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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, March 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: AlwaysHungry at Grillin' On The Bay

Take a look at this post by Always Hungry that features some of the outstanding foods at Grillin' On The Bay this year. They even have some shots of The Brooklyn Chili Smackdown. This was one hell of a day!

AlwaysHungry—AlwaysPartying: Grillin’ On the Bay

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Grillin' On The Bay 2010

Some pictures from NY BBQ Lover's Meetup Group founder Kevin Lincoln of Grillin' On The Bay 2010. I really love these pictures. You get a real feel for what the day was like while not focusing on the food.

Clint Cantwell from Smoke in da Eye

An unknown cook working his meat

The Two Fat Pollacks returned to the circuit at Grillin' On The Bay. Hey, where's the meat?

Doug Kieles from Ribs Within gets grilled by the media. Get it? Grilled? I'm such a card.

More pictures, including pictures of food, comments and links to come.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm Cooking! Yup - Finally!

Brooklyn Lamb Takedown - LAMB Overdrive

Yes it's back - And I'm cooking it! From Matt Tims - the organizer.....

The Lamb Takedown is BACK in NYC, 4PM April 18th at The Bell House!!!! Entrants wanted! (There’s three spots left!) Each contestant gets 15lbs of lamb- shoulder/shank/leg or ground to play with… Spots fill up FAST!

Truly the LAMB-orghini Countach Quartravore of all Takedowns… Yes! I just said that! Count on Emily Fleischaker from Bon Appetit to judge you sternly. So much lamb- the funnest meat there ever was!

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Monday, March 22, 2010

GOTB Blues

You wanna save humanity
But it's people that you just can't stand
- John Lennon

So my friends, Grillin' On The Bay and The Brooklyn Chili Smackdown is just 5 days away. I'm really looking forward to this year's event, we've got some outstanding cooks coming to The Bay, but frankly, I'm ready for it be over. Putting together an event is hard work.

The day will be fantastic. The food outstanding. The camaraderie of the barbecue community always revitalizes my soul. Kathie Dakai and Michele Taft are our reps from The New England BBQ Society this year, so I know this will be an extremely well run contest.

In the Brooklyn Chili Smackdown we have cooks from Virgil's BBQ, RUB BBQ, Wildwood BBQ, Porchetta Restaurant, Bourbon BBQ, The Waterfront Ale House, from some award winning BBQ teams like I Smell Smoke and iQue and a ton of others. Get ready for 36 different chilies for you to enjoy.

Beer is being provided by The Chelsea Brewing Company and RUB BBQ will be vending its award winning barbecue. There's going to be some seriously good eating on Saturday!

But right now, I'm worn out. Every year putting together GOTB, I face various obstacles and I always seem to find a way around them. Two years ago, I tried to transform Grillin' On The Bay into a two day full blown competitive barbecue contest but was almost completely derailed when our location pulled out after 10 months of negotiations. Last year, The Kansas City Barbecue Society tried to kill the contest for allegedly using their rules without paying them the proper tribute. Under pressure from KCBS, the reps quit one week before the contest, which almost delivered a fatal blow. Thank God that the New England BBQ Society stepped up and saved the day.

And this year, it seems that the beneficiary of the event, St. Mark School is trying to kill the event with simple and almost complete incompetence. (Take a look at their website - I think it was last updated 3 years ago!)

Grillin' On The Bay is put together by an incredibly small staff of people. We need to rely on volunteers from the school to make this day happen. When GOTB was first started, the school and the sports association had some incredible volunteers. These people were dedicated to improving the school, raising money for the kids and making life better for everyone involved. Sure, there were egos, but overall everyone worked for the common good. Now, not so much. The glory seekers are rampant, the workers are far and few between. The screw ups happen almost daily and I wonder, why do they make it so difficult to raise money for the school.

I stop sometimes and wonder why is it so hard now, when it was relatively easy when it first started. I know the answer and much of the difficulty comes down to the actions of just one man, who wasn't in the picture before. He routinely abuses his position on the staff of St. Mark, so much so that he sucks the joy out of doing any sort of volunteer work for the parish. The people he surrounds himself with are incompetent, dishonest, obstructionist and just plain lazy. After the contest I'll fill you in on all the details, but right now I'm tired of thinking about them.

It always comes to this at one point or another. I'm worn out, so I guess I just need to vent. I'm ready to just enjoy the day surrounded by wood fired smoke and to eat some barbecue.

Trust me, this is by far the premiere food event in Southern Brooklyn. The day will go off without a hitch and you'll have a fantastic time. I hope to see you there. You need to be there.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Mac and Cheese at The Waterfront Ale House

I still have a lot to talk about with our meal from The Waterfront Ale House, but today I'm going to skip around a little in our menu and talk about what was probably the most controversial dish of the night - the Macaroni and Cheese. Que scary stabbing music now.

Yes folks, the macaroni and cheese was the most talked about dish on the menu at the Ale House. "Why?" You ask. Simply because it wasn't your traditional orange powder cheese sauce. As mac and cheese go, this is a very light version which works perfectly as a side dish. Its flavors won't overwhelm the main entree.

Sam and Ralph's Macaroni and Cheese is a home made version using Adams Reserve New York Extra Sharp Cheddar and elbow noodles. This ain't nothing like what you get out of that blue box and it ain't nothing like your mama used to make. Hence the controversy. Either you love this or you hate it.

But you know what? This mac and cheese is exactly like MY momma used to make. And my wife still makes it this way. I love it. It's nowhere near as gooey or chessey as what you get from the box, it doesn't involve a bechamel sauce and it comes together relatively quickly.

Here's what you do - dump one pound of cooked elbow macaroni into a buttered baking dish. Stir in one can of Campbell's condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup. Stir in one teaspoon dried mustard. Add in one pound of shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese. Add up to one half pound of an additional easy melting cheese - use whatever you have on hand. Mix thoroughly. Top with flavored bread crumbs. Arrange pats of butter on top and bake until bubbly.

Now I don't think that's Sam and Ralph's recipe, but it sure is a good copy. Enjoy.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

March Madness at the Waterfront Ale House

On Monday night, March Madness woke like a lion with an outstanding meal at The Waterfront Ale House with the New York BBQ Lover's Meetup Group. Sam Barbieri and his cook Ralph really put out an incredible feast for us. Going to the Waterfront Ale House was a bit of a departure for the group as we usually focus on "BBQ joints" and Sam describes the Ale House as a "restaurant that serves food with a small selection of barbecue."

First up was chicken bacon poppers. Jalapeno peppers filled with cheese, wrapped by thin chicken breast and encased in house smoked bacon and glazed with barbecue sauce. How could you go wrong?

These were just fantastic. I could have eaten a dozen of these, but unfortunately I had to share with my other group members.

I don't know if it's just me, but jalapenos don't seem to have the heat they used to. Most of these jalapenos were very mild, so much so that some of the folks at the table thought the "green stuff" was spinach.

Up next were some house double smoked bacon BLTs and margarita buffalo shrimp. Now I was in heaven. The margarita buffalo shrimp is marinated in Sam's own house made hot sauce. Now that is some good stuff. These shrimp were huge, spicy and sweet at the same time. Again, I didn't want to share. I wonder if Sam will share this recipe.

The BLT's were a bit a of a miss. The dominant flavor in this sandwich was the bun. A great bun that it is, I still prefer the fillings to dominate the flavor of my sandwiches.

The filling that were there were tasty, but the bacon was overcooked. I really liked the sauce, but I didn't get a chance to really explore it. Was it a home made Russian dressing or more of a tarter sauce? Maybe one of the other members of the group can tell me.

This was followed by barbecue bologna sandwiches. Sam and Ralph take Boar's Head bologna and smoke it in house.

I have to admit that I approached these sandwiches a bit cautiously. It's been a long time since I've had bologna and the last time someone gave me a "smoked bologna" sandwich it made me gag. Childhood memories don't help when it comes to my relationship with bologna. It was always the "loser" sandwich as I was growing up.

Not that it happened here! The smoked bologna was flavorful and moist. I really enjoyed these, although in this case, I would have preferred to lose one layer of meat. Sometimes the texture of bologna is a little tough for me to take.

This post is getting a bit long and I'm still not done with the appetizers. More tomorrow. While you're waiting, get your butt over to the Waterfront Ale House, either in Brooklyn or on Second Avenue in Manhattan. Trust me you'll be glad you did.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mr. Cutlets

I wonder if Josh is cooking at this year's Grillin' On The Bay? Maybe it's best keep him away from the children.

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Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fatty 'Cue and The Disease of Kings

Fatty 'Cue looks about it's set to open. Yeah, I've heard that before too, but it looks like this time there really is a wolf coming after the sheep. No thanks to Robbie for the information or for any previews, but both Grub Street and Brooklyn Based are singing Zak's praises after a friends and family dinner on Saturday night. All I can say is with friends like these...

Seriously, I wish Robbie and Zak nothing but the best. I'm really looking forward to trying out the place and sharing in their exploration of the fusion of barbecue and Asian cuisine. I hope they don't stray too far from true barbecue. I'm not saying the food at Fatty 'Cue won't be good, but it just ain't the same as true American Barbecue and I'm a purist at heart.

As for me, I apologize for the lack of entries in my continued March Madness Marathon. I had a round of gout that sidelined me for the last week. I have an unusual case of gout, it has never taken the traditional route and attacked my big toe. My gout seeks unusual locations like my elbows, my ankles and my knees. Go figure. Some sociologists have linked gout with the pathology of genius. Hmm, "WhiteTrash BBQ - Super Genius." I kinda like the sound of that.

This last attack assaulted my left knee to the point it swelled up to the size of a basketball. I tell you, there's nothing like your doctor cringing and sucking in air when you show him your infliction to inspire confidence. Thank God it wasn't a gun shot or bleeding wound! I would have lost it too.

So as I dealt with the deliberating pains last week, I stayed out of the kitchen and away from food and March Madness was sidelined for a week. One of the oldest cures for a gout attack is to be treated with colchicine which is a form of arsenic. What you do is, take a pill every hour until your body begins to reject it. (I don't have to explain that do I?) The you suck in some Imodium and start all over the next day. Believe me, nothing was causing my appetite to stir.

One unexpected benefit of March Madness was that when my doctor asked what I had been eating that could possibly trigger this attack, I was able to tell him exactly what I had eaten for the previous week. I didn't realize that I had spent a week of eating red meat every night for dinner.

Last night however, March Madness roared back to life. I joined the New York BBQ Lover's Meetup Group for an outstanding dinner at The Waterfront Ale House on Manhattan's Second Avenue. Sam and Ralph outdid themselves and gave us an incredible feast. More on that tomorrow!

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Food Recalls

The largest food recall in United States History is currently underway. And it's going to effect you. Why? Apparently HVP (hydrolyzed vegetable protein) is subject to salmonella. And HVP is used in almost everything from soups to pretzels. So far, no one has gotten sick.

From the FDA website..

Don't eat recalled food! Check these recalled product lists carefully. If you have a product on the list, review the recall notice and follow the manufacturer's instructions for disposing of the product safely.

Salmonella Associated with Foods with Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein

Check out the list of recalled products. I had to throw out boxes of spices, bags of pretzels, PRINGLES, and all sorts of other foods. Be safe folks!

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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Monday, March 08, 2010

March Madness - Part Deux

So, March Madness is continuing here at WhiteTrash BBQ, but strangely the barbecue is still more than a little lacking. As is the picture taking for that matter. The weather right now is outstanding so one obstacle is removed, but NYC's only barbeque contest, Grillin' On The Bay is taking over all my free time.

Here's the run down on the meals since we last left off...

March 4, Lean Brisket, Kreuz Jalapeno Sausage and Baked Beans at Hill Country.

Hill Country you may be asking? That's not a name that appears too often in the WhiteTrash BBQ Blog. Well, I had a meeting with Yelp! on Thursday night and it turns out that Yelp! is 2 blocks from Hill Country.

It's been a long time since I've been to Hill Country, and frankly, I've always been disappointed. Everything was always OK, but better meals for less money were within walking distance. However tonight, I was willing to give them another try. Boy was I surprised. The brisket was outstanding; moist, tender and very flavorful. I must say, if they continue in this fashion, Hill Country will have redeemed itself.

The sausage link was good, as all the Kreuz sausage is, but I think it's not the same recipe as what you get in Texas. I could be wrong, but I remember the meat in the sausage being a much courser grind and much more greasy when I was in Lockhart.

The baked beans with burnt ends tasted more like chili and was watery like a chili soup. And it burned the roof of my mouth! Pass on this one.

March 5
, I spent the day in the depths of the NYC and Long Island mass transit systems, traveling deep into the Bronx in the morning and then returning to Penn Station and hopping on the Long Island Railroad for a trip way out on Long Island in the evening. Dinner that night was a Big Mac and Sweet Tea from McDonald's. I warned you that not every meal was going to be interesting or even good!

March 6
, A couple of portions from a 6' ft Italian Hero, Macaroni Salad, Potato Salad and some Caesar Salad at my one of my closest and oldest friend's son's Eagle Court of Honor ceremony and celebration. Dinner was topped by some Bread Pudding from the Entenmann's Family Bakery in East Meadow, Long Island. No, there's no relation. But it was some outstanding bread pudding!
March 7, Oven Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Twice Baked Potatoes filled with Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese and steamed Broccoli. The tenderloin was rubbed with Harley's Texas Style Bar-B-Que All Purpose Seasoning and planned for the grill, but the day filled up with too many repairs and renovations around the house.

My house was built in 1924 and any attempt at repairs always take 5 or 6 times longer than you would expect. The simplest projects turn into day long productions. In one room, on one of the outlets, someone long ago had installed an extender turning the two port outlet into four. When I removed it, the outlet itself fell into pieces, requiring a trip to the local hardware store. Of course modern outlets don't easily adapt into 90 year old junction boxes with asbestos wrapped wiring, so it was quite the adventure.

So the tenderloin cooked in the oven whilst the wife whipped up the twice baked potatoes. Overall this was a very satisfying meal.

March 8
, Johnsonville's Beer Brats, Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese, Canned Beets. Another meal designed for the grill and a quick weeknight dinner but alas the house stepped in again.

My kitchen table collapsed when I put a bottle of soda on it, so repairs were carried out tonight after spending two hours standing on line at the Cablevision office to replace the cable box that fried when the power was restored on Sunday. Why an outlet in the basement in the rear of the house is on the same circuit as an outlet in the front of the house on the first floor I'll never understand.

Again, this was a very enjoyable meal. The real surprise was how well the beets complimented the flavor of the brats and macaroni. Try it for yourself some time.

So the madness continues. There's no plans for tomorrow's meal as the wife has school, my vegetarian son is working, my daughter has an SAT class and I'm left to my own devices.

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

March Madness Returns

Long time readers of this blog will know that every March I challenge myself to eat something different for dinner every night during the month of March. Not all meals will be homemade. Not all meals will be fancy. Not all meals will be barbecue. The challenge is to make each meal unique.

And just for kicks, this year I challenged myself to photograph each meal this month. Well, so far that hasn't happened. But I have eaten three different dinners each night this month. Photos will come. I promise.
  • March 1 - Grilled Italian sausages with oven roasted potatoes and green beans. Nothing fancy here. Just a quick home made dinner.
  • March 2 - Scheuan Beef from Ming's Place on Avenue U, Brooklyn. Ming's used to be really great when it opened in the 80's. Like most Chinese places it went down hill for while, and now it's on an upswing again. Recently they've gone "old school" with a take out menu heavy on the combo plates, Soup, egg roll, main dish, rice, fortune cookies, noodles, and an orange, all for under $10. The food is good again. I just wish they'd update their interior. It's still done in 1980's mauve.
  • March 3 - Crab cake sandwich, fries and coleslaw from Randazzo's Clam Bar, Sheepshead Bay. This was a real disappointment. The waitress said that the crab cakes were the best thing on the menu, home made and filled with crab meat. Well, there was crab meat somewhere in the bread cubes, but man, these sandwiches tasted like they were forty years old. Never in my life have I had such "fishy" tasting crab. City's Best claims that Randazzo's had the best seafood in NY for 2008. What were they thinking? And, for the neighborhood, this place is expensive! Next time, it's back to Jordan's Lobster Dock.
On with the madness!

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


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