Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Crazefest 2017

In just a few days, I'll be travelling to Crazefest 2017 on the Sutton Fair Grounds in Sutton-Georgina, Ontario, not far from Barrie.  I'll be joined by my beautiful wife as well as my great BBQ friends Sean and Tabitha from Toronto.

This will be my first professional BBQ competition.  Andrea and I have done fairly well on the Amateur circuit in the past 5 years by twice becoming Grand Champions and having a number of 1st place ribs awards at different events.

This event will be a whole new ballgame.  We will be competing against some of the best pros that Canada and the Northern US States has to offer.  If you've ever seen BBQ Pitmasters on TV, this is pretty much what this will be like.  You can watch an episode below.

 

On day 1, we have entered the Chicken wing division as well we dessert (Thanks to one of my teammates) and the best sauce.

On day 2, we will be cooking Brisket, Pork Shoulder, Ribs and Chicken and they will be turned in 30 minutes apart.

Hopefully, I'll be able to keep everyone updated on Facebook, but likely will not do much updating online till we get back.

All in all, I'm just hoping we won't completely suck!  Would be nice to at least get a call or a middle of the pack finish against all these teams that have competed before.




Monday, 1 May 2017

Best Baked Potato

Every once in a while I come upon an article or a recipe online and I think.... Why didn't I think of that?

This is one of those articles.

I really like the Splendid Table website.  They really dive into recipes.

What was this miraculous recipe this week?  Wait for it!!!!

How to cook a baked potato!



That's it!  Simple as that.

From chosing the right potato (russet please), to what temperature to cook the potato at (450... yikes!) to actually using a meat thermometer to judge doneness (cook to 205 internatl temp).

I made these yesterday and they were awesome.

You can find the whole blog here.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Welcome to our first sponsor

Heart of Gold BBQ will be participating in their first Professional competition the weekend of June 2nd.  Georgina, Ontario will be hosting Crazefest which will have a KCBS competition.



I would like to take this opportunity to welcome aboard our first sponsor for our first pro comp this year.

My cousin Dan Davidson, from Davidson's Country Dining in Innisfil, Ontario will be providing our meat for this competition.


The pic above is a picture of the restaurant.  When you step into the front door, you'll likely be greeted by Dan himself and you'll immediately feel welcomed as though you were visiting an old friend.

If you are in Barrie or Innisfil area, I highly recommend you check out the place and have some of their great food.

Here are the directions to the restaurant... just a short drive from Barrie.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Guest post from Bill Pudim. Biscuits and gravy

From Bill Pudim : Grill Master on Backyard BBQ Battle

Sausage gravy and biscuits, topped with a sunnyside-up egg is a southern classic and one of my favorite breakfasts. Simply delicious. The biscuits are your preference, personally I like buttermilk drop biscuits, but you can buy the refrigerated Pillsbury Country Biscuits at the grocery, use Bisquick, or make your own rolled biscuits. The magic is in the gravy. I like to use Johnsonville breakfast sausage, because I can't find a Canadian breakfast sausage that has that sage, savory flavor that stands out. If I can't find Johnsonville, I will use locally produced breakfast sausage and season it to my liking before browning. 
Here's my gravy recipe

1lb of loose breakfast sausage,
1tbs of finely minced onion
6tbs all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
hot pepper sauce to taste
2 354ml cans evaporated milk
1 cup water

Crumble and brown breakfast sausage over medium heat in a large skillet, add minced onion when sausage is no longer pink, continue to cook for 1 minute. add flour to sausage and onion and mix well, add 2 cans of evaporated milk and continue to stir constantly, Add 1 cup of water, keep stirring, scraping up all fond from the bottom of skillet. When gravy begins to thicken, reduce heat to low and continue stirring, add several dashes of hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper, stir until blended.

Serve immediately over warm biscuits and top with egg and enjoy.

Leftover gravy can be refrigerated and reheated, add a splash of milk or half&half to desired consistency.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Backyard BBQ Battle, Episode 12, Chef's choice

I decided to cook steak for this last episode.  Bill went with duck.  Stewart's line of the day was "how's your duck Bill?".

I made an argentinian style steak rub.  It will soon likely be for sale under the www.hogbbq.ca brand.  So I'll give the ingredients (kosher salt, pepper, sweet paprika, granulated garlic, dill weed, coriander, red pepper flakes, mustard powder, onion powder) but you'll have to watch the show to get an idea of the quantities.

The rest of my recipes are below.

Chimichuri
·         2 cups packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
·         4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
·         1/4 cup packed fresh oregano leaves (or 4 teaspoons dried oregano)
·         1/4 cup red wine vinegar
·         1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
·         1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
·         Freshly ground black pepper
·         1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Throw everything in a blender and go!

Melted Onions

·         6 medium yellow onions (skin on), 8 to 10 ounces each, about the size of a tennis ball
·         ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
·         ½ teaspoon kosher salt
·         ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
·         1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
·         1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley

Render the onions down in a cast iron skillet.  When fork tender and translucent, add salt, pepper, vinegar and parsley.  

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Backyard BBQ Battle - episode 11 - Bring on the booze

Due to a technical glitch, Episode 11 will not be airing.  However, I made some great recipes using product from Rheault Distillery from Hearst.  My friends Mireille Morin and Marcel Rheault have been producing Loon Vodka (not made from real Loons) and Sinful Cherry Liqueur for a few years now.




These 2 recipes use their products.  If you want a quick and easy dessert, Sinful Cherry served over a lime sorbet is outstanding as well.


Hope you enjoy the recipes. The bloody ceasar flank steak recipe is really good.  I ended up using skirt steak but it's a great marinade for any tougher cut of beef.  The key is to not overcook the meat.  Cook it no more than medium and slice against the grain, otherwise, it will be way too tough!
To my American friends, Clamato juice can be substituted with tomato juice, or even V8.

Episode 11 - Bring on the booze episode

Bloody Caesar Flank Steak – inspired by Guy Fieri

·         1 cup Clamato juice

·         1/2 cup Loon vodka

·         1 teaspoon sea salt

·         1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

·         1 teaspoon hot sauce

·         1 tablespoon lemon juice

·         1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

·         1/2 tablespoon crushed garlic

·         1 teaspoon onion powder

·         1 teaspoon celery seed

·         1 teaspoon of celery salt

·         1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

·         4 tablespoons olive oil

·         1 -pound flank steak

 

1.      Thoroughly mix all the ingredients except for the flank steak in a 1-gallon zip lock bag.

2.      Add the flank steak. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 and up to 24 hours.

3.      Preheat the grill to high or heat a skillet over high heat. Remove the flank steak from the marinade and wipe the excess liquid off with paper towels.

4.      Grill both sides and cook to medium rare or in a skillet, sear both sides and lower heat to medium to cook to medium rare.

5.      Let the flanks steak rest, covered, with a sheet of foil for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut on the bias against the grain and serve.


Grilled beet salad with goat cheese

·         4 medium beets - scrubbed, trimmed and cut in half

·         1/3 cup chopped grilled walnuts

·         1/3 cup of Sinful Cherry Liqueur

·         1 (10 ounce) package mixed baby salad greens

·         1/2 cup fresh orange juice

·         1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

·         1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

·         2 ounces goat cheese


1.      Wrap beets in foil and cook in a hot grill for at least an hour.  Remove beets and grill them to add some smokey flavor. 

2.      While the beets are cooking, place the walnuts in a skillet over medium-low heat. Heat until warm and starting to toast, then stir in the maple syrup. Cook and stir until evenly coated, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

3.      In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, Sinful Cherry Liqueur, balsamic vinegar and olive oil to make the dressing.

4.      Place a large helping of baby greens onto each of four salad plates, divide candied walnuts equally and sprinkle over the greens. Place equal amounts of beets over the greens, and top with dabs of goat cheese. Drizzle each plate with some of the dressing.

 

Grilled parsnip puree

·         1 lb of parsnips

·         ½ cup of cream

·         ¼ cup of butter

·         Salt-pepper

·         Herbes de provence

 


Grill or smoke parsnips for about 20 minutes.  Wrap them in foil with a bit of butter and allow them to cook all the way through.  Mix with butter, herbes de provence, salt and pepper and cream.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Backyard BBQ Battle - Episode 10 - ribs

Episode 10 was to feature some great ribs from Dabrowski's meats, our main food sponsor.



Unfortunately, due to a technical issue, the issue will not be airing.

However, I did cook come great ribs that day.  I cooked them with a dry memphis rub and I used a spicy pineapple BBQ sauce on the side.  Steve from Radical Gardens loved the heat in the sauce. I'm giving you just the basic sauce here.  But in mine, I boiled some sliced jalepenos, habeneros and thai birds eye chilis for about 20 minutes.  I removed them just before serving and that sauce was AWESOME!!





Memphis dry rub

4 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne or ancho chili powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp onion powder
3 tsp black pepper
3 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp mustard powder


Pineapple BBQ Sauce

·         200ml pineapple juice (1 regular-sized juice box)
·         ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
·         ½ tsp garlic
·         ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
·         2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
·         ¾ cup ketchup
·         1 pinch red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy!)
·         ½ tsp onion powder
·         1 pinch salt (to taste)

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Backyard BBQ Battle, episode 9 - Hawaiian Luau

Episode 9 - Hawaiian Luau episode


Hawaiian BBQ skewers with sriracha lime honey butter


·         1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
·         2 tablespoons pineapple juice
·         2 tablespoons lime juice
·         2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
·         1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite size chunks
·         2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
·         1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite sized chunks
·         1 orange bell pepper, chopped into bite size chunks
·         1 poblano pepper, chopped into bite size chunks
Sriracha Honey Butter
·         4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
·         1-2 tablespoons sriracha
·         1 tablespoon honey
·         zest of half a lime

1.       To make the Hawaiian BBQ sauce, whisk together the BBQ sauce, pineapple juice, lime juice and cilantro in a medium size bowl. Now add the chicken to a gallon size ziplock bag or medium bowl and toss with 1/4 cup of the BBQ mixture.
2.       Set your grill, grill pan or skillet to medium-high heat. Thread chicken pieces, pineapple chunks and bell peppers together, alternating one after another on skewers. Brush the skewers lightly with olive oil. Grill the skewers until lightly charred and cooked through, turning them occasionally throughout cooking, about 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer the skewers to a plate.
3.       Brush the skewers with sriracha honey butter.

Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp

·         1 pound Shrimp, shells off
·         5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
·         4 tablespoons salted butter
·         3 heads fresh garlic, minced
·         1 lemon
·         ½ teaspoon course Hawaiian sea salt (regular sea salt is ok)
·         ¼ teaspoon pepper
·         ¼ teaspoon paprika
1.       In a medium skillet on medium low heat, add 4 Tablespoons olive oil, 2 Tablespoons butter, and minced raw garlic. Saute the garlic until it is brown, tender and caramelized.
2.       Add the salt, pepper, paprika, remaining butter, 1 T olive oil, and juice of one lemon. See notes. Let the sauce develop and carefully add the shrimp in one layer in the pan.
3.       Shrimp cook quickly and only take about 1 or 2 minutes on each side. Do not overcook them or they will be rubbery and tough.

Mojito Watermelon pops


·         ¾ cup of simple syrup
·         2 lbs. triangular seedless watermelon slices, rinds removed (slicing instructions below)
·         1 cup white rum
·         1/3 cup fresh lime juice
·         1/2 tsp mint extract (or more to taste)
·         Fresh mint and crushed ice for garnish (optional)

1.    Mix simple syrup, rum, lime juice, mint extract and pour over watermelon. 
2.    Let soak for 20 minutes to absorb the liquid. 
Skewer them and freeze for one hour before serving.  

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Backyard BBQ Battle - East Meets West - episode 8

Episode 8 - East meets West episode


Banh Mi Sandwich toppings

·         -mayonnaise

·         -cucumber

·         -cilantro

·         -sliced jalapeƱos

·         -baguette

Brine:

·         10 cups simmering water

·         1/2 cup kosher salt

·         1/2 cup granulated sugar

·         3 medium garlic cloves, peeled

·         2 medium serrano chiles, crushed

·         1 tablespoon black peppercorns, cracked


Mix all ingredients for the brine and cool completely.  Add pork steaks or a 3lb pork butt/shoulder to the brine.  Refrigerate for 12-24 hours.  Cook over direct heat.

For the pickled carrots, turnip and onions:

·         1 cup distilled white vinegar

·         1 cup granulated sugar

·         2 teaspoon kosher salt

·         1 1/2 cups peeled and coarsely shredded carrots (from about 3 medium), 1 cup of sliced onions, 1 cup of turnip.


Boil vinegar.  Add sugar and salt.  Add carrots, onions and turnip to the vinegar mix.  Refrigerate for a few hours.  Keeps well in refrigerator.

 

Vietnamese salad

·         4 large bok choy leaves, rough bottoms discarded, stems cut into ¼” pieces and leaves shredded

·         4 big leaves Napa cabbage, shredded

·         1 bunch watercress (discard thick stems), roughly chopped

·         1 large carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks

·         the leaves from about 8 stems each basil, mint, cilantro, roughly chopped

·         ½ small cucumber, thinly sliced

·         1 red Thai chili (or more…or less), thinly sliced

·         ½ cup roasted, salted peanuts, roughly chopped


For the dressing

·         ¼ cup fresh lime juice

·         1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

·         2 teaspoons soy sauce

·         ¼ cup fish sauce

·         ¼ teaspoon salt

·         ¼ teaspoon hot pepper sesame oil

·         2 tablespoons agave nectar

·         1 teaspoon minced garlic

·         1 teaspoon minced ginger

·         2 tablespoons finely diced red onion or shallot

 

Vietnamese Egg Coffee

·         1 egg yolk

·         3 teaspoons of instant espresso powder

·         2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk

·         Boiling water


1.      Brew a small cup of espresso.

2.      Crack an egg and discard the whites.

3.      Put the yolk and the sweetened condensed milk in a small, deep bowl and whisk vigorously until you end up with a frothy, fluffy mixture. Add a tablespoon or two of the brewed coffee and whisk it in to temper the egg. 


4.      In a clear coffee cup (we’re going for aesthetics here), pour in your brewed coffee, then add the fluffy egg mixture on top.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Dry Fried Green Beans


Every once in a while, I get a recipe that I really like and that becomes my new go-to!

This recipe came from the blog below and it really was great. 

https://ga-core.s3.amazonaws.com/cms/files/files/000/003/140/original/Screen_Shot_2015-07-11_at_7.02.14_PM.png
http://luckypeach.com/recipes/dry-fried-green-beans/


Dry Fried Green Beans


Ingredients

Makes 4 servings
  • 2 T neutral oil
  • 1 lb green beans, whole, or Chinese long beans, cut into 4" lengths
  • 1 T chopped garlic
  • 1 T chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4 C chopped scallions
  • 1/2 t sambal oelek or Homemade Sambal
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • + kosher salt

Preparation

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok over medium heat. After a minute (or as soon as the oil is getting to the oh shit this oil means business level of heat), add the green beans and stir-fry until they start to shrivel and turn brown, 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Turn the heat up to high and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallions. Stir-fry for a few seconds until fragrant, then add the sambal. Add the green beans, soy sauce, and sugar. Toss until the beans are coated in sauce and heated through. Season to taste with salt and serve immediately.