Julia Frickin Childs Recipe?

Would the M’Effer Who didn’t Eat Black Eyed Peas and Greens on New Years Day Please Read This!

So we got a little too intoxicated last night. What I have seen the recycling on the streets of Brooklyn we aren’t the only ones. I mean there is hardly any paper recycle and its all glass bottles and Cans. Anyway I went to bed early and Geranium ate some Red Beans and Rice but couldn’t find the Cornbread that we made. I had left it in the oven to stay warm.

So this morning it was sitting still in the cast iron skillet and had gotten a tad stale. I got done with my team call and was feeling peckish for something other than my normal Sandwich or leftovers. I opened the cabinet and a can of Glory Southern Seasoned Mixed Greens just spoke to me. That’s what we will do, we will re-boot this year and start over.

So for you selfish bastard who didn’t eat their black eyed peas and Greens here is how you prepare it.

If you don’t make cornbread in a cast iron skillet are you even trying?
I know that some of my New Yorkers who are reading this are wondering what I am referring to.
Start out with Frying up some cut up pieces of bacon and add onions. You do this for both Greens and the Black Eyed Peas.
Now this may start a debate but there is nothing better than Glory Brands of Canned Vegetables. Just make sure you strain the juice out before you add to the pot.
I know, and Goya may be a good brand up here but they suck for making southern Black Eyed Peas.
Black Eyed Peas – Strain before adding to Bacon and Onions. Add Water and Chicken Stock or Base. Bring to rolling boil.
I mean look at that grease layer on top. That’s flavor for you folks wondering what it is.
Greens you strain and then add equal parts of Vinegar, Sugar and Water to cover the greens. Yes that is Red Pepper flakes. I don’t add any salt as this can already be salty.
Those little Corners – I will get to that in a minute.
Butter came out of the fridge hard as rock so here is a hack to soften it.
Take a cup and fill it with water and Microwave it for a minutes. Dump out the water and put it upside down on the butter. Minute later butter is softened.
Add two sacrificed pieces of cornbread mix to the bottom of the bowl.
Isn’t that Sexy? I apply lots of cracked black pepper to my food.
Oh but this is just as important as adding buttermilk to Cornbread Mix.
I just realized that after knowing Geranium for 20+ years she is a user of the fork for her New Years Day food whereas I am a spoon guy.

I am serious when I say that there better be a friggin Black Eyed Pea and Green shortage very soon.

If You Can Have Dinner With 2 People (Living/Dead) Who Are You Eating With?

I had a lot of people who were excited about reading last Friday’s post about where you were first going after this madness is over. So I asked the same folks who reported back a different question.

“You can have dinner at a restaurant or at home. You can invite 2 people to break bread with. Either of these people can be living or dead but the caveat is that one person has to be a New Yorker. So who are you dining with and where you going to eat?”

I will start – I am dining at Balthazar ordering the Seafood Tower to start with. For my New York Guest I am sitting with the late Anthony Bourdain because I have always wanted to pick his brain on the way things are now (prior to COVID-19) and thank him for hating on Vegetarians. The other person is the late Chef Paul Bocuse of Lyon France. Bourdain idolized him and I want to learn about how things were for him. You see I got my start in the restaurant business working at Chez Philippe in the Peabody and talk about a tough environment.

  • Shawneen from Middle Village – JOHN LENNON – a New Yorker by choice.  He fought tooth and nail to stay in New York; he said that at one point in history Paris was the place to be, but in the 1970’s, New York was the place to be and he wanted to be here. His political views were profoundly before his time and considered dangerous to the point that the FBI had a file on him.  Imagine all the people, sharing all the world? This might still be a dangerous idea today, sadly.  When I saw the movie “Yesterday”, I laughed and sang along and just enjoyed the what if – until the scene where the main character is sent to visit the seaside cottage of a seafaring man with round spectacles.  I cried my eyes out.  If The Beatles had not been famous, John Lennon would not have died.   I want a bottle of red, fried calamari, eggplant parmesan (cause that’s how we do it in the boroughs) and conversation with John Lennon all night long. For the second person And since this is my fantasy – my second guest would be DONALD TRUMP (but not for the whole night -just for an hour). Because I don’t think Trump could sit across from John effin Lennon and not still believe that all the people could be sharing all the world. PERSONALLY I THINK I SHOULD JUST STOP NOW BECAUSE SHE WON TODAY FUCKING BRILLIANT!
  • LJZ – Having dinner at Oceana with her husband and Dr. Fauci
  • Don Bruni – having dinner with Sammy Davis Jr and Jackie Gleason
  • AV The Russian – Her Father (New Yorker) and Jesus Christ and they are breaking bread at Corner Bistro.
  • AB The LSU Fan – Sitting at a table with his back against the wall at Umberto’s Clam House with John Gotti and Carlo Gambino.
  • AB The LSU Fan 2 – Old Homestead with Chris Mullin and Felipe Lopez!
Lot of people want to dine with John
  • Lady Barrister – Is going to PJ Clarke’s having dinner with George Carlin and Jerry Seinfeld because we need to laugh.
  • BikinisareForever – She wants to have dinner with her Grandparents
  • BikinisareForever 2 – Jerry Seinfeld and Amy Schumer
  • Flynn Shady – Going to Rao’s or Old Homestead and having dinner with Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien.
  • Mr. 3 First Names – going to Keen’s steakhouse and having dinner with Admiral Raymond Spruance who commanded the US Naval Forces involved in the battle of Midway. Also is Washington Roebling who built the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • PC The Memphis Fan – John Lennon and George Harrison and they are goingto Thai Villa on 19th to geek out on the music and hear them talk shit about Paul.
Rao’s in the Harlem
  • PC the Memphis Fan 2 – Teddy Roosevelt and Zahi Hawass at Keen’s Steakhouse.
  • Vivian Longstreet – Going to Raoul’s and having dinner with Gov Andrew Cuomo and her NOLA buddy Lisa who is going to run his presidential campaign.
  • Ty Middelton – His late mother who was an amazing woman and always shot from the hip and Ron Howard to close a multi-million dollar film deal for his book series.
  • Stone – Also at Raou’s with Draper Kaufman (Father of Navy Special Warfare and Teddy Roosevelt. THAT IS SO INTERSTING PEOPLE ARE PICKING TEDDY ROOSEVELT
  • BjorkSue – is going to a Cheesecake Factory with Ivanka Trump and Jessica Simpson.
  • Bar Wife – Bill Murray and Chevy Chase and they are going to a bar.
I bet he would be fun to talk to!
  • UWS Holly – Andy Cohen (Godfather of Bravo Trash TV) and Anderson Cooper.
  • JP on the Island of Long – Billy Joel and Elton John
  • JD (Not the Bottle but the legend) – Alex Hamilton and Dave-1 from Chromeo and they are going to eat Dim Sum.
  • BK is requesting dinner at Lugar with us.
  • Stuey who is in OK – Yoshaiaki Omura, MD his bidigital O ring test would be a topic that I would enjoy. Second person is his mother who passed away 12 years ago. Or he would sub out Nikki Glaser who is easy on the eyes.
  • RMT (Reader Number 5) also having dinner with Anthony Bourdain and her husband.
Ate there once, the mutton is pretty good.
  • M(squared) the Domestic One – She is bringing her parents and having dinner with them and she is eating in.
  • Mary Louise Geranium – Ina and Jeffrey Garten at Rao’s
  • Z(squared) is taking his brother to dinner to celebrate his acceptance into Columbia’s EMBA Program.
  • Steve from Flushing – Having Dinner with Derek Jeter and Pedro Martinez (of Boston) and they are drinking at Yankee Tavern.
  • The Bartender – Kramer and Neuman at Soup Nazi’s joint.
  • Mr. Clean – Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel – Tavern on the Green. THAT IS A GOOD ONE!
  • Constantine – Sarah Jessica Parker and Mathew Broderick at Minetta Tavern for burgers.
  • San Pedro Scoop – AOC and MLK – I am feeling hopeful for change and I want to get those two together.

Thanks to all that played along. San Pedro Belize – I may be coming to you for next Friday so stay tuned!

Saturday Dinners

In an effort to save a little money since we are about to go on vacation we have been cooking a little more at home. Also with Geranium being on the road the last thing she really wants is food from a restaurant. For my inspiration on new dishes I have been reading Jose Andres’ book “Vegetables Unleashed”.

I really like the book and the recipes in it because cooking foods that are from a different culture really opens you up to new flavors and tastes. It is no secret that I started cooking from watching the chefs at Chez Philippe when I was a waiter there. “What do you mean that you don’t have heavy whipping cream in your fridge? How the Fuck am I to cook?” Yes I was trained to cook Classic French Cuisine. Thankfully the food shows gave me some balance but with “Vegetables Unleashed” it really puts you on notice.

For the menu we made a couple weeks back included;

  • Miso Roasted Asparagus (before this I had no clue what Miso was)
  • Microwaved Cacio y Pepe (Parents you need to make this for your kids)
  • Sesame Yogurt Corn on the Cob
  • Jose Andres’ Famous Beefsteak Tomato Sandwich
  • Lots of Wine and a little Tito’s
Seriously Go buy this book!
Tomatoes are getting good up here now!
The makings of the Cacio y Pepe (which is more or less Mac and Cheese with Corn or Peas)
Doesn’t this sucker look good. Holy Crap I made a dish with no meat or fish.
Finished Product. The Corn is really good and is different
Asparagus getting ready for the Broiler

Apologies to Taco Girl who probably just fried her laptop because she was drooling on her keyboard.

The Stereotypes of London

We have all heard or even mentioned them; cold & rainy weather, shitty food, warm beer, bad teeth, no ice for drinks, I could go on for days. Honestly, to visit London/The Big Smoke in late January/early February you should expect the above mentioned weather. The weather last weekend did have temps in the mid 30’s with Rain/snow on Friday however, on Saturday we actually donned sunglasses with temps in the low 40’s and Sunday was pretty much the same as Saturday. To get snow in London is like getting snow in Memphis….the city shuts down. Papua New Guinea Mike told me to be ready for delays but thankfully the Tube was running fine on Friday morning from Heathrow.

Regarding the food sucking, that is a down right lie. We ate some great food while in Big Smoke. Friday night Geranium and I had dinner near the hotel and found a great Brittish/Gastropub that was unbelievable. Saturday while watching 6 Nations (I will get to that later) we dined on traditional Fish & Chips and had a wonderful drunken food Saturday night meal. Sunday we ate in China Town with Jimmy’s Mum and Pop and that evening we found a great restaurant in Covent Garden.

Regarding the last of the stereotypes; making fun of the English for having faults is like Americans acting like our Commander in Chief is a normal fine upright citizen. Yep, we definitely didn’t leave London hungry or without enough to drink.

Traditional English Breakfast – Baked Beans, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Sausage, Eggs sadly no Black Pudding today.
Braised Ox Cheek and Hasselback Potatoes – This was good
Ahem DR – Look they have their coat hooks eye level and they are just fine where they are. It is time pull the trigger and get hooks at Lisa’s bar!
Shepard Pie (yes I know its boring) but this dish was featured on one of the Andrew Zimmerman food shows and it was devine
Skirt Steak and Caramelized Onion for Mary Louise (we had Mac and Cheese and other food)
Normal Tap Water by UK standards
Look at all that ice in my “Soda Water” and notice where that Lime is. NFL My Friend!
Thank God we brought our shades. Background is the Queens Pad.

I will put out a couple more posts to annoy some of you!

CBT Breaks His Own Rule

Forgive me Lord, I took a bunch of food pictures this past weekend. And to make matters worse, I am now about to blog about it. I know that Ashley B is probably laughing her head off right now but yes, I am breaking Robo Rule #1. Anyway here are the pics of the wonderful food that we ate this past weekend and Shout Out to my favorite brown Belizean who would sent me ugly Snapchat messages all weekend long.

IMG_2162Half Dozen were killed within 3 minutes of arrival

IMG_2163How about that for a Lobstah Roll?

IMG_2165Lobster Eggs Benedict and Bacon – Sorry Brother Sam but this is defiantly not allowed

IMG_2179Half Dozen and had to have a Red Rocket since they were out of Bud Light. S/O to Ernie Mellor!

IMG_2181Lobster Mac and Cheese – You starting to hate me Mary?

IMG_2187Shit, we ate them so fast they didn’t even get an ‘Ashley’ picture!

IMG_2186Seriously we ate us some great seafood this weekend!

IMG_2189Bacon Lettuce Tomato and Lobster Roll!

IMG_2190Lobster Bisque

IMG_2197“We will have a dozen Oysters”
“Um sorry sir but we only have 5 oysters left in the house”
“Well ok then, giddy up!”

So do you still hate me Mary? Oh and for the record, I had me a salad for lunch on Monday and plenty of water!

Who does a guy have to feck to get some southern staple foods up here?

I get asked all the time what are the downsides to living up here in New York? It hasn’t changed since we moved up here;

  • You never have enough time.
  • If you are not careful you can run out of money.
  • The weather can be lousy.

I was reminded last night of that there is another downside to living up here. To go shopping for southern dishes you can’t just run to one store to get everything.

Case in point last nights dinner. We finally had a break in the weather and yesterday we enjoyed some below 80 degree weather. Mrs. Trumpet and I were discussing what we were going to cook for dinner and I suggested a veggie plate.

*For my Northeastern readers – we have a number of places that serve “Meat and 2” plates meaning a southern protein (meatloaf, chicken fried steak, ect) and some traditional southern veggies (mac & cheese, greens, black eyed peas, ect)*

We decided on the Veggie Plate (which is isn’t vegetarian by any means) and we texted a couple of different menu items. Mrs. Trumpet ordered some items from Target.com and one of the items she added to the shopping cart to get free shipping was Glory Brands Turnip Greens. I was craving some Fried Green Tomatoes since somebody on Facebook asked where they could get some Green Tomatoes. Next on the list was Black Eyed Peas since the last time I ate them was New Years Day. I was excited about the menu and was looking forward to whipping this one up in the kitchen.

I head out to my local fruit and vegetable ‘guy’ on the corner of 69th & 1st and he didn’t have any Green Tomatoes. Next I headed to Morton (Just bend over and hope they use Astroglide this time) Williams and here is where my anger began. First off, they don’t carry Glory Brands, they only carry Goya. Goya is a great company and I don’t mean any disrespect but come on! They don’t have any Black Eyed Peas. They didn’t have any frozen, didn’t have any dried, and didn’t even have them in a can. As I am talking to a friend of mine about my shopping fail they inform me that I should head to 110th and Lex as they have a store that carries a lot of those items. Who da Feck has time to visit 3 stores for one meal? I can’t believe I am about to say this but I miss Gangster Kroger!

goyaNo disrespect to Mr. Goya but come on, can we get rid of the pink beans and maybe sell black eyed peas or have some more ‘southern ethnic’ brands?

glory brandsNipped this off the internet, I would kill to play less than a dollar for a can of veggies.

IMG_1374Since nobody carries Green Tomatoes, I went with Jersey Tomatoes and decided on making a Tomato Pie

IMG_1373Cup of Sharp Cheddar, Cup of Swiss, Cup of Mayo, Green Onions with Salt & Pepper is the ‘goo’ that makes the pie so good.

IMG_1377Of course I went with some skillet cornbread!

IMG_1375White Beans and that isn’t what Mr. Goya calls them. Oh and if you look closely you can see bacon in that pot. Bacon gives it flavor!

IMG_1376Sweet and Sour Turnip Greens! And no Morton Williams doesn’t carry fresh Turnips either!

IMG_1378Mater Pie, it wasn’t as good as Momma Mellor’s but considering I am up here fending for my southern life, I think it was just fine!

Have a good day and please if you can swing by the Cupboard or Little Tea Shop and tell Charlie and Sue respectively that Carbunkle misses them!

 

If you need Spices, Seasonings, Herbs, Salts, and Goo then visit Kalustyan’s Market on Lex

A while back I was with one of my cohorts selling tour bus tickets to the tourists. He is a native New Yorker and were discussing the difference between Southern and Northern food. He told me that some New Yorkers think that Southern food can be too spicy and even went so far to tell me that even some New Yorkers think that Ketchup is too spicy. (If you hail from south of the Mason Dixson line and are reading this and wondering if I am fucking with you, I promise that I am not!) He told me that he was getting into hot sauces and found a great one from Belize called Marie Sharp. My ears perked up saying that I was familiar with this brand and asked where he picked some up here in Manhattan. He gave me the address of a place on Lex at E28th Street in the Indian section of Murray Hill.

This past weekend I ventured out in the rain and cold to acquire some Marie Sharp since the bottle we got on our last trip to Belize ran out. Ironic that it was almost one year to the date but needless to say I had to get some more hot sauce. I find Kalustyan’s on Lexington and make my way into this sprawling joint. This place is probably 3 storefronts because you walk into different rooms with shelves of all kinds of different spices, seasonings, marinades, and stuff I have no idea what is in a bottle. I find the Hot Sauce section and pick up my Marie Sharp and was amazed that everything was well before the expiration date. This is a common problem I find when someone has a huge variety of Hot Sauce because they can’t get good rotation on everything.

I am standing there and one of the managers comes up to me and we start talking about the store. She tells me that they do more spice and seasoning business for restaurants here in Manhattan than anyone. They get daily shipments in from different purveyors to make sure what they have on the shelf is fresh and listen to their customers. We started talking about the Marie Sharps and she told me that it is one of their better sellers for Latin American restaurants and for Belizeans living in New York. I explain to her my history with the country and how I am always trying different things. She recommends their Spice and Herb book and shows me a couple tricks that you can do in the kitchen to create different flavors. I agree and pay cash for everything. Typical New York Establishment, you can use a card but Cash is King and you get better discounts.

IMG_0580Some of these hot sauces were pretty funny. I stuck with what I knew. Marie Sharps

IMG_0581Need Pink Salt in Bulk? The square on the right is 16X16

IMG_0583Yep, I made some Eggs the next morning and lit it up!

That was it for pictures as they Manager told me that they prefer that people don’t take pictures. I respect that but I will be back!

 

“Let me tell you about this Fish”

Fourth of July holiday weekend, time to count the number of Emergency Room visits where the injured’s persons last words were “Hold my Beer and Watch This!” As I type this,  yesterday the overhyping news agencies were reporting that an explosion went off in Central Park and the city was in lock down. It was more like someone was trying to set off a homemade firework in broad daylight and skillet (haven’t used that term in a while) blew off part of his foot. This 3 day weekend we were going to stay in town and had plans on each day with friends in a different part of the city. Saturday morning we arise and head to Penn Station to catch a 10:50 train to Wantagh Long Island to hang with our friends RP & MC. Now this is our first trip to Long Island and I have to say, it is rather nice and I see the attraction for people who have families and a need grass and a backyard.

We arrive at Casa de P and head to the backyard where he has a great pool and entertaining patio deck. Because the Monkey heads are good with other dogs we were allowed to bring them and they enjoyed the trip on the LIRR. In addition to burgers and dogs our host had prepared a whole Yucatan Style Red Snapper for us to have for dinner. To say that this was impressive is an understatement! We enjoyed our afternoon and evening with tons of stories and some good ball busting. What a great way to start the 4th of July holiday weekend!

IMG_15879lbs with the head and guts removed on the grill. The Tomato ragu covering the fish takes 3 hours alone to prepare. Ahem RJ you paying attention? This could be a good dish that Katie can make us for dinner one night.

IMG_1590Cut that sucker up baby! We will chew 20 times to make sure there are no bones in it!

IMG_1595The Surgeon hard at work!

IMG_1597RP – “Bob I swear to God if you touch my fish one more Fecking time, I am going to cut you!”  Bob – “I got two words for you!”

IMG_1593That is a lot of fish!

IMG_1600I have never laughed so hard in my life that day! Such a good time!

IMG_1601The fish was good, I have had something similar at the Ritz in Aruba that was equally as good.

IMG_1581Kimmie terrorizing the Monkey Heads.

IMG_1602The “Asshole” getting to eat some of the fish

IMG_1603Maya – that big white dog turns his head and I am getting some of that fish!

IMG_1586Hadn’t seen him in 15 years!

Again thank you R & M for a great afternoon and evening!

 

 

 

BBQ 101 for The Northeastern Pitmasters

I am going to send this link to some of my work cohorts as I hope to shed some light on a very opinionated subject…Barbequing. You see there is a lot of confusion on this subject and maybe this worthless dribble of a blog can educate my fellow friends who live north of the Mason Dixon line on how to properly smoke meats.  First, as always, let me give you a back story and my credentials as a half ass Pitmaster. Here is what is kind of funny about how I learned how to BBQ in that I am in no way on or have been on a competition barbecue team. With my last employer in Memphis I worked closely with some of the greatest pitmasters in the business while running logistics for my employer. My BBQ mentors include Mike Mills, Amy Mills, Cary “Peg Leg” Bringle, Heath Riles, Myron Mixon, Tuffy Stone, Big Moe Cason, Ernie Mellor, Mike Rude, Joffre DiSabatino, Chunky Rinehart, Colin Gage, and the countless others that I have sat down and visited with over the years. The two common important gems that I took away from all of those listed above is that BBQ isn’t about time and temperature but more of a “touch and feel” and that “BBQ is an opinion so have fun with it!”

Let’s start shall we?

  • Selecting the Brand – Duroc Pig, Smithfield Brand, Wagyu Beef or Farm Raised? Have you guys ever listened to car guys argue about Chevy vs Ford? Same thing. Find something you are ok to purchase and if you screw up you may have to throw in the trash. Personally I would be pissed if I overcooked a Wagyu brisket because that would be an expensive mistake.
  • Cut of Shoulder meat – Whole Bone In Shoulder, New York Bone Out Shoulder or Boston Butt. Shoulders are larger and need more pit time as compared to a Boston Butt which is a portion of the shoulder. I say start small and then work your way up.
  • Cut of ‘Pork’ Rib – St Louis, Spare Rib or Baby Back cut of Ribs? Again play around with this and find something you like and have fun with it.
  • Brisket ‘beef’ – Point Cut, Flat, Whole? I am not much of a brisket guy, but as you can now gather, play around with it and have fun.
  • Chicken – Whole Fryer, Split Breast, Leg Quarter, Drummies, Wings, Boneless Skinless Breast or Tenderloin. I prefer a whole chicken because it normally is cheaper and more forgiving. You also can cook this on a grill if you need to. Hell I cooked some up down in Belize on Soup Cans!
  • Exotic Stuff – Bologna, Spam, Beef Ribs, Lamb, Wild Game, Fish and Vegetables – I have seen it all. Some good and some bad.

IMG_1303Hey Kid, you want to eat ribs today? Then you need to rub some mustard on these shoulders for Uncle CBT.

IMG_3580_55_1

Here is when I did some Chicken for a contest down in Belize. Yes those chickens are sitting up on beer and soup cans. The faces were courtesy of Shuffles formally of Changes in Latitudes

To Trim the fat or not? If so, how much?

  • Definitely pull the membrane from the underside of the ribs.
  • For Shoulders I say you should pull that fat cap off but I know guys who don’t do it so it is your call.
  • For Ribs you can do as little or as much as you want to and again it is your call.

Pre-Smoke prep to marinate, inject or leave it alone?

  • Marinades can include juice based liquids, dry seasoning and even salt curing the meat. Depends on what you like and what you are trying to achieve.  If you are going for a tropical themed meal you may marinate it in a sweet citrus juice as compared to a apple juice based marinate. Just a word to the wise, citrus based juice can discolor the raw meat a tad so play around with it.
  • Dry Rub Marinades – the practice where you would sprinkle a spice mixture on the raw meat and allow it to soak into the meat before smoking it. Another word to the wise, be knowledgeable about the spice mixture because if the first 3 ingredients have salt in to you may want to wash the meat off before putting it on the smoker. Nobody likes salty meat. #twss
  • Injecting the meat – again there are schools for and against this practice. I hear that Trump doesn’t inject his meat while Hillary does and poor Bernie Sanders is a vegetarian so pick your poison. I will tell you that Bologna and Spam don’t inject well so be careful.

The Smoker

  • Stick Burner, Charcoal, propane powered, electric powered, stack, water bath, Firebox powered, Kamado Ceramic, Big Green Egg, Backwoods Smoker, 55 Gallon Drum or Bathtub? You can spend as little or as much as you want to. I can spend hours on this subject and there are tons of options. I will say that I know firsthand that if you are trying to smoke meat in a cold climate you better have something that is insulated. More on that later.
  • The name of the game is to practice, practice, practice and then go watch someone smoke on their smoker. Again this is a very debatable subject. I used to have a Big Green Egg and I loved it. I had friends swear by their Backwood Smokers and even had some killer smoked meat on a Weber Kettle so it is very opinionated. There really is no wrong answer here guys and gials.

IMG_1307Classic Stick Burner with a offset Fire Box

IMG_2421_11_1Here is another version of a off set smoker but this one has a rotisserie in it to evenly cook all the meat.

 

Firing up the smoker

  • Whatever your choice of heat charcoal briquettes, lump charcoal, stick of wood, propane or even electric it is paramount you have something creating smoke. You are cooking this meat via heat and smoke so it has to be consistent.
  • Type of wood is also another debate; some swear by Hickory, some prefer Pecan, there are those who love fruit woods and there are even some pitmasters who prefer  mesquite. The name of the game is that you pick one and keep on it. Ernie Mellor preaches “raw meat takes the smoke.” So if you start cooking your ribs in an oven you are defeating the process. Same goes with “par boiling” ribs in water, are you cooking ribs or spaghetti noodles?
  • I have seen some pitmasters who would put garlic bulbs or even onions in the firebox so play around with this.
  • Here is where I debate with a lot of pitmasters in that after the first or second hour of smoking the meat wont take anymore smoke. Keep adding wood to the box and all you are doing is wasting money on the heat source.
  • Editors DISCLAIMER – I was helping my friends in the Atlantic City BBQ contest last fall by being the overnight watch guy. The ambient temperature was in the low 40’s and the two smokers we were using are considered “southern smokers” because they are not insulated and require a lot of heat to keep them going. (Translation – the firebox was roaring but the chamber where the meat was had a big temperature variance) I literally had to burn all the wood in those smokers to keep the temperature hot enough in the smokers. Seriously I considered cutting down the mast off of one of the sailboats that was in the nearby marina for more wood.

IMG_9218NEVER EVER USE LIGHTER FLUID! Say it with me NEVER USE LIGHTER FLUID

Time and Temp

  • Low and Slow? or High and Hard? The biggest thing is that you want internal cooking temperatures that are recognized by health department rules. Pork should be 145 to 160, Beef should be a minimum of 140. Chicken at least 165. How you get there is up to you.
  • I know guys who cook Shoulders for 16 hours, Brisket for 12 hours, and Ribs for 5 hours. Here is where that “touch and feel” comes into play. I recall working with Mike Mills for a vendor sponsored event and the morning of the demo he 86’d the shoulder. “The Shoulder just didn’t get to where I want it to be so we are not serving it” was what he told me. While he was doing the demo I snuck back and stuck an instant read thermometer into the shoulder and the shoulder registered an appropriate internal temp. That is why he is a World Champion folks. The man knows what he is doing.

To Mop, Wrap, Glaze, or Just leave it the F alone

  • Many schools of thought here folks. I know guys who “set it and forget it” and I know guys who spend hours mopping and filling this bottom chambers of their smokers with all kinds of excess dripping. It is your call but again play around with it. The Asian Fireman and I were smoking some shoulders a couple of weeks back and he looked at me like I was crazy when I said I wasn’t going to mop the shoulders we cooked this past weekend. I also am not a fan of injecting the meat but that is why we differ on our choice of president too.
  • Wrapping ribs and shoulders is the practice of wrapping the meat halfway through the cooking process and pouring in some liquid before sealing it up to allow the meat to steam. Lots of different schools of thoughts here so find something you like and go with it.

Gumbo to BBQ Fest 2012 144Good Friend and Pitmaster Ernie Mellor leading a demo at WCBCC

Gumbo to BBQ Fest 2012 152Legendary Grand Champion Mike Mills giving a talk about Sauces

7b748-037

One of the greatest places to ever smoke some meat. Here I am grilling some pineapple for my friends down in Belize.

Pull, Chop, Slice or Rip

  • I say to always pull the shoulder meat rather than chop and slice the brisket with the grain over rip it by slicing it against the grain rather than ripping it which means slicing against the grain. It’s your barbecue so you do what you want to do. There are no wrong answers here.

IMG_9118Boston Butt after slow smoking for 16 hours

IMG_9119I am a big proponent to long strands of Pulled Pork

Slaw, Beans Sauce and Fixins

  • Some will put slaw on their sandwich, some will put it on the side. There are no wrong answers here.
  • I would say that you need to not put sauce on the meat and let it ‘stand alone’. A common cheating method of food service places is to already sauce the meat because they have over cooked it. Let your guests decide.

IMG_9120Doesn’t that look good?

So when are we firing up the smoker?

Just Call us Ina and Jeffrey

Ok, let’s get one thing straight. You ever, ever call me Jeffrey I am punching someone in the throat or kicking them in the baby maker. I will admit that when we started watching “The Barefoot Contessa” I was not a fan. That voice, the doting of “Jeffrey will love these” and all the gay dinner guests would put me on the ledge. It wasn’t till Mrs. CBT made a couple of her dishes that I turned the other cheek. I believe it was at a Live at the Garden concert that she made some artichoke salad that really was killer. The only problem with the Ina’s menus is that you need to go knock off a bank because she cooks some expensive shit! Lobster, Caviar, Frozen Artichokes (which I may add is not available in Memphis) and cheeses that I have never heard about. Even my boy Tony Bourdain poked fun at Ina’s husband on his speaking tour “Jeffrey really loves his meatloaf, if you know what I mean.” Anyway when we moved up here I knew that we would be exposed to some new foods and naturally cuisines that one would not normally get in Memphis kind of like when we watch the show.

Mrs. CBT and I keep our expenses down so that we can visit all those Dive Bars and pay for many vacations by eating 90% of our meals at home. This also keeps our weight down since we try to eat more lean meat and we watch our portions. Let me stop you before you say “Way to go CBT” because in the pantry right next to the quinoa is a package of double stuffed Oreos because CBT is a fat kid at heart. Ever since I got relieved of my cooking duties (so I use a half a pound of butter when cooking) the menus are designed by Mrs. CBT. She takes great pride in creating the menus and I get to unpack the Fresh Direct boxes. This past Monday I get the Fresh Direct order and I am looking it over where I see under produce ‘Wild Ramps’.

“Honey, what the hell are Ramps?” I inquired to Mrs. CBT.

“They are very popular up here and are in season, Ina loves to cook with them.” She informed me from the other room.

“Honey, we are just getting into the spring, what the feck plant grows in the dead of the winter except for a weed?’ then I take a look in the box and what do I see…..a bunch of weeds that we just paid $6.00 bucks for.

So Mrs. CBT sautéed them up in the skillet with some “Good Olive Oil” and brown butter (you see what I did there KLC Man) and served them with Crab Cakes and oven roasted Asparagus with Lemon Zest. Now I consider myself a true adventurer when it comes to the cuisine up here in New York City. I will try everything at least once and rarely have gotten boinked. Well I found something out my friends. I am not a fan of Wild Ramps.

IMG_0972Here is the menu for the week

IMG_0973

Here is the Fresh Direct invoice, Wild Ramps??? I bet you guys have never seen that shit at Gangsta Kroger have you!

800px-Wild_Leeks

Here it is in all its glory. A wild ramp still with the loose soil on it.

20150416-ramps-top-image

Pic on the top right is what they looked like. Sadly I didn’t get a picture of the plate.

Again, you feckers call me Jeffrey and we are going to fight!