Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rueben's Stir Fry Bok Choy with BBQ'd Pork Butt

I was touching bases with a number of BBQ blog sites early this morning and got myself all worked up looking at all the fantastic food pictures and reading up on their recipes. If you have never looked at Cowgirl's Country Life and HomesickTexan BBQ and food blog sites you are missing something. Just one look and it's like instant hunger. They are super talented and creative cooks, let me tell you. And, as I mentioned, I fell victim to the curse.

Well lucky for me I had some leftover
bbq'd pork butt shish kabob chunks. So I decided I would stir fry it up with some vegetables that I had on hand.

Here is what I did...

Here are the basic ingredients, one red onion, two heads of bok choy, 1 1/2 cups of sliced bbq'd pork butt shish kabob, 1 julienned carrot, 3 cloves of minced garlic.

This is how I slice the onions (stir fry fashion).

The garlic is minced but not too fine.

The carrot is juilienned about 2-3 inches long.

I separate the bok choy leaves from the stem and cut the larger pieces in half. I use 2 of these pictured.

The bbq'd pork butt, previously skewered and in 1 inch cubes, are sliced into smaller pieces as shown.

I like to use a wok for stir frying. That's what they're made for.

I saute the onions first, in a little olive oil, until they are caramelized. Then remove them and place into a bowl.

Next, I stir fry the pork butt and carrots in one tablespoon of olive oil and a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a  pinch of basic rub rub. I set the pork and carrots aside in another bowl.

I then stir fry the boy choy and garlic in a half of teaspoon of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. I also add 2 pinches of basic rib rub. After the leaves soften just a little I add the rest of the ingredients and stir for about 1 minute over medium heat reducing some of the liquid.  I add salt and black pepper to taste.

When I stir fry, I like to stir fry the ingredients separately so that I can control the taste and consistency of each one.

And here is the final product.

This is very quick and easy to make. You can adjust just about any ingredient you like to your individual taste. That's the beauty of stir fry. It really is just another method of cooking your leftovers.

I am sure you will like the overall flavor and that of the individual ingredients. With this recipe, no one individual ingredient overpowers the other.


Until next time....

Cornish Game Hens for Dinner!!! Oh Yeah!!!

I know you probably are saying to yourself that a lot of my post titles are associated with "dinner". Guilty as charged. I love to BBQ and Grill every chance I can, so in order to give my wife a break, I do as much cooking as I possibly can. And when I cook, it is usually outside on the BBQ pit.

On this occasion, I decided to smoke up some Cornish game hens. It had been a while and I love these little buggers because they are so juicy and tasteful.

Cutting through the chase, here is what I did....

All rubbed down using a salt, black pepper and garlic powder blend. And I don't tie my birds. I like their wings flopping around. Looks kinda cute like a floppy-eared puppy.

Got the lump charcoal burning down in the chimney starter.

Set up for indirect smoking. As you can see most of the charcoal and wood chucks are on the left side. I place the hens on the right side of the grill.

Temperature gauge on the lid reads 270. That's close enough for me.

I always place a turkey fryer gauge at the grill level due to the difference in temperature between the grill height and the grill lid. Here the temp reads 310 which is a 40 degree difference. That makes a big difference in cooking time and will affect the final outcome if you are not careful.

Hens after about 50 minutes. You can see the turkey fryer gauge probe on the upper portion by the game hens neck.

Turned the hens to the backside to brown up the bottom.

And here is the final outcome after about 1 hour and 50 minutes grill time. They were cooked just right. Nice and juicy. Game hens are quick to cook internally so be ever vigilant.

It was another good night on Guam.

Until next time....

BBQ'd Pork Butt Shish Kabobs

Wednesday night on Guam only means one thing to me.....another opportunity to BBQ. Everyone's got to eat dinner so why cook inside when you can grill outside. Fun factor.......10.

One of my favorites and very quick to prepare are my Pork Butt Shish Kabobs over a nice hickory wood fire. It only takes about 5 minutes to cut up the pork butt. Another couple of minutes to marinate it and rub it all down and it is ready for the grill. I do cook it slow at about 325 for 1 hour. That is low to medium grilling heat and it softens up the already tender pork butt. And it just gives me more time on the grill, which I like.

Here are a few photos of what I cooked....

Ready for the grill!!!

Just placed on the grill.

First turn. I turn and cook all four sides.

After about an hour these are ready for serving.

That's about all there is to it. Oh, what is my marinade you ask? Well a liberal dose of Worcestershire sauce. That's it. And the longer it marinates the better. But 20 minutes is good enough. That's about the time it takes for the fire to burn down to where you want it. And here is the link to the rub that I use, Rueben's Rib Rub.

Well I hope you try this recipe out. It's quick, easy and delicious. I'm sure you'll be glad you did.

Until next time....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quick Steak Dinner

Smoked some tuna the other day and thought it would be a shame to waste all those coals so I slapped on a Chuck steak. 

Now a Chuck steak may not seem like anything special, but they are a great value. They have a great flavor and are tender if you choose the right steak. It must be very marbled. And Chuck steaks are very inexpensive.

Take a look at this steak...

Look at those juices flowing out. I wish I could find a way to keep all those flavor juices in.

Flipped over and looking good.

I like my steak medium and that is what I have here.

Steak, peppers, salad and white rice, simple but delicious.

Well, my wife and I had a great little impromptu dinner having made use of those leftover coals. I can think of worse things to do, but this wasn't one of them.

Just another way to end the day.

Until next time....

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Smoked Yellow-Fin Tuna

My wife and I love smoked yellow-fin tuna. It had been a while since I smoked some so I figured it was about time to fire up the pit and smoke some yellow-fin.

If you have never had hickory smoked yellow-fin you're missing out. Especially after it has been brined in the regular Kosher salt/brown sugar mix.

Here are all the steps that I took to prepare and smoke the yellow-fin tuna....

Purchased the yellow-fin tuna at Tide Water fish stand located in Tamuning, Guam. Though it's small it is very popular. The fish sold here come right off the fishing boat.

Open everyday except Sundays. Gotta go catch you own on Sundays.

Yellow-fin loins.

Marlin chunks at about 4 lbs each.

Took the yellow-fin home, rinsed it off and sliced it into 3/4 in. steaks.

Close up showing the quality of the fish.

All sliced up and ready for the brine.

Yellow-fin in the brine of 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of Kosher salt and 1/2 gallon water. Soaked it for about 4 hours in the refer.

Started the fire about 4:30 pm. The chimney is really cooking now.

Spread the coals out and set up the fire for indirect smoking. Kept the fire on the left side of the fire box. Added soaked hickory chunks and chips.

Placed the tuna on the right side of the grill, opposite of the fire.

Another view of the fire and tuna positions.

Heat kept at around 250 degrees.

Tuna after 1 hour. You can see the brine coming to the surface of the tuna.

Yellow-fin after 3 hours of smoking. This tuna is definitely ready to be removed.

Close up shot. The brine and hickory really compliment the flavor of the yellow-fin. And this yellow-fin is ready for serving.

We like the tuna flaked onto salads, but I must admit, it makes one helluva smoked tuna fish sandwich.

My wife is having a function and she plans on using it to enhance her garden salad.

Which ever way you serve this, it will be something that your guests will remember. It never fails.

Until next time....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Featured Web Site...BBQ Critic.Com

Hafa Adai everyone!!! From time to time I will feature a web site that I feel is quite interesting and will benefit everyone's BBQ adventures. BBQCRITIC.COM is one of those web sites.

This web site is comprised of certified BBQ judges. They tell it like it is and explain the how and why of their judging. Now this is important because you can pick up many valuable tips on what the judges look for, both good and not as good with regards to BBQ competition submissions.

This site has many features that are just plain great!!! One of my favorites is the "Judge My Box" feature. This feature basically receives competition BBQ meat boxes that has been submitted and the on-line judges offer their critique. The comments posted are from other judges that give their opinions and why. Now if this doesn't open your eyes on how to BBQ better and turn in a better presentation at a competition or even at home, then I don't know what will.

Take my word on this. There is just a lot of valuable information here.

I hope you go to the site. You will definitely learn a lot more about least I did.

Until the next time....

Can't BBQ your ribs...then bake them!!!!

Inclement weather sometimes gets in the way of our BBQing. When that happens, I resort to baking. It is not my first choice, but I can do some damage with the oven and broiler. I'm sure we all can.

Today I baked my pork spare ribs. Here is what I did....

Rinse off and lay out with bone side up.

Cut into these three pieces first. I later cut the upper piece again separating the thinner portion on the left from the heavy bony section on the right.

I then pull off the thin membrane that covers the bones. You want to do this so that your rub soaks into the meat easier.

Another view of separating the membrane from the ribs.

Photo of the slab rinsed, patted dry and ready for the olive oil and seasoning rubdown.

The ribs and the other pieces are all rubbed down, on the rib rack and ready for baking. I bake for the first 4 hours at 225 degrees and the last hour at 425 for finishing. The last 10 minutes I slather on the rib sauce real thick.

The finished product. The ribs were juicy and quite tender.

One of our sides is an imitation crab salad with mixed vegetables. Great stuff and goes perfect with ribs. We prefer real crab which we make on occasion, but we have to be aware of shellfish allergies.

Well that was another simple dish that we do at the firehouse. So if you're not able to BBQ for whatever reason and want to eat some good ribs, this will work out every time. 

Hope it works out for you.

Until next time....