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Friday, April 27, 2012

Steak and Veggie Skewers

Hey "Q" fans! It's springtime and I'm really feeling the grilling bug. I grill year round, but spring and summer I'm out there several times a week. This time, I decided to do some skewers for dinner. I'm sure you're gonna love this one.

I got a pack of chuck steak that had been cut already (for stews and such). I pulled out the best cut pieces and placed them in a storage bag. I then added about 1/2 cup of Original Doomer's "Q" Sauce, tossed it a bit to coat the meat and then set it in the fridge to marinate.

While the meat was marinating, I grabbed some veggies. I used a yellow onion, a few white potatoes, a red bell pepper and a couple pieces of pineapple.

Wash and dry the potatoes and cut them into quarters. You can prep these well ahead of time. I put some water into a pot and brought it to a boil. I added the potatoes and let them cook about ten minutes. Once they began to soften, I drained them, set them aside to let them cool.

Meanwhile I cut the other veggies up. I used about 1/2 the onion and cut it into quarters. The pepper I cut into a few chunks.

The wife won't eat the peppers or onions, so I didn't need as many. Also, the pineapple was canned and small pieces, so I used them sparingly. I would recommend you get a whole pineapple and cut it into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

After the meat was through marinating I got my skewers and pulled the meat out of the fridge. I alternated onions, peppers, potatoes, pineapple and meat on the skewers. Since there was only so much room on the skewer I had some extra meat and potatoes. I shook the remaining potatoes in with some more Original "Q" Sauce and went to start up the grill.

Once the grill was up to temperature I threw the skewers, potatoes and extra pieces of meat on to cook. Next I wen inside to begin on the sides. I prepared some rice, carrots and a little cous cous. I used a garlic & olive oil cous cous and added a little tomato and small diced red pepper (using the cap).

After a few minutes I went out and turned everything over. The color on the meat and potatoes was great. I put a little more Original Doomer's over the skewers and let them cook another few minutes.

Once everything was done, I removed the skewers and such from the grill and brought them inside for plating. I put down a some rice and cous cous, removed everything from the skewer and placed it on the plate. Add to that a side of carrots and you've got yourself a wonderful meal.

I thoroughly enjoyed making these and enjoyed eating them even more. If you get the chance, I recommend you try them out. Use whatever veggies you like best. I've got some more beef coming soon...I'm really thinking about some nice roast beef. Stay tuned and remember...Just "Q" it. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

My first ribs on the smoker...

I know what you're thinking "Q" fans...first time doing ribs? Well, yes, sorta. I've done ribs on my grill, but this weekend was the first time I did some using the smoker I recently was given. Anywho, I started out with a rack of loin back ribs, St Louis style.

You want to rinse the rack under cold water and pat dry...then it's on to prep.
There's a membrane on the back that you will want to remove. If cooked, it will be tough and not taste good...not to mention it keeps flavors from getting to the meat.

I placed my rack of ribs on a sheet pan and turned them so the membrane was facing up. Slide a knife just under the membrane by the end of the last rib. Once loosened, you can pretty much just pull it off.

Now if you're doing this, you're going to want to get your favorite rub. This time, I used a blend I've been working on. Take some oil and give the ribs a light coating, just to get the surface tacky and give the rub something to hold on to. Generously coat the rub all over both sides of the ribs.

I put the rack in the fridge for about an hour or so. You can keep them in longer if you'd like, but an hour is sufficient. Remove the rack from the fridge and let them sit.

While the ribs sit out, I got the smoker up to temp, added my wood (hickory this time) and waited. Once it started smoking, I placed the rack on the top shelf. (I had to cut mine in half in order for them to fit.)

After an hour, I checked the temp and color and everything was looking good. I closed the smoker and checked back another hour later. The ribs were almost at 170 so I grabbed some Original Doomer's "Q" Sauce and gave the ribs a good coating.

While the sauce imparted it's flavor into the ribs, I began to prep the rest of dinner. I started my grill up and grabbed some boneless chicken breasts and hot dogs.

I used some Pirate Johnny's Original Rub for the chicken breasts and finished them with Original Doomer's "Q" Sauce. I served up sides of baked beans, green beans, a summer slaw and broccoli mac & cheese. The family thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope you do too!

As a side note, Pork in the Park 2012 is quickly approaching. It will be our first event of 2012 and we're really excited. If you can make it, the fest is great, BBQ Pitmasters will be there filming season 3 along with lots of great bbq teams, vendors bands and so many fun things to do. It's at Winterplace Park in Salisbury, MD, April 20-22. Hope to see you there.

Just "Q" it!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

Oh yes everyone, I got a great, hearty meal for you here. I had some smoked chicken breast left from my last post and wasn't sure how to use it. Then I saw the commercials for a national chicken chain's version of this and knew what I was going to make.

I pulled the chicken breast out of the fridge, and starting gathering the other ingredients. Here's what you need:

1 lb chicken breast, cubed
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 t parsley
1/4 t black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 T corn starch
2 T water
1 egg yolk beaten
1 T milk
1 can cream soup (I used cream of celery)
1 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
1/4 cup sour cream
2 pie crusts (I am not fond of making this so I buy pre-made, but if you're better at making them than I am, a double crust recipe is what you need)

To start out, put the chicken and the onion in a pot and cook on medium heat until the onion begins to soften. The smokey flavor from the chicken breast I used created a great aroma! The kids started coming in the kitchen asking what smelled so good.

Add the celery, carrots, water, parsley, black pepper & bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the corn starch and 2 T of water, then add this to the chicken mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil again, stirring often. Once it begins to boil, remove it from the heat. At this point, add the canned soup, cheese and sour cream and mix thoroughly.

Grab a 2 qt casserole dish and line it with the first pie crust and spoon or pour in the chicken mixture. Top with the remaining crust, then crimp and seal the edges. Cut several slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Add the milk to the beaten egg yolk and brush the top of the crust. Bake at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes. You can line the edges of the crust with foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking to prevent over-browning.

After you take it out of the oven, let it sit a few minutes, then serve. Now, while I was preparing it, I kept thinking I should add a potato, which I had originally intended to be in the pie, but realized I didn't have any. After sitting down and eating though, it was plenty filling without the potato, and the smokey flavor the chicken added was awesome. I love a hearty recipe and this one hits the mark. I hope you get a chance to try it out.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Smoke a Spatchcock Chicken

Hey "Q" fans! I'm really excited about this one. With this post, I will have done my first item on the smoker I got for Christmas, my first brine and my first spatchcock. I'm quite pleased with the way everything came out and hope you will be too.

Ok, to start, you'll need to get yourself a fresh whole chicken. I got one that was just over 6 lbs. You can get this from any local grocery store. To brine it, you'll need the following items:

1 - 2 gallon zip bag
1 gallon water
3/4 cup kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 T cumin
1 T black pepper
1 T granulated garlic

I read a lot about brines before I started this and I noticed that there was a good mix of people who use a cold brine and those who heat it up, then let it cool. I just opted for a cold brine. Mix all the brine ingredients together in a large pot and stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved (they dissolve faster in the hot brine, but then you have to wait for it to cool) . Put the chicken in your zip bag and pour the brine over the chicken. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator for about 6 hours.

After about 6 hours, remove the chicken from the bag, rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Now is the time to get your cutting board and a SHARP knife so you can spatchcock (butterfly/remove the backbone) the chicken and lay it flat. This is a technique I was fortunate enough to learn from a bbq techniques class I took a few weeks ago. I'm not going to try to teach it, but I found it fairly simple.

Once you have the backbone removed, you can either toss it, or freeze it for the next time you want to make stock. Place the chicken flat on your pan and give it a press. With a little bit of pressure, the breast bone will break and help the chicken lay flat. If you feel up to it, you could remove the breastbone, but the pressure method worked fine.

I want to give some props to the guys from 3 Eyz BBQ. They taught the bbq class and I learned a lot. Along with the spatchcock technique they taught us, I also used their technique for applying rub with this cook...and have to say it worked well. Basically, you use a thin layer of mustard over the chicken and sprinkle on the rub. It helps keep the surface tacky but doesn't add flavor.

I put on the mustard and then sprinkled the chicken with a good layer of Draper's A.P. Rub. I really like the flavors that Shane has created in his rub and sauce. I let the rub sit for a few minutes while the smoker was getting to temperature.

Once the heat was where I wanted it and the wood started smoking, I put the chicken on the top grate and closed the lid. You'll want to have a good thermometer for this. It's really best to go by temperature and not "so long per pound". 165 degrees in the breast or 180 in the thigh and you're good to go. After an hour or so, I checked the temperature. It was progressing nicely. It took almost 3 hours till we hit the temperature mark.

When the temperature was reasonably close to 165, I put some Draper's Smokin' Sauce on the right half and gave it a second basting a few minutes later. Once it hit 165 in the breast/180 in the thigh, I pulled the chicken off and put it on a pan to rest.

After finishing the side dishes I cut the chicken into parts and plated it up. The wife and kids loved it and I can't wait for my next adventure with my smoker. The flavor of the chicken was amazing! It was incredibly moist and tender. I had a great time cooking this and will definitely be smoking a lot more items soon.

Stay tuned for more good things to come.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rice Pudding

I've had an urge for this for a bit, so I decided to make some and do a quick blog post on it. It takes me back to when I was kid. I'd go to my grandmother's house and she'd have a fresh batch on the stove or chilling in the fridge. I can't seem to duplicate her recipe, but I like this one.

It's pretty simple to make. You'll need to get the following ingredients:

3 cups milk
1/3 cup long grain white rice
1/3 - 1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup sugar

Alright, so first, take the milk and put it in a saucepan. Bring the milk to a boil, slowly. When the milk begins to boil, add the rice and raisins. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 35 minutes or until most of the milk is absorbed.

The mixture will appear as if the milk began to curdle. This is perfectly normal and exactly how you want it to look. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sugar.

Spoon it out into serving dishes and chill in the fridge. You can enjoy it right away, while it's still warm, but I prefer mine chilled. You can also top it. Traditionally it is topped with a sprinkle of nutmeg. I like that, but I also sometimes top it with a small sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. It's soo good. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Liver & Onions

Hey there "Q" fans! I've got a down home, country cooking classic here. Being born & raised on a farm, I had to endure, I mean enjoy this from an early age. As a child, it was a meal that conjured terror, but as I grew older, I learned to love it.

Some people love it and some people hate it. One of the things people don't like is the texture. I find if you overcook it, it becomes grainy, so don't walk away while cooking it. Timing is important to get a tender piece.
What you'll need is fairly simple:

1 1lb beef liver
1/2 onion, sliced
2 T butter
2 T olive oil

In a hot skillet, saute your onions until they begin to caramelize. This should only take a few minutes. Set aside the onions and add the olive oil to the pan.

Lightly salt and pepper both sides and dredge the liver in the flour and shake off any excess. Place the liver in the pan and cook about 3 or 4 minutes on each side. The outside will get a nice crispy crust and the center will be a bit pink.

Top your liver with the warm caramelized onions and serve with your favorite sides. I chose mac & cheese to accompany it. Trust me, if you cook it right, you can't go wrong...Delicious!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Have your Super Sunday party Maryland Style!

Ok "Q" fans, in honor of this weekend being the Conference Championship games, we're gonna do ourselves a little giveaway to help you do your BIG GAME spread Maryland Style!

One lucky fan will win a lovely "Q" Sauce Gift Basket like the one pictured here! That's all 3 flavor's of Doomer's "Q" Sauce, 2 buttons, fridge magnet, 2 in basting brush & a 12 oz squeeze bottle!

How do I win this, you ask? There are 2 easy steps, then you're in!

1. Head over to our facebook page and click "like". If you're already a fb fan, move on to step 2. :)
2. Leave a comment below letting us know what you plan on making for Super Sunday.

That's all. I'll do the rest!

The winner will be selected from the below entries using a random # generated by US entries only, and only one entry/comment per person please. The contest will run through 12pm Eastern time on Wednesday January 25th, 2012 and the winner will be announced that evening on this post. The winner will have 24 hours to contact me by email or another winner will be selected. The basket will be shipped Priority Mail to assure delivery before game day!

Good Luck!

Oh, and my predictions for this week.... Go Ravens! Go Niners!

Monday, January 9, 2012

3 Bean - 3 Meat Chili

Hey "Q" fans, Happy New Year! This past weekend was the NFL Wildcard Round and in honor of the playoffs, I decided to make chili. This recipe is a little different than what I normally make, but sooo good. Anyway, let's start with what you need!

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground venison
1/2 red onion - chopped
2-3 carrots - chopped
2 celery stalks - chopped
1 14oz can dark red kidney beans
1 14 oz can light red kidney beans
1 14 oz can black beans
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 29 oz can tomato sauce
2 10 oz cans diced tomatoes & mild green chiles
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I prefer to use cheddar or a "Mexican" blend)
1/4 cup honey
3 T chili powder
2 T hot sauce
2 T butter or margarine
2 T brown sugar
1 1/2 T cumin
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t of all of the following: thyme, basil, oregano, paprika, salt, cayenne, black & white pepper

Optional items:
1 green bell pepper - chopped
2 jalapenos - diced
1 habanero - diced
2 button mushrooms - sliced
12 oz beer (I used Shiner Bock)

Place the butter in a stock pot and saute the carrots, onions and celery until it just begins to soften. Pour them into a bowl and set aside. Open your beans and pour them in a colander, rinse and drain. Add all of the ground meats to the stock pot, brown & drain.

Add the sauted veggies back to the stock pot with the ground meat, mix and cook for about 5 minutes. Add all of the remaining regular ingredients except the cheese, brown sugar and beans. You can also add any of the optional ingredients except the beer now.

Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 hours. I add the beer into the mix now. Continue simmering for another 1-2 hours, then add the brown sugar and beans. Simmer for another hour.

At this point you have 2 options. Option one is to stir in the cheese and serve. Option two is to stir in the cheese and let it simmer for one more hour. I know this is lot of time, so if you can't wait any longer, I don't blame you. If you can, it's soo worth the wait.

Chili has such a down home, keep you warm on a cold day feel to it. It's so versatile too. Whether you like it with beans or without. No matter whether you eat it plain or topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, jalapenos, pepper flakes, hot sauce or any other toppings, it's fantastic. A great big meal in a bowl.

Just "Q" it and enjoy!