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.

Innovation

Poppers

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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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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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Prepping for the Fourth

We are really looking forward to having a nice cookout on the beach for the Fourth of July. Today we took a walk down to the market and picked up some supplies needed with the following menu in mind:
• Babyback ribs, to fulfill my mission discussed previously
• Shrimp and pineapple kabobs
• Fresh corn
• Homemade sangria (Cassie's specialty)

The kabobs are intended to be a quick-cookin snack to keep us happy around the grill while the ribs can slow cook their way to deliciousness. I followed the trimming and prepping instructions from amazingribs.com to prep the ribs, and also cut the rack in half so it would fit on the Smokey Joe without a problem:

Trimmed Ribs

I found a pre-made pork rub at the store, not ideal but better then buying all the spices and other ingredients for a homemade rub in bulk and then leaving them at the beach house to never be used again. It went on pretty well so I have good expectations for it.

Rubs!

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Taking a Run at some Serious Ribs

In the run up to Memorial Day we stumbled into some fantastic ribs purely by chance. The ribs had been an afterthought at the store, the rub had been assembled out of on-hand ingredients the day of the cookout, and the sauce was whatever we could find in the fridge and stretch out with some molasses and ketchup. The ribs were thrown on the back of the grill and forgotten for a few hours while we cooked a number of other items. In short, we ignored and/or blatantly broke every rule for smoking ribs on a grill. And yet, as noted in the relevant blog post, they ended up being amazing, and probably the highlight of the entire grill-a-thon. BBQ is a series of happy accidents.

This weekend, with a weather forecast for "awesome", I'm looking forward to trying some ribs utilizing the techniques outlined on amazingribs.com, specifically their detailed instructions on smoking ribs with a Weber kettle (and if you haven't been paying attention, we've recently been adding links such as amazingribs.com to the new Links section of the blog). The plan as of now is to try out this maple chipotle sauce I've had my eye on, and combine it with the Memphis Magic Dust rub for some extra spicy flavor.

As a side note, the ever excellent video blog Townie News, home of Fitzy Fitzgerald and covering all relevant Boston sports news, featured an excellent commentary on two critical components to a successful summer: beer and grilling. check it out (crude language and humor, but if you're reading this blog that shouldn't be a problem right?).

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