Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

What a fantastic day spent with family and friends. Everything turned out great. Please see my Flickr set- Thanksgiving 2007, for a complete photo accounting of the prep and final presentation.

The holidays are here. Let's enjoy in peace, love, harmony and always with a great meal.

Cauliflower Faux Potatoes and Spiral Ham

Carved Smoked Turkey

Southern Greens

Mac and Cheese, Corn Pudding
Candied Yams (top left)

Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread Unmolded

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007 Dinner Prep Progress

Boy, what a day! I did take the day off from work to get ahead of the game. I was busy all day with last minute purchases, prepping, and putting the finishing touches on my Buckboard Bacon cure. Oh yea, I don't think I mentioned this here before but here's the link to pictures of the 10 day cure process and smoking to 140 degrees on the WSM at 200 degrees. Using a pork loin, I got Canadian Bacon and yes, it taste great.

I completed the turkey brine, rinse, injection and placed the turkey in the refrigerator overnight uncovered for skin to dry. Supposedly leaving the turkey uncovered in the refrigerator will allow the skin to dry, thus when I cover it with a cheese cloth soaked in butter and mojo criollo marinade just prior to the smoke, the turkey skin will be less rubbery, flavorful and nicely browned. Can't wait.

Results to follow.

I made the Macaroni and Cheese, Corn Pudding, Dressing and Candied Sweet Potatoes today. See attached link for some picts of the processes. Tomorrow (Thanksgiving)'ll complete the rest of my menu.

Monday, November 19, 2007

No Turducken This Year

I received a few inquiries regarding preparing a turducken for Thanksgiving. I decided two years in a roll is enough so I'm just going to smoke a plain bird this year. However, I included the link below to my previous years prep for those interested.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner Prep 4 Days to Go

I completed all my shopping Saturday except for some produce I'll buy later this week. I have a 20 pound turkey thawing in the refrigerator. It should be ready to brine Tuesday night.

What did I do today? I prepared a cooked cranberry relish and I mixed the dry ingredients for my turkey brine.

Basic brine is 1 cup of table salt or 2 cups kosher salt per 1 gallon of water. You can add other ingredients based on the the taste you want to convey to the turkey. I am adding 1 cup brown sugar, 2 T dry Maple syrup powder,plus an array of dry herbs, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. The dry herbs include thyme, rosemary and coriander seeds. I measured the brine ingredients today so that I can just add to a gallon of water, simmer to dissolve the salt and sugar, then cool in the refrigerator Monday night, then add the Turkey Tuesday night for a 24 hour brine chilled to less than 40 degrees in a large igloo cooler.

My cooked cranberry relish includes 12 oz fresh cranberries, 2 oranges which I zest for 2 T peel, 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup water, 2 T Grand Marnier, orange supremes from the two oranges, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and 1/4tsp salt.

I added the salt,sugar and water plus orange zest in a sauce pan. This is cooked over moderate heat to dissolve the sugar. The cranberries are washed and then added to the sugar mixture. This is cooked til the cranberries pop- about 10 minutes. I add the orange supremes and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and simmer for an additional 5 mninutes. The Grand Marnier is added after the sauce cools.

The cranberry relish is allowed to cool and then refigerated. This will keep for about a week refrigerated.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Fried Fish and Grits

Saturday night and G requested fried fish and grits for dinner. Comfort food for the deep sea fisherman. Simply took some cleaned, scaled and thawed Rock Cod he caught during a recent fishing trip, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic salt then covered in some seasoned flour (more salt, pepper and garlic salt) then fried. Yum. Even I who rarely eats the fish I cook found this fish heavenly.

Grits also simple food. Quick grits prepared per package directions with butter added.
Cast iron skillet on outdoor gas burner.
Vegetable oil at 360 and fish pieces frying.
Whole small Rock Cod frying
Finished pieces ready to serve

Grits with a dab of butter
Green Salad with Avocado and Tomatoes
Fried Fish and Grits balanced with a Green Salad

Count down to preparation of Thanksgiving dinner. Stay tuned for a Soul Fusion prep and serving. This year my menu is simple and back to my family requested standards. Yes, any deviation and I have the wrath of my sibling, nieces, nephews, mother and hubby to deal with. I'll post the prep later this week.

Just a little preview on the turkey which will be brined one day before being smoked in my WSM at a temperature of 250-300 for 5-7 hours or until breast tempo of 160 and thigh temp of 180. Turkey will be dressed in cheesecloth soaked in butter/white wine. Cherrywood for flavor.

Smoked Turkey

Spiral Sliced Ham

Southern Greens

Mac and Cheese

Corn Pudding

Green bean casserole with oyster mushrooms

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Cauliflower Smash

Creamed Spinach (maybe)

Monkey Bread

Sweet potato Pie

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Being the lady that I am, I hesitate to say what the abbreviation ABT stands for other than to say that when you take something hot like a jalapeno and stuff it, eat it and the next day the end result is like an "Atomic Bomb T---". ABTs are standard fare for treats or hor d'hoerves served at a many bbq events. The only limiting step to making a great ABT is your own creativity. Stuff a jalapeno and wrap it with any smokey pork like bacon and you have an ABT.

In contrast to the usual way of doing ABTs which is to remove the stem and stuffing them from the top, I cut a slit down the length of the jalapeno (borrowed the idea from a Brethren). I used a very small melon baller to scrape out all the seeds and membranes. I purchased two dozen jalapenos. No measured recipe for the contents but just some grated sharp cheddar cheese mixed with cream cheese [used the whole 8 oz package] (more cheddar than cream cheese).

I also had some hard salame that I sliced into 1/8 to less than 1/4 inch wide slivers of about an inch and a half length.

I stuffed the peppars with the salame sliver and then the cream cheese/cheddar to fill. The bacon was cut in half lenghtwise and then wrapped around the pepper starting at the top and pulled around to loop around the open slit. No toothpicks needed. I did have some leftover cheese mixture to be used for something else like stuffing a fattie.

When you smoke them make sure the side with the slit is facing upward to better prevent the cheese from oozing out. I cooked them on the WSM at about 275 til the bacon was browned.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

More On a Great BBQ Competition- La Quinta Nov 3, 2007

See Sylvie's Flickr Photos of La Quinta's Blues, Brews and BBQ event

See Big Mista's Photobucket

See Steph's Photos here

Results IBCA La Quinta 2007- OVERALL
1 Kyles Emery, 33, Kyles Bubba Q Grand Champion
2 Neil Strawder, 31, Four Q BBQ Reserve Grand Champions
3 Bill Emery (new member),24, Brother Bills BBQ
4 Dan Powers, 23, BBQ2DI4
5 Steph Franklin, 22, Simply Marvelous
6 Mike Rieman,21, Az Barbeque/Whiskey Ranch
7 Brian Kriesler,19, Blast Off BBQ
8 James Emery, 16, J and L Smokin BBQ
9 John Scott,15, Papas Smokhouse
10 Dale Ginos, 13, When Pigs Fly

1 Kyles Bubba Q
2 AZ Barbeque/Whiskey Ranch
3 Four Q BBQ
4 Brother Bills BBQ
5 Simply Marvelous
6 J and L Smokin BBQ
7 When Pigs Fly
8 Blast Off
9 Papas Smkehouse
10 BBQ 2DI4

2 J and L Smokin
3 Kyles Bubba Q
4 Blast Off
5 Four Q BBQ BBQ
6 Papa Smokhouse
7 Brother Bills
8 Simply Marvelous
9 AZ Barbeque/Whiskey Ranch
10 When Pigs Fly

1 Kyles Bubba Q
2 Brother Bills BBQ
3 Four Q BBQ
4 Blast Off
5 BBQ 2DI4
6 Papa Smoke House
7 When Pigs
8 Simply marvelous
9 AZ Barbeque/Whiskey Ranch
10 J and L Smoking

1 Simply Marvelous
2 Four Q BBQ
3 AZ Barbecue/ Whiskey Ranch
4 When Pigs Fly
5 BBQ 2DI4
6 Kyles Bubba Q
7 Brother Bills
8 Papas Smokhouse
9 Blast Off
10 J and L Smokin

Saturday, November 03, 2007