Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Meeting Bobby Flay

What a great day.

My beautiful wife got together with my family and bought me a VIP ticket meet and greet with Bobby Flay, which included a cook book, a chefs jacket, front row seating to the cooking show, all access to the VIP Chill lounge, and pretty much access to any area of the Cobb Galleria I wanted to go in.

Around Noon we had to meet up in the Chill lounge and a worker took us to a room where Bobby was just standing waiting. We all walked in and he immediately began shaking peoples hands and introducing himself. After everyone shook his hand we all sat down in which he started to talk to everyone. The worker who brought us in to the room told us he was tired and needed a rousing to get him talking. So he starts asking everyone how the were and everyone shyly (if thats a word) responded "good". He then pointed at me and said "So you like BBQ?" and thats when I felt the big spot light that is Bobby Flay starring right at me. I responded "Yeah, I like to smoke things." He said "Like what?" I responded "I like to cook ribs." He said "Have you tried Brisket?" I responded "Not yet." He said "Why not?" I responded "Everytime I see you cook it I get intimidated, it takes a long time and is alot of work." and he agreed.

After our conversation is when he began to sign the autographs and everything.

When I got up to him I let him know that my wife thanks him cause if it wasnt for him I'd still be overcooking things and he laughed. I also told him that it was birthday present from my wife at which he responded "that was nice, my wife usually gives me sweaters."

He signed my book "For Adam, Try Brisket Next! Bobby Flay."

I thought that was very cool, not many people got a personalized message like that.

Later on during his cooking show I was sitting front row center, he picked up a coconut, pointed to me and said "do you know how to open up a coconut?" and I did the motion of turning the coconut and banging it with the knife and said "you bang it!" and he said "you bang it? well hes right."

He cooked a curry shrimp and a ribeye steak, both of which from the front row smelled amazing.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Smoked Cornbeef Pastrami

Hey everyone!

It was a beautiful day out here today in Georgia, and where I live, a beautiful day means a day to smoke something on the Chargriller! St. Patty's day is coming up so I figured I'd smoke some corn beef brisket with a pastrami rub for some Reuben sandwiches, those pictures will follow.

There is not much to say about this smoke do to the fact that its fairly simple to do. Go to your local grocery and buy a prepackaged corn beef brisket, you want to try and get one that has a shape to it. When you get home with it you want to open it and get rid of the spice pack, it won't be needed. Now you want to soak your corn beef in a nonreactive (plastic/glass) container of water to get rid of some of the salt content for about 30 minutes.

For the Pastrami rub you want to use the following recipe,

3 tablespoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of granulated garlic
1 teaspoon of freshly ground coriander.

After you have soaked the corn beef you want to pat it dry to soak up any of the retained water, specially the top of the meat where the rub will be applied. Now you want to liberally spread the rub on top of the meat. I took a different approach and just spread as much as I could around without having to actually rub it in to the meat, covered the top of the meat, and just patted the rub into the meat.

Now all you have to do is get your grill up to 225-250 and smoke away for about 6 hours, to an internal temperature of 165.

I suggest using 2 chunks of a fruit (cherry,oak, pecan) wood in your smoke, it'll give the meat a great flavor.

After reaching 165 you'll want to wrap your meat in tinfoil, wrap that in towel, and set in a cooler, fat side up, and let the meat rest for 2 hours.

Now you are ready to slice and enjoy!

When we make the sandwiches I will definitely post pictures!
Happy Grills!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Idols, Fails and Successes.

Hey Everyone!

Just had a few things on my mind after a long week of work. I just wanted to talk about Idols, Failures and successes (of the cooking type!).

My wife and I were in target the other day looking around and I found a really amazing deal I just had to pick up. It was a 2 back of DVDs that were Bobby Flays "Boy Meets Grill" and "Throwdown". 3 DVDs a piece, this is definitely a collection I would suggest to anyone looking to get a good culinary point of view on the grilling/barbecue front. Bobby is definitely one of my idols, I find his work amazing and his words of wisdom just the same. I love his approach to grilling and cooking as he often is willing to try cooking something he has never done before, much like myself (not that I could hold a candle to Bobby.

I wanted to bring up failure in the culinary aspect because its something I encountered last weekend. I have challenged a few good friends to a $25 buy in Rib off in the short future. I went to Sam's and picked up a 3 pack of pork ribs. I fell in love with the TLC series BBQ Pit masters and fell in love with the look, style, recipe, and all that good stuff of Triggs ribs, a brown sugar, honey, garlic powder, tiger sauce and butter BBQ sauce makes this ribs. I also tried 2 separate rubs, 1 cowtown rub, and 1 I honestly cannot remember, I believe it was Bad Byrons.

I will go ahead and admit I was simply not ready for this 'cue, I didn't have my apple sauce, I only wrapped the Trigg style ribs in foil, and I couldn't get my squeeze bottle to.. well squeeze! The only reason I went ahead with this cook was simply because the ribs were getting old and I didn't want that on my shoulders!

So I got my side fire box up to temp., got my hickory and cherry wood chunks soaking, got my music going, and prepared for a fun 'cue. After about 2 hours, I realized my squeeze bottle wasn't squeezing any more and my ribs were starting to dry out. I probably should have pulled them at that point and wrapped them in foil and covered them with butter, but I didn't, I just soldiered on, fully knowing the consequences.

Well, 6 hours later, I pulled my ribs, and as I expected they were dry enough to not be good "on the bone" ribs. I do have to say though, the Trigg style ribs that I wrapped in foil were out of this world, but I decided to go ahead and put the meat from all 3 racks in the food processor, chop it up, and save it for either Rib meat sandwiches, or to later put in some mean baked beans! I don't have many pictures from this sad 'cue, but I'll share with you what I have.

Oye vey! They did look delicious, and I will say I cannot wait to make some baked beans with the shredded rib meat.

Enough with the failures! Lets talk about the successes. As I was saying earlier, Bobby Flay is a huge inspiration to the way I grill. This next meal was greatly inspired by an episode of "Boy Meets Grill" where Bobby made a Indian inspired meal. 2 of these side items were loosely taken from this episode.

Cedar plank Salmon, Grilled Sweet Potato Chips, Coconut rice and an Italian Wedge Salad.

First off, I bought the Cedar plank in a 2 pack from Kroger for around 10 dollars, these can be used more than once, but I wouldn't suggest it, specially when cooking something like fish on it. Soak your plank for atleast an hour before throwing it on the grill. When you get ready to put the plank on the grill, preheat your grill to 350 and rest both sides of the plank on the grill for 5 minutes each side. After this step I turned my grill all the way up and threw the fish on the plank. Turned out amazing.

For the Grilled Sweet Potato Chips, I simply just cut a sweet potato into about half inch thick chips, covered them with olive oil and put them on the grill for about 5-6 minutes on each side depending on thickness. We dipped them in sour cream and I thought it was really good, I sprinkled some brown sugar on top of a few which was good as well.

The Coconut rice was probably my favorite of the sides, and maybe even of the meal. I picked up some Jasmin rice from the store, cooked it for about 8-10 minutes, then let it cool down. After everything was off the grill I put enough Coconut milk in to the rice to coat the rice, but not make it really soupy/milky. I also added in sweetened shredded coconut for crunch, and this was definitely a help, because there was no salt or pepper in the rice, and this gave it an amazing flavor needing no seasoning.

NOTE : As I mentioned above, I got a coconut, cut it in half and used it for presentation with this meal. Just to make sure everyone knows, the juice inside of a coconut is actually coconut water, not coconut milk.

The Wedge salad was decent, but definitely not what I've had at restaurants before. A Wedge salad is simply a head of lettuce cut into fourths, making a wedge shape. We put turkey bacon bits and croutons on ours.

Sorry I didn't catch anything on the grill guys, was working at a pretty fast pace, we were both hungry!

Heres the final product.

As I was uploading these photos I remembered I made a dessert! Grilled Pears with two different sauces, a chocolate and caramel sauce, and a lemon honey sauce. I do believe the lemon honey sauce was made for peaches and not pears, but the chocolate and caramel was amazing!

Ah, I love the successes so much more than the failures, but if it wasn't for the failures we wouldn't have the successes! You got to learn somehow.

Until next time,
Happy Grills!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day

Hey everyone!

Hope all has been well. Its been quite a while since I have made a post so I'm going to start this one off with a bang. You will definitely be hearing more from me now. Over the passed year my cooking confidence has shot through the roof, no food is too big or too small in my mind. I don't mean these in a cocky way, more less a proud way. I would like to start posting more often what I am cooking, and the tips and tricks I am using to cooking what I am cooking.

First off, check out my grill :)


My wife in I celebrated our first married Valentines Day this year so I felt the need to cook an amazing meal for her. I started the meal off with two appetizers, Bacon wrapped asparagus and Moink Balls. A Moink ball is a meat ball wrapped with bacon, sprinkled with rub, and then dipped in barbecue sauce. Normally Moink balls are smoked, but this time I just grilled them. With the asparagus I put them in a tin pan, laid them all out in a single layer, sprinkled them with olive oil, then added salt and pepper, I then wrapped in bacon and set them aside.

A few of the asparagus came unwrapped, but overall they were amazing. Try and wrap them as tightly as you can to the asparagus and you should end up with an appetizing dish more like the 3 to the left. The moink balls turned out great, just used your regular bbq rub bought from the store.

For our main meal I cooked a lovely surf and turf. I bought some rib eye steaks and 2 lobster tails. For my steaks I marinaded them in my homemade marinade that consists mostly of dales steak seasoning, and alittle extra :).

For the lobster, I first cut off all the fins on the lobster, then split the lobster down the middle. I then made a pouch for the lobster out of tin foil. I melted together some better and lemon juice and poured over top of the lobster, then put the lobster on the grill, directly, for 15 minutes. Came out amazing.

I put the steaks on the grill shortly after the lobster because we both like our steaks at a good medium, I even like more of a medium rare. I got a good sear on both sides, to do so, the easiest way is to set your steaks on the grill at a 90 degree angle, cook them for 90 seconds, then turn your steaks at a 90 degree angle, and cook them for another 90 seconds, flip and repeat. Depending on how well you like your steaks, adjust the time to your liking.

I also made a 5 cheese pasta, sorry guys, but this was store bought. Best ravioli I've ever had, didn't require salt or pepper.

My wife made 3 amazing cheesecakes for dessert. She made Red Velvet, Butterscotch and NY Style.

Happy Valentines Day Everyone,

And as always, Happy Grills!