Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Posts tagged “culinary

Well I’ll be dipped… The Dip Lady!

Capture

A month ago I took a small trip with my Bride to the beautiful state of Arizona. Our plans down there were to visit Grandma and Grandpa who like other retired Minnesota snow-birds, flocked down to the warmer regions of the US to nest under the hot sun. Now I must say I’m not one for very touristy type places. When I go to a place like Arizona, I would rather play cowboy and wander on some lonely desert trails or drive through the back roads into the mountains seeking the perfect picture amid the landscape. I don’t mind trying recommended restaurants, or puttering around a historical museum. Heck, even an over populated ghost town is cool sometimes. I’m just not one for highly populated tourist towns with overpriced shops. Well, the first day I was there I had no choice. My Wife, along with Grandma and Grandpa, dragged me to the Mesa Swap Meet. I heard that the Mesa Swap Meet was large enough to not only populate a small city; it also got you real acquainted with the brand of deodorant the person next to you was wearing, if any. To say the least, it was packed and it was only 10 am.

IMG_0736

Upon wandering around the many aisles of the swap meet, looking at cheap toys, overpriced candy, and art, you will also find yourself being given a sample of other people’s homemade culinary creations. I had everything from jalapeno flavored popcorn, salsas and dried fruits of every kind. Though there was one booth that stuck out to me, The Dip Lady. Along with her big yellow sign, her friendly smile was enough to invite you in and try out her many creations of dip. With a handful of pretzels, I made my way around her booth trying out her homemade creations. The Dip lady is very creative with not only the way she names her dips, but with the variety of dips she offers. I tried everything from Pete’s Parmesan Peppercorn to Homicide Habanero. She also offered some fruity dips such as Pineapple Passion and Janet’s Apple Cinnamon. There was not a dip on her table of samples I didn’t like. I didn’t want to leave! I told my Wife and Grandma to just leave me there for the day.

pparm

Pete’s Parmesan Peppercorn


Well, I hung around The Dip Lady long enough I figured it was time for me to purchase something. Not only were the dips very tasty, the price was right too. I walked away with four flavors for only $10. You can’t beat that!

 

 

 

ppfd1

Pineapple Passion

 

 

Needless to say, I’m not just a fan, but I am a returning customer. If you are in Arizona for vacation, stop by the Mesa Swap Meet and visit The Dip Lady. Try a few or all of the samples. If you are not able to make it to Arizona soon, you can order some of her famous dips at www.diplady.com. A great snack while sitting out on your grilling patio next to a smokey pit!

Thanks Carla!


The Super Bowl: No lights out on my BBQ!

afterfocus_1359991161859 The Super Bowl, a game that draws crowds together in front of TV’s across America. To bring families and friends together and carry on with banter of who might win the big game and discuss what their team should have done better that season. All while eating sloppy barbecued cuisines that make us men proud because we spent that afternoon over an open flame, a cloud of smoke and a bed of ash. Some areas of the country under a warm sun, in my part of the country it was spent in a warm winter jacket.

Though Kick Off might have started for most at prime time, it started for me around 12:30. A last-minute Super Bowl party was set in place and so I had to pull out all the last-minute calls. I had to be picky with the plays I was going to make and how I was running the ball, for I had only four and a half hours to come up with a menu. Game on!

My day started off with cutting chicken breasts into chicken tenders and giving them an hour bath in apple cider vinegar and apple juice. During that time I gathered my ingredients for the Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce. BOOM… 1:30 exactly and my coals were nice and hot. Into the smoker they went, water pan filled and lid closed to heat up to the blessed 250 degrees. Back inside to prepare the North Carolina Coleslaw, a recipe from Steven Raichlen BBQ bible cook book. Hark, the clock hit 2 pm, 3 hours until my door bell starts to ring, chicken now hits the grill. The chicken was dusted with Grill Mates Apple Rub and was blasted with a heavy dose of mesquite wood smoke. The chimney of the smoker quickly puffed with a thick bellow of smoke and as the smoke rose, the snow quietly began to descend with big flakes turning my pit into the scene from a snow globe. AHHH…2:30, as much as I want to sit outside in my backyard wonderland, I’m on a time crunch and I have people to cook for.

The Carolina Mustard Sauce was fun to cook. I like doing sauces because I’m a sort of mad scientist when reading recipes. I rarely stick to the main recipe, and though I can’t take credit for the idea, I’ll post how I made it.

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Ballpark Yellow Mustard
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup distilled white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup of orange organic blossom honey
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of apple juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon of horseradish

Bring to a simmer, turn to a low heat and let it simmer for about 5 min. Take it off the heat a settle until room temperature. This will last about 2 weeks in the fridge. Your house will become overwhelmed with the scent of mustard, but the taste is worth is. This one is great over pulled chicken and a great baste for ribs.

OH MAN…3:35, time to take the chicken off the smoke and put in a tin foil pan to speed up the cooking process. It’s a nice trick for doing pulled chicken in a crunch. After putting the chick in the pan, I gave it another splash of apple juice.

Clock check…3:45, Time for the slaw. Whisk in a large bowl mix…

  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar (I used apple Cider vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 5 tablespoons of mayo
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

To speed things up I used pre-shredded cabbage, carrots and other junk for the slaw. Once everything is whisked together, pour it over the cabbage mix. Stir and chill.

Star Date 4:15…45 minutes until the doorbell goes nuts. Time to make the Caramel Fudge Sea Salt brownies! Ok, I will admit, I’m not good at baking. I won’t pretend either for the blogs sake. I went to the store, bought a box of mix, added eggs, oil and water and baked it as directed.

5pm and the brownies are pulled out of the oven. Let them cool for whatever time you want, pour on caramel and sprinkle on your desired amount of Sea Salt. I tend to be generous with it. It’s an amazing combination if you have never tried it.afterfocus_1359991423482

5:15 took the chicken off the smoker and began to pull. I poured out some of the greasy fat juice and replaced with more apple juice. Last, I finished it off with a good dusting of the Grill Mates Apple Rub.afterfocus_1359991244170

5:30…DING DONG… company arrived late. WHEW!

Though, I was a little bummed at the outcome of the game, MY game was on for the day. When everyone dove into the food that I had made, I felt that I chose the right plays. That’s right, I ran the ball at the exact time I needed too and the outcome was a victorious culinary win. I can only hope the rest of you enjoyed your day and evening as much as I did.afterfocus_1359991329969

Please, share any of your game day creations. We would love to hear!


Allies of the Ash

afterfocus_1356987261843

Though the snow may be cold

And the wind chills the air

Associates gather to bend their wit

These two logs have held the cheeks

Of Patrons of the Pit

Conversations of brisket cuts

And ribs that drip with flavor

To watch your cronies eat with joy

And sacrifice dietary behavior

The culinary dares may bet and fly

To see who alters the plan

The recipe changes from bloke to bloke

Yet still fill the greasy drip pan

Though our pits don’t always look the same

The outcome still comes together

To give your smoke some bragging rights

Because you have smoked in astringent weather…