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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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Restaurant Review: Brother Jimmy's

Brother Jimmy's BBQ
West 80th Street and Amsterdam Avenue
New York City

I was jonesing all day for some barbeque and I was working on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, so I checked out Brother Jimmy's. It's been over a year since my last visit so I thought I'd give it another try. Boy was that a mistake. I was a little apprehensive based on my last visit. I won't go into all the details that I did last time, you can read about my last visit here, Brother Jimmy and White Trash.

Today I had the lunch special, 3 spare ribs, 2 sides and a bowl of chili for $9.95. Not a bad deal in NYC. The chili came in a good size bowl, was a mix of peppers, tomato, ground beef and chunks of smoked brisket. This was pretty good, but not spicy enough and no where near as good as the chili served at Daisy May's. On the side of the chili they served a tiny ice cold corn muffin, sour cream and some chopped red onions. I added hot sauce, sour cream and onions to the chili and it was much better. (I know, you shouldn't use sour cream in chili, but it wasn't authentic to start with all the beans!)

As my very cute waitress explained, the ribs are offered three ways, "northern style - fall off the bone tender and swimming in a very sweet sauce," "southern style - served dry, and not as tender as our northern ribs," and finally "dry rubbed with 21 different spices. These ribs are extremely spicy and blows the others out of the water." She then told me I could have one of each style for my lunch, so that's what I went with.

These were some of the worst BBQ ribs I've ever had in NYC. All were overcooked. All were dried out. None were spicy. Don't waste your time with these. The fries were good, but the baked beans sucked.

As I said in my last review, "Brother Jimmy's is a great place to go with a bunch of guys, get drunk and oggle the waitresses." Just don't go there for the food.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Recipe: Atomic Buffalo Turds

Static Brain asked - so here's some recipes for Atomic Buffalo Turds....

The first is Phil Rizzardi's recipe as he posted at The Barbeque Brethren
16 Jalapenos (topped, split down the middle and cored)1 lb bacon (Wrights maple flavored thick sliced is what I use) 1 brick cream cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup olives Handful of cocktail smokies 2 tbsp minced onion flakes (optional)

Cooking Instructions:
After the peppers are prepared (don't forget to wear your dishwashing gloves!!), put the cocktail smokies, olives and onion flakes in the food processor and chop to the consistency of cooked ground beef. Then put that and the cream cheese in a bowl and mix together. You can try it in the food processor but I found out it just makes a bigger mess. Once everything is mixed, stuff both sides of the pepper, press together and wrap in bacon. Hold in place with a toothpick stuck all the way through. Cook in the smoker at 225 for a couple of hours. I will guarantee that for most of the peppers, the heat will be gone and it'll have a bell pepper type flavor. There will be a few rogue hot ones though. If you're really brave, substitute a couple of habanero's in there. Those are Atomic Dragon Turds.
Serving Suggestions:
The Stuffing is limited by your imagination. Mexican 3 cheese mixed with the cream cheese is an option. Mix in things like crabmeat, or some sausage meat(cooked slightly). Pimento olives, black olives, mushroom pieces.. Use your imagination

The second comes from our friends at Barbecue and Beer

20-30 Large Jalapeno peppers
1 block cream cheese, room temperature
1 package thick sliced bacon
40-60 toothpicks
Small package of Little Smokies

Cooking Instructions:
Take the peppers, cut the off the stems and split them into halves. Now rinse out any remaining seeds from the inside of the pepper with cold water and place them on a paper towel to dry. Remember, when coring the peppers - the amount of membrane you leave inside the pepper will determine how hot the tarts are. The more membrane you leave, the hotter the turd will be.

Tip: use a small fan to blow across in front of you (not in your face) when cutting peppers. This moves the burning air and keeps you from getting all choked up.

Take your bacon and slighty brown it. You do not want to cook the bacon, but just slightly brown. This process greatly reduces the cook time of the turds and reduces the risk of overcooking to peppers. Place the bacon on a paper towel and let them cool.

Time for the cream cheese. If your cream cheese is not room temperature, it will need to be softened (15-20 seconds in the microwave) to make it a little easier to spread. Some people like to season the cream cheese with Mrs. Dash, liquid smoke or other spices/seasonings - just don't over do it. If you want to turn your buffalo turds into "atomic" buffalo turds just add some cayenne pepper in the mix. Using a butter knife, spread the cream cheese evenly onto the pepper halves.

Place a little smokie or other choice of meat on top of the cream cheese mixture. Wrap the pepper with a piece of your slightly browned bacon and place a toothpick all the way through to hold it all together.

Now your buffalo turds are ready for smoking. I place them in the cold smoke chamber on my smoker and keep them about 150-180 for an hour or so. You can place them into your main cooking chamber at around 225-250 but only let them cook for 30-35 minutes.

Here's a picture of his buffalo turds "on the half shell".

And finally, a link to a version that a is made in a traditional oven. In-doors Atomic Buffalo Turds

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Barbeque Lingo

Welcome back!

Yesterday, I spent the day with some of the Long Island Barbecue Brethren. It was a great day graciously hosted by Smoker at his house in Lindenhurst. We feasted on ribs, chicken, fatties, rockys, chili, beer, vodka and cabo. But better than the food was the chance to meet some more of The Brethren; Militant Squatter, Mel and Sawdustguy and his wife. Of course the Poohbah was there along with Broadway Bruce, RBSNWNGS and his driver. We had a lot of fun shooting the shit, burping, farting and burning the wood. It was like a scene out of Blazing Saddles.

One of the things came up in conversation was this blog. It seems that the boys are reading it! Thank you. I'm always surprised to hear that people actually read this. But, I had a few complaints that I'm not updating this often enough. So, here goes....

Let’s talk about BBQ Lingo. As in any profession or calling, we barbeque-rs have come up with our own language and terminology for what we do. So, if you want to walk the walk, you need to talk the talk. Here are some terms that you should know. I’ll add more later, but these should get you started.

Barbecue Lingo

ABT aka Atomic Buffalo Turds aka Turds:
  • Atomic Buffalo Turds are smoked jalapeno peppers that are filled with a mixture of crème cheese, smoked bacon, olives, cocktail smokies and minced onion. Countless varieties exist. Reportedly invented by Phil Rizzardi of the Barbeque Brethren.
Barbecue aka BBQ aka Barbeque aka Q:
  • The art of cooking meat over a low temperature wood and/or charcoal based fire. Usually the meat is cooked in-directly over the fire, but that can vary.
  • Any food cooked via the barbeque method.
  • Man’s greatest culinary achievement. No bias here.
Barbeque Sauce aka Finishing Sauce aka Dipping Sauce:
  • This is easily the most controversial item in the world of barbeque. To some people, barbeque is the sauce. To others to add BBQ sauce to meat is a sacrilege.
  • Let’s borrow from my friends at the BBQ Porch to help define the sauce… There are different sauces for different uses. Finishing sauce is thin and may be added to pulled or chopped (pork) prior to serving. Dipping or Table sauces should be served on the side or in a separate container so that folks can season to taste. BBQ flavors are subtle, so the sauce should complement rather than dominate. If all you taste is sauce then you might as well cook your BBQ in the oven, but that’s not REAL Q. Like most things when it comes to BBQ, there are different preferences in different regions:
  • Alabama: White Sauce or sauces similar to the Georgia sauces.
  • Central South Carolina: A thin mustard vinegar sauce.
  • Eastern NC: A very thin vinegar & red/black pepper mixture.
  • Kansas City: A thick sweet tomato based sauce.
  • Kentucky: Black sauce made from Worcestershire sauce and vinegar.
  • North Carolina - Tennessee: A tomato based that is on the sweet side.
  • Southern South Carolina & N. Georgia: Thinnish vinegar, ketchup, and brown sugar mix.
  • Southern Coastlines: Hybrid Ketchup/Mustard sauce similar to Heinz 57.
  • Texas: If used, spicy tomato based sauce.
  • Upper South Carolina: Very similar to North Carolina sauces.
  • Western NC: A thin vinegar & catsup sauce
  • Bark is the dark outer layer of the meat, usually on a pork butt or brisket where the smoke mixes with the spices and flavorings of the rub and meat juices. To many people, this is the tastiest part of barbeque.
  • Dark smoked pieces of beef, chicken or pork that fall off the Q when slicing or pulling. These pieces rarely emerge from the kitchen are closely guarded and usually eaten by the barbecue chef. If any do survive the slicing or pulling process they make a great addition to baked beans or soups.
Burnt Ends:
  • The narrow end of a beef brisket that has been slow smoked once. Then chopped into small pieces and smoked again. These are a true culinary delight and originally only available to the “regulars” who knew to ask for them at BBQ restaurants.
Ok, that’s all I have time for today. I’ll be adding to this as I go along. When it’s done I’ll find a way to save the lingo as one reference document. Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Recipe: Cranberry Sauce

Well, what can I say? I was very happy with that pulled pork. 18lbs of meat sure feeds a lot of people. My family for three meals, my wife's Aunt & Uncle, their home aide and her family and two of my daughter's teachers and their families. Not to mention my breakfast and picking throughout the day. So what's that make 8 meals? Not bad. And very economical too-- The pork was only $1.09 a pound.

But tomorrow's Thanksgiving, and we're heading out to my mother's house for dinner. It's been at least 10 years since she's made a holiday meal. My mother used to be a very good cook, but as she's gotten older, her tastes have changed and she's almost eliminated the use of herbs and spices in her cooking. This should be interesting.

But as per request, I am bringing home made cranberry sauce. Here's my recipe...

1 12oz bag of cranberries, washed. Stems and bad berries removed.
1 cup of water.
1 to 1 1/2 cups of sugar.
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves.
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice.
Pinch of salt.

Put water and cranberries in a thick non-reactive pot and over medium heat, heat until boiling. Add cinnamon, cloves and allspice and mix in thoroughly. Return mixture to boil and cook for about 20 minutes. Stir frequently and do not allow mixture to burn. The berries will pop and break down forming a thick paste. Stir very frequently towards the end. Remove berry mixture from heat and mash with an old fashioned potato masher. Return berry mixture to heat and mix in sugar and pinch of salt. Return mixture to a simmer and cook for about 2 minutes. The berry mixture will be very shiny and look and feel like melted jelly. Carefully pour mixture into a bowl and refrigerate until firm - about 6 hours. I know that this isn't a barbecue recipe, but this does go extremely well with barbequed chicken, duck, turkey or pork. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Barbecue - It's not just for breakfast anymore

Yup, breakfast. Pulled pork for breakfast. What a great way to start the week. The pork finally reached pulling temp around 1:00 this morning. I wrapped it and coolered it overnight. This morning at around 6:30, I pulled it. Damn. What a great morning. Barbeque Breakfast. I wonder if it could catch on?

Here's some pictures of the pulled pork before it was sauced. I'm sorry that the pictures aren't the best quality. I took these pictures using my cell phone and you know how crappy those are. The colors are really off. I have a white floor!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

What a find

Well, it's just after midnight here and the pork is still cooking. I got a late start, so I'm not surprised. The aroma is intense and is making me extremely hungry. But, alas, it won't be done until breakfast. My digital camera died so I didn't get any pictures of the fire building, but I will take some using my phone before I pull the meat.

On a positive note, on Craigslist, I found a woman in Bay Ridge Brooklyn selling a smoker. When I checked it out, it turned out to be a New Braunsfeld Hondo. An excellent offset firebox, heavy gauge smoker. I bought it for $50! Whoo HOO! I am happy. I can't wait to break it in. I'll post pics soon.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Pulled Pork Barbecue

Now we begin. I have 18lbs of BONE-IN pork shoulder that I plan on pulling tomorrow night. This will become Pulled Pork Barbecue; one of the south's greatest gifts to the barbeque world. I made an injection base of apple juice, kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, water and a couple of secret ingredients. This mixture is heated and blended so that the sugars and salt are completely dissolved in the solution.

Here you can see one half of the pork shoulder ready to be injected. The injection base is in the glass and needle. You will need about 1 oz of injection base for each 1/2 pound of meat. This is not fixed in stone and you'll find that some meat will take more and sometimes a lot less.

Here's a shot of the meat being injected. As you inject the liquid into the meat, you need to move the needle around so that the injection base spreads throughout the meat. Keep a steady pressure on the needle as you move it from side to side and in and out. Otherwise, you'll be left with grey streaks of injection base in the finished meat. These large needles are sold in every Home Depot and Lowes, usually by the turkey fryers.

As you inject the meat, you will actually see it swell up as the injection base fills the pockets in the meat. This is a good thing. I remember watching a show on Food Network, where the cook actually had his needle attached to a hydraulic press, and as the injection base entered the meat you saw the meat stretch and double in size. Be careful when injecting and don't be surprised to find that the injection base leaks out of the meat in various spots.

After the meat was injected, I rubbed the meat with a modified version of Head Country and Emeril's Rib Rub. Then the meat was wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator until tomorrow morning. I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of that, my digital camera is acting up. (Yes I charged it!) It took the three pictures posted here, then shut down. Hopefully I'll be able to get some pics of the fire building and cooking tomorrow. Talk to you then.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Getting ready to pork

Not much to post today. I will be cooking some pulled pork tomorrow, so tonight we'll be injecting, rubbing and marinating the meat. I plan on taking a lot of pictures and actually walking you through the entire process from unwrapping the meat to eating it. Be ready. I don't know why I'm on such a pulled pork kick lately, but I'm enjoying it. Brisket or ribs will be next.

A housekeeping note. I've added a few new links to sites that link here. Check them out and tell them I sent you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Lotto Fever

Tonight's Mega Millions jackpot is $310,000,000 which is the largest jackpot in New York State history. I've got my ticket and my dreams.

While I was dreaming about what I'd do with my millions one organization popped into my head. It's the Bowery Mission. The Bowery Mission has been helping folks since 1879. From their website... " Three times a day, the Mission swings open its doors to offer meals, shelter, showers and clothing to desperate people living on the street. Homeless men are then challenged to enter a six-to-nine month residential program to experience the beginning of permanent change. Seminars, computer classes, job training and Bible studies help up to 62 men at a time break destructive habits and prepare to rejoin society. The Bowery Mission Career Center offers each man complete services from remedial reading to GED certification, to MS Office certificates, and from skills assessment to career planning." They're definitely a group I'd be donating to right after I cash my Mega Millions check.

Why the Bowery Mission? Because they're realistic. Every year I get lots requests for donations to all sorts of organizations. Most ask for at least $100. (Now I don't know about you, but $100 is a little steep for my budget) The Bowery Mission asked for $1.59. That's right ONE dollar and fifty nine cents. It's their cost to feed one person on Thanksgiving. $1.59. I don't know how they do it, I can't feed a member of my family for that. I'm impressed. I send them a check every year.

Think about this for a second. For FIFTEEN dollars and ninety cents, you can buy 10 people dinner. 10 PEOPLE. Amazing. I really like the idea of buying 10 people dinner. Taking them out for the holiday.

So, take the time and reflect on this for a minute. This season, when you donate to your charities, think about the Bowery Mission. You can donate here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Spinning, Spinning, Keep on Spinning.

I am the angel of death. I'm sorry I haven't posted in a couple of days. Another wake/funeral came my way this weekend. At the end of the year I'll put up a list of all the folks that passed this year. I'd do it now, but the wheel's still spinning.

If you get a chance, check out my friend Neil's new website, The Survival Gourmet. He's a real interesting guy living out on the left coast who is a damn fine cook and a good man. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Recipe: Cream of Mushroom Soup

Soup is a comfort food and we've needed some comfort lately. Cream of Mushroom soup is one of the comfort foods my family returns to on a regular basis. This soup is easily a meal in itself, but I usually serve it with garlic bread and a small spinach salad. I wrote this recipe for the St. Mark Parish Cookbook last year. I hope you like it.

Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 (10 oz.) packages of mushrooms. Try to mix it up. I usually use one package of white button mushrooms and one package of exotics.
  • 2 stalks of celery.
  • 1 medium onion.
  • 1 stick of butter. I use un-salted, but it's your preference.
  • 6 Tablespoons of Brandy, Sherry or a good Red Wine. Don't use that nasty "cooking" stuff, use liquor you would actually drink!
  • 6 Tablespoons flour.
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic.
  • 4 (14 oz.) cans of broth or 56 oz. of home made stock. I usually mix it up between chicken and vegetable stocks. If you want to make this a vegetarian meal, use only vegetable stock.
  • 16 oz. Water.
  • 1 Pint Heavy or Whipping Cream.
  • 4 to 6 oz. of Cream Cheese.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.

Roughly chop onion, celery and mushrooms. Melt butter in a large non-reactive soup pot. Add celery and onion. Saute until onion is translucent. Add garlic and mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are reduced and have released their juices. While stirring constantly slowly add the flour one tablespoon at a time. You will be making a roux of the flour and butter. Let the roux cook for a few minutes until the flour is light brown. Add the brandy, sherry or wine. Slowly add the broth and water. Stir and mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover pot and simmer for about 45 minutes. Mix in heavy or whipping cream, simmer about 5 minutes until the cream is hot. Remove from heat and process soup in a blender, or use a stick mixer right in the pot. Stir in the cream cheese. Return to heat and heat gently for about 10 minutes. Do not boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves about 12.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The wheel is still in spin

I want to take a moment to remember my father-in-law Ted Dubiel who passed away from cancer at 5:45 tonight. Ted was a good man. He was a simple man who loved his family and his garden. It always amazed me how much produce he could get out of a 10 foot x 10 foot patch of dirt. But no one came before his wife and children, except possibly his grand children.

Teddy was shaped by World War II. He would tell stories about how the Russian –- German -- Polish front was in farm in Poland. I could never quite tell if he was fascinated or repulsed by the war, but every time there was a show about it on TV, he was glued to the television. Ted worked as a solider for the Polish Army, in the coal mines of Poland, with the telephone company in his native country and as a cleaning man here in the United States. He worked hard and never complained. I am impressed on how much he accomplished with only a rudimentary command of the English language, in a strange land and without the hand outs immigrants benefit from today.

Ted was always proud of his Polish heritage and Pope John Paul II. When JPII went, I think his passing took a part of his heart. Like the Pope, Ted enjoyed his food. Some of the Polish dishes Ted loved were very strange to this American boy from the suburbs. But some we both enjoyed. Bigos (a stew of sauerkraut, sausage, kielbasa and mushrooms) and pirogue were favorites to both of us.

Ted's body left the earth today, but I think his spirit passed on when his wife died on July 3, 2004. He was ready to go and we take comfort in that.

Ted's cancer was diagnosed while my wife was in the burn unit back in the summer. I didn't tell her right away, because I wanted her to heal, but the day before the diagnosis, Johanna and I were talking about her father. As I mentioned he wasn't the same after his wife died and we could tell that he had lost his joy of living. Ted helped put Johanna out while she was on fire. She felt that he saw this as his last big deed before he could leave the earth in peace. It was very strange that she felt this way when at the time we all thought he was perfectly healthy.

But that was Ted; always a hard worker and always looking out for his family. He will be sorely missed. Rest in peace.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Product review: Texoma Peanuts

The UPS man came by today. He delivered 10lbs of peanuts. Not just any peanuts, but peanuts from the Texoma Peanut Inn.

The Texoma Peanut Inn is a cult figure for the members of The BBQ-Brethren. Now, I can't tell you why they have achieved their legendary status with the Brethren, but I can tell you it's well deserved.

Last year someone "nutted" me and sent me a 5lb bag of Texoma's jalapeno flavored in shell nuts. They were spicy, salty and fresh. They were eaten in a couple of days. Today, I received another 5lb bag of jalapeno nuts and a 5lb bag of Cajun flavored in shell nuts. I'm in heaven. These nuts are easiest the best I've ever eaten. Oddly, the Cajun nuts are nowhere near as spicy as the jalapeno flavored nuts. Their flavor is much more complex with just a hint of maple!?! These things would make great gifts.

I'm thinking about trying the peanut brittle recipe Matt, from The Hampton Smoker, posted recently on his blog. I think the heat of the nuts combined with the sweetness of the brittle would make a great combination.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Cookin' in Brooklyn

Here's tonight's dinner. It's not really BBQ, at least not in the traditional sense, but why let the kettle go cold? This dinner is an attempt at cleaning out all the odds and ends in the fridge. I hope you like it. I know you will.

I made an in-direct fire of Kingsford and maple wood in my Weber kettle.
Then I took some chicken cutlets and pounded them out real thin.
I got me some polly-o string cheese (mozzarella) and cut them in half longways.
Put a piece of cheese on the long edge of the chicken cutlet and roll it up.
Then wrap a single piece of bacon around the outside of the chicken.
To keep the cheese in, I secured the chicken roll with toothpicks.
And for a final touch, I sprinkled on some Head Country rub.
The chicken rolls were cooked in the cooker at 350 for about 40 minutes, until the bacon was crisp, the chicken cooked and the cheese melted.

Dinner was served with stove top stuffing, steamed broccoli and Pillsbury crescent rolls. Hey - who has time to make everything from scratch every night?

Good eating. Sorry I don't have pics, the camera is not cooperating, it's happier when I charge it.

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