Rib-tato Salad with Smithfield Pork Spareribs

Rib-tato Salad to the Rescue!

Rescuing what, you ask? Rescuing you from getting stuck in a boring recipe rut for your next picnic or BBQ.

Rib-tato Salad with Smithfield Pork Spareribs

I was recently hosting a big birthday cookout for Rob in our backyard and obviously meat was the #1 priority on the menu. Fortunately I had two racks of succulent dry seasoned pork spareribs from Smithfield on hand and I couldn’t wait to show off their deliciousness to all our friends. We smoked ’em on the grill for a couple hours and the smell had everyone at the party drooling.

Smithfield Pork Spareribs

We devoured some of the ribs as-is, straight off the serving board, but I wanted to do something a little more creative with the rest of the meat. I knew these smoky, sweet ribs would be such a great complement to traditional picnic sides…

Rib-tato Salad with Smithfield Pork Spareribs

A thought dawned on me. I was about to throw together a potato salad. What if I just mixed the rib meat into the potato salad itself? A little sweet, a little salty, a little smoky, a little chewy…. yeah, it was basically the best idea ever. To really play up the sweet and smoky, I added some sweet potatoes into the mix and garnished with BBQ sauce. It was a hit and I have an inkling I’ll be making this dish for plenty of upcoming potluck parties.

Smithfield Pork Spareribs

 

Rib-tato (Rib + Potato) Salad

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Dickel Cocktails

Cocktail O’ Clock: Smoked Scofflaw + Black Old Fashioned

Dickel Cocktails

Today’s Cocktail O’Clock is a 2-for-1 deal! Aren’t you lucky. I, however, am not. I was invited to a George Dickel whiskey tasting with barbeque extraordinaire Adam Perry Lang last month, BUT the day of, there was a huge Texas rainstorm and I wasn’t able to make it. BOO. The nice people at Dickel were kind enough to send me some photos and recipes that I missed out on, and I am kind enough to pass them on to you.

The Dickel team says: With grilling season upon us and tailgate season is fast approaching… the cocktail recipes below are a perfect pair with barbecue or any kind of protein during the summer.

Let’s make these right now. I have FOMO.

Smoked Scofflaw

1 oz. George Dickel Rye
.5 oz. dry vermouth
.75 oz. smoked lemon juice
.75 oz. grenadine

Shake together and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with lemon.


Black Old Fashioned

1.3 oz. George Dickel No. 12
.5 oz. Amaro Averna
Black walnut bitters
Orange snap

Shake together and strain over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

Off the Grid BBQ Truck USVI

Endless Roadtrip USVI: BBQ Off the Grid

Off the Grid BBQ Truck USVI

As luck would have it, the BEST food truck in St. Thomas (or quite possibly, anywhere ever) just happened to be located in the entrance of Sapphire Village, right where we were staying on the East End. When we were in the Virgin Islands last month, we heard they were gearing up to open a second truck on nearby Coki Beach as well. Double your chances to get in on this mouth-watering meat wonderland!

Off the Grid is a BBQ truck with a vibrant Caribbean twist. Pay only $15 for all-you-can-eat meats of the day such as wings, pork belly, brisket, pulled pork (A++++!) ribs, and mussels. Yes friends, BBQ mussels, and they were amazing, basted in a sticky-spicy-sweet sauce. BBQ sides are Caribbean style as well: gooey baked sweet potatoes, spicy-creamy rainbow slaw, rice and peas, etc.

Fellow vacation lushes, don’t worry, because Off the Grid also offers a bevy of booze. I, of course, opted for the bottomless mimosas (mixed with a homemade tropical fruit blend instead of your average orange juice) but they had fresh margs, beer, sangria, the whole shebang. As you probably know, Austin is ridiculously rife with BBQ and food trucks, so you might think an Austinite wouldn’t be able to find the novelty in eating at a BBQ truck on vacation, but this was worlds away from Texas BBQ. Plus, no food truck in Texas has this view.

Off the Grid BBQ Truck USVI

Note: Off the Grid opens around 11am and closes when they run out of meat, often around 4-5pm. So plan on a big lunch/brunch here, not dinner. Bring your appetite and steel your liver.

More Endless Roadtrip USVI:
1. Caribbean Comfort at Gladys Cafe
2. Bones Rum Shop

Welcome Spring! (And Pork Season!)

cornbread

Even though it was only like 58 degrees in New York this weekend, it’s still the closest thing we’ve seen to spring yet this year, which means most of us did a classic warm-weather overreact, heading outside for picnicking, playing, outdoor drinking etc…before realizing that it really isn’t THAT warm yet. For me, warm-ish weather got me thinking about summer cooking, which in my house means BBQ. And since I was pretty much legally required to go out and enjoy the weather, I needed something I could basically set and forget.

I decided to make slow-cooker pulled pork from my Smithfield rosemary and olive oil marinated pork sirloin, but instead of loading it up with a heavy, wintry sauce, I relied on only a fresh tomatoes and onions to bring the flavor here. I started with a layer of onions at the bottom of the slow cooker, placed the pork on top, and sliced tomatoes above it all, so that when the veggies broke down over the course of a few hours, they developed into a fresh (but still quite porky) sauce.

Of course, there’s not much at the farmers market yet to herald spring, so aside from the aseasonal tomatoes I snagged at Trader Joe’s, I had to make do mostly with winter vegetables. However, I took it as my last chance of the season to play around with turnips – IMO one of the most underrated veggies of all. But I didn’t want the turnips to break down into mushy stew, so I added them close to the end of the cooking time, just long enough to soak up all that porky goodness. I served it all with a slice of Serious Eats’ cast-iron cornbread recipe.

Yellow Tomato Pulled Pork with Cornbread and Pork-y Turnips

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Killen BBQ Beef Ribs

Food Porn Champion: The King of Beef Ribs

Killen BBQ Beef Ribs

This is an honest-to-god thing that I ate. OMG. I can’t even. It’s a Texas-style beef rib from the good folks at Killen’s BBQ in Pearland, TX. I didn’t have to travel to Pearland for this giant hunk of greatness, though – Killen came to me! They were featured at the Austin edition of the ultra-amazing Cochon555 Heritage BBQ event series, hosted right at W Austin. I ate so much that day, but it was worth every bite.

If you are a carnivore who is lucky enough to live in a city with an upcoming Cochon event (or if you have the means to travel to one…)  GO. I’m telling you. Go.

100 Ways to Use Beer in Food and Drinks #17: Brown Shugga’ Pulled Pork

brown shuga pulled pork

Every once in a while, the fiance’s schedule and my schedule line up so that we can have dinner together. Sometimes I make dinner (salads, stir fry, and fried rice), and most of the time she makes dinner. Last night, she made dinner — pulled pork. Thanks to my trusty beer exchange, there are a few unique beers I will hide away to have with a particular meal, or IN a particular meal. She asked me the night before to suggest a beer to cook our BBQ pulled pork in. In digging through my arsenal of craft beers, I came upon the Lagunitas Brown Shugga’ Sweet Release. BINGO – what else could complement a sweet BBQ pulled pork like a beer with a tasting profile including brown sugar, sweet fruits, and a warming boozy taste to pair with the tang of BBQ sauce. A match made in pork  and beer heaven.

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Watcha Gonna Do With All That Meat?

IMG_2695

 

Forget summer weather or movie premieres. We ES-ers know that Memorial Day is the official start to one thing and one thing only: BBQ season!

Admittedly, some of us tend to get a little over-excited when it comes to how much meat is needed for one BBQ event. For others who find themselves headed into the first week of summer with an excess of leftover grilling, we’re very pleased to share this recipe from Andres Fernandez, the Executive Chef at the very delicious Morgan’s Barbecue in Brooklyn.

Andres’ recipe takes leftover BBQ brisket — whether from your own grill-out, or from roadside BBQ –and turns it into an amped-up sloppy joe.

Leftover Brisket Sloppy Joe

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