Courtesy of http://www.bbqcateringconfidential.com
Ready? Set? Going into this July, life is leading to new and unexpected directions. The most exciting new thing is taking my Private Grilling Lessons public with an online Blog Talk Radio Show called “BBQ RESCUES!” [Yes, as if I needed to add yet another project.] The show will include Interviews with Food and BBQ Experts, cover Grilling Topics, plus Questions and Answers with people for BBQ Help. I will also do on-location reports while teaching Grilling BBQ Lessons. The show will premiere Live on July 3rd at 10:00am and have a taped Encore presentation on July 4th. Each show will be made into a podcast, available for download on iTunes. Who knows, someday someone may want to bring BBQ RESCUES! to Live TV. You never know…
The other development this 4th of July is quite shocking. Something I thought would never ever happen… After over 30 years of Grilling, I am now the owner of a (Gasp!) Gas Grill. I know traditional Grill Masters from Texas to Louisiana are shaking their heads in disbelief. It’s like waking up with a one-night stand that you don’t remember taking home. I allowed the Gas Grill to sit in my Dining Room for a few days before I dared take it out and assemble it.
It all started when I accepted a generous offer from popchips and Weber Grills to attend a special BBQ Boot Camp earlier in June. It was a really nice event. I got to meet interesting Reps from both companies as well as some of the most seasoned Bloggers in the West. The event’s topic was “How to Make the Perfect Burger” which, oddly enough, is something I sometimes struggle with. I teach Grilling Lessons and cater amazing Burgers all of the time. But my technique has always been to measure freshly seasoned Beef into equally sized balls, then smash them into somewhat equally sized patties. At the Boot Camp, I met the Weber Burger Press. This contraption can help you make each Burger equally perfect. Who knew?
Not to neglect popchips (which are branded with a small “p”), our relationship has been a long revolving drama. Since they first hit the shelves a few years ago, I have been obsessed with Barbecue popchips and their Sour Cream and Onion cousins. I never gave Sea Salt popchips a second look, until recently deciding to use them in a new Recipe- Superfood Smoked BBQ popchips. This flavor will not be coming to stores anytime soon, so check out the Recipe at the end. Also, popchips is introducing two new flavors: Crazy Hot and Cinnamon Sweet Potato. I have yet to solve the dilimma of how to put aside a bag of popchips without finishing them all. Fortunately they are Calorie Friendly, because I am seldom able to accomplish this feat.
So the latest addition to my Grill Collection is a parting gift from the BBQ Boot Camp, my own Weber Q 1200. As part of their “Q with Color” campaign I got to choose from a cool palate of hues and decided on Orange. Why? I’ve always thought that odds of me ever owning a Gas Grill were about the same as someone making an Orange Grill. It is no secret that I have been part of Team Charcoal since I started learning about Grilling at age 6. However, I am no stranger to Gas Grills. In fact, most of my Private Grilling Lesson clients are people who want me to show them how to make food from their Gas Grill taste like “real” BBQ.
The secret is simple, yet profound: Smoke. No I am not talking about the black billowing clouds that flair up when the grease meets the heat. I am talking about intentionally adding the sweet scents of Hickory, Mesquite, Cherry, Applewood or Alder to your Grilling. This can be easily achieved by using Wood Chips or Chunks with Charcoal. Some serious Grill Masters skip the Charcoal altogether and cook with Redwood Logs and the Smoke is a natural byproduct. My Private Grilling Lessons usually include figuring out how to make the Smoke linger, because many Gas Grills come with Smoker Drawers or Chambers that simply don’t work.
There are more ways than to sundown to add Smoky flavor to your cooking. Check out my previous post 6 Easy Ways to Get Your “Smoke-On” at Home. In honor of my BBQ Boot Camp hosts, this week I will be using Weber’s prepackaged Wood Chip tins called Firespices for my 4th of July Recipes. Note- you can also buy Weber’s Wood Chips or Chunks loose in bags. For smaller batches of Grilling you can open your Firespices tin and take half of the chips out before soaking them.
Of course, it’s fine to cook your regular 4th of July Recipes for BBQ Chicken, Ribs, Hot Dogs and/or Burgers. This year, why not thrill your Guests back to childhood by making them Cherry Smoked Bologna Sandwiches with Smoky Mayo. They can be served as a main Entree or cut into Appetizer Bites. I plan to take some to my local Holiday party as a special treat. You should try them at yours. Either way, have a Happy 4th of July. Until next time, Eat and Be Well.
1 Cup Mayonnaise (can be Low Fat, Organic, or with Olive Oil)
2 Tbsp your Favorite BBQ Rub (I suppose Weber Grill Mates Rub is OK, or use HEROIC! Rub which is Gluten Free with no added Salt or Sugar).
Mix BBQ Rub into Mayo until blended evenly, then cover and refrigerate.
As popchips are already Gluten Free, these Recipes can be made with Vegan or with GF Bread and other products. For Vegetarian version use Tempeh and Vegan Cheese. Recipes are written for Zone Grilling. Please note- The Weber Q 1200 doesn’t have Zones, but Recipes came out great, anyway.
SUPERFOOD SMOKED BBQ POPCHIPS
1 bag Sea Salt popchips
2 Tbsp HEROIC! (or you can make your own Rub with any dried combination you have of Smoked Paprika, Garlic, Red Bell Pepper, Onion, Turmeric, Cumin, Cinnamon, Thyme, Fennel, Allspice and Nutmeg).
1 pack Cherry Weber Firespices (also to be used in Main Recipe)
Optional- 1 Thick Slice of Onion and 1/2 Cup Sour Cream to make a Smoky Onion Dip (plus optional sprig of Parsley)
1. At least a Half Hour before Grilling immerse Firespices in a bowl or Ziplock bag of Water.
2. Fire up Gas Grill (or Charcoal) to High on one side of Grill. Leave other side of Grill turned off.
3. Use a Foil Tin (or make Aluminum Foil bowl) to mix popchips with BBQ Rub until coated evenly.
4. Once heated, place Firespices tin on hot side of Grill, when it starts to Smoke, place seasoned popchips on unheated half of Grill.
5. If making Onion Dip, season Onion Slices on both sides with BBQ Rub. Grill Onions on heated Grill 2-3 minutes per side. Finely dice Onions and mix in Bowl with 1/2 Cup Sour Cream and 1/4 Cup of Smokey Mayo. Garnish with Chopped Parsley, if available.
6. After 4 minutes, stir Bowl of popchips to let them evenly absorb Smoke for another 3 minutes. [Keep close eye, delicate popchips can easily burn).
7. Remove popchips from Grill, put in serving Platter or Bowl with optional Smoky Onion Dip.
CHERRY SMOKED BOLOGNA SANDWICHES
(for 8 Entree Sandwiches)
8 Thick Slices of Deli Bologna
16 Slices Deli White Bread
8 Slices Cheddar or Provolone Cheese
1 Head Iceberg Lettuce
16 Thick Slices of Tomato
Optional Yellow or Spicy Brown Mustard and/or BBQ Sauce
1. By now your Grill should still be nice and Smoky. Turn heat to Medium on second half of Grill, reduce hot side to Medium.
2. Place Bread on Grill in Shifts, grilling each side for up to 1 Minute. Be careful, Bread can easily burn.
3. Once Bread is done, place Thick Bologna Slices on Grill, rotate and flip as needed to avoid burning. Goal is to keep them in the Smoke for at least 8-12 Minutes.
4. In last 2 Minutes if cooking, melt 1 Slice of Cheese on each Bologna Slice.
5. Adventurous or Experienced Grill Masters may want to lightly grill Tomato Slices for 1 Minute per side, being careful not to let them go mushy.
5. Assemble Sandwiches by Spreading each Bread Slice with Smoky Mayo, Optional Mustard and BBQ Sauce.
6. Layer 8 Bread sides with Smoked Bologna with Cheese, Tomato, and a small Wedge of Lettuce. Top with Second Slice of Bread. Slice Sandwiches in Half to serve as Entree. Cut into 4-6 Pieces to platter as Appetizers. For Fancy Cocktail or Tea Party Hors D’oeuvres, slice off ends of Bread after assembly for neat, even pieces (feel free to eat the ends yourself). Enjoy!
Chef Mick Brown is a Food Blogger/Purveyor based in Los Angeles, with over 30 years BBQ and Grilling experience. Aside from Catering, his passions are creating Easy Grilling Recipes and searching for the World’s Best Flavors. General Manager of Tastee BQ Grilling Co. and the new California Gold BBQ Rubs. He is also author of web serial blog “The Adventures of Tastee BQ.” He recently appeared on the Food Network for “Grill or Be Grilled” a special BBQ Edition of Cutthroat Kitchen where he won the Champion Title of Grill Master. Episode can now be viewed on Youtube. Email- Mick@TasteeBQ.com
Weber Grills http://www.weber.com/
HEROIC!/ California Gold BBQ Rubs http://www.californiagoldrub.com/
6 Easy Ways to Smoke Food/ BBQ Catering Confidential-http://bbqcateringconfidential.com/2014/09/15/whats-that-smoking-6-easy-ways-to-get-your-bbq-smoke-on-at-home/
Lynn Chen of The Actor’s Diet http://theactorsdiet.com
Jon’s International Markets http://www.jonsmarketplace.com/
BBQ RESCUES! (new website) http://bbqrescues.com/
BBQ RESCUES! (at Blog Talk Radio) http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bbqrescues