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WhiteTrash BBQ -- Real Pit Barbecue from New York City. This is the story of a fire obsessed guy, living in Brooklyn, with a dream of producing award winning, competition busting, real Barbeque. Come live the dream as I compete around the country in the KCBS Championship Barbecue circuit.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Christmas Candy

It's that time of year again. Time to make Christmas cookies and candies. I like to put them into festive containers and give them as gifts. This year, I'm trying something new. Here's the recipe...

I just came across this recipe for Bacon candy! What an unusual treat this would be for Santa. Think it would get you more gifts?

Bacon Brittle

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon sweet butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup smoked or regular pecans -- chopped
1/2 cup fresh smoked bacon bits

butter a large non-stick baking sheet
In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water over medium heat. Stirring constantly, cook until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Using a candy thermometer, increase heat to high and without stirring, bring the mixture to 290 degrees. Remove from heat.
Stir in the butter, vanilla, baking soda, pecans and bacon bits. When the foam subsides, as thinly as possible, pour the hot mixture on to the baking sheet. Carefully tilt and shake baking sheet to even mixture out. Do not spread with a spatula.
Cool at least 20 minutes and break into small pieces.
Store in a covered container.

Mm, Mm Good!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Restaurant Review- Dinosaur BBQ

I went to Dinosaur BBQ for lunch today. Dinosaur is a chain restaurant with places in Rochester and Syracuse New York. As luck would have it the New York City shop just started serving lunch yesterday. It's a nice looking place. I like the decor and the setup. I like the smell of smoke when you walk through the doors. The pile of fire wood by the door is a nice touch, but Virgil's did it first in NY. Dinosaur is located on West 131st Street and 12th Avenue, right across from the famed Cotton Club in Harlem. The wait staff is friendly, knowledgeable and attentive.
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon

The dinner menu is much larger and more expensive then the lunch menu I saw. The restaurant has a big bar area and a smaller dining room. It was pretty crowded for a Wednesday lunch, and I was surprised the most of the customers were white men in their 30s and 40s. All the staff that I saw were also White or Hispanic.

Frankly, the food was a big disappointment. I don't know if it was a lunch menu or not, but the servings were tiny. I ordered the rib and pork combo. The 3 small ribs tasted like they were cooked with burning plastic. They still had on the membrane (a big no-no in the BBQ competition circuit) and were fairly tender, but very salty. The small amount of sauce on them didn't enhance or detract from their flavor. I hate to say this, but Chili's ribs are better.

The pulled pork was tender, but tasteless. It was completely over powered a very sweet thick sauce poured over the top. This sauce wasn't one of the sauces available on the table. The corn bread was good and covered in honey, but the piece I got was smaller than my cell phone.

I asked the waiter to recommend the side dishes. He choose, the Syracuse Salted Potatoes - two small potatoes with a tasty brown gravy but no particular salt flavor and the Baked Beans - which were primarily flavored with salt and pepper, but not much else. I also ordered the drunken spicy shrimp - which were good, but cold and of the peel and eat variety. Not what I expected at all. (This is explained on the dinner menu, but not on the lunch menu)

My lunch including soda, tax and tip was $25.

I tried all of the table sauces - the sweet BBQ sauce, the habanero BBQ sauce and the hot sauce. They all tasted like an "OK" supermarket brand. I wasn't impressed by any of them.

I was really offended by the men's room. The graffiti was offensive. Every wall was covered with it, and people are encouraged to add to it. However, I don't need to be surrounded by cartoon penises, vagina's and anti-gay remarks. It reminded me of the old CBGB's bathroom except it was clean. I wouldn't want to bring my kids there.

Overall, I think I'll stay away from Dinosaur.

Monday, December 13, 2004

It's a WhiteTrash Xmas

WhiteTrash Xmas.

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 10, 2004

The Quest for the Gold Chicken.

Since my last post, I've gotten a lot of e-mails asking about the gold chicken quest. Here's the story. Why gold? Why chicken?

I was watching Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with my daughter the other day. They came into a room with the goose, or actually geese, that laid the golden egg and it got me thinking.

When I was judging the KCBS Connecticut State Championship, there was one entry of ribs that was absolutely beautiful. It was red, a bright ruby red, with a sheen like a candy apple. It was the only entry that I gave a perfect score on appearance. It was one of the two presentations that I still remember. Now the red would work for ribs, but I don't think that it would be appropriate for chicken. To me, chicken should have a golden color when cooked.

The other night, I roasted a Perdue oven stuffer. It had absolutely nothing on it. No oil, no seasoning, nothing. It cooked at 425 degrees for the first half hour breast side down, and 375 degrees, breast side up for the rest of the cooking time. It came out a nice gold color. Not what I'm seeking, but certainly a step in the right direction. Of course when I'm doing this for competetion, I'll be cooking chicken parts.

In the supermarket, I checked out some ingredients that would create the elusive gold color. I looked at oils, spices, soups, sodas, jellies etc. Then I looked at the chicken themselves. I wonder; which brand would give me the color I'm seeking? Do the brands matter? So far, Perdue has given good results. I usually like to cook with Bell & Evans chickens, they taste better and are more tender than Perdue, Tyson and the other store brands. Next cooking experiment will be with a Bell & Evans. (Why didn't I use a B&E for this cook? - that's another story.) Should I be buying chickens at the live poultry market? So many questions.

I'm going to work on color first, and flavor second. Ultimately, I may have to sacrifice some color for taste, because taste and tenderness scores are more heavily weighted in competition than appearance. But that decision is down the road.

So, now I begin the quest for the Gold Chicken

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The four flavors - A quest begins

Human beings can only distinguish four flavors in food, sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Everything we eat is a mixture of these four flavors. If you can balance these four flavors, you will have a winning recipe. Ketchup has been touted by some as the perfect example of the four flavors mixing perfectly; sweet from sugar, sour from vinegar, salty from salt and bitter from the tomatoes I guess.

In the next couple of weeks, I'll be working on creating my own BBQ rub. I'll use whatever I can find to create the perfect rub for chicken. I have an idea for a chicken that when smoked and finished is bright gold. After the rub I'll work on the mop and finally a finishing sauce. I’ll experiment with a marinade or using brine.

That's my goal for the next few weeks. I want to be able to submit a sparkling gold chicken, which tastes like BBQ for the contests in the spring.

Join the pursuit. Come back often and see how it goes.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Restaurant Review - Dallas BBQ

Went to Dallas BBQ on 72nd Street for lunch today. I keep seeing all these billboards saying that Dallas BBQ is New York's favorite, so I thought, why not give it a try.

I don't feel like typing to much today - so here in a nutshell is the review.

The onion loaf is excellent.

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