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Joined by our passion for meat, beer, cards and meat, we created a compitition bbq team to partake in just that.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Grilled Figs

If you have a fig tree you are always wondering what to do with all of that fruit.  Your dog will only eat so much and even though figs are great right off the tree - I have a limit.  What happens if your neighbor has a fig tree and gives you a sack of them?  So the question is how many ways can you cook figs that taste great, easy to make, and go with a wide range of food - either as an appetizer or a side. 

Let's make this really easy - fresh figs and blue cheese crumbles.  The saltiness from the blue cheese is a great pair with the sweetness from the figs. 

Cut the figs in half and use a melon ball scoop to create a divot in the fig half.

Add some blue cheese crumbles.

Lots of blue cheese crumbles.

Put on your super hot grill.  I use Grill Grates because the allow you to pick up the fruit from underneath.  The figs will get a bit squishy as they cook and can be difficult to pick up.  We also don't want to hit the fruit with flames and burn the outside.

Check out this great tool at http://www.grillgrate.com/

Monday, February 10, 2014

Brussel Sprouts - made right

Brussels Sprouts are not on most people's top picks for vegetables.  I'm about to change that. 

Most people steam Brussels Sprouts because - well - not sure.  I think it's easy to over steam and make them squishy - which may be one of the reasons why people don't like them.  I like mine with some crunch but they aren't that flavorful.  So how do you make Brussels Sprouts right?  Add bacon!

I've found the correct ratio is 1lb of bacon to 1lb of Brussels Sprouts.

You can also add in some diced bell red bell pepper for some color and I like to add in some blue cheese crumbles to add some depth and creaminess to the dish.  But bacon is the key.

I'm a little fanatical about peeling the outside leaves off.  I like to see bright green leaves and then I slice the butt off and make them a similar size so the cook about the same.  Some larger sprouts you can quarter and the smaller ones you can halve.

Dice the bacon into 1/4" wide pieces.

Add to a large, deep skillet and cook at a medium heat until the bacon is about 75% done.  Not crispy at all but on the way.

Add in the Brussels Sprouts - DO NOT drain off any of the fat that has rendered from the bacon.  This is the key!

Continue to cook over the medium heat until the bacon is done and the Brussels Sprouts are cooked through but still crispy - not mushy.

If you were going to add in some fine diced bell peppers, now would be the time.  Turn the heat off, add the bell peppers and toss a few times.  Let the pan sit for 2 - 3 minutes.  This will add some color and just start the cook on the bell peppers without making them squishy.

Top with a few crumbles of blue cheese.  This makes a great side for any meat dish - and you can tell your mommy that you ate your vegetables!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mr. Grill Gloves Review

I get the opportunity to review BBQ related products from time to time.   This time Rizzi at Mr. Grill asked me to review his new Grill Gloves.

Normally I use welding gloves when handling hot coals, grates, or cooking containers in the smokers and grills.  Welding gloves are not my favorite because they are usually thick and cumbersome - you don't get much feel for what you are doing and you can't use them for anything that requires dexterity.

The first thing I noticed when I opened up the packaging for the Mr. Grill gloves were how thin they seemed.  Thin usually doesn't mean heat resistant but according to the folks at Mr. Grill, the grill gloves are made out of kevlar and nomex.

Trying the gloves on, I was pleasantly surprised at how well they fit and comfortable they are.  These gloves are also identical - right or left hand so easy to put on without worrying about the correct hand.  This may not seem important but after an all night BBQ session at a competition, I need all the help I can get.

So they are thin, ambidextrous, and fit great.  How about heat resistance?  

No issue at all handling red hot grill grates.

My hands didn't feel any heat while searing off some steaks over a very hot charcoal bed.

It was also very nice to have the dexterity and control over my favorite BBQ tools while wearing them.  This is not usually the case when wearing gloves and working over a hot fire.

Handling very hot cooking pans directly out of the smoker were no issue while wearing these gloves.

Some additional points from the manufacturer worth mentioning -
Outer layer won't catch on fire when exposed to open flame.
Silicone grid for the perfect grip
Machine washable

Overall, I thought the gloves were great and I'll definitely recommend adding them to your BBQ Tool arsenal.  You can find them on Amazon too!

Link to grill gloves amazon page: grill gloves

Link to Mr Grill website:
Mr Grill