Saturday, July 25, 2009

See You later Tony C

My son is headed back to New York from a summer break to complete his studies in the BPS program at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. He insisted on taking his car and thus a cross country adventure. This is a 2800 plus mile drive. We put together a GPS unit,maps,Map Quest and AAA mapped out directions for him along with snacks, water and a general care package to support the trip.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Smoked Pork Chops Buckboard Bacon Cured

Nearly two years ago I posted a Buckboard Bacon Cured Pork Loin prepared during the Thanksgiving holidays which expectedly resulted in slices of pork remniscent of Canadian Bacon. The picture link to that process can be found here.

Last week I began curing some bone in pork chops. The 10 day process being complete, I decided to smoke the pork chops on a 22 inch Weber kettle versus my WSM. Hi Mountain Buckbacon directions suggest smoking the meat to an internal temp of 140 degress. For the Canadian Style Bacon I followed the directions knowing these slices would be further cooked. For the pork chops, I smoked them to an internal temp of 160.

A special meal my mother use to prepare was smoked pork chops. She didn't bother with smoking the meat. She instead purchased these from the local grocery store of the times. The chops as purchased were thin compared to the chops I cured (1/2 to 3/4 inch thick). None the less, my chops brought back those remembrances. They had a smokey flavor, tender and moist. Yum.

P.S. I got my camera battery recharger replacement. Yippee.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I Miss My Camera

I lost the battery recharger for my camera. This had to happen over a week where I cooked a number of very good meals. The good thing is that I did order online a new battery charger. The not so good part is that I won't get it until later this coming week. Just venting. I miss my camera.

I am also trying to get into Twitter. I am @sylvie1950 in case you are interested in my random status reports.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Four Q BBQ Teammate Making it Big With Fresh and Easy

My teammate was recently hired by Fresh and Easy to promote grilling and products from Fresh and Easy. Below is a press release promoting Big Mista as the grilling expert that he is. He is also reknowned for his BBQ and smoking good meat.

The press release offers some grilling tips which will come in handy for your backyard cooking over the 4th of July weekend.


Fresh & Easy partners with award-winning grilling expert to offer tips for the perfect BBQ

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is partnering with grilling expert “Big Mista” to share tips for this 4th of July holiday. Neil Strawder, also known as Big Mista, is a Long Beach, California-based grill expert who is sharing some of his award-winning barbecue secrets to impress family and friends at the upcoming cookouts.

“Anyone can put a piece a meat on a grill,” says Big Mista. “But if you want that tender, melt in your mouth flavor, there are a few simple techniques that will guarantee a delicious barbecue.”

Grill – Buying an expensive grill will not make your barbecued food taste better. Find a kettle grill at a local supply or hardware store for less than $50. This classic grill distributes heat more evenly and when the lid is on, it holds in the flavor-enhancing smoke from the grease or smoking wood added to the charcoal fire.

Fire Management – You don’t need a big fire to barbecue. Use 15 coals for chicken and 20 coals for steaks and burgers. Never use lighter fluid as it leaves a chemical taste on the meat. The secret to a great barbecue is a chimney grill starter, which is a tool to heat the coals that is also available at supply or hardware stores. Place the coals on the top chamber and place newspaper on the bottom chamber. Light the newspaper with a match and in fifteen minutes the coals are ready to use.

Coal Placement – Place all coals on one side of the grill. Slow cook the meat with the indirect heat on the opposite side of the grill. Then crisp the skin with the direct heat. This allows for meat to cook thoroughly, preventing a burnt outside and a raw inside.

Wood Chips – Add hickory, apple-wood, cherry-wood or mesquite-wood chips to the coals to infuse flavors into the meat. Wrap a hand-full of wood chips in foil, poke holes through the tent and place it on top of the coals.

5. Brine – To get chicken as tender and juicy as possible, Big Mista recommends soaking it in

brine which is made up of:

1/2 cup salt

1/2cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon allspice

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1/2 gallon of water

Put all ingredients in a large plastic bag or a 16-quart pot and soak chicken for up to four hours in the refrigerator. Discard the brine and then rinse the chicken, pat dry with paper towels, and rub it with a flavorful marinade.

Savory Rub – A basic rub that can be used on any type of meat with great results is created by combining the following ingredients:
4 parts kosher salt
4 parts garlic powder
2 parts black pepper
1 part cayenne

Pineapple Coleslaw – Big Mista is sharing the recipe to his very popular side dish that compliments any barbecued meat. This pineapple coleslaw is a guaranteed hit at cookouts.
1 bag pre-shredded cabbage
1 can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar

Pour the juice from pineapple into a bowl. Add the vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar. Mix and set aside. This is the dressing. Put the pineapple in a large bowl with the cabbage. Pour in the dressing and toss well.

When it comes to getting your grilling meats and sides, Fresh & Easy has you covered. A few customer favorites include:

fresh&easy Grill Pack - over 4½ pounds of quarter-pound beef patties, chili-seasoned chicken thighs or drumsticks and Italian pork sausages $5.99*
Buxted Pork Spare Ribs $1.59/lb*
fresh&easy BBQ Macaroni Salad $3.99/30oz*
Taurino Beer $12.99 for two 12 pack bottles*
fresh&easy 9” Apple Pie $3.99 each*

*Promotional prices valid from July 1st through July 7th while supplies last. Promotional price for Taurino beer is valid when purchasing multiples of two.

About Neil Strawder, a.k.a. Big Mista

Seasoned griller, Neil Strawder, a.k.a. Big Mista, has been competing in California barbecue festivals since 2005. He has won numerous awards for perfecting his briskets, pulled-pork and ribs. His catering business, Bigmista’s Barbecue, has had a following at Farmer’s Markets around Los Angeles County. To contact Neil Strawder, visit his Web site

About Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market

At roughly 10,000 square feet, Fresh & Easy markets are smaller than the typical supermarket to give customers a faster, easier shopping experience. In addition to fresh, high-quality prepared meals and produce, Fresh & Easy offers everyone’s favorite national brand products and household items, all at budget prices. More information regarding Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market can be found at

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Bigmista's Barbecue Catering
Real. Good. Meat.
562-423-4BIG ph.
562-608-8498 fax