Friday, December 14, 2007


Julie's photography just keeps taking us places! In this case, we found ourselves in Negril, Jamaica. My interests, of course, quickly led me to Biggs Jerk Chicken. It's a stand that stays in front of the Blue Mountain Coffee Shop.

Man, does this guy know how to make great jerk chicken! He told me that he seasons everything at home about four hours before it's time to cook. Then he goes out to the stand and works his magic.

As soon as Mr. Bigg started to grill, that unmistakable smell of chicken over charcoal filled the air. Eventually, I could smell that jerk seasoning as well. It was making me crazy! I was more than ready to eat.

The chicken was served with bread in a piece of foil and tasted as good as it smelled....I have to say it was the highlight of the trip. If you ever find yourself in the area, make sure you stop by and pay Mr. Bigg a visit. It'll be a stop you won't regret!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Atlanta, GA!

On a recent trip to Atlanta, my wife and I found ourselves in Atlantic Station. Being in town for only a few hours, we wanted to see what kind of food Atlanta had to offer. We found ourselves at a place called Strip.

I doesn't sound like a nice place at all! But this was a very modern restaurant that specialized in Steak and Sushi.

For our appetizer, I tried rare tuna steak for the first time...and it quickly became a favorite of mine. Here, it was seared with a spicy crust and served with wontons, avocado, cucumbers, and nori salad.

I then ordered the fresh fish of the day, grilled of course, and they brought it out as a wonderful sandwich.

The sandwich itself was very simple, it was grilled red snapper, tomato, and tartar sauce on a toasted bun. It must have have been the best fish sandwich I've had in my life.

If I'm ever back in Atlanta, I know I'll have to drop in again!

Friday, August 31, 2007

This Holiday Weekend...

Okay, friends...
We have a three day weekend ahead and for many of us, that means grilling. Here are a few tips and fun things you can try if you are planning a cookout.

First is this, which applies to all meats. Remember that when you remove a piece of meat from the heat source, the internal temperature will keep rising for a while. Also, the heat has forced all of the juices into the center of the meat. This means that as soon as you cut into it, it'll all come out in a rush. It may make a steak look tasty, but it would be even better all that flavor was actually inside the meat!

If you are planing on serving bratwurst, why not try a bratwurst hot tub? Get a disposable aluminum containter. Pour in some beer, or your favorite soft drink, and some sliced onions, jalapeƱos, and crushed garlic. When you are done cooking the brats turn of the heat in the center of the grill (if using charcoal, use a large spatula to move the coals out to the sides). and place the container in the center, away from direct heat. Putting the brats in there will keep them from drying out and getting cold. When someone comes back later for seconds, the bratwurst will be hot, juicy, and full of flavor.

Lastly, if you plan on doing a brisket or pork shoulder...cure it the night before. Spread a thin layer of mustard (I do mean puting on sunblock), and coat it with your favorite rub. Let it sit in the fridge for 12-24 hours. Mix a mop sauce....use the same mix as the bratwurst hot tub, but whisk in mustard, ketchup, and distilled white vinegar. Every hour, when you open the smoker to replenish your woodchips, use a bbq mop or a silicone brush to thoroughly wet the top surface of the meat. This will help keep it from drying out.

Feel free to email me with any questions at any time, and I'll answer them the best I can.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Bahamas!

I just returned from a trip to the Bahamas, where
I enjoyed a lot of good food. While, I had a hard time finding barbecue there (I was confined to the resort area), I did have a lot of great food, most of it with a new twist. Here I am enjoying Banana Pancakes and Coconut French Toast.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Grilling Veggies!

Vegetables on the grill can be done in many ways. Of course, the method you use depends greatly on what it is you want to cook. Here are a couple that I use frequently.

First is the "raft" method for grilling asparagus. Break off the asparagus ends. Drive a wooden skewer through four or five aspagaragus spears crosswise, near the bottom. Now drive another one through the asparagus, this time, near the top of the trunk. Cover the raft in sesame oil on both side and sprinlke heavily with sesame seeds. Grill it directly until the asparagus is soft and lightly blackened, and you're in business.

The other method I enjoy using is the foil pouch. This is a good method to use when you want to grill items that may be hard to grill due to size and/or shape. This includes broccoli, celery, carrots, or a combination of the three.There are more specific instructions on how to do this in How to Grill. Basically, you form a pouch out of heavy duty aluminum foil, folding each edge twice before creasing it. This seals it pretty well. When there is only one side open, put in your vegetables, along with some soy sauce, butter, and a bit of water, then seal the opening. Grill the packet directly. Be sure to puncture the top to let out steam or it will burst. Give the bag an occasional rough shake with a pair of tongs, being careful not to tear it. When you have grilled long enough (10-15 minutes) the bag will have taken on an inflated look. Carefully remove it from the grill and open it, keeping your face away from the escaping steam. You now have delicious vegetables off the grill!

These are my favorite methods. There are more, but these are the ones most effective for me. Of course there's much more that can be done...take a look at the smoked cabbage on the site for instance. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you have fun!

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Very Special Dinner Guest

She is known for her contributions to NPR and for her time spent as a writer and cast member of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Her name is Mary Jo Pehl, and last night, she was a dinner guest in my home.

She and her boyfriend, Ronald, are in town for Ronald's corporate training. The two have been staying in a corporate apartment, and eating corporate cafeteria food for a week. Since I had met Ronald online, and he had seen my website, He accepted my invitation to dinner.

I grilled four personal pizzas using real mozzerella cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and cabarnet marinera. This was followed by Oaxaca style grilled corn, and grilled chicken breasts marinated in Steven Raichlen's, "The Only Marinade You'll Ever Need".

The chicken was the hit of the night. "It's like butter!" She commented as she cut into the plump, juicy chicken breast. The chicken was tender as could be, and tasted wonderful.

This was followed by grilled pound cake. Ronald commented before leaving, "You really are a grillslinger."

By the time the two of them left for the night, Mary Jo was asking about what kind of grill to buy, and she left with a copy of Indoor Grilling, which she couldn't wait to read.

It's great to spread the joy of grilling!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Burger Time!

During the summer, more people will be at their grills. Most of them, if not all of them, will be making burgers. Here is my favorite way to make a great burger.
Make a's a link to my favorite one, created by Steven Raichlen. Make a patty. Don't skimp. Use about 1/2 lb. Make a hole in the center. This will help keep the patty from bunching up, and will help it cook more evenly in the middle. Sprinkle the patty generously with the rub and pat it into the meat. Put it in the fridge for about 3-4 hours.

Light up your grill. Use a paper towel to rub some olive oil or vegetable oil onto the grates before they heat up. If they're already hot, use tongs to hold the paper towel. When the grates are hot, roast an Annaheim pepper until it blackens on both sides. Wrap it in a paper towel afterwards for about 15 minutes and then remove the skin. By now, it should have separated from the surface of the pepper. chop the pepper and, if you want, remove the seeds.

Throw your burger patty on. Cook 6-8 minutes per side, depending on thickness and how you want it cooked. DO NOT SLAP THE PATTY WITH A SPATULA. That will make you lose juices, and these will ignite below and cause flare-ups. The result? A dry burger. Only flip it once. Remember that if it is sticking to the grate, it is not seared enough. Give it a bit longer. As soon as you flip the patty, add your chopped peppers, and top them with a slice of your favorite cheese.

Toast your bread on the grates or warming rack. Check each piece frequently, as some parts of the grill will be hotter than others. Toast both sides and use bread with sesame seeds...they will also toast and add a whole new flavor. If you are cooking on charcoal, throw some hickory chips on top of your coals. Bread absorbs smoke quickly....and a burger with smoked bread....mmmmmm.....

When done, assemble your burger with whatever condiments you enjoy. If you use lettuce, put it on the bottom bun. This will help keep the burger's juices from sogging up the bread. Finally, enjoy your burger!
It may seem like there's a lot to do here, but with the compliments you'll get, it'll be well worth it.