These days, we are all are doing things differently due to the pandemic. Live cooking competitions have been on hold for obvious reasons. Video conferencing has become a way to stay connected to family, friends, and co-workers. A virtual cooking competition? I was skeptical at first, but it was a blast! I belong to the Northeast Barbecue Society (NEBS). Recently, it hosted a Chopped-style barbecue competition on Zoom.
There were seven enthusiastic teams participating in the initial Zoom meeting. They had cool team names, and I could tell some of them knew each other from competing at live events. Was I out of my league?
Each team had a day to come up with a plan for four basket ingredients that were revealed via email—ground turkey, cantaloupe, cornflakes, and a chocolate rabbit. The judges were introduced (four were certified Kansas City Barbecue Society judges) and they verified that the mandatory basket ingredients had not been altered. Teams then had 45 minutes to make an appetizer, entrée, or a dessert.
I recruited my wife, Karen, to help me since I didn’t think I could complete everything in the allotted time by myself.
Our goal was to create a Southwestern Pub Burger with a grilled cantaloupe salsa and a cantaloupe and grilled jalapeño-infused margarita. I wanted to use the basket in as many ways as possible and put as many ingredients as I could on the grill since NEBS is a barbecue group.
When the clock started, I immediately placed ears of corn on a kettle grill set up for indirect grilling/smoking. (I had two grills hot and ready, which was within the contest rules.) The gas grill was set up for direct grilling and heated too high. Karen started with our Mexican-inspired Mole-in-a-Hurry— a combination of ketchup, chipotles in adobo sauce, lime juice, shaved dark chocolate, and a homemade Southwestern rub. We used ground cornflakes to thicken the mixture. The mole sauce was used three ways: as a binder for the turkey burgers; as a sauce for the pretzel bun; and as an unconventional rim for the margaritas.
Karen then made cornflake and Monterey Jack cheese crisps for the burger and as “chips” for the salsa. We also dipped tomatillos in egg and crusted them with crushed cornflakes and cornmeal for a twist on fried green tomatoes.
Meanwhile, I grilled the cantaloupe, halved limes, fresh tomatillos, and jalapeños.
The moderator periodically checked in with the teams to ask questions and keep everyone on task. We obsessively checked the clock, and were so focused on cooking, it was hard to answer any questions.
Time was winding down, and we still had to cook the turkey burger, grill our pretzel buns, and plate our food. We thought we were organized before the cook, but when I started grilling the turkey burgers and buns, I realized I forgot the spatula inside. When I returned to the grill, the buns had burned. (Steven’s words, “Never desert your post!” rang in my ears.) Luckily, I had two more buns at the ready.
Too quickly, time was up! Fortunately, we got everything on the plates. The burger came together with the mole sauce spread on each half of the pretzel bun. The pan-fried cornflake-crusted tomatillo went on next, followed by the turkey burger, cheese crisp, and grilled cantaloupe. The turkey burger was served with our grilled cantaloupe salsa, more cheese crisps for dipping, and our grilled lime, cantaloupe, and jalapeño- infused, margarita rimmed with mole.
Each team was required to have a presentation plate and a separate plate to eat from while “selling” the flavors to the judges. Plates were judged based on creativity, presentation, and the drool factor. As judges were not able to taste the food, each team did their best to describe and present their dishes. All the dishes looked awesome—among them, meatballs, chili, salsa, lettuce wraps, enchiladas, tacos, stuffed poblanos, a variety of mole sauces, and cocktails.
During our presentation, I highlighted all the ways we used the basket ingredients, always grilling or smoking when possible. To score points for the drool factor, you had to describe the flavors in the dish so the judges can imagine eating your food. In my first bite, the heat and sweet of the chocolate mole sauces jumped out. I noticed the juiciness of the turkey burger from the sauce and sautéed onions and mushrooms. The pan-fried tomatillo and cornflake crisp provided a salty-cheesy crunch to the burger. The charred and cool cantaloupe helped balance the heat from the mole sauce. The salsa was sweet due to the grilled cantaloupe and corn but had heat thanks to the jalapeños. The grilled tomatillo and onion provided texture and crunch. The acid from the grilled limes and the fresh cilantro balanced out the salsa. The salsa even had a hint of smoke from the corn. The cantaloupe and jalapeño- infused tequila and grilled lime juice margarita was refreshing and the mole and salt rim took it over the top.
We knew we had a chance when the first question we got from one of the judges was, “What’s your address?” The judges deliberated and returned with the results. There was a tie for second place between the “USS BBQ and Crew” and the “Lizzie Borden Choppers.’ Then the winner was announced…the Backyard BBQ! Our team. Karen and I will receive a trophy and a cash prize.
The post How I Won a Virtual Barbecue Competition appeared first on Barbecuebible.com.
Contest,Homepage Feature,News & Information,burgers,grilling,Virtual Barbecue Competition
Title: How I Won a Virtual Barbecue Competition
Sourced From: barbecuebible.com/2021/04/02/how-i-won-a-virtual-barbecue-competition/
Published Date: 04/02/21
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pumpkinata – happy autumn
swapped in pumpkin ale for water and added some pumpkin pie
spice to a base farinata di ceci, following the initial bake I removed it to a
grid for the addition of goat cheese, fresh rosemary and pineapple head/butter
roasted pumpkin then a final bake.
pumpkin Sam & some salted peanuts, another great combination.
Title: pumpkinata – happy autumn
Sourced From: eggheadforum.com/discussion/1228773/pumpkinata-happy-autumn
Published Date: 09/26/21
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Host an Easy Grilled Tapas Party
I’m excited to partner with Reynolds Wrap® Foil for this post.
Looking for an alternative to the usual barbecue fare? Throw a festive tapas party in your own backyard. Capture the flavors and conviviality of Spain’s “small plate” culture, now popular throughout the world. Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil makes it easy to prepare with little clean-up after the party.
Named after the Spanish verb “tapar” (to cover), tapas were traditionally small, savory tidbits served with drinks like sherry or wine to whet the appetite for a late lunch or dinner.
How did tapas begin? One theory credits a 13th century Castilian king, Alphonso X, with popularizing tapas by decreeing that barkeeps serve snacks with drinks. Another suggests the beverages were served with small plates. Today, there are over 4,000 tapas bars in Seville alone.
This tapas array is substantial enough to be a meal in itself, or it could be a prelude to a main course like paella. I’ve selected four classic tapas, all of which can be grilled over charcoal, gas, or wood in packets. I like using Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil with this recipe as the food doesn’t stick to the foil packets. They include:
*Garlic Shrimp: Called Gambas al Ajillo, succulent jumbo shrimp are grilled in an open foil packet with olive oil, fresh garlic, spices, and Spanish sherry, and finished with butter and parsley. They’re positively addictive.
*Foiled Padrón or Shishito Peppers: Native to Spain but now available in many supermarkets and farmers’ markets, olive oil-fried Padrón peppers sprinkled with flakes of sea salt are a staple in tapas bars from Barcelona to Cadiz. Some are hot, and some are not! (Substitute shishito peppers if you cannot find Padróns. They are more crenulated, but very similar in taste.)
*Tapas Bar-Style Mushrooms: Often served on toothpicks in tapas bars (the number of toothpicks will determine your bill), these quartered button or cremini mushrooms are grilled in a closed foil packet with garlic, sherry, smoky Spanish paprika, and butter, and finished with chives and fresh lemon juice.
*Patatas Bravas: These are sometimes served with a spicy tomato-based sauce. Here, I’ve paired mini potatoes grilled in a foil packet with a drizzle of garlicky aioli.
While all the dishes are grilled over medium-high heat, a bit of choreography is required if you want to serve them at the same time. The potatoes will take the longest to cook, followed by the mushrooms, peppers, and shrimp.
I like to assemble the cooked opened packets on a large rimmed sheet pan or platter. Serve with—what else?—a pitcher of sangria. (I also like to sugar halved lemons, limes, and oranges, then grill them on a sheet of Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil until caramelized before muddling them in the wine.)
For years, Reynolds Wrap® (made in the U.S.) has been a valuable ally grill-side and in the kitchen. This sturdy foil has so many uses, and makes clean-up so much faster and easier. I especially appreciate the versatility of Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil, which true to its name, is great for stick-prone foods like fish or teriyaki wings. (Be sure to place the food on the dull side of the foil, that’s the non-stick side, the one with the watermark.) Recently, they introduced new packaging so you can find the product you want by the color on the box. It also has a handy tab that keeps the box closed for storage.
The post Host an Easy Grilled Tapas Party appeared first on Barbecuebible.com.
Title: Host an Easy Grilled Tapas Party
Sourced From: barbecuebible.com/2021/07/14/host-an-easy-grilled-tapas-party/
Published Date: 07/14/21
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Nashville Hot Cauliflower
Saw this idea a few weeks ago, don't remember where. I started with a roasted cauliflower recipe I like to use; boil the whole head in heavily-salted water for no more than 5 minutes, drain for ten, coat surface with oil and black pepper, then roast at 450º for 25 minutes. I didn't know if I should pre-coat with the oil, as I'd be dipping it after it was cooked, so I painted one-half of the head with oil and marked it with a toothpick. After 15 minutes on the Egg I had this:
The left side does show a bit more darkening, but not really worth the trouble.
I had printed out a Nashville Hot Chicken recipe some months back, but haven't made it yet. I looked it up, and the first two ingredients for the sauce were 1) half-lb of lard, and 2) two sticks of butter! I thought that may be a bit overwhelming so I made something up: melted 3 Tblspns of butter, added a clove of garlic, then whisked in a tsp of cayenne, 1/4 cup of Frank's Red-Hot, 2 tsp soy sauce, and 2 tsp of a cornstarch/water slurry. Once thickened, I poured it in a bowl big enough for the cauliflower head.
After 15 minutes on the Egg, I put the cauliflower in the bowl and rolled it around; was just the right amount to totally coat it. Returned it to the Egg for ten more minutes to "set" the sauce:
Kinda purty, like a 7 pound meatball. I sliced it into "steaks", not florets, and let the pieces fall where they may. Served with Kimchee:
The kimchee added nothing as far as color contrast, and nothing to do with Tennessee barbeque, but Ron's recent thread had me hungry for kimchee so… The meal could've used a big pile of white rice, however.
Thanks for looking.
Title: Nashville Hot Cauliflower
Sourced From: eggheadforum.com/discussion/1228032/nashville-hot-cauliflower
Published Date: 06/06/21
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