  It's done through "Extreme ABV Brewing," and they have "frozen, hopped and oak-aged stronger beers than have ever before been made in the history of beer."  "ABV" is "alcohol by volume," and 55% means that the beer is 110 proof.  They only brewed 12 bottles of End of the World, a Belgian blone ale, the price was set at $765 each, and they sold out.

How do you drink it?  In their words: "This 55% beer should be drank in small servings whilst exuding an endearing pseudo vigilance and reverence for Mr Stoat. This is to be enjoyed with a weather eye on the horizon for inflatable alcohol industry Nazis, judgemental washed up neo-prohibitionists or any grandiloquent, ostentatious foxes."

And the significance of this beer? "The impact of The End of History is a perfect conceptual marriage between art, taxidermy, and craft brewing. The bottles are at once beautiful and disturbing – they disrupt conventions and break taboos, just like the beer they hold within them.  This beer is an audacious blend of eccentricity, artistry and rebellion; changing the general perception of beer one stuffed animal at a time."  For more information on BrewDog, go here.

 


Buying chile pepper bedding plants.On Sunday, May 9, Marco and I worked the chile plant sale and food fair at the Azienda Agraria Sperimentale Stuard (Stuard Agricultural Experiment Station) in Parma with his new products, Spirit of Habanero Grappa and the Habanero Nectar olive oil.  Mario Dadomo, the station director and the “Paul Bosland of Italy” had 442 different varieties of chiles to choose from, which was like having ChilePlants.com in one convenient greenhouse.  Mario asked me if he could be my "bishop"--har, har.  Marco and MauritzioThe public was there in good numbers to buy the plants and sample products both spicy and non-spicy.  A group of about 30 Italian chileheads showed up and I had my picture taken with them.  On one side of us was a honey producer and on the other side our friend Mauritzio was selling his jolokia products including the “Big Bang Powder,” so Marco joked that the public could choose from Paradiso (Heaven), Purgatorio (Purgatory), or Inferno (Hell).  This was an allusion to Dante’s Divine Comedy but I’m not sure that the Italians got the literary joke.  As a show producer, it was interesting for me to watch the flow of the crowd: in the morning there was a strong crowd then in dropped off to nothing during lunch and “siesta time,” and then was strong again after about 3pm.  Marco’s sales were good, which bodes well for the new products.  We closed down about 6pm, then drove to a winery with nearly vertical vineyards atop Monte Roma (Mount Rome), 350 meters above sea level.  Then, in typical Italian fashion, another 30-mile drive to dinner at an AgriTurismo (agricultural tourism) restaurant atop another “mountain.”  I loved the grilled sirloin steak served on top of a solid block of salt.  We got back to Marco’s house at midnight—16 hours of  hustle--but fun!

Mauritzio's Italian Jolokia Products


Pat ChapmanSoon we will be in London for another event with Pat Chapman, England's King of Curries, on May 15 (read all about it, here).  Pat and I go back a long ways.  He's come to Albuquerque several times to make appearances at the Fiery Foods & BBQ Show and once created (with wife Dominique) a gigantic Indian feast at our house for about a dozen friends.  They still talk about that night.  Mary Jane can't forget it because she had to clean every Turban Davepot, pan, dish, and utensil in our house!  Then, we took a culinary tour of India led by the Chapmans, which involved about a dozen Brits, two Yanks, a bus, and some of the best food we've ever eaten.  There was also the incident of me in a turban and a camel.  You can read about that trip here. Then, on a trip to England to visit the Chapmans, Pat, a former RAF jet pilot, drove us around Cornwall at nearly supersonic speeds on the left hand side of the road, which is always disconcerting to Americans.  We went to Land's End, the Eden Project, Mousehole (pronounced "Moussel"), and stayed at some great B&Bs with wonderful food (lamb shanks in wine and currant sauce, yum).  We might have had a few beers and some scotch--I forget!  And then there were the Indian restaurants.  Pat, as The King, was comped at every single one of these he took us to, and they were spectacular--the decor as well as the food.  Read all about that trip here.  So you can imagine how much we anticipate our upcoming visit.

Jaipur Restaurant in Milton Keynes

 

 


Barbados in Zagat

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Dining at Sandy LaneWhen I read that the only Caribbean island with its own Zagat Restaurant Guide is Barbados, I flashed back to our trip to that highly civilized country that is run like a business.  The Barbados Tourist Authority wanted MJ and I to experience the best their country had, so they bought us dinner at the restaurant at the Sandy Lane Resort, one of the most exclusive places in the entire Caribbean.  Needless to say, it was wonderful.  We also ate at less fancy places, where we dined on Caribbean specialties like Fried Flying Fish and Crab Callaloo, a wonderful dark green spicy soup.

 

The link to our article is here, but in the meantime, try this recipe:


Fried Flying Fish
Flying Fish Engraving

There are a great number of variations on this favorite Bajan specialty. This is probably the favorite version, as described in John Lake’s book, The Culinary Heritage of Barbados. Flying fish is sometimes found frozen in Florida markets; if it’s not available, substitute any mild white fish, such as flounder.

  • 8 small flying fish fillets

  • Bajan Seasoning as needed (see recipe)

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • Bread crumbs and flour, mixed

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • Lime slices and parsley for garnish

  • Bajan hot sauce, such as Windmill or Lottie’s

Rub the fillets with the Bajan Seasoning, then dip them in the beaten eggs, then the bread crumbs and flour. Fry the fillets in the butter until lightly browned, turning once.

Serve garnished with the lime slices and parsely. Sprinkle hot sauce over the fillets to taste.

Yield: 4 servings

Heat Scale: Varies


Bajan Seasoning


This version of the famous island seasoning is from Ann Marie Whittaker, who noted: "This is found in almost every home and is the secret to the success for many mouth-watering Bajan dishes." One of the favorite uses is to place it between the meat and skin of chicken pieces before grilling, baking, or frying. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.

  • 1 pound onions, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 5 ounces green onion, coarsely chopped

  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 4 bonney peppers, seeds and stems removed, or substitute habaneros

  • 2 ounces fresh thyme

  • 2 ounces fresh parsley

  • 2 ounces fresh marjoram

  • 1 1/2 cups vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauces

  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons salt

In a food processor, combine the onions, green onion, garlic, and bonney peppers and process to a coarse paste.

Remove the leaves from the stems of the thyme, parsely, and marjoram. Place the leaves and the vinegar in a food processor or blender and liquefy.

Combine the onion paste, vinegar mixture, and the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover, transfer to the refrigerator, and allow to sit for 1 week before using. The seasoning will keep in the refrigerator for at least 6 months.

Yield: About 2 to 3 cups

Heat Scale: Hot

 



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