Archive | July, 2012

July 12 – Bachelor Night Dinner

12 Jul

Meat: Top Sirloin. CAB from Piggly Wiggly

Seasoning: Salt, Pepper & Dizzy Dust

Grill: Weber Q320

Temperature: 450

Cooking Time: 8 minutes

Finish Temp: Approx. 120





4th of July a Bit Humdrum this Year: Just Some Chicken Wings

7 Jul

Usually we go to Turk Lake in rural Central Michigan for the week of 4th of July. The 4th of July at Turk Lake my friend Steve and I have, for seven or eight years now, served as the pit masters of Turk Lake. We started out cooking ribs over an open fire pit. We graduated to Weber kettle grills and Boston Butts, then we stepped it up a bit and started cooking butts, ribs and chicken on Weber Smokey Mountain smokers. We both now have added the likes of Big Green Eggs, Kamado Joes, Primo XL Ovals and Traeger Texas grills to our cooker collection. We both judge barbecue contests and talk about getting together a couple time a year to compete. We have endured heat, rain and, one year, a faux-Weber kettle grill with a hinged lid that got caught in a gust of wind with the lid open and skated across the yard like a sailing skiff on white capped water. Two years ago, we endured, on July 3rd, the death of Steve’s father-in-law and my great friend Jerry Wabeke. We look forward to these 4th of July cooks, plan them for months, and discuss for days ahead of time where our meat is going to come from, what kind of fuel we are going to use and the favors of smoke wood we will add to the fire. We contemplate sauce and rubs and, of course, plan the course of beverages for the day. There are other foods, of course: corn, baked beans, squash, zucchini, slaw, maybe a congealed salad or two and desserts. Nice, sure, but the meat is the star of the day, and we are the star-makers.

This year, however, we did not get to Turk Lake. It was nothing bad that kept us away. To the contrary, my beautiful wife has a great new job and it was just too soon for her to take a week off. So the 4th was spent at home, very low-key and simple. Lunch out at a Mexican restaurant (who knew so many Mexican food restaurants would be closed on the 4th of July?), some grilled chicken wings for dinner and some dessert that Missy or Meredith would cook up – brownies or chocolate chip cookies perhaps. Low-key and definitely not Turk Lake. Still, the day took an upturn when Melanie called to say she would be home for dinner and would be spending the night. So, while not sitting on the pontoon in the middle of the lake watching neighbors on opposite sides of the lake shooting fireworks arcs across the lake toward each other, we were nevertheless together as a family.

The wings? This is a cooking blog after all. Marinated in mojo criollo, seasoned with Bad Byron’s Butt Rub, cooked at 375 indirect over lump and pecan then finished direct to add crust, all on the Primo XL Oval cooker. Boneless skinless chicken breasts, too, marinated in the mojo, grilled direct for about 8 minutes a side. Results: wings were demolished, but the better choice was, perhaps, the chicken breasts. The mojo will light up some ordinary chicken.

Highlight of the day, food-wise, was the girls dessert. Using brownie mix, chocolate cookie dough, small Reese’s cups and a muffin tin, they put together a brownie concoction that set my back three weeks.

After the brownies (and a big glass of milk) the girls engaged in their customary loud and rambunctious horse-play. So, while it was not the typical 4th, and while I hated missing out on the big cook and spending the week at the lake, it was a good day.

Still, next year, and the next, and for the next 40 years or so, I DO plan to be cooking barbecue, with Steve, AT Turk Lake!

Wings on the Primo XL Oval: