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.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Sitting in the Park: Spring Previews and Oil Burns

So, where were we?

I've been fighting off some kind of bronchial/stomach flu or something for weeks. I came back to work this week hoping for a blast of energy that never came. You can't be tired in the kitchen, you'll just get trampled. Too much needs to be done.

My dad was in the hospital, which was an additional distraction and worry. Hopefully this Friday will be the end of his time dealing with the hospital. The Wife and I will be there with him on Friday.

I haven't had much time to take pictures of anything recently, but here's the soup I had to fortify myself against the flu bug, or whatever. It's chicken broth that I enriched by infusing it with some mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, turnip, and put through the chinois, returned to the pot and reduced slightly, then I added some orzo and served it with toasted Ciabatta that was rubbed with garlic cloves and smeared with butter.

Last weekend, I smoked a case of pork butts (~60 pounds or 10 butts) and 40 pounds of chicken quarters (leg and thigh) and grilled 40 pounds of boneless chicken breasts w/ a homemade sweet soy glaze and 3 dozen multi-colored sweet peppers, with macaroni and cheese and coleslaw, 2 different kinds of vinegar sauces for my cousin's birthday/super bowl/another year of cancer beaten party in Brooklyn for 125 guests.

It was great to cook some barbecue again after cooking in the restaurant kitchen the last few weeks. Unfortunately, we weren't able to start until around 2 pm on Saturday for a party starting at 3 the next day for an event that was 3 hours drive away. That left us few hours to cook, clean, pack up and be on the road. Also, they had one oven at the house in Brooklyn and we needed hot food when the guests got there. I think we were asleep by 3:30 and up at 7 or so and on the road by 10.

All in all, it worked out and was big fun all around. It didn't help fight the sick bugs off, or to get back to work refreshed. It's all worth it, though, for sure. Again, no picture of the actual food, unfortunately, but here's all the pans laid out before the party, from right to left, the grilled chicken breasts (sliced in strips in the pan), the smoked chicken 1/4s (cut into leg/thigh portions), pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and grilled vegetables (not in the chafer and slightly hard to see).

I'm off to cook some boneless leg of lamb, a pork shoulder and some other items to prepare for a restaurant tasting this week and to deliver the lamb to the restaurant where I'm currently working as a test for a new item-- we would cook the lamb at the bbq joint, then deliver it to the other restaurant for their use. Cool.

I leave you w/ a hip new item: Vampire Weekend: Campus

They're a relatively new NYC band of college age cool kids that forge an African rhythm to punk-indie americanism (think world beat modest mouse). It'll be interesting to see what happens with them.


Anonymous t. primo said...

Good to see you back HS.

Sounds like you are still doing what you love to do, so all is well despite the cold, and other complications of life.

Wish we could have visited longer, so I could have helped with some of the BBQ'ing. One of these days, I am determined to stay up all night drinking Bourbon and maintaining the fire with you. Mostly I'll just get in your way and ask stupid questions, but that's what I'm good at, eh?

Loving Vampire Weekend (tho' I'm not sure about the name). They remind me of what a Paul Simon demo tape circa 1985 might sound like. That is if Paul was just goofing around with the African Polyrhythm thing after a big doobie, and a romp in the hay with Edie B. (Either that, or prep school geeks channeling their inner Talking Heads/Feelies, w/ a Paul Simon wanna-be on vocals.)

Still, they seem fun enough, and Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa is seriously catchy. Is the whole album worth a listen?

11:38 AM  
Blogger Backyard Chef said...

Thanks, Timo.

Fudging up $150 worth of porcinis by roasting them to cinders was not fun. The next day, I added too much lemon juice when I sauteed them. Fun. Yeah, well....

I think you tagged the Vampire Weekend pretty aptly, I went for more short hand. I think the record is pretty charming. Cape Cod Kwassa is catchy as is A-Punk.

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did I ever tell you that my nickname around Wildwood in the early days of learning the finer points of cooking in a 600+ degree wood fired oven was "Sir Burnsalot". True that. Don't sweat the mistakes, just learn from them and move on. Easier said than done, I know (all too well).

-T. Primo

4:55 PM  

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