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Dave's Fiery Front Page

Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke
Tags >> smoking

Ask Chef Mike: Grilling with Wood Planks

Posted by: Lois Manno

Tagged in: smoking , new content , grilling , books


Q: How do you use wood planks for grilling?

A: Wood planks add another dimension to smoke-cooking. It's the most fun you can have with smoke—without breaking the law! Read more on the Burn! Blog here.


 

The Kansas City Barbeque Society has teamed up with TV’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition as it pulls into East Central Kansas to build a new home for a worthy family.

The fundraiser will take place on Aug. 4, a couple of days before the home “reveal.” Read more about how you can help with this great project on the Burn! Blog here.


Hickory Smoked Peanuts? You Bet!

Posted by: Lois Manno

 

 

Vegetarians and vegans rejoice! Now you, too can enjoy the delicious goodness of a great hunk of smoked meat…without the guilt. The geniuses over at Hampton Farms have married the flavor of hickory smoke with dry-roasted peanuts for a truly addictive new snack. In fact, I’m eating them in between sentences at my computer. Read more about them here.

 



burgers smoking on a grill
Grilling authority Chef Mike Stines shares his recommendations about using wood chips with a gas grill. Read all about it on the Burn! Blog here.


BBQ Mags Very Popular in Germany

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: smoking , grilling , entertainment

German BBQ MagazinesFrom Harald Zoschke in Kressbronn, Germany.

Here in Germany, grilling & barbecue is getting more popular than ever, as evidenced at the newsstand. German BBQ fans can enjoy two dedicated magazines, as well as a whole bunch of special BBQ publications. "Fire & Food" is the oldest one, around since 2003 and very well presented, while "Grillmagazin" entered the market just last year. "Beef!" is a mens' cooking magazine with lots of grillin' stuff inside, and "Grillen" by giant magazine publisher Burda made its debut this year, as well as the "Grill Katalog" by German "Grillsportverein" grilling enthusiasts, also loaded with great articles on the subject. "Bookazines" by other publishers are popping up now almost every month for this years's BBQ season, and it seems like we have more rags to read while supervising that barbecue smoker than U.S. grillers!


Barbecue Videos Added to SuperSite!

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: tasty travel , smoking , grilling

Butch Lupinetti on Barbecuing the Perfect RibAs part of our ever-expanding effort to bring you the best in barbecue, we have added barbecue videos to the SuperSite.  Check back often for new videos, but so far we've featured Butch Lupinetti of Butch's Smack Your Lips BBQ Team on making the best rib possible, Steven Raichlen of Planet Barbecue fame following up with preparing baby back ribs, the winner of $100,000 for the best hamburger, and the hilarious and most-viewed Brad's Buick BBQ Tour from Austin to Atlanta.  You can find them all here.


At Last, a Chipotle Vodka!

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: spicy drinks , smoking , chile peppers , alcohol

 

Hangar One VodkaThe fine folks at Hangar One Vodka sent me a bottle of their new vodka, so I had to give it a try.  I pulled it out of the freezer (see ice crystals, left), poured a little into a shot glass, and sipped it.  Big flavor!  Then the heat, which was medium hot.  Very nice.  Then the smokiness hit, and it really worked.  Then the crucial test, a Bloody Mary.  Tomato juice, Hangar One, a little lime juice, a touch of Worcestershire sauce over ice, stirred, not shaken.  Delicious—even my non-Bloody-Mary-drinking wife Mary Jane liked it—but because of the dilution of the vodka, not quite hot enough.  A few dashes of hot sauce solved that and I wondered: how is this made?  The back label provided the answer by Master Distiller Lance Winters: "We're blending infusions and distillations of beautifully roasted chipotle peppers, green jalapeños, red bells, and Scoville-scorching habaneros.  Each pepper was smoked by my friends at T-Rex Barbecue in Berkeley, California."  In my humble opinion, this is a wonderful, spiced up vodka, and again proves my long held belief: vodka is the only alcoholic beverage that works with chile peppers.  Chiles do not improve mediocre wines or beers, and ruin fine ones.

 


Dave with Flaming HabaneroThe 23rd annual show, beloved by foodies in the Southwest and elsewhere, takes place at the lovely Sandia Resort and Casino at the Tramway exit of I-25 north of Albuquerque.  For the fifth year in a row, the show is sold out of exhibitor space.  This year, we have a record number of trade buyers attending, and will feature the following highlights.

 

 


Burn! Masthead


The launch of Burn! digital monthly magazine.
  Get your free first copy at the Burn! booth, number 417.

Disc-It UnitThe Great Disc-It Giveaway.  Nevin of Disc-It made 3 fiery foods themed Disc-Its, and you can register at their booths, 107 & 109.

Pace LogoThe Pace Chef's Challenge, featuring three Albuquerque chefs vying for the "best dish made with a Pace brand of salsa."  It happens at 2 pm each day in the rotunda area at the east end of the main lobby.



Eat More Heat LogoEat More Heat Live.  Broadcasting live from the show on Stickam.com during show hours Saturday and Sunday.  Next the the El Pinto booth in the main lobby.

1001 CoverBook Signings.
  I'll be signing copies of my three latest books in the Rio Grande Books booth (315), each day at 3pm.

The doors open to the general public at 4 pm Friday.  See you at the show!  Complete show information is here.


Be the Perfect Jerk

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

North Coast Jerk PorkTrying to recreate favorite dishes from distant lands can be daunting, but I discovered this past weekend that there is one word to keep in mind while trying it: scratch.  That's right, forget about prepared (commercial) spice mixes, marinades, and sauces, and make the seasonings from scratch.  Take jerk pork, for example.  I totally fell in love with jerk pork as the Jamaicans make it, highly spiced and smoke-grilled.  But I have been unable to re-create it with prepared jerk seasonings.  So I went back to my recipe files and found a recipe that I collected in Ocho Rios, and gave it a try.  At first, while marinating, the mixture looked way too herbal and green to do the job, but once the pork started browning on the grill, it looked right. Damn near perfect, and I'm breaking my own arm patting myself on the back.  Take a look at the shot above, right off the grill.  Not exactly a perfectly-styled photo shoot, but hey, it's a snapshot straight from the grill.  And amazingly delicious.  Here is the recipe I used, and I marinated "country-style" pork ribs in it for six hours, and then slowly smoke-grilled them over low heat.  See you in Jamaica, mon!

North Coast Jerk Marinade

Variations on Jamaican jerk sauces and marinades range from the early, simple pastes of three or four ingredients to the more modern and rather complicated concotions with as many twenty-one spices, herbs, and vegetables. By varying the amount of vegetable oil and lime juice added, the cook can change the consistency from a paste to a sauce. Traditionally, it is used with pork, chicken, or fish.

1/4 cup whole Jamaican pimento berries (or 1/8 cup ground allspice)
3 Scotch bonnet chiles (or habaneros), seeds and stems removed, chopped
10 scallions (green onions), chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 bay leaves, crushed
1 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup fresh thyme
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup lime juice
Water

Roast the pimento berries in a dry skillet until they are aromatic, about 2 minutes. Remove and crush them to a powder in a mortar or spice mill.

Add the pimento powder and the remaining ingredients to a food processor and blend with enough water to make a paste or sauce. Remove and store in a jar in the refrigerator; it will keep for a month or more.

Yield: 2 to 3 cups
Heat Scale: Hot


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.


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