Sunday, August 16, 2009

crispy sides via luxirare and once upon a plate

I love this blog.  The attention to detail and interesting combinations of flavors are super inspiring, though my kitchen would require an addition about 5 times over to accommodate all the crazy cooking tools this virtuoso uses.  Check out these vanilla potato chips, they are incredible!

And for a lighter and equally unexpected side to a barbecue supper, check out Once Upon a Plate's baked kale crisps.  They have gorgeous color and would make an incredible garnish--one people might actually eat!

Monday, June 29, 2009

barbecue pizza...barbizza?

started out with two trimmed chicken breasts, rubbed down with salt, pepper and paprika, and added them to a pot with the homemade sauce from the last post.

after about an hour of slow cooking on low heat, i got this:

made a pizza crust from a premixed kit (just add water and oil and let rise), and pressed onto a round cookie sheet.  i coated the dough with bbq sauce (i used stubb's) and added tomatoes, frozen banana peppers, blue and mozzarella cheeses, and of course, the chicken (shredded).

i baked for about 20 minutes at 350, and voila!

mom enjoying her barbizza and lemonade.

I served this with iced tea, lemonade, sweet potato fries with an orange-ricotta sauce and blackberry cobbler.  overall it was pretty good!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

grocery shopping

getting ready for my mother to come stay with me for a weekend, and i decided that tomorrow i'm going to cook an ewie gooey bbq surprise (with sides!).

here are the groceries (i was getting better about bringing my own bags):

some citrus for tomorrows side dish:

my kitten disco likes to investigate everything that comes into the house.

the inside of a photographer's freezer...

and to the fun part!
i started to make the bbq sauce from the Out of Green River Kitchens book.
this stuff smells amazing when you are cooking it!

i used apple cider vinegar to give it some kick and put a dried red chili in while it cooked also...and plenty of garlic.

Tomorrow you can see what i'll be making with all of this.  it's going to take some elbow grease, but hopefully the end result will be worth it!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


who can resist barbecue's favorite fruit?  i snapped this picture at a down home house jam session this week.  this was a beautiful watermelon (on the inside, where it counts).  in the future i need to think of some creative ways to showcase watermelon flavor, aside from eating it plain or doused in vodka.  note to self.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

sauces from "Out of Green River Kitchens"

While biding my time at work today I started glancing through Kentucky author Charles Owsley Williams' Out of Green River Kitchens book, which is part cookbook, part memoir.  The book has a real "down home" vibe, but it's plain to see that Williams knows food.  

The layout is quite nice, too, with scans of handwritten recipes and old recipe cards.  And it appeals to my strictly non-mathematical persona by using lots of inexact measurements.

In the book, I found these two great recipes for barbecue sauce, and thought I would share:

Hart County Barbecue Sauce
Old jar of jelly

If you have some old jelly that has been sitting in your refrigerator for awhile and is about half empty, fill jar with vinegar and shake until the jelly works loose.  Pour into a saucepan, add as much garlic as you like and simmer the sauce until jelly dissolves.  

Williams bakes a boston butt in this sauce for about an hour.

"Hot Gold"-An old Kentucky Barbecue Sauce
1 gallon cider vinegar
1 lb. yellow butter (unsalted)
1 oz. cayenne
2 oz. black pepper
3 oz. salt
a couple of dollops of lard

Directions: boil the hades out of this.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Barbecuist.

barbeque featured in Martha Stewart Living (left) and the June 09 cover of Bon Apetit (right).

After tossing around the idea for a barbecue blog for several months (with little action) I have finally decided to make The Barbecuist my official summer project (well, one of my official summer projects) after both Bon Apetit and Martha Stewart Living featured barbecue for their June issues.  

Before delving into the plethora of information, pictures, recipes, and personal experiences that are sure to come in the following posts, I thought I would keep with tradition and start this blog off the most mundane and expected way I possibly could: a definition.  

Growing up in Kentucky-barbecue, bbq, bar-b-que-has always been meat, specifically mutton, pork, or chicken that is pulled or chopped.  This meat is slow-roasted until falling apart in vinegar, tomato and spices and served hot with or without sauce on a roll or johnny cake with pickles.  

However, in meeting people from other regions, barbecue takes on a whole new meaning.  In Louisiana it can mean a shish kebab, in Hawaii it can be sweet-glazed with honey plantains, in California it can be steak in sauce with crusty bread and salsa.

Moreover, barbecue is like chili-many people claim it, many people change it, but more often than not you're gonna like your momma's best. 

For the purposes of this blog, we will explore every type of barbecue claiming to be barbecue with a focus on the good 'ole bbq of Kentuck where I'm based.

...much more to come
-the barbecuist.