The Hampton Smoker

What's up wtih what's going down? Does a tree falling on the ocean with no one around make a sound? Barbecue, BBQ, Bar-b-que. It's all in how you sell it.

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Return of the Grievous Angel

We popped Lois into her box, threw some clothes into our bags and headed out to the east end of Long Island for some much needed rest and to celebrate Amy's birthday.

Time is a bit short for telling the whole story right now, but we cooked up a huge mess of groceries including two full packer-cut briskets, an 11lb picnic shoulder, 2 big chickens, 2 racks of spare ribs, and some smoke dried thai peppers and scotch bonnets. Yummy! Melissa and Adria (spelling?) brought Salted Potatoes (all the way from Syracuse!) and cole slaw, Jeffrey and Jayne brough beer, champagne (ooh-la-la!) and a guitar, Rachel made salads, Amy made the beans and Hiroshi and I provided the 'que. Too bad, everyone didn't stay later, there was plenty to eat...

More pics and news later....chow!

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Smoke on the Water

We're heading out to East Hampton for Amy's birthday this weekend, and Wubby will be breathing fire for the first time in way too long. We're cooking up a couple of big ol' briskets, some ribs, some chicken and who knows what else-- my cat always goes into hiding when I get in a bbq frenzy.

We're renting a car, grabbing a few friends and a coupla coolers for vittles and brews. I can't wait to see the sweet blue smoke rising from the chimney, the smell of hickory and oak filling the cool, quiet air as the breeze slides along the bay and brushes the trees. Wanna come?

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Burning Down The House

How close have you come to dying? Just a few days ago, I came pretty close. In fact, we almost took the whole building out. Not on purpose, for goodness sakes. Accidents happen. It didn't even have anything to do with our dinosaur of a microwave, which is the star of this post. I've mentioned our pathetic microwave before, but wanted to show her off to get some reactions. Aint she something?

What happened is this-- the other day, I made a nice dinner for Amy, but was distracted. She was on her way home, so I turned off the heat under the pot to let everything rest and get ready for plating. Well, she was running late, and I went to turn on the burner again, but never lit the flame. We don't have a pilot light. Gas was quietly streaming out into the apartment.

We went, had our dinner and I brought the plates back to the kitchen. I thought I smelled gas, but ignored that thought for some reason, and went to bed. One the weekends, I always get up, go to the computer and often I use a lighter for something, though I don't smoke cigarettes. Anyway, I got up on Saturday, went to the computer, picked up my lighter and right as I was striking the flame I thought, "Do I still smell gas?" And, thank god I did. The burner was wide open and had been for about 10 hours.

I opened all the windows, turned on a fan, and sat and waited for the sun to come up, feeling alive. Just barely.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Nowhere is my Home

Greetings, friends.

If you're looking for me today, I'm over at WhiteTrashBBQ as Robert's guest for the day. Thanks for the invite.

You may remember that Robert is my co-conspiritor in planning Grillin' on the Bay NYC's first ever bbq contest. it's being sponsored by RUB BBQ and is sanctioned by the New England Barbecue Society. The contest is March 25.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out

Well, not quite. But, I've been fortunate enough to be going through root canal and some other dental work, so haven't been able to chew much. Here are a few attempts at 'softer food' to eat.

Rice and beans were made with white rice that I added about a teaspoon of chicken broth mix and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric to make them nice and yellow. The black beans were simmered with garlic, onion, stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, and chipotle.

The chicken tikka masala was boneless chicken thighs seared with some tandoori spice and simmered in a jar of Patak's mix-- a surprisingly good pre-made product.

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Throw Another Log on the Fire

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

It's Raining Today

Well, not today, not here, anyway. But Scott Walker has a song by that name, and sometimes, it just feels like it's raining.

That's how it felt, figuratively and litteraly when this picture was taken. As you can tell from the not particularly amused look on 'Roshi's face. We were getting ready to come back to the city from Long Island, but I wanted to warm up Wubby to clean out the grease, play with fire, season, whatnot. Because the steel is so thick, I wanted to leave time for the pit to cool down before we put the tarp on, too.

Well, I got the pit good and hot, played with the gas assist for the firebox, and it was right when I was about done cleaning the inside and starting to season the outside when I felt the first passing drop. I decided to open the doors to let out as much heat as I could, and then...the sky broke and the rain started falling. Not the most fun thing for cooking, but I can handle it if I need to, but my poor Wubby doesn't like to take showers if she can avoid it.

We were scrambling for cover, and Hiroshi was peeved that I had taken the time to capture our ramshackle setup.

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Goodnight, Grandpa: Al Lewis, RIP

Al Lewis, Grandpa on the Munsters, was one of my favorite tv characters and political candidates-- way cooler than Gopher, that's for sure. He fought against the death penalty and our out of step drug laws and was able to get more than 50,000 votes when he ran against Pataki. Sadly, he's moving into that great Governor's Mansion in the sky, as I type. G'night and sleep well, Grandpa.

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

2,000 Light Years From Home

It's been a while since I've had a chance to post something here, and I apologize to you (if there's anyone out there reading this) for making you wait. Hiroshi and I did a nice long cook last Saturday and the weather was just perfect--T-shirt weather. He and I had split a whole bunch of wood last time we were out there so we were good to go as soon as we pulled up. We didn't even unlock the door to the house, just threw off our coats, set the bags and groceries aside and started the fire. We cooked two beer can chickens, 2 brisket flats (you can see a picture of some slices at the top of this post), 2 racks of spareribs, homemade sweet pork sausage and a half dozen jalapenos that I smoke-dried to make chipotles.

The sausage recipe will be coming in the next post, and the beer can chicken was cooked using the hotspot-- alternating time close and far from the heat for color and smoke.

In other news, Me and Robert from WhiteTrashBBQ are organizing a grilling contest in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn on March 25 to benefit the Saint Mark Sports Association. The contest is called Grillin' on the Bay. (Click the Read More! link below to hear all about it!) Folks can get information at the Saint Mark website, or email me or Robert if they're interested. The categories will be chicken wing, fish , pork, Chef's Choice and Dessert-- the rules give more info on each category. There will be cash, trophies, etc...and it is sponsored by RUB BBQ, which is Paul Kirk's restaurant in NYC.

We're expecting some great teams from the Tri-State Area to be coming out and the competition to be spirited and intense, and with the added bonus of the money going to the program, it's gonna be a great day. Who knows what the weather will be like in Brooklyn that time of year-- it was cold, dreary windy and rainy this morning, by noon it was 62 degrees, but we should have snow on Sunday. I can't figure this out.

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