Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tailgating Prep: Patriots vs Bills

Tomorrow Matt and I are going to Foxboro to watch the Patriots make their record 3 and 0 at the expense of the Buffalo Bills. I'm pretty pumped because this is actually my first regular season game and I expect the atmosphere to be intense. The Bills haven't won a game this year and all signs are pointing to blow out, but it should be exciting regardless. The weather is going to be sunny and in the upper 70s, and the grilling is going to be epic.

We're going to try something new, since this is a 1pm game: breakfast on the grill. We expect to be at the stadium around 10am and firing up Matt's 22" Weber with a brand new griddle. I'm bringing pancake batter, eggs and home fries. We expect to spend another two hours grilling post-game, while we wait for the traffic to clear and enjoy the rest of the afternoon. A visual preview...

I never would have thought you could improve on my bacon jalapeno poppers. Well it turns out you can, to the tune of mixing chopped bacon and sharp cheddar into the cream cheese before stuffing them. I may die of cardiac arrest at 30, but at least I can say that I got to eat these.



Some boneless country pork ribs, rubbed and ready for the grill:

Boneless Ribs

Some Patriot's endorsed brats:

Patriot's Endorsed Beer Brats

And some buffalo chicken wings, because why not:

Chicken Wings

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Posted by Nat Tarbox. 3 comments

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Fourth of July Beach Cookout

Grilling on the beach was something I'd really been looking forward to doing this year, and it did not disappoint. Around 5pm the wind started to pick up a little and cleared away all the sun bathers, so we though it would be a good time to light the coals. It was slightly challenging getting coals started in direct wind without the charcoal chimney I normally use. Once the flame caught I put the lid back on leaving a 2 inch game over the side with the coals banked. This in conjunction with the side air vents on the Smokey Joe Gold seemed to keep things burning.

Take that, offshore winds!

I wanted to let the ribs smoke for at least an hour, using the apple wood chips I had found in the local hardware store. To tide us over, I made some kabobs with fresh pineapple, onion, peppers and shrimp. These cooked real fast, and kept us entertained while some more of that delicious corn we had on sunday was streaming. One thing I noticed was that the shrimp readily absorbed the smokey flavor and also dried out rather quickly. I'm not sure if this was because they were on the small size for grilling, or if it was because they had been pre-cooked when we bought them. Either way, I'm going to have to delve into shrimp grilling a little bit more and try to crack this. The fresh pineapple was delicious as usual.

I guess thats the cool thing to do now?

The ribs cooked for just about an hour and a half, with the rub forming a delicious looking crust. I brushed them down with some Sweet Baby Ray's honey bbq sauce and let that caramalize for another 15 minutes. Just as we were getting ready to take them off a few drops of rain sizzled on the grill lid. As we got the ribs inside it just started to pick up so we dodged a bullet and enjoyed our meal while watching the storm go by.

Ribs and Corn

Delicious Ribs

Please note Cassie's delicious home made sangria in the above photo. The ribs were delicious, with just enough of a smoke ring around the inside to convince myself that one can take a serious stab at doing actual barbecue on a grill, even a small one like the Smokey Joe.

//update: the Flickr photo group Bar-B-Qued Ribs asked for me to submit that photo to them! Super cool, check out all the food porn they've collected.

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Posted by Nat Tarbox. 0 comments

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Recipe: Nat's Infamous Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

These spicy little badboys make for a great appetizer while you're indirectly cooking the main course. Its very important to use a drip tray when cooking these, otherwise the dripping bacon grease will turn your grill into a raging fireball.

• 8 Jalapenos
• One package of cream cheese
• One package of bacon
• Garlic salt (optional)
• Toothpicks


Cut the stems off your peppers and slice them in half lengthwise. Remove all the seeds from the inside and rinse. The seeds are what make peppers hot, so if you're a practical joker you can leave some inside a few of the peppers and try to guess who ends up with them later on. Take a spoon and fill your pepper halfs level to the top with cream cheese. If you like, dust the tops with garlic salt. This can be a nice flavor touch, but these guys are so bad for you already you may want to skip this part.

Split down the middle

Seeds removed

Stuffed with cream cheese

For the short peppers, cut a strip of bacon in half. Wrap it around the pepper and secure in place with a toothpick at each end. For the longer peppers you may need to use a full piece of bacon. Try to cover the entire length of the open half of the pepper with bacon so that the cream cheese won't drip out when cooking.

Secure one end and wrap


If you have the foresight, soaking the toothpicks in water for half an hour prevent them from catching fire on the grill if you have a flare up. This is a nicety, not a necessity.

Put a foil drip tray next to or on top of your coals. Arrange the peppers over the drip tray and let them cook. Cooking times vary depending on how close to your coals you've placed these, but I generally let them cook for around 15 minutes, turning a few times over the course. It can be tough to tell when bacon is done on the grill so pull a few off to test.

Jalapeno poppers and turkey burgers

Makes 16 poppers. Serves 4-5.

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Posted by Nat Tarbox. 6 comments