Monday, November 16, 2009

Pulled Pork Sandwiches


In Texas, beef is king of barbecue, so it was no surprise that my search for the best "Texas Style" pulled pork recipes led me across state lines. I found Carolina style, and North Carolina style, I found pulled pork in Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia and even some recipes that claim to be "southern style", but no true traditional "Texas Style" pulled pork.

I searched Google, I search Wikipedia, I searched food blogs, recipe books and even restaurant websites, but still, no pulled pork recipes claiming to be "Texas Style".

So I ask myself this, What is pulled pork?

Answer: Pulled pork is more of a method of cooking pork, rather than a specific style. The specific claim to style or flavor comes from the sauces and/or the way its served in different regions.



In all the recipes I found, all use pork butt or Boston butt cooked over slow, smoky heat for an extended period of time, slowly softening the connective tissues of the meat so that it can be pulled apart by hand. Once pulled apart, the pork is then mixed with barbecue sauce held warm till served.




Sunday, November 8, 2009

I'll Have Bacon, Eggs & Toast, Upside Down Please!

Tired of the same'ol breakfast? Turn your breakfast up a notch, or at least turn it upside down!


Here's a great French Toast recipe, that's sure to get you Head-Over-Heels!


Upside-Down Apple & Bacon French Toast














Servings: 6 - 8

Prep Time: 20 – 25 minutes

Bake Time: 40 – 45 minutes

 

Utensils:

1 small skillet

1 large oven proof skillet (a cast iron skillet works best, if available) or 1 non-stick baking dish

1 shallow dish (large enough to fit bread slices, while soaking)

Whisk

Vegetable peeler

Knife

 

Ingredients

French toast:

·         5 eggs
·         ¾ cup heavy cream (½ cup for egg mixture, ¼ cup to whip into caramelized sugar)
·         ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (¼ teaspoon for egg mixture, ¼ teaspoon for topping)
·         6 slices thick sliced bread
·         ½ stick butter, cubed
·         1 cup light brown sugar, plus ¼ teaspoon for topping
·         3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices
·         6 slices apple wood smoked bacon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut bacon into small pieces. In a small skillet, cook, drain fat and set aside.
In a shallow dish, add eggs, ½ cup heavy cream and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined then lay the bread slices in egg mixture and allow it to be completely absorbed. Make sure both sides are completely coated.
In a large, seasoned, cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the butter and brown sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is caramelized. Remove from heat and gently whisk in the remaining ¼ cup heavy cream. Layer in the apple slices so there is a flat surface and sprinkle in bacon pieces. Next, arrange the soaked bread slices over the top so it is completely covered, you should be able to arrange the slices in a circular fan style, so there are no gaps. Or, if using a baking dish, lay flat side to side. Sprinkle the top with the remaining brown sugar and cinnamon and place into a 350 degree F, preheated oven. Let, bake on the center rack for about 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes then invert onto a large serving plate. Slice and serve.


Monday, November 2, 2009

How Fast Can You Cook Ribs?





This recipe is so quick and easy even the most novice cook can make tangy, spicy, tender ribs, just as if they were slow cooked for hours. 





Quick & Easy Baby Back Ribs w/ Mustard BBQ Sauce


Servings: 4 – 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 – 50 minutes


Ingredients:


3 - 4 Racks Baby Back Ribs


Boiling Liquid:
1 Gallon Water
1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
¼ Cup Worcestershire Sauce


Mustard Rib Sauce:
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire Sauce
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon mesquite seasoning (or hickory seasoning)

Directions:



Combine ribs and boiling liquid in a large pot and boil on a high, rapid boil for 30 – 40 minutes.


While ribs are boiling, mix all sauce ingredients together in a small sauce pan and let simmer for 5 – 10 minutes to allow all flavors to combine.


Remove ribs from the liquid and place them bone side down on a sheet pan. Next, pat dry with a paper towel and brush with sauce, covering both sides.


Place ribs on a hot grill (indoor or outdoor) and cook to add a slight char and sauce is caramelized. Approximately 5 - 7 minutes on each side.



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Steak: Keeping It Simple


I'm always in the mood for steak. Sometimes I marinate, sometimes I rub, I like steak with sauces and reductions. I like steaks fried and I like steaks broiled, but any true steak lover will tell you, nothing beats the smoky, charred flavor of a great, grilled steak.



Mesquite Smoked, Grilled NY Strip Steak

Ingredients:

NY Strip Steaks
Mesquite Wood Chips
Aluminum Foil
Salt
Pepper
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Butter

Directions:

Season the steaks with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Place steaks flat on a sheet pan and allow them to rest unrefrigerated for half hour to an hour. This will allow the steak to relax, tenderize and absorb the seasoning.



Place a handful of wood chips in the center of a piece of foil and fold into a pouch and poke a few holes on the top. Prepare the grill as usual and bring to a low temperature of about 125F - 145F degrees. Place the pouch directly on the flame and allow the chips to start smoking.



Next, place the steaks on the grill away from the direct flame. Tightly close the lid and smoke the steaks for 15 - 20 minutes. Then turn temperature to medium-high and grill steaks till finished, about 5 - 8 minutes on each side. Removed from grill, cover and allow to rest 4 to 5 minutes before cutting.