Tag Archives: BBQ

Most Interesting Tasting Beer

15 Dec

I happened to be sitting in the Whole Foods Beir Garden enjoying a Lockdown Brewing Company beer when I spied a strange looking pink beer bottle.  Upon closer look I found it to be a beer by Rogue Ales called Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale.

 

I had to try it.  Bought it and later that night had a tasting and wow! The super incredible smokey maple bacon flavors were intense and very flavorful.  This was the most interesting and unique beer I’ve ever tasted.

Here’s what Rogue says about their beer:

Rogue Ales has collided with Voodoo Doughnut to create Bacon Maple Ale! This unique creation contains a baker’s dozen number of ingredients including bacon and maple syrup from one of Voodoo’s signature doughnuts.

To add, if you enjoy smoked foods, you must try this beer. It may be hard to find, but if it is stock at your local store, you won’t miss that pink bottle in the beer section.  This beer would taste good with a variety of foods, from entree’s to deserts.

Smash Burger in Folsom

29 Aug


The NorCal Burger with fries

Last year a Northern California burger joint opened in Folsom on E. Bidwell Blvd.  Smash Burger was highly anticipated as a restaurant that makes burgers really well and has some unique combinations of ingredients.  I was also told they also have very good shakes made with Dryer’s ice cream.

I had to go see what it was all about so I made plans to stop by there for lunch.
Smash Burger is located in Folsom at 703 E. Bidwell near Wales St.

I decided to try the signature NorCal Smash Burger which consisted of Brie Cheese, Apple wood smoked Bacon, sliced balsamic-marinated tomatoes, grilled onions, lettuce and mayo on a sourdough bun.

It was a good burger, had a very good presentation, service was nice and the burger and fries were tasty.  The combo of flavors was good, but I must admit, it was not my favorite, I think I will try a regular Smash burger next time. I don’t think the brie mix worked for me.

All in all it was a good experience, next time I’m going to try something else on their menu to see what else they have.

As of today 8-29-11 Smash Burger has a 50% off deal on Groupon – $6 for $12 worth of food.
This 50% off Groupon coupon deal can be found at http://gr.pn/qE18dB

Check out Smash Burger sometime and let me know what you think of their food – feel free to add your comments below.

Chicago Italian Beef and Dogs

12 Aug

Chicago Food Extravaganza!

Last year, my family and I flew to Chicago for our son’s graduation from Navy boot camp. It was a very nice ceremony and he got some time off so we headed into Chicago to check it out. There were a lot of great sites to see and we got my Uncle JD, who lives there, to show us around. We went to Millennium Park, The John Hancock Tower, Lake Shore Drive, The Aquarium and more.
My favorite part was going to one of my uncle’s favorite old lunch joints in the Italian district near downtown Chicago where he took us to a place called Al’s #1 Italian Beef.
The restaurant was very small  small, there were no tables, no seats. You just walk in the door go up  to the counter, order your food and either take it home or eat at a shelf by the windows where there was room to set your food and eat while standing.

The kitchen was right behind the counter and included a charcoal pit for roasting sausages. The menu was small and simple and to the point, everything on it looked good (see photo above). It was very interesting to see and read the walls covered with memorabilia all the way from Jimmy Durante, to Anthony Bourdain and there were lots of signed dollar bills pinned to the walls. There was a lot of interesting old history in this place.

We had the Vienna Hot Dogs done up Chicago style with the works, an Italian beef sandwich and I had to try the packaged tamales… gastronomical nightmares but oh so good going down.

Filleting Salmon

7 Aug

While at Costco yesterday we were looking to buy some salmon.  They have farm fillets, wild fillets and to our surprise they had whole salmon for $4.99 a pound.  We decided to get the whole salmon and I would fillet it myself.

This is about the biggest fish I’ve purchased and I figured I would fillet it and smoke half and save the other half for grilling etc.

This was my first time filleting a salmon and I think I did ok.  Made two very nice fillets and managed to get all the ribs and pin bones out a-ok.  Even manged to scrape the bones and get a cup of meat for the cats to enjoy, they went nuts over the fresh salmon bits.

The whole salmon at Costco


Ready to begin filleting


The carnage aftermath


Two nice fillets

Smoking Salmon

3 Aug
The BBQ Domain

I’ve been into BBQ’ing since I learned to play with matches and roasted my first hot dog over an open flame on my moms bbq in our backyard. I still remember that day, I burned the hot dog to a crisp, but I liked the crunchiness, it tasted good. What did I know? I was only a kid.. I’ve learned a lot since then…

I love to BBQ/Grill/Charcoal/whatever you want to call it, I think it’s some kind of neanderthal trait in our DNA that makes us desire to cook meats over an open flame…. it’s a lust for fire that seems to always mesmorize us so much when we’re sitting around a campfire at night staring at the dancing flames.

As we all know there’a a lot more to BBQ’ing then just slapping some raw meat on top of some burning coals. There’s direct and indirect cooking, there’s charcoal types, gas and propane and then there’s smoking...

Smoking meats is a different and very unique way to cook meats and create incredible flavors.

There’s a saying that must always be followed when smoking meats – do it LOW and SLOW. That means smoke the meats on a very low heat (150-250 degrees at the most).

I have an electric smoker box (pictured to the left) that works ok but I’d prefer the big green egg.

Last weekend I made some smoked salmon using the following recipe for brining.

Ingredients
1 cup kosher salt
½ cup sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp crushed black peppercorns
2 large salmon fillets (pin bones removed)

Directions
In a bowl, mix together salt, sugar, brown sugar and peppercorns. Spread extra-wide aluminum foil a little longer than the length of the fish and top with an equally long layer of plastic wrap. Sprinkle 1/3 of the rub onto the plastic. Lay 1 side of the fish skin down onto the rub. Sprinkle 1/3 of the rub onto the flesh of the salmon. Place second side of salmon, flesh down onto the first side. Use the remaining rub to cover the skin on the top piece. Fold plastic over to cover then close edges of foil together and crimp tightly around the fish.

Place wrapped fish onto a plank or sheet pan and top with another plank or pan. Weigh with a heavy phone book or a brick or two and refrigerate for 12 hours. Flip the fish over and refrigerate another 12 hours. Some juice will leak out during the process so make sure there’s a place for the runoff to gather.

Unwrap fish and rinse off the cure with cold water. Pat salmon with paper towels then place in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator) until the surface of the fish is dry and matte-like, 1 to 3 hours depending on humidity. A fan may be used to speed the process.

Smoke fish over smoldering hardwood chips or sawdust, keeping the temperature inside the smoker between 150 degrees F and 160 degrees F until the thickest part of the fish registers 150 degrees. Serve immediately or cool to room temperature, wrap tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Enjoy!

The Golden Cadillac Drink, created at Poor Red’s

31 Jul


Poor Red’s, Home of The Golden Cadillac

After a fun day of riding my motorcycle in the local hills with my wife, we like to stop by a small historic western tavern in the town of El Dorado called Poor Red’s where we enjoy a nice cold drink after a day out riding in the summer heat.  www.poorredsbbq.com

Poor Red’s is a small restaurant and bar off the beaten path where stepping inside the door is like stepping back in time.  It’s truly one of a kind, a must see place.  I wonder if Guy Fieri knows about it?

Poor Red’s is famous for their award winning BBQ, and also for a world famous drink they concocted called The Golden Cadillac.  This drink tastes so good it’s like having a vanilla shake, but you can never drink it fast because you’ll get a brain freeze.

The sweet after-dinner type drink is made with the Italian liquer Galliano and a few other items (recipe below).  The Golden Cadillac drink made Poor Red’s the largest consumer of Galliano in the world.  That’s huge for such a small place, world’s largest consumer! right there in the tiny town of El Dorado, so far away from Italy.

If you can’t make it over to Poor Red’s, here’s the recipe for

The Golden Cadillac

- Ice
- Heavy Cream
- White Creme de Cacao
- Galliano

In a blender with the motor on high blend 5 ice cubes, crushed, 3 tablespoons heavy cream, and 1 ounce each of white crème de cacao and Galliano for 15 seconds, or until the mixture is smooth, and pour the mixture into a chilled saucer-shaped Champagne glass. Makes 1 drink.

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