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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, January 28, 2008

Last Night's Reduction

Last night I made my first balsamic reduction. I have no idea why I've never made one before, but last night I lost my cherry.

I made a meat loaf for dinner. I don't usually make meat loaf. Meat loaf is the wife's territory. When I make meat loaf, which I don't usually, I usually top the meat loaf with diced tomatoes. Last night I was feeling frisky and I put the diced tomatoes into the meat loaf. But that little act of rebellion created chaos. What was I going to put on top of the meat loaf? Should I allow the meat to be presented naked? Nah, that's way too radical.

I have no idea why I decided on a balsamic reduction as a glaze for the meat loaf. Maybe I've been watching too many cooking shows, but it sounded like a good idea. I had no idea on how to make this so I just winged it.

I took one half cup of balsamic vinegar and put it in a pot and turned up the flame until the vinegar boiled. After it boiled and began to reduce I whisked in one tablespoon of butter. I reduced the heat and let the vinegar boil down until there was about 1/4 cup of liquid in the pot. This reduction was thick, sweet and luminous.

I then took this syrup and brushed it all over the meat loaf, which I had removed from the oven so that I could brush the loaf with abandon. Once said loaf was sufficiently covered in glaze, I put the meat loaf back in the oven and cooked it for about 5 more minutes.

That my friends was good eats.

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Friday, January 25, 2008


Another week and nothing to show for it. I don't know what's going on lately; I' m busy but unmotivated and unfocused.

Here's a recipe for Brined Pork Chops that was sent to me from the fine folks at Weber.

Brined Pork Chops with Sweet Papaya Relish

Prep time: 20 minutes
Brining time: 2 hours
Grilling time: 10 to 15 minutes

6 cups cold water
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup kosher salt

6 boneless, center cut pork chops, each about 6 ounces and 1-1/4 inches thick

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced jalapeño chile pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups 1/2-inch-diced ripe papaya, about 2 pounds
3/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil

Vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large bowl whisk the brine ingredients until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Submerge the pork chops in the brine. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours.

2. In a large saucepan combine the sugar, vinegar, scallions, lime juice, jalapeño, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, and then add the papaya and bell pepper. Mix well. Simmer over medium heat until the papaya is very soft but not mushy, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool to room temperature. Add the basil, and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Let sit at room temperature while you grill the chops.

3. Take the chops out of the brine, dry both sides with paper towels, then place them on a small platter or baking sheet. Lightly coat them on both sides with oil. Season evenly with the salt and pepper.

4. Brush the cooking grate clean. Grill the chops over direct medium heat (350°F to 450°F), with the lid closed as much as possible, until barely pink in the center or until the internal temperature reaches 150°F, 10 to 15 minutes, turning once and swapping their positions as needed for even cooking. Serve warm with the relish.

Makes 6 servings

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Super Super Bowl Party

Recently a friend of mine asked for some suggestions about wing, chili and sandwich places in New York City for putting together a Super Bowl party. I don't know what got into me, but here's my response. If I had the time and energy you'd be sampling from all these folks at my super super bowl party.

Buffalo Wings: Pluck U – Still the best
768 9TH Ave
New York, NY 10019-6325
Phone: (212) 582-2468
For me, their “hot” buffalo wings are the best in the city. Just make sure you order extra celery and blue cheese. Their wings are unusual mix of flavor and heat. Even with their hottest wings – death, you can taste various flavors besides just the heat.

I really like the munchers (deep fried mashed potato, cheese jalapeno peppers) and chicken fingers (available with the same sauces as their wings) as well. Good cheese fries, but not the best.

Blondie’s Bar
212 W 79th St
New York, NY 10024-6225
Phone: (212) 362-4360
Cheaper than Pluck U, usually larger wings as well, but their sauces aren’t as hot or as complex. But they’re still very good.

Wheeler’s Bar
1707 Sheepshead Bay Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11235-3606
Phone: (718) 646-9320
Cheaper than either Blondie’s and Pluck, and probably the best wings I’ve found in my neck of the woods, but like Blondie’s not hot enough or as complex as Pluck U. They’re great if you’re looking for just heat.

Atomic Wings
Various bars in Manhattan.
Good wings, on the small size, and a notch lower in flavor than any of the others. They do offer a wide variety of sauces such as honey mustard, but to me chicken wings live and die by their hot sauces. For the real “hot heads” their insane and atomic sauces will be your choice. All of their wings will satisfy you, but they’re not memorable.

208 West 23rd St. NY, NY
Phone: (212) 524-4300
Huge meaty wings with a great barbecue flavor. For barbecue wings, they have no equal in NY.

Chili: Daisy May’s BBQ USA
623 11th Ave
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 977-1500
It’s far and away the best chili in the city. No beans, just meat and seasonings. It’ the closest to a real Texas Chili I’ve had in the NYC area. It comes with onions, cheese and sour crème for toppings. I like to spice it up a little with some hot sauce.

Manhattan Chili Company
Grand Central Terminal
New York, NY
Phone: (212) 682-6644
They offer beef, poultry and vegetarian chilis. They’re all pretty good, but very mild. It’s a totally different take on chili from Daisy May’s and probably more compatible with a “New Yorker’s” view of chili as every chili includes beans.

Cold Heroes: Jimmy’s Famous Heroes
1786 Sheepshead Bay Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11235
Phone: (718) 648-8001
It’s a little hole in the wall joint down in the bay that’s been around for something like 50 years. It’s the only place I know that always has fresh RIPE tomatoes, which taste like fresh ripe tomatoes even in the dead of winter. They only serve cold heroes, using Boar’s Head meat and cheeses. Be sure to get your heroes with “the works;” lettuce, tomato, salt, pepper, oil, red vinegar and shredded onions. The onions are bathed in a secret process that makes them very different and sweeter than others. Also try the home made roasted red peppers.

Sheepshead Bay Gourmet Market
1518 Avenue Z
Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (718) 891-2300
They sell great heroes and sandwiches at ridiculously low prices. Overstuffed one meat and one cheese heroes are $4.99 and sandwiches on rolls are $3.99

Hot and Cold Heroes: Manganaro's HeroBoy
494 9th Ave
New York 10018
Phone: 212-947-7325
Good hot and cold heroes, but pricey compared to the Brooklyn or Bronx places. The take out heroes seem a bit skimpy compared to the offerings in house. They still make good 6’ heroes, it’ll do the job, but they won’t knock your socks off.

Mamma Rosa’s Cucina – The Best
1007 Allerton Ave
Bronx, NY
Phone: (718) 881-0242
I thought I’d throw a hidden gem into the mix. This tiny store has some of the best Italian heroes I’ve ever had. Dirt cheap prices. If I lived anywhere near them, they’d be my choice.

For my vegetarian friends: Anatolian Gyro Restaurant
1605 Sheepshead Bay Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11235
Phone: (718) 769-4754
While I know that a Turkish restaurant is an unusual pick for vegetarians; I'd go with the mixed cold appetizer platter which is hummus, eggplant salad, Russian salad, piyaz (white bean salad), baba Ghanoush, tabouli, mixed eggplant (small pieces of eggplant fried and mixed with tomato sauce and garlic) beet salad, grilled eggplant and stuffed grape leaves. Their Russian salad beats any potato salad you can find in any deli. Also be sure to get their “home bread” little loaves of dense white bread topped with dark sesame seeds.

267 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10023
Phone: (212) 496-2803
They serve great hummus, tabouli and baba ghanoush. Good falafel too. Leave the other stuff alone. They have various locations, but this one seems to be the best.

Roast Beef Sandwiches: Roll-n-Roaster
Emmons and Nostrand Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (718) 769-60000
Great, even legendary roast beef sandwiches. They are served on specially baked rolls. I like my sandwiches topped with cheez (Hot Cheez Whiz) and caramelized onions, but to the rest of my family that’s overkill. The sandwiches can be ordered rare, medium and well done. Be sure to get their corn fritters. Lousy fries that need cheez to be any good.

Fish: Jordan’s Lobster Dock
Knapp Street and Harkness Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (800) 404-CLAW.
Since it’s New England vs. NY, I though a Lobster roll might be appropriate for a super bowl party. These over stuffed lobster rolls come without mayo. They’re just meat and lettuce on hot dog buns. Mix in some mayo and you have a superb meal. There’s no other place in the city that can give you this much lobster. Also try the New England clam chowder but stay away from the lobster bisque.

Barbecue: Pork Ribs: RUB BBQ 208 West 23rd St. NY, NY (212) 524-4300
Beef Brisket: Hill Country 30 West 26th St. NY, NY (212) 255-2544
Pulled Pork: Waterfront Ale House 540 2nd Avenue, NY, NY (212) 696-4104 or in Brooklyn at 155 Atlantic Avenue (718) 522-3794

French Fries: Nathan’s Famous (The original please)
1310 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (718) 946-2202
Outstanding fries and hot dogs

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Brooklyn Pizza

Interesting visit to Grimaldi's Pizza down under the Brooklyn bridge on Sunday. Very disappointing actually. Undercooked pizza, long wait at the table while they "refreshed" the ovens with no explanation and glasses that are so worn out I wonder if they're safe to drink from. Last visit the pizza was burnt and the toppings very sparse. Oh well, another legend fails to deliver.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Barbecue Completes Its World Dominance

Saveur Magazine has just released it's 2008 Top 100 list and guess what tops the list. Yup, it's BBQ. Barbeque rules!

1 Most Beloved National Pastime

The frenzied grilling, the enormous barrel smokers, the piles of tender ribs—is it any wonder that COMPETITION BARBECUE is our favorite sport? Pluck, hubris, and good humor are on display in equal measure at these open-to-the-public, juried events, as backyard hobbyists, brandishing team names like Partners in Swine and Dr. Porkenstein, vie for glory against barbecue-circuit legends like Paul Kirk, of Manhattan's RUB restaurant. We're not alone in our predilections: over the past five years, the number of official barbecue contests around the country has grown from about 200 to more than 600, says Carolyn Wells, co-founder of the Kansas City Barbeque Society, competitive barbecue's main governing body, which sets contest guidelines and trains and accredits judges (there are now more than 8,000 of them). The best part about the sport: the fans are as generously compensated as the players. Attendees get to eat to their hearts' content and bond with fellow 'cue fanatics amid a haze of fragrant wood smoke.

Umm, I hate to break the spell here, but most barbecue contests do not allow the attendees to eat from the competitors. Before you go to an event, check with the contest organizer.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

BBQ Continues to Dominate



Hosted by Pat and Gina Neely, Series Premieres on Saturday, February 2nd at 11am ET/PT

NEW YORK, January 7, 2008 Pat and Gina Neely own and operate some of the most devilishly delicious BBQ restaurants in Tennessee. Beginning this February, the dynamic couple will share the secrets behind their tastiest dishes on their new series, Down Home with the Neelys. Premiering Saturday, February 2nd at 11am ET/PT, the half-hour show joins Food Network’s daytime line-up and peeks into the lives (and kitchen) of the south’s most fun-loving cooking couple!

“Pat and Gina Neely bring an energetic joy to cooking and a high-spirited playfulness to their relationship. Their kitchen is one of the most fun that I've ever been in," said Bob Tuschman, Senior Vice President, Programming and Production for Food Network. “Our viewers will also love that their delicious down home recipes are super-easy to recreate at home”

By day, Pat and Gina Neely create and serve delicious barbeque fare to customers across several locations. But when they are relaxing at home in Memphis, they love to create tasty dishes that their whole family can enjoy. On Down Home with the Neelys, Pat and Gina share their secrets with Food Network viewers, from their most requested restaurant dishes to their tastiest family-friendly recipes. Whether making barbeque spaghetti, lip-smacking ribs or a decadent Strawberry Shortcut Cake, the Neelys will provide delicious and easy recipes that the entire family will enjoy!

As co-owners of Neely’s Bar-B-Que, Patrick and Gina Neely have turned their family restaurant into one of the most successful barbeque restaurants in the south, appearing on national television with Al Roker, Bobby Flay, Paula Deen, the Today show and Good Morning America. Pat and his brothers launched the first restaurant in 1988, and now the family has two locations in Memphis, one in Nashville and several concessions in the Memphis FedEx Forum. High school sweethearts in the 1980s, Gina and Pat reunited at their 10-year high school reunion, were married in 1994 and have two daughters.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Potential Thwarted

Yesterday was a beautiful day in WhiteTrash BBQ land. The weather was more like May than January. It was the perfect day to roll out the cooker and make some barbecue.

In anticipation, I had purchased some boneless pork butt. I cleared my schedule. I made up a new injection baste of apple juice, water, brown sugar, kosher salt, chipotle tobasco sauce, butter, onion powder, garlic powder and bay leaf. I let the injection baste sit in the refrigerator over night.

Warming up the injection, just enough to melt the butter, I strained it and injected the butts. I rubbed and slathered the butts and let them sit to absorb my injection -- Wait a minute, I thought Bobby Slather had retired.

Went outside, to pull out the trusty Weber Smokey Mountain from the garage and my plans changed. Some schmuck decided to graffiti the garage doors. Well, my friend Mike - you remember Mike from the Hudson Valley Ribfest - told me about this graffiti removal spray. Spray it on, let it sit and wipe away the graffiti.

Well, yeah, it took the graffiti off, but it also removed all the other paint. So, it wound up stripping the garage doors. My pork got cooked in the oven.

Why am I telling you all this? Because my friend Pete thought it was funny. Pete is a prick.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

So What Do BBQers Do?

According to the National Barbecue News, here's what the enthusiasts do...

What type of fuel do readers of the National BBQ News use?
  • 35% use charcoal as their source of barbecue fuel.
  • 34% choose gas
  • 21% use only natural wood products.
  • 2% use electricity
  • 9% use some sort of combination from the above.
What is their favorite barbecue sauce?
  • 69% say their favorite barbecue sauce is their own.
  • 51% of these are totally homemade
  • 18% of these use a commercial base to start.
  • 28% prefer a commercial sauce without changing it at all.
How often do they barbecue?
  • 66% fire up the grill or pit at least one time per week.
  • 23% barbecue more than two times per month.
  • 8% saythey barbecue once or twice a month.
  • 1% said they cook five times a year or less
  • 1% said they have never cooked barbecue because they do not know how to cook good barbecue.
That last statement confounds me, as this was a poll of readers of the National Barbeque News. Why would they be reading the paper if they don't participate in the hobby? As The Beatles say, very strange.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Potential Unleashed.

You may remember this picture before, but that's what's submitting to the smoke tomorrow.

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Friday, January 04, 2008

The Potential is There

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