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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 26, 2008

Recipes: Charcoal-Grilled Turkey

My friend, well I've met him a few times anyway, Chris Lilly a 10-time world BBQ champion, owner of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q restaurants in Decatur, AL, official pitmaster for Kingsford Charcoal and one of my inspirations created this recipe for Kingsford and it looks damn good.

Charcoal-Grilled Turkey with Fresh Herb Butter
Makes: 10 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours, 45 minutes

  • 1 whole turkey (12 pounds)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Coarse ground black pepper
Fresh Herb Butter
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • ⅓ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • ⅓ cup chopped green onion tops
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1½ teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups turkey stock (as directed)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
Place the whole turkey breast side down on a cutting board. Remove the neck and giblets and set aside to make the turkey stock. With a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen shears, cut the turkey down each side of the backbone, removing it completely. Open the turkey and press it flat on the cutting board. Using a sharp knife, loosen the breast bone from between the turkey breasts and remove it with your fingers. This will enable the turkey to open completely flat. Apply a light coat of olive oil to the turkey skin and liberally season the skin with kosher salt and black pepper.

Build a charcoal fire for direct grilling. The heat over the coals should be hot, (approximately 450 to 500 degrees F).

Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. Add the remaining fresh herb butter ingredients, mix well, and keep warm until needed.

To make turkey stock, add 3½ cups water, 1 ¾ teaspoons salt, turkey neck and giblets to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1½ hours.

Place the butterflied turkey directly over the coals, skin side down, and baste with the fresh herb butter. Grill the turkey for 5 to 7 minutes or until the skin starts to turn golden brown and begins to crisp. Transfer the turkey to a 10”x10” baking dish skin side up, place it back on the grill, and baste with fresh herb butter. Cover the grill and close the air dampers reducing the cooking temperature to 350 degrees F. Cook for 2½ hours basting every hour with the remaining fresh herb butter. The internal temperature of turkey thigh should reach 175 to 180 degrees F while the breast meat should reach 160 to 165 degrees F. Remove the turkey from the grill, cover it with foil, and let it rest for 15 minutes prior to carving.

To make the gravy, scrape all of the drippings and liquid from the bottom of the roasting pan into a small bowl. Skim the grease from the top of the liquid. Pour the seasoned liquid, about ¾ cup, into a small sauce pan. In a small bowl, whisk the two tablespoons water with the cornstarch until smooth. Add the cornstarch slurry and two cups of the pre-made turkey broth to the sauce pan and heat. Serve drizzled over the turkey or on the side as table gravy.

Recipe created by champion pitmaster, Chris Lilly, on behalf of Kingsford charcoal

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

BBQ Recipes: Lemon Leeks

Since I posted the recipe for Confetti-Filled Ham Spirals from Sublime Smoke by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison, I thought I should also post their recipe for Lemon Leeks. I'm trying this out for the first time this Thanksgiving, but I think they'll make a nice change from the pearl onions in cream sauce that no one eats except my mother eats.

Lemon Leeks
Serves 3 to 6

  • 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Large shallot, minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon prepared Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 Teaspoon coarse Salt
  • Generous grinding of black pepper
6 Medium Leeks, trimmed of roots
Minced fresh Flat Leaf Parsley for garnish

Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a lidded jar and reserve at room temperature.
Bring your smoker to its appropriate cooking temperature.

Place leeks in a steamer. Steam the leeks on the stove over high heat for 5 minutes, after the water has begun to boil. Remove leeks from steamer and brush the leeks thoroughly with the vinaigrette and transfer them to the smoker.

Cook the leeks until they are very tender, about 20 to 25 minutes at a temperature of 225 to 250 degrees.

Remove the leeks from the smoker, drizzle more vinaigrette over the leeks and top with a scattering of parsley. Serve warm. Leftovers are good warm or chilled.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You Can't Keep A Good Man Down

This just came into my in box and I thought I'd share. If you're on Long Island and looking for someone else to do all your Thanksgiving cooking, check out my buddy Will....

Willie B’s catering is now back in full swing and just in time for the holidays. The same painstaking time and attention to detail that made Will a success in his competitions, Newsday reviewed restaurant and private catering are now available for events small and large.

Whether it’s a single rack of ribs for a football game or a Thanksgiving meal for 50, Will Breakstone will put his years of experience, incredible skills and personal recipes to work for you. BBQ for Monday Night Football, holiday meals for family and friends, appetizers and amuse bouche for seasonal parties are all available at reasonable prices and with a quick turn-around.

All Thanksgiving orders include free delivery by noon on Thanksgiving with complete reheat instructions. (631) 678-1726fatwilliebsbbq@optonline.net

Thanksgiving Packages

  • Smoked Turkey (14-16 lb) w/gravy and 6 lbs of side dishes $105.00 Feeds 10-12
  • Smoked Fresh Ham (8 - 10 lb) tied and boned with 6 lbs of side dishes $115.00 Feeds 10-12
  • Prime Rib (10 lb)smoked with your choice of Willie B’s rubs, served with au jus, 1 dozen corn muffins, 2 pies, 4 (2 lb) sides $195.00 Feeds 10 – 15

  • Roasted garlic mashed potatoes
  • Sausage stuffing
  • Sweet potatoes (mashed)
  • Fresh Cranberry sauce
  • Baked Cinnamon Apples
  • Collard Greens
  • Green Bean Casserole
Ordering by the item is also available:
  • Smoked Fresh Turkeys $6.00 per lb 12-22lb birds (pre cooked weight)
  • Smoked Fresh Hams $8.50 per lb 8-15lb hams (pre cooked weight)
  • Side Dishes $4.00 per lb (if you don’t see it please ask)
Standard menu items are always available.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

BBQ Recipes: Confetti- Filled Ham Spirals

I promised that I would post the recipe for Confetti-Filled Ham Spirals as it appears in the superb book Sublime Smoke by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison. These spirals saw my table many times when the book first came out and it's time for them to start making regular appearances again. While the recipe calls for the rolls to be smoked, I'm willing to bet that they would be almost as good prepared in a low oven.

Confetti-Filled Ham Spirals
Colorful confetti like bits of fruits, nuts and chives lace this roll-up treat, which gets some of its flavor from the bourbon, so don't go cheap. Makes about 3 dozen spirals.
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons or more of bourbon (enough to cover)
  • 12 oz. creme cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives (don't substitute dried)
  • 1/8 tsp. brown sugar
  • 8 to 10 individual slices of fully cooked ham , each about 1/8 inch thick, at room temperature (I usually use Boar's Head boiled ham and ask the deli guy to cut it for me)
Bring your smoker to its proper cooking temperature.

Place the cherries or cranberries in a medium bowl and pour the bourbon over them. Let the fruit sit for at least 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the fruit from the bowl and chop. Return the fruit and any juices to the remaining bourbon in the bowl. Mix in the creme cheese , pecans, chives and sugar until well combined.

Spread the creme cheese mixture on the ham slices, leaving about 1/2 inch uncovered around the edge of each slice. Roll up the slice from one of the wider sides and secure it with toothpicks. Repeat with the remaining slices of ham.

Transfer the rolls to the smoker. Smoke them just long enough to flavor the cheese and precooked meat, about 20 to 25 minutes at a temperature of 225 to 250 degrees. Cool the rolls briefly, remove the toothpicks and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the rolls until the cheese becomes firm, at least 2 hours. (The rolls can be made a day or 2 in advance at this point.)

When ready to serve, remove the rolls from the refrigerator and unwrap. Cut the rolls into 1/2 inch spirals and arrange on a platter. For best flavor let them sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

You Ready?

So boys and girls, the holiday where we all pig out is about to hit. Are you ready? I'm thinking about what I'm planing to cook this Thanksgiving and how I can save money this year. It's an interesting conundrum as the holidays are the few days of the year where I don't take food costs into account. Well, I don't abandon those thoughts totally. I still need to keep it within reason but the reason gets a little flexible!

I've been missing the smoke lately, so I'm thumbing through my barbecue, grilling and smoking cookbooks looking for inspiration. I'm toying with the idea of preparing my entire Thanksgiving feast on the smokers, but that would probably be overkill. Some things lend themselves to the flavors of the flames and frankly some things don't. Ever have smoke Lasagna? Yuck.

Here's what I'm thinking for our feast this year. Nothing is set in stone yet, but I try to keep the day a mix of our traditional dishes and a few surprises.

For an appetizer, I'm thinking about Confetti Filled Ham Spirals based on the recipe from Sublime Smoke by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison. I haven't made these in years but they're always a big hit. I'll put up the recipe in a separate post, cause this one is going to be long enough.

Other appetizers include grilled shrimp or oyster cocktail, filberts, dried figs, assorted cheeses, chips and a good Texas manufactured peach salsa. Why filberts you may ask? I don't know, but my mother always put a tray off filberts and figs out at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It may be a throwback to our English heritage as The Nut Factory includes them in their English Mix and it's not a holiday to me without them.

I'm thinking about making a seafood soup this year, but two of our guests don't like seafood and one is still in his vegetarian mode. I may make a cheddar potato soup from New Recipes from the Moosewood Restaurant, but that can be a meal in itself. Who knows, we usually don't do soup, but I love soup and would love to include it as part of our meal. Maybe a simple Cream of Mushroom Soup would be best; it's so much lighter.

I will be making a turkey, but I haven't decided how yet. I may brine it, I may not. Maybe I should just order a Turduken. Oh, I don't know.

One thing that usually decides it for me, is that I prefer my turkey stuffed and a brined or smoked turkey doesn't lend itself to stuffing easily.

For side dishes, I'm looking at recipes for Spaghetti Squash, (which is the only squash I really like), Lemon Leeks, to replace our traditional Pearl Onions in Cream Sauce (which only my mother eats) and Saffron and Ginger Sweet Potatoes. (Both the recipes for Lemon Leeks and Saffron and Ginger Sweet Potatoes can be found in Sublime Smoke.) Other sides will include mashed potatoes, roasted root vegetables, a green salad of some sort, green beans, sweet corn and some sort of mushrooms if I don't make the mushroom soup. (I think we've got all our colors covered!) There will be home made biscuits and other breads as well. I hope I can get through the day without any grilled TOFU.

Of course I'll be making my famous Clove and Cinnamon scented Cranberry Sauce. The recipe is one I created from a basic recipe found in the Fanny Farmer Cookbook, which I have modified and adjusted greatly over the years, so much so that it no longer holds much in common with the original. If you've never made cranberry sauce from scratch; you're doing yourself a disservice. It's easy and so much better than anything canned.

On a side note, I wonder what the technical differences are between "scented" and "flavored." I don't really know, but scented sounds so much more refined and seems to be the popular adjective for menus these days.

And finally, we'll be having desserts. I've asked my mother to make her apple pie using a lard crust that is just out of this world. (No, that link isn't to her recipe. Her recipe is much older.) She tells me that she's been using the same recipe since the 1940's, but I know that's not exactly true. She did abandon the lard for another shortening for a least a decade and it made a huge difference in the flavor and flakiness in the crust. Mom will also make a pumpkin pie for my wife and my wife will make a cheesecake for my son. Maybe I'll contribute some sort of baked pears.

Sounds like a plan doesn't it? I hope I remember to take pictures!

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Shake Shack II

Another view of today's lunch.

The more I think about it, I wish the burger was cooked over wood or charcoal; then it might just be perfect.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Shake Shack on the upper west side of Manhattan.

Good grill top burger, good hot dog where the toppings seem to overwhelm the flavor of the dog and good fries with maybe some onion powder?

The Shake Shack is definitely worth a visit, but not worth waiting on line for hours.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

St. Jerome - Patron Saint of Bloggers - Help Me Out!

I'm back folks. Sorry for the interruption, but sometimes life gets in the way. It's amazing how hard it is to resume blogging after so long a break. There's a discipline, mind set and thought process in blogging that takes a while to take hold and to my great surprise disappears almost over night. St. Jerome, c'mon and help me out here; give me a topic for tomorrow.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Well I did compose a blog post today all about the Zagat guide to NYC restaurants; bbq restaurants I particular, but I lost it.

I'll be back soon. Keep the faith.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


The torch has been passed!

May God bless, protect and guide the president elect of the United States.

We're ready to believe again.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Do your duty and vote or keep your mouth shut for the next four years.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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