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BBQ Tips | Rubbing Your Meat

Hello friends.

As summer continues to heat up…even here on the Niagara Frontier where we actually got to 85-degrees this week…everyone with a grill and a smoker are looking for additional tips.  One good friend just bought his first smoker and has been continually asking for tips so I decided to do a couple of posts that talk about a few basics.

It Begins With the Rub

If you want good grilled or smoked meat, it begins long before you start your fire.  It begins with the rubbing your meat.  If you are going to smoke some ribs or pork chops, the dry rub below works equally well in the smoker or on the grill.  A friend gave me the basics for the recipe several years ago but I have added and adjusted the original recipe over the years.

Whatever you decide to fix…that is a Texas colloquialism for cooking…make sure you rub your meat at least eight hours before smoking or grilling.  Wash your meat well…if you are fixing ribs make sure you remove the membrane on the backside of the rack…then rub liberally and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Place in your icebox…also a Texas or Southern term for refrigerator…or cooler until ready to cook.

#12 BBQ Seasoning & Rub

Captain America

Captain America

Named in honor of the Dallas Cowboy legend and the greatest quarterback in the history of the world, Roger Staubach, #12 BBQ Seasoning and Rub is simple to make.  In addition, you can mix this rub with any liquid you chose (Dr Pepper, Coke, vinegar, oil, lemon juice, etc.) and make a great mop for your meat while it is cooking.

  • 1  Cup  Brown Sugar
  • ½  Cup  Seasoning Salt
  • 2  Tablespoon  Chili Powder
  • 1  Teaspoon  Onion Powder
  • 1  Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1  Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ½  Teaspoon  Cumin

INSTRUCTIONS:  Combine all ingredients. Store in air-tight container for up to six months.

Of course, there are some fellow Texans who will immediately call me out for only providing a rub that works well on pig.  They would say that #12 will not work as a beef rub and I would have to agree.  The #12 is much too sweet; therefore, below is a rub I have used on steaks many times and will also work on brisket.  This recipe is easily doubled or tripled if you feel the need. You’re welcome Ron.

Texpatriate Dry Rub

  • 2  Tablespoons  Kosher Salt
  • 1  Tablespoon  Brown Sugar
  • 2  Teaspoons  Smoked Paprika
  • 2  Teaspoons  Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • 1  Teaspoon  Granulated Garlic
  • ½  Teaspoon  Cayenne Pepper
  • ½  Teaspoon  Cumin

INSTRUCTIONS:  Combine all ingredients. Store in air-tight container for up to six months.

 

BBQ Sauce

Most barbecue aficionados will tell you that if the meat is cooked correctly, that you do not need sauce. The flavor of the meat will be all you need.  I completely agree with this hypothesis.  Both restaurants and individuals who do not know how to grill or smoke meat will always default to covering up the meat with sauce and this especially common with establishments outside of the BBQ Belt.

Now that we have established that sauce is not required, I do believe that a good sauce used in moderation can enhance your barbecue experience.  In an earlier post, I provided the recipe for my Batch #6 BBQ Sauce.  This is very versatile base sauce and can be customized or adapted to individual tastes.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

If you don’t have time to make your own sauce or like many of my ne’er’ do well friends who are just too lazy to put in the effort, there are some very good commercial sauces on the market.  In fact, one of the best sauces is made in Syracuse, New York by the folks at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.  Also, you can buy an inexpensive sauce and add a few ingredients yourself.  Below is a quick recipe that will make folks think you like them enough to make sauce from scratch.

 

 

Whiskey River Barbeque Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon  Canola Oil
  • 1  24-Ounce Bottle  Cheap Barbeque Sauce
  • ¼  Cup  Whiskey
  • 1  Tablespoon  #12 BBQ SEASONING, ACADIANA SEASONING or Virgil’s Dixie Dust

INSTRUCTIONS:  In large pot, heat oil. Pour in sauce.  Add whiskey and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

 

Chicken Fried Buffalo On The Air

Every Monday night, That Dang Ol’ Show features a live CFB segment.  If you are in West Texas, you can listen in on the 2013 Texas Country Station of the Year, KJDL The Red Dirt Rebel 105.3 FM.  Everyone else can listen live on the internet…just click HERE to be part of radio history.

 

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50-By-50 | Smoked Gouda Jalapeño Poppers | Donald Sterling

Hello friends…it as been awhile.

First, I need to offer my apologies. As I have noted before, sometimes life gets in the way of a good time and I complicated my life even further back in February.

For some reason, I have decided to begin a grueling march toward a doctoral degree. It has been difficult to get back into swing of writing 15-page papers in APA style, reading dry technical textbooks and competing in class with students half my age. While not an easy journey, I am enjoying it and it looks like I am headed for a break so I can get back to CFB.

Chicken Fried Buffalo On The Air

Every Monday night, That Dang Ol’ Show features a live CFB segment.  If you are in West Texas, you can listen in on the 2013 Texas Country Station of the Year, KJDL The Red Dirt Rebel 105.3 FM.  Everyone else can listen live on the internet…just click HERE to be part of radio history.

50-By-50

If chasing another degree was not enough, I have also decided to lose 50 pounds by my 50th birthday on May 5, 2015. Now you may be asking yourself…self, why is a 407x600guy who writes a blog called Chicken Fried Buffalo, posts all these Tex-Mex and Southern comfort food recipes, loves to drink good beer and lives in a city known for fried chicken wings going to start eating grilled tofu and begin training for an Ironman event?

The answer is simple. I am not doing either of those things and you can lose weight and make yourself healthier without giving up everything you enjoy. This is not about The Weight Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About book that put infomercial king Kevin Trudeau in the federal pen for 10 years. I am not doing some fad diet with colonic hydrotherapy and seaweed vitamin shakes. This is about a slow, methodical progress toward getting to a weight that will make me healthier and feel better.

This quest began on May 5th and I have already dropped 13 pounds. I still drink beer and eat 40-cent wings on Monday nights at the Wellington Pub on Hertel Avenue in North Buffalo. In fact, I have made the determination that the Wellington has the BEST wings in Buffalo…hands down. As an added bonus, they pour Shiner Bock on tap. I will save a full review for a later post.  SONY DSC

The key for me is portion control and eliminating all unnecessary carbohydrates in my diet. Eating a healthy breakfast…a small smoked gouda omelet made with egg-whites…and making only one weekly trip to Tim Horton’s on Saturday morning. Consequently, I am and will continue to eat the foods I like. I will just not eat as much and will add some healthier ingredients on occasion but the recipes are all still things I eat myself.

Summer Grilling and Smoking

This is my favorite time to cook. The weather has turned warm and there is nothing more fun to host a weekend party in your backyard, on your deck or just about anywhere. Last weekend, we hosted a few dozen folks at our house in Hamilton.

Both the Weber Grill and the Master Forge Smoker were in full effect. Grilled chicken, brats and hot dogs were accompanied by an endless collection of side dishes but one appetizer was the hit of the party…smoked gouda stuffed 2012-08-12-18.00.59jalapenos.

I have been making these “poppers” as most people call them for several years. These stuffed peppers are the perfect finger food and can be done in the smoker, on the grill or even in the oven. I prefer the smoker. Just a warning, they are a little labor intensive but are well worth it.

Smoked Gouda Stuffed Poppers

  • 12 Large Jalapeno Peppers
  • 2 Slices Bacon
  • 1 8-ounce Cream Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup Shredded Smoked Gouda
  • 1 Cup Finely Chopped Cooked Chicken
  • 1 Tablespoon VIRGIL’S DIXIE DUST or ACADIANA SEASONING

Slice peppers in half, removing flesh and seeds. Soak peppers in milk for one (1) hour. Soften cream cheese. In large skillet, fry bacon until crisp and then chop. Combine cream cheese and mayonnaise in mixing bowl. Mix in smoked gouda and chicken. Add SEASONING, bacon and stir. Place in refrigerator and chill for at least one (1) hour. After mix has chilled, stuff each pepper with mix. Place on smoker, grill or in oven and cook until cheese is crunchy.

NOTE: Bacon can be omitted for “non-pig” eaters.

 

Donald Sterling and the Los Angeles Clippers

I did really have anything to say about this clown but I liked this picture.

donald-sterling-clippers-owner

Photo Courtesy of ballerball.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Grilling Season 2014, MRN Woody Cain, #6 BBQ Sauce, Liverpool FC

Hello friends.

The harsh winter has finally broken on the Niagara Frontier and it looks like we might only get a couple more chilly days in Buffalo.  This weekend is gorgeous and next weekend will open the grilling season for Chicken Fried Buffalo.  On Friday, I will be headed to the palatial estate high above Lake Moriane in Hamilton (NY).  It has been five long months since I have used my trusty Weber and Master Forge smoker.

The Weber

The Weber

Of course, I did head south for some spring training last week.  There was an O6 Racing all-day singing and prayer meeting held April 2-7 at Texas Motor Speedway.  It is good to get some of the rust off the wagon before you head into another important grilling season.  The Smoke Master from Matador Ron Cox had the Double-T smoker filled with mesquite and he did some of his best work.  The briskets, pork shoulder, homemade sausage, beer-in-the-butt chicken and the smoker beans were all outstanding.  For the weekend, Ron handles the meat while I work on the accoutrements…that is Canadian for side items.

We have added a new item for future events…Smoked Cajun Maque Choux.   This was a recipe that I posted back in January but I had never made it in a smoker.  It came out pretty good.

Speaking of TMS, I had the opportunity to record a few segments with Ryan Hyatt for That Dang Ol’ Show.  Also, I had the chance to meet the Woody Cain of Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Fast Food.  Woody shares many of the same interests of CFB and he did make it out to the campsite to sample my Flying Pig Sandwich.  I will outline this little bit of pig heaven in a future post.

In fact, the Flying Pig made last week’s Fast Food Podcast on MRN.  Click HERE to listen.  Be sure and follow Woody on Twitter @WYcain.

GRILLING SEASON…2014

There are some essentials that will help you over the next few months.

Make your seasoning blends and rubs up ahead of time.  If you have not already done so, make up a batch of Acadiana Seasoning which works well as an all-purpose seasoning.  Here is an Aussie Seasoning that works well on both steak and chicken wings:

Aussie Dust

  • 4  Tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 4  Tablespoons Paprika
  • 1  Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1  Tablespoon Mustard Powder
  • 1  Tablespoon Coriander
  • 1  Tablespoon Black Pepper
  • ½  Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • ½  Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • ½  Tablespoon Thyme Leaves
  • ½  Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper

Combine all ingredients. Store in air-tight container for up to six months.

Everyone has their own preference and taste when it comes to barbecue sauce.  This barbecue sauce recipe does well on just about everything.  Inspired by the sauces available in and around St. Louis like Maull’s, this basic sauce is easy to make and it can be spiced up if that is your style.  Also, Batch #6 BBQ is a good base for making other sauces, like a whiskey sauce.

Also, I actually use the generic or store branded sauces to save a few bucks.  If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area, make sure you pick up some Trader Joe’s South African Smoke Seasoning Blend.  This is an amazing product.  It gives great, natural smoke flavor…I hate liquid smoke…to all foods whether you are smoking, grilling or just want some smoke flavor in anything you make.south-african-smoke450

Batch #6 BBQ Sauce

  • 4         Cups Ketchup
  • 1         10-Ounce Bottle A1 Style Steak Sauce
  • 1         10-Ounce Bottle Heinz 57 Style Sauce
  • 1 ½     Cups Apple Juice or Cider
  • ¼         Cup  Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼         Cup Dark Karo Syrup
  • ¼         Cup  Honey
  • ¼         Cup Molasses
  • 1 ½      Teaspoon Trader Joe’s South African Smoke Seasoning Blend or Liquid Smoke
  • 2          Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1          Teaspoon Granulated Garlic or Garlic Powder

In large saucepan combine all ingredients and gradually bring to a low simmer over medium heat, whisking to mix.  Reduce heat.  Let cool to room temperature and place in refrigerator. Good for up to three months.

TOP OF THE TABLE

1002760_10201319924230801_2062922950_nLiverpool sits at the top of the Premier League Table after a 3-2 win over Man City at Anfield.  NEVER FORGET THE 96…YNWA. #LFC

CFB ON THE AIR

Every Monday night, That Dang Ol’ Show features a live CFB segment.  If you are in West Texas, you can listen in on the 2013 and 2014 Texas Country Station of the Year, KJDL The Red Dirt Rebel 105.3 FM.  Everyone else can listen live on the internet…just click HERE to be part of radio history.

 

Buffalo Dining: Black Rock Kitchen and Bar

Chicken Fried Buffalo

Chicken Fried Buffalo

While this blog is not a restaurant review site, I will on occasion talk about a positive dining experience in Buffalo.

Last week, I attended the Malcolm Gladwell event at SUNY Buffalo with some friends from UB.  At the pre-event reception, our talk turned to great out of the way dining spots in the city and that with me being “new” to the city, I needed to try some of these establishments and write about them for this blog.

The first place on the list that I decided to try was Black Rock Kitchen and Bar.  A good friend of mine is also a friend of BRK&B owner Mark Goldman so we decided to meet for an early dinner to see just how good the place was.

Located at 491 Amherst Street in the Black Rock neighborhood, Black Rock is an area that has a very unique history.  In the early 1800’s Black Rock was an independent town located northwest of Buffalo.  During the War of 1812, Black Rock was twice burned to the ground by British Troops and was later a rival of Buffalo for the terminus of the Erie Canal.  The town flourished until 1839, but was eventually annexed by Buffalo in 1853.  Black Rock was also an important crossing point for the Underground Railroad due to its strategic location on the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario.

BRK&B is very much like the small neighborhood establishments that are plentiful throughout cities like Chicago.  It has plenty of street parking and also a small parking lot across the street.  Luckily, we decided to eat at 5:30 pm and were able to get a table immediately.  There is normally a wait if you arrive later.

community-beer-works-the-whaleThe wine list is extensive and moderately priced.  As for craft beers, BRK&B does have a limited selection of beers on tap but has an outstanding selection of crafts in bottles.  I decided on the Whale…a fine brown ale..by Buffalo’s own Community Beer Works.

One of the things that I like about places like BRK&B is that they limit their menus to the things they do well then use nightly specials to expand the selections.  When a quaint bistro-style restaurant tries to be all things to all people, it always seems to lose something.

While I decided against an appetizer or salad, I saw an entrée that immediately caught my attention…BBQ babyback ribs with sides of slaw and baked mac and cheese.  It did take me minute to decide on the ribs instead of the buttermilk fried chicken but the yardbird can wait until my next visit.

I am not a person that gets all caught up on food presentation.  I want the food to taste good but I will admit that the presentation of the meal was beautiful.BRKB Ribs

Let me start with the sides.  The mac and cheese was baked and served in a crock.  I am a connoisseur of mac and cheese and I would rank this as my favorite in Buffalo…so far.  The slaw was good but not great.  As I noted in an earlier post, I like slaw a little different than most people.

Unlike other Texpatirates, I believe that you can have good babyback ribs without having to smoke them.  While I do prefer a little smoke curled around ribs, I have had very good ribs that were done in the oven and finished on the grill.  BRK&B’s ribs were of this variety and were excellent.  The flavor was outstanding and the meat fell off the bone.  The sauce was good but when I have them again I will get the sauce on the side.

cityontheedgeDuring the meal, I was introduced to Mark and we had a lively discussion about everything from Buffalo dining to the future of higher education in America.  A true proponent of the city, Mark wrote “City On the Edge”  a book detailing the history of Buffalo from 1900 to the present.

In addition, Mark also owns another restaurant…Allen Street Hardware…which is also on my list.

Overall, I was very impressed with my first trip to BRK&B. Both David and his staff pay attention to the details and that helps with the overall experience.  The food was very good, portions were generous and the prices moderate.

I will be back and the buttermilk fried chicken with mashed potatoes has my name on it.

NEXT UP:  More Thanksgiving recipes.

Lagniappe (10.27.2013)

What is lagniappe?

noun…Chiefly Southern Louisiana and Mississippi

  1. A small gift presented by a storeowner to a customer with the customer’s purchase.
  2. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit.

Lagniappe derives from New World Spanish la ñapa, “the gift,” and ultimately from Quechua yapay, “to give more.”  The word came into the rich Creole dialect mixture of New Orleans and there acquired a French spelling.  It is still used in the Gulf states, especially South Louisiana, to denote a little bonus that a friendly shopkeeper might add to a purchase…”an extra or unexpected gift or benefit.”

Each week, my goal is to post a Lagnaippe on Chicken Fried Buffalo.  Just scattershooting about different topics and whatever crops up in the old skull…giving folks a little something extra.

Ron Cox and O6 Racing

Owens

Not Ron Cox

First, I would like to thank Ron Cox for his recent posts. Ron is fantastic tailgate chef and I was really glad when he decided to become part of O6 Racing.  It is great to have another cook in the group and the two of us have developed a fine partnership.  We each have things to focus on and can stay out of each others’ way…which is rare when you get two cooks in the same kitchen so to speak.

We have been called the “Castro Brothers” by some members of our group because we plan the menus and do the cooking without a lot of input from others.  These are the same slaps that also complain about the food being bland or that continually throw around sarcastic comments.  The amazing thing is that none of them ever lift so much as a spoon to help.  Those “people” do not include Travis Lee Seibrass, Jim Ryan and Ben “The King” Walters who are always ready to help with the prep work.

Buffalo BBQ — Fat Bob’s Smokehouse

A friend recommended a local BBQ joint called Fat Bob’s Smokehouse in downtown Buffalo. Now as anyone who has already reads this blog knows, I am a Texpatriate and someone who loves smoked meats.  Also, I like all styles of BBQ…from Carolina moving west. Unlike the views of some folks who have been mentioned earlier in this post, BBQ is not just beef.Fat Bob's Smokehouse

I decided to stop by Fat Bob’s for lunch last week.  Immediately, I liked the place.  It is located off the beaten path on a one-block, one-way street (41 Virginia Place) in the Allentown neighborhood.  Fat Bob’s has very good bar with plenty of crafts on tap, domestic specials and several big flat screens.

FB’s has gotten plenty of good reviews over the years so I knew that I would definitely be able to find a few things I would like on the menu.  There are several Cajun-influenced items but I decided on the chopped brisket sandwich with sides of onion rings and slaw. The portion size for the rings and slaw was generous and both were very good.  The rings were not the normal frozen, battered variety but were house made.  I prefer a sweeter style slaw and FB’s hit the mark for me.

As for the brisket sandwich, it was of modest size.  The bun was toasted and the brisket did have a good flavor but was a little dry…which is not uncommon.  I was very impressed with the selection of FB’s four different sauces.  Since WNY is outside of BBQ country, FB’s has provided a sauce that hits a few of the country’s BBQ regions.  I preferred the Low and Slow sauce which is more of a St. Louis-Style red sauce. The choices are the original, Low and Slow, Kansas City and “AK” Spicy.

Overall, my experience was good I will be back…for Happy Hour and to try the pork.  Also, FB’s is know for its mac and cheese and I well get some of that as well on my next trip.

Final Countdown

(10)  I would like to know who the genius was that invented the “mini” corndog.  America is in debt to that visionary.

Tickle

Tickle from Moonshiners

(9)    Very happy that a new season of Moonshiners starts next week (November 5 on Discovery Channel).

(8)    Is Trace Adkins the new Sam Elliott when it comes to voice over work?  I think so.

(7)    It always makes for a bad NFL viewing experience when you are sitting next to degenerate NFL gamblers at the bar.

(6)    Since I am in Buffalo and the Bills are the game with with sound, I don’t have to listen to Dick Stockton on the Cowboy-Lions game.

(5)    If the Giants have to win a game, please let while against the Eagles or (Insert Politically Correct Mascot for the Washington franchise).  NOTE:  They did beat the Eagles…more on that later.

London Jaguars

(4)    I think it is socially acceptable to bring your own seasoning to restaurant if you thinks the establishment’s food might need the help.

(3)    Let London have the Jaquars…maybe it will bring relegation to the NFL.  The only problem is…does London want the Jags?

(2)    I would much rather sit at a bar and watch football with a welder than a stockbroker or doctor.

(1)    Glad to see that Chip Kelly is revolutionizing the NFL with his high-powered Oregon offensive scheme…zero offensive touchdowns in the last eight quarters.  Hey Chip…you are not playing in Pullman and Corvallis anymore.

Well that’s it for today.  Let’s be careful out there.

Hot Maple Buffalo Wings

Maple SyrupWell, I guess it is about time to talk a little about what everyone thinks about when they think of Buffalo…the chicken wing.

First and foremost, I love wings…period.  I love all different kinds of wings.

It is easy when someone asks about wings in Buffalo to send them to the Anchor Bar.  This is the establishment that is famous for inventing the Buffalo-Style Wing.  The Anchor Bar is located on Main Street in Buffalo, easy to get to and has plenty of parking.  In other words, it is too easy for me.  I am looking for places that are not that mainstream.

There are many places that serve wings and most of them do a nice job but most of them do the same thing…deep fry wings and toss them in Frank’s Hot Sauce with butter.  I have nothing against Frank’s RedHot Sauce.  In fact, I use it several of my recipes.  It is a quality product and is a nice base but very plain when it is used without variations.

One of the best variations on the Buffalo Wing I have found so far is the Hot Maple Wings at Schunk’s West Hill Grill in East Eden.  This is a classic “off-the-beaten-path” bar with great food.  About 30 minutes south of Buffalo, Schunk’s has a large dining room that doubles as the billiard room.  They cover the pool table with a tarp while the dining room in open.

Schunk’s has .40-cent wings from 7-11 pm every Monday and Wednesday.  Very affordable beer...Genesee “squatty” bottles.  GeneseeThey have also begun to take credit cards and it is rumored that the great Willie Nelson stops here when he is playing in WNY.  Yes friends, it is my kind of place.

In addition to great wings, they serve a grilled bologna sandwich or as some friends from Chicago call it…an “Irish Steak” sandwich.

The best and most unique wing Schunk’s serves is their Hot Maple.  The sweet maple flavor balances perfectly with the heat of the hot sauce.  It is amazing to me that more places don’t utilize this type of sauce, especially in this part of the country.  WNY and the Southern Tier produce thousands of gallons of fresh maple syrup every year.

After having these wings for the first time, I decided to develop my own hot maple sauce and after a couple of less than successful tries, I hit on a good blend and I will share the recipe with everyone below.

While Schunk’s adds butter/oil to its hot maple sauce, I have found that the maple syrup helps the sauce adhere to the wings without adding the butter.  This is also a perfect sauce for the chicken wing aficionado who likes to finish wings on the grill as the maple syrup chars nicely.

Also in the recipe below, you will see that I use one of my seasoning blends.  I will be posting recipes to a couple of those in future posts but you can use any blend you have (Cajun, BBQ, etc.).

HOT MAPLE WING SAUCE

  • 1    Cup Frank’s Original Hot Sauce
  • 1    Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1    Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1    Tablespoon Acadiana (Cajun) or Virgil’s Dixie Dust

Combine all ingredients in medium sauce pan. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes.  Remove from heat.  Store in refrigerator for up to three months.

Make sure you try this at your next tailgate or cookout.

That’s all for today folks…be safe and see you next time.

Homesick Texan

If you can't fry buffalo, what can you fry?

KegWorks Blog

If you can't fry buffalo, what can you fry?

Cajun Food, Louisiana History, and a Little Lagniappe

Preservation of traditional River Road cuisine, Louisiana history & architecture, and the communities between Baton Rouge & NOLA

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