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Posts Tagged ‘bbq’

What’s the connection?

Well, Paramount set up shop east of Austin to film portions of the anticipated fourth installment of Transformers. I went to Taylor to check out the digs. The filming ended weeks ago, but the aura of Mark Wahlberg remained, like when you walk by people smoking, the fumes linger in the hot humid air.

It would have been exciting to see Bumblebee up close, or from the barricades a few blocks away, same difference.

transformers 4 bumblebee concept car

The new Bumblebee?

I asked the bartender/waitress in Taylor Café about Transformers, she said much of Taylor was shut down during filming including the café. It’s neat to realize a film was being made about 10 miles from my house! Of course there have been other great films set in Austin, Office Space for example. That’s a whole other topic.

Food. BBQ, specifically, is what I was hunting today. (Man meat aka Mark will have to wait.)

Taylor Café is on the list of Texas Monthly’s BBQ lineup for BBQ week, going on now through Friday.

We tested two plates: ribs and turkey sausage.

Rib BBQ Plate @ Taylor Cafe

Rib BBQ plate @ Taylor Café

Turkey Sausage BBQ Plate @ Taylor Cafe

Turkey Sausage BBQ Plate @ Taylor Café

I’m a sucker for ribs.

These ribs were moist and seasoned well. A good amount of smoke permeating the meat. Quite a bit of fat, but that comes with oinker territory. It didn’t stop Little Sister from picking the bones clean! And then stealing her brothers beans.

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He didn’t care, so long as he had the last of the Dr. Pepper.

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The turkey sausage was plainly seasoned with pepper, I couldn’t decipher many other spices in them. The BBQ sauce was mildly sweet and very tangy.

The beans were named “crazy beans” by my son because they had quite a bit of black pepper on them. He’s sensitive to spices, what 8-year-old isn’t. I can’t blame him, he’s half Canadian, bland runs in his genetic makeup. Yet he loves beans, go figure.

The potato salad was alright, not convinced it was made in-house. Does that matter?

For less than $20 we had ourselves an evening out, complete with a tour of a Hollywood movie set and Texas rainstorms. Quite an exciting Monday!

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  • 12 – 16 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • pepper to taste

Combine everything except the balsamic vinegar in a container with a lid or resealable zip top bag resting in a bowl or casserole dish.  Marinade overnight in the refrigerator, turning to coat a few times.

Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF.

Line a roasting pan with foil.  Pluck the chicken drumsticks from the marinade and place in a single layer in the lined pan.  Roast for 1 hour.

While the chicken is in the oven, strain the marinade into a small pot.  Add the balsamic vinegar and bring to a simmer.  Reduce to a thick syrupy glaze.  Remove the chicken roasting pan from the oven and brush the glaze over the chicken.  Return the pan to the oven for another 20 minutes or until done.

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  • 3 butterflied chicken breasts
  • soy sauce
  • orange marmalade
  • honey

Mix the marinade in a bag, use equal parts soy to marmalade and about 3 tablespoons of honey.

Marinade the chicken in a bag in a spill proof container in the fridge for 24 hours.

Drain the chicken and BBQ over medium hot coals until done.

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We discovered another favorite Chinese BBQ dish at one of our lunch time places in Austin, Din Ho Chinese BBQ off 183.  Number 27 off the menu is a pair of delightful BBQ meats, roasted duck breast and BBQ pork.  The duck had a musky spice and caramel notes from the skin, very tender and not overly fowlish.  The pork, with the red lining and lean meat was also very tender.  I was tempted to order another half pound of it to go (only $7.50).

We also ordered the Orange Beef.  The beef had more fat than the other two meats combined.  The sticky sweet and spicy orange sauce never lets us down, I love it and can’t seem to recreate it at home so this was a good fix for that craving.  My lunchmate, Hubby, had a total brain fart and started eating one of the hot chilies off the beef thinking it was a carrot.  Poor thing.  Must have been preoccupied by his lovely wife when it happened.

My fortune cookie sounded like a message from my late Granny K.

Do not rely on others to make you happy.  You must do it yourself.

Thanks Grandma, and I have taken the reins of happiness by starting my own business.  It’s small and waiting for new customers, but it’s mine and that is my token happy thought every day.

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Hubby caught a Sheepshead on the coast and brought it home to be cooked by yours truly.

I was cleaning the fish when Little Sister stepped out on to the patio and squealed, my attention was split for a millisecond and… POKE!  Right on the top of my right index finger was a globe of crimson.  The fish has gnarly spines pointing towards its tail fin, and I ran my hand straight into them.  If the spines didn’t get me, its teeth surely would have!  You know why it’s named after sheep?  This fish has actual teeth that look like they belong on a four-footed grazer!

I’ll get my revenge on you, Mr. Fish.  I will make you delicious and smokey on the grill! Ha ha!

Fish & Chips

  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • lots of garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup lemon and/or lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp thyme (fresh or ground)
  • 2 Tbsp white wine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Greek seasoning mix, or just oregano

Mix the above ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Whole, cleaned fish, cut along the spine to allow access to the fillets keeping the fish whole; cover inside and out with salt, pepper, oil.

Grill on both sides to char the skin, get the smoke to penetrate a bit.

Put the fish on foil, pour marinade over and inside the fish, wrap up and return to grill for about 15 minutes, turning about 10 minutes in.

fish n chips

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Oh bother!

Today is just one of those days.  My head is full of fluff and I feel like Pooh trying to remember where he left his honey.

I have no idea what to make for dinner.  I have no inclination to make dinner.  The moon and stars were not providing any help either.

Can’t I just crawl into the rabbit hole with my blanket?  You can handle dinner tonight, okay?  Last time I checked, there were numbers on your iPhone touch screen, and there is a magnet on the fridge for pizza.

Well, a fire was started in our little fire pit outside.  This contraption was the genius idea of my better half and it was meant to replace the loaner barrel  smoker/BBQ until we could buy a quality grill for ourselves.  I like being able to position myself around the grill, avoiding smoke or flame, whatever the case may be.

Waste not want not, as my dad always said.  There’s no use in wasting a good fire if you have something that can be cooked on the grill.  Chicken was the only item suitable on hand.  I discovered a secret to perfect grilled chicken (mostly because I didn’t want to stand outside for hours watching the grill, and second because I hate any pinkish hue in my chicken – so should you).  I microwaved the pieces of thigh and drumsticks on half power for about 3 minutes per piece on the plate.  Since the microwave cooks from the inside out, this gives you a leg up once the chicken is started on the grill.  Don’t over do it in the microwave or you will have tough meat in the end.

A little sauce, some Montreal Steak spice blend and just keep turning over very hot coals.

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I love ribs.  I can go to town on some finger-licking glazed, smoked, or BBQ pork ribs.  It’s not a pretty sight and not real lady-like to be seen gnawing on a bone, face covered in sticky sauce.  Doubly true whilst pregnant!  I ate a lot of ribs while carrying Big Brother, I can’t believe he turned six on Friday.  Speaking of which, I’ve lost quite a bit of baby weight using a simple trick.  Eat like French women.  There’s a book available that is on my wish list… French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano, although without reading the book I have one simple rule: only eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full.  Listen to your body and drink plenty of water and hot tea.  The hot tea bit is more of a Chinese thing, so my neighbour says, you should drink warm or room temperature drinks to not shock your system.  Green and white teas have additional benefits.

I have a craving for this one Chinese restaurant, Din Ho, where Hubby and I occasionally catch up over lunch.  I saw these ribs on Martha Stewart as part of a Pupu Platter, I didn’t have baby back ribs but these turned out just as delicious.

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baby Back Ribs

  • 6 lb rack of ribs, trim excess fat, divide into 3-4 rib portions
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 TBSP fresh ginger
  • 3 tsp chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup red plum preserves
  • water (if needed)

Put the marinade in a large zippered bag, mix to combine adding a bit of water if it looks too thick.  Add the pork ribs and refrigerate in a container for 12-24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Reserve the marinade as the ribs are removed to a foil lined rack on a sheet or broiler pan.  Bake for 45 minutes to 75 minutes (it depends on how thick the ribs are and how you portion them), use the reserved marinade as your basting liquid.  Remove from the oven and allow the ribs to rest before cutting individual ribs.

* You could bake the ribs until they are just cooked, then finish them off on the grill.  This is a great way to get ahead of the game if you have guests to feed!  Same applies to chicken, only the chicken should be covered in foil while in the oven to help maintain its moisture.  Grill marks add a delicious touch to both ribs and chicken.

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