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Dave's Fiery Front Page

Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke

 

Naga Viper, Courtesy of Gerald FowlerWhenever someone tries to lay claim to the biggest, best, or most intense record for pretty much anything, they run the risk of being challenged.

When the subject is the world's hottest pepper, the stakes are high, both monetarily and in terms of publicity. If you've ever dealt with chileheads, they can be every bit as fanatical and obsessed about their chosen passion as the worst lovesick stalker.

That being said, it's not surprising that a storm of controversy currently surrounds several chile growers who are vying for the "world's hottest chile pepper" title. Read this article on Popsci for more about the conflagration, what happens when you ask a beer company to rule about peppers, and an answer to the question, "can eating them kill you?"


Popular Plates Fiery Foods CoverOn June 28th, my latest publication, entitled “Popular Plates: Fiery Foods” will hit all the major newsstands in the U.S., including Barnes & Noble, Home Depot, Borders, Costco–all the big box stores.  The publisher, Source Interlink Media is printing 200,000 copies, which is by far the largest print run of any of my publications.  Essentially, this is a book in magazine format that traces the history of spicy foods from the first chile peppers in the Americas to how we cook with them today.  This bookazine makes a great gift for the chilehead in the family, or a friend who wants to get started eating the hot stuff.  There are 80 recipes from all over the world from basic to advanced, plus many photos and illustrations.  I certainly hope everyone enjoys it!


Home Gardening Infographic

Courtesy of MNN


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.


 

Rick Browne, Ph.B takes a look at Australia’s love affair with barbecue in “Baang-gaa to Barbies: Australia’s Barbecue Heritage,” excerpted from the May/June issue of Burn! Magazine.

 Group BBQ on a beach Down UnderLet me smash a common misconception about Australian barbecue: Down Under, they cook prawns —no one here “slips another shrimp on the Barbie.”

In fact, cooking shrimp, er, prawns on a barbecue was never all that popular. At least, not until a certain macho, crocodile-wrestlin’ movie star uttered the quote in a 1980s ad campaign to get Yanks to go Oz (that’s Australia, for those of you who can’t keep up).

Aussie barbecues back then usually consisted of “mystery bags,” or “snags” of various sorts—that’s sausages to you and me—which were cooked up on flat grills or hot plates. “Don’t fork the snags,” was the warning heard most often, as an inexperienced griller might puncture the snag with his or her fork and let all the juices leak out.

Like their U.S. counterparts, Aussies today are much more sophisticated when it comes to grilling. Today’s barbecue menu might feature such exotic fare as Malaysian spotted prawns marinated in Chinese hoisin and Japanese sake, dusted with lemon myrtle and drizzled with a honey-onion-macadamia nut sauce.

Aussies use their barbecue grills much more often than we Americans do. In fact, we’re third on the list of the world’s most avid barbecuers, after Australia and South Africa. Even the government participates by mandating free gas or electric barbecues in parks, beaches, and campsites. And if you come across the rare Barbie that’s not free, the twenty cents to operate is still a deal.

When it comes to backyard grilling, Australians prefer faster-cooking, uncovered flattop gas grills, as opposed to slower-cooking, covered charcoal grills. Recent legislation banning backyard fires in and around major cities has boosted the use of gas barbies, especially as devastating bush fires become more and more common.

Even boaters and yachtsmen take part in the barbecue craze, mounting stainless steel propane barbies on the aft decks of their vessels. Three-quarters of the yachts we saw on an afternoon cruise had barbecues mounted on the stern rails.

And when we consider Aussie barbie, let’s not forget that the native aboriginals where here first, about 40,000 years before the British Empire landed a boat full of convicts on the continent’s shores. In that time, the aborigines perfected “bush tucker”—the fruits, vegetables, and game harvested in the wild—and the best methods with which to cook it. That’s right, barbecue.

Read the full article, as well as Rick’s recommendations for the best restaurants Down Under in the May/June issue of Burn! Magazine, out now.


Ambergris Caye, Belize This particular “burger” is a fired-up re-creation of a fish sandwich one of our editors devoured in the tiny town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, Belize. The restaurant was called Elvies Burger Isle, and the diners sat outside under a tamarind tree on picnic benches. If ever there was a simple to prepare, quick and easy fish recipe with significant heat, this is it. Serve with Curried Pineapple Serrano Salsa, french fries, crispy cole slaw, and to toast Elvie, a frosty tamarind cooler.

Belizean Rubbed and Grilled Fish Burger

1 teaspoon ground habanero chile
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground thyme
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 small white fish fillets, such as snapper, trigger fish, or grouper
4 rolls

Curried Pineapple Serrano Salsa

1 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut in 1/4-inch slices
3 serrano chiles, stems removed, chopped
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro


In a bowl, combine the chile, salt, garlic, thyme, allspice and nutmeg. Brush the fillets with the oil and dust with the spice mixture. Allow to sit at room temperature while you prepare the grill. Cut the rolls in half length-wise and brush with 1 tablespoon oil. Grill the fish in a grill basket over medium heat until done, about 5 minutes per side, or until the fillets flake. Grill the rolls to slightly warm.

To make the salsa, grill the pineapple slices or heat in a pan for 5 to 10 minutes until the pineapple is browned. Dice the pineapple. Combine all the ingredients for the salsa, except for the cilantro, and allow to sit at room temperature for an hour to blend the flavors. Toss with the cilantro and spread over the fish burgers.


Yield: 4 servings
Heat Scale: Medium


 

Laser-Leveling for an Alfalfa Field You are looking at a rare occurence in central New Mexico: vacant land being laser-leveled to make an alfalfa field rather than a housing development.  This field is less than a mile from our house, so we will have something green to look it rather than the little boxes Pete Seeger used to sing about.  The vertical laser unit on the leveler pulled by the tractor connects with a central transmitter in the middle of the field, giving the tractor operator continuous information about where to move the soil.  When finished, the leveling assures that irrigation water will flow properly and drain off without leaving low, wet spots where alfalfa won't grow.  Alfalfa is New Mexico's number one agricultural crop.

 


 

 

Condiment Gun

Roast My Weenie

Breast Bar

God-Grilla

You totally need every single one of these.  Really.  From top left, the Condiment Gun, from Firebox; Roast My Weenie, from the perverted folks at the company with the same name; the artistic, woodie-inducing Breast Bar, discovered somewhere on the web by Harald Zoschke (Happy Googling); and the astonishing God-Grilla, large enough to barbecue 1,000 sausages, 500 burgers, or two whole cows. Read about it on That'sNerdalicious!  And Happy Start of Summer, everyone!


 

James BeckJames Beck of EatMoreHeat.com is my first guest on the new weekly feature of the SuperSite, and he discusses eating superhot chiles and finishing an Apocalypse Burger.  Upcoming guests are Dave Hirschkop who invented Insanity Sauce; chemical engineer Marlin Bensinger, who tests the superhot chiles in his own lab; Jim Garcia of El Pinto Salsa, discussing Scorpion Salsa and the purported "chile crisis;" and Chris Fowler, who uses a polytunnel to grow chillis near Cardiff, Wales.  To hear James on the first podcast, go here.

 


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