Winner winner, smoked chicken burgers for dinner

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smoked pulled chicken burgers
This week my eldest son Seba, informed me that he thought it was about time he got the hang of smoking.

I could’ve have been concerned and demanded that he stopped hanging out with that tough crowd down the street because they were obviously leading him astray, but I was pretty confident that wasn’t the type of smoking he was talking about. You see, around foodisthebestshitever HQ the main type of smoking we talk about is the smoking of meat.

Once again I could understand how this could be misconstrued, but believe me when I say there is nothing biblical nor quick-cash-earning about this type of smoking of the meat. Also, you should just get your filthy mind out of the gutter, this is my kid we’re talking about here…

So at this point, this 10 year old product of coital union between myself (I think) and my dear wife Jennee almost has me in tears. The lad wanting to follow in the foot steps of his old man, manning the pit and feeding the hoards who desired the smoky goodness. I was damn well impressed. This was definitely a proud dad moment for me.

After a little light reading of a few of my favourite BBQ books Seba declared he thought he would like to spatchcock a bird (his words not mine) and smoke it for a few hours.

Sound idea… except the butcher was sans whole birds today, so I suggested we may need to settle for some chicken breast, possibly pulled and sauced and made into burgers.

Seba was agreeable, so we purchased said breasts and the rest, as they say, is history.

Big Red Rub, butter and breasts... sounds like my kind of party

Big Red Rub, butter and breasts… sounds like my kind of party

Smoker, Fiskars X25 block splitter, beer brewed by the Coopers family and a full watering can just because safety doesn't take a holiday

Smoker, Fiskars X25 block splitter, beer brewed by the Coopers family and a full watering can just because safety doesn’t take a holiday

Seba get's that chicken in the smoker. The task seemed pretty easy for him...

Seba get’s that chicken in the smoker. The task seemed pretty easy for him…

Seba rolling those boobies through the red butter

Seba rolling those boobies through the red butter

Starting to turn into some really sexy breasts

Starting to turn into some really sexy breasts

Loaded as fuck

Loaded as fuck


SMOKED & PULLED CHICKEN BURGERS

(serves 4)

3x 200g chicken breast (free range, yeah. Give the little chooky a half decent life at least)
1 tablespoon Big Red Rub
1 tablespoon butter
BBQ sauce
4 burger buns (I like a slightly sweet milk bun, but I’m sure what ever you choose will be fine)
Lettuce leaves, tomato, cheese, mayonnaise and sliced jalapeno to served

• Rub chicken boobs with butter and then Big Red Seasoning
• Set aside in the fridge to marinated for an hour or so
• Get your weber or upright smoker or whatever it is you use to smoke things ready to go. Somewhere around the 110-120C is the temp I like for this sort of thing
• Smoke chicken on a tray for approximately 2 hours or until cooked through. Turn the chicken and baste with juices every 30 minutes
• Rest chicken for 10 minutes
• Shred it, pull it, do your thing
• Check seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if necessary
• Moisten chicken with 2-3 tablespoons of BBQ sauce and pile onto burger buns layered with the other ingredients. I shouldn’t need to hold your hand through this one by now, but if I do… well… I’m just not going to. Here is a picture of my 10 year old son sorting it out all by himself. That’s all

Honestly. This is Seba just rocking the "I got this pops"

Honestly. This is Seba just rocking the “I got this pops”

This was seriously one of the fucking best

This was seriously one of the fucking best

Smoked beef ribs with BBQ sauce and paper towel

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smoked beef ribs
This is another very effing worthy addition to the monthly meeting of “the Hungry Mens Club”, or indeed “the Really Attractive Gnawing Meat From The Bone Ladies Club”.

The method employed is not going to decrease any amount of jobless percentages or ensure victory for the local candidate running for election, but is in fact the exact same method used for the smoked brisket you can find right here. The time the meat spends unwrapped in the smoke is reduced by roughly 1 hour and then the time wrapped is reduced by around about the hour mark too.

I doused the shit outta this mofo with this BBQ sauce after it had rested for 1 hour, sliced it into Fred Flinstone looking chunks and five minutes later I found myself laying in a pool of my own body sweat and BBQ sauce with a very contented grin on my face… very contented indeed.

Unwrap those bad boys after a good smoking and then a little rest

Unwrap those bad boys after a good smoking and then a little rest

That is some really saucy shit right there

That is some really saucy shit right there

Textbook

Textbook

Oh dear good lord, get in my face

Oh dear good lord, get in my face

Hand towel is advised for this and other meat/bone type activities

Hand towel is advised for this and other meat/bone type activities


You’re welcome.

Stalling on the smoked brisket

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bbq smoked brisket
This is one recipe that is pretty essential for anyone who is really keen on BBQ or in fact anyone who really enjoys any type of food-based, guaranteed STD free, pornography going on in their mouth.

It is also a recipe that I’ve taken my sweet time getting up here for your viewing pleasure.

Yeah, I’m heaps soz.

Anyhow, I need to keep this short and sweet just because I shouldn’t even be trying to entertain you folks (yeah plural. I know for a fact there’s at least three of you now) with this conduit of my love of food to the outside world and I should definitely be tallying invoices and dockets from our last week at the restaurant. Can you see what’s happened? I just opted for the more fun option… not very good at adulting at all am I?

So the one thing I feel I should bring to your attention is that the brisket does a little thing around the 65C mark that people in voodoo BBQ circles worldwide like to call “the stall”. The brisket may indeed stall at 65C for half an hour or so. It’s just what it does. Get used to it and we can all still be friends.

Nice.

Go smoke some brisket now.

Start with one of these or something else that is good for smoking meat

Start with one of these or something else that is good for smoking meat

Smoking brisket makes me smile

Smoking brisket makes me smile

Slice it up so many people may partake in the smoky briskety goodness

Slice it up so many people may partake in the smoky briskety goodness


COFFEE SMOKED BRISKET

(For a gathering of the hungry man’s club.)

3.5-4kg beef brisket (a bigger brisket will just take a little longer)
2 cups strong black coffee
Salt and pepper
Probe thermometer
Pretty much all of the other sides on these pages work with smoked brisket, so take your pick.

• Season beef well with salt and pepper. Proper well. A good handful should do the trick
• Get your smoker up to 110-120C and while your waiting around, get that coffee into a spray bottle
• Get the brisket into your smoker, making sure you keep a fairly constant-ish 110-120C. Give your beef a nice little spray with the coffee every 30-40 minutes
• After 4-5 hours the brisket should have an internal temp of 65-70C or so. This is when I like to wrap it
• Remove the brisket, give it one last spritz with that coffee and wrap it with alfoil. Return to the smoker for another 3-4 hours or until the internal temperature at the thickest point in the brisket is 92-95C. This is definitely as specific as I get with this whole cooking lark and there is a reason for that – this is how you make it really effing good!
• Once the brisket is at 92-95C remove from smoker and rest for one hour
• Make sure you let it rest for 1 hour as this is how it ends up really sexy
• Now and only now it is time to eat your brisket
• Get some sides together, get some sauces together and then get it into your face. Or get it on a burger with some BBQ sauce*, jalapenos, pickles and chopped white onion for my current favourite. Still, as long as it ends up in your face you will be happy

*I like 2 parts this BBQ sauce cooked out with 1 part maple syrup. 2 cups BBQ with 1 cup of maple. Simmer that out for 10 or 15 minutes over med-low heat. You can do that, right?

That's my bit

That’s my bit


All pics, except that one of the smoker, belong to my friend Bec Clark.

Gumbo. Smoked lamb gumbo…

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lamb gumbo
Today I made gumbo… or something that is sort of gumbo, I guess.

Best as I can figure gumbo was created in Louisiana as sort of a use-up-all-of-the-shit-in-your-garden, chuck-in-whatever-bit-of-meat-you-can-afford, roux flavoured, file or okra thickened, po’ folks type food, so I’m pretty sure that means I’m following the brief… and not even with a chance of getting locked away… like if I was following the briefs… like the knickers… sniffy, sniffy… hmmm, quite possibly going in a bad direction here I think.

Straight up digression. Certainly not breaking any new ground here, am I.

So the thing is I had some lamb loin in the smoker, and I had some Andouille sausage in the fridge, and then I went and Viking raided the absolute crap out of all of the leafy green things in Jennee’s garden. The answer to that question is definitely GUMBO. Oh, and I do know there wasn’t actually a question there. I’m just checking if you’re on your toes. Well done little fella, you passed. Next up we’ll check which way you sit on a toilet seat and then… um. Digressing again. Soz. I write recipe now.

The only ingredient I didn’t have on hand was file powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves), which I read is quite essential for thickening a good gumbo. But then I also read (yeah, working my peepers over-time here) that okra is also used for the same purpose. So this time I just happened to have some okra in the fridge so that’s what I went with. I’ll try to get hold of some file for next time…

Get a heap of green things from the garden...

Get a heap of green things from the garden…

...and chop it the heck up

…and chop it the heck up

Get that roux nice and chocolate brown

Get that roux nice and chocolate brown

And then get the rest of it in there too

And then get the rest of it in there too

Save that smoked lamb until the end though

Save that smoked lamb until the end though

Get it into your belly, washed down with whatever you see fit

Get it into your belly, washed down with whatever you see fit


SMOKED LAMB GUMBO

(Serves 4-6)

800g lamb loin*, smoked at 110C (230F) for 4 hours
1 andouille sausage (or what ever smoked sausage you can lay your grubby little mits on), diced
3 tablespoons butter or bacon dippings
3 tablespoons plain flour
1 onion, chopped
1 green capsicum, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
10-15 okra, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bunches mixed green things – curly kale, Russian kale, cavolo nero, spinach, chard, turnip leaves, broccoli leaves, grass, whatever, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon cayenne or died chilli
2lt some kind of stock
Salt and pepper
A large handful parsley, chopped
Hot sauce and rice to serve if you want to be somewhat traditional. Otherwise, serve it with whatever the fuck you want – I actually had mine with potato salad and a splash of olive oil… don’t tell anyone please

• Make a roux with the butter and flour (you can google that I reckon) and cook it out slowly until it is a nice medium-dark brown colour
• Add sausage, onion, capsicum, celery, okra and garlic and cook out over medium heat for another 5 minutes
• Add greens and spices and cook out for another 5 minutes
• Add stock and season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 30 minutes
• Add lamb, smoky lamb juices and simmer for another 20 or so minutes until lamb is tender
• Check seasoning and adjust if necessary
• Hit it with a heap of parsley and get it into your face

This shit is so damn good.

*The flavour of the awesomeness that is Gumbo is one that will lend its self to be a suitable home for just about any other meat. Don’t be afraid to sub in chicken, seafood, beef, pork, koala, emu and any other coat of arms animal you can think of.
gumbo

Chow-chow down down

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chow chow
This is the sort of condiment that revolutionizes my life.

It combines a heap of my favourite vegetables in a witch’s cauldron and after a few low mutterings of some kind of voodoo type black magic (or possibly it was just the ramblings of a boozed up and disheveled old carnie… or even more possibly it just needed a few minutes simmering on the stove top) those ingredients come out of that cauldron and they have transformed into a magical sweet-sour-pickly-salad-relishy-slaw type thing.

Now if that description doesn’t scream multi-purpose to you I don’t know what will. Literally, this stuff is as multi-purpose as the milk crate in your first share house, or the Thai lady-man, or the corn cob to the hillbilly farmers son.

And, if for no other reason, it is certainly worth making hotdogs just to try it out. So then you get to eat hotdogs too… I over explained that didn’t I…

Don’t even worry about it. This thing is coming at ya for the win!

Cook it in a pot

Cook it in a pot

I made some hotdogs so I had something to put my chow-chow on

I made some hotdogs so I had something to put my chow-chow on

The chow-chow was real good good

The chow-chow was real good good


CHOW-CHOW

2 capsicum (whatever colour), chopped
1 large green tomato, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
¼ green cabbage, chopped
1 long red chilli, or more if you like it hotter, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1.5 cups sugar
1.5 cups apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon turmeric

• Combine vegetables and salt, cover and chill for 6-8 hours
• Rinse and drain mixture and combine with all other ingredients in a large pot
• Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes
• Store in the refrigerator for at least a few weeks or seal in serialized jars and store for fricking ages
• Make a hot dog just so you have something to put your chow-chow on
• Chow-chow. Clearly so good they named it twice!

Seal it in jars and get a nice pic with it next to your wood heap. Very natural darling

Seal it in jars and get a nice pic with it next to your wood heap. Very natural darling

Bahn mi tron sandwich

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bahn mi
Yes I have just just returned from 3 weeks in the North Eastern reaches of Western Australia and yes I’ve got some stories to tell about fish and crocodiles and cooking on the coals of an open fire. Proper Crocodile Dundee shit. But that’s on hold for now. It’s a time thing. It’s not you it’s me. You know?

Besides, we had bahn mi for lunch today so I thought I could quickly tell you about that. That will be plenty easy, right?

We had a bit of cooked pork belly, prawns, some home made pate and a baguette all congregating in our kitchen. All at the same time.

Do you know what that means?

I will tell you what that means through a direct quote straight from the mouth of my 9 year old son, Obi.

“We should make bahn mi for lunch”.

Yes Obi, yes we should.

I understand that it’s not going to be too often the occasion that these ingredients just happen to be hanging out in the kitchen, like those robot lions, just waiting to form Voltron… or in this case, bahn mi tron. So it is totally feasible to go to the shop or the market or where ever it is you buy things to eat and purchase a little sliced roast pork, cooked prawns and a bit of pate… and you can get yourself a baguette while you’re there, ay.

Then you can put it all together pretty easily and let the memories of your Vietnam holiday come flooding back.
IMG_7256

The cucumber is best if it's sliced with the same type of hand held double mandoline thingy that is used all over the streets of Vietnam. This invention would've charged a few finger tips for sure...

The cucumber is best if it’s sliced with the same type of hand held double mandoline thingy that is used all over the streets of Vietnam. This invention would’ve charged a few finger tips for sure…

We had some left over roast pork belly which I crisped up in the pan

We had some left over roast pork belly which I crisped up in the pan

Getting crazy with all that pate and shit

Getting crazy with all that pate and shit

Can you see what I was so excited about?

Can you see what I was so excited about?


BAHN MI (per sandwich)

1 single serve baguette or a long baguette for 4 people (and then quadruple this recipe)
3 slices roasted pork of some description. Belly, shoulder, leg, neck… they all work well
3 medium cooked prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon pate
3-4 thin slices cucumber
A few sprigs each fresh coriander, mint and basil
A good splash of bahn mi dressing (recipe follows)

• Slice baguette open
• Spread pate over the inside of the baguette
• Layer pork, then prawns, then cucumber and then herbs in the baguette and then dress with a good splash of that bahn mi dressing
• Dear good lord that is some delicious shit, non?

BAHN MI DRESSING

3 tablespoons sambal oelek
1 tablespoon fish sauce
a splash light soy sauce
1 tablespoon chilli vinegar
(All available from your local friendly Asian super market)

• Mix it all together
• Remaining dressing will last for at least a couple of weeks. Use it to dress a chicken salad or toss through some noodles or just dip a carrot or an actual stick in it for some low-cal eating if that’s how you’re rolling

It got all smooshed up and doesn't look too crash hot but believe me this is some tasty shit

It got all smooshed up and doesn’t look too crash hot but believe me this is some tasty shit

Iluka and a damn tasty bowl of white curry mee

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IMG_6713
Beach side getaway. It’s real and it’s name is Iluka.

When it comes to a weekend away, hanging out near the ocean, plenty of fresh seafood and booze on hand and a refurbished old school fisherman’s shack to keep you safe and warm and night Iluka, on the New South Wales north coast, ticks all of the boxes… and it’s nice and it’s close to where we live to boot. So this mythical Iluka joint is indeed a place we try to visit as often as possible.

This time away though, I must confess I was feeling a little under the weather. But I had a plan. A plan to make me strong like ox once again. I would be looking for my time in Iluka to rejuvenate the metaphorical worn grass and naked fields of the landscape of my life. And then I shall call upon the almost mythical three hit combo that is the fully charged power animal, the centered and sexually satisfied chi and the ginger minge to piss that under-the-weather type feeling right the heck off.

I hope you’re paying attention.

Iluka turned on the happy smily weather for us

Iluka turned on the happy smily weather for us


Iluka.

I think one of the highlights of my time in Iluka was (and please don’t think any less of me for saying this… bahahahaha. Any less of me? As if that could actually happen, ay. I just made myself laugh a fair bit) a pack of white curry mee. I don’t even know what white curry mee is or even where the hell they came from, but I do know these instant noodles were one of the pinnacles of my day. Cheap, easy, fast and somehow they kinda left you feeling just a little bit dirty, these things were not dissimilar to a three buck hooker… but they certainly were a whole heap tastier… a whole heap tastier.

I realised pretty quickly that is was indeed “taking a little break” AKA a holiday, so I found it very appropriate to obtain myself a glass of some fermented red relaxedness enhancer. Oh yes. That relaxy-dinky-donky-doo feeling.

Feel it?

When staying near the ocean I find it essential to purchase local seafood food sustenance as well as enjoyment

When staying near the ocean I find it essential to purchase local seafood food sustenance as well as enjoyment


Later in the afternoon I felt it appropriate that I should make soup. A little chickpea and vegetable number would be the go I reckoned as that would be good for me plus it would also be good for my friend Ainsley – who is one of my top 2 favourite vegetarians in the word (yeah Gitana, you’re up there too) – as it would not contain meat thus would be deemed edible by said vegetarian friend, Ainsley. Little did I know that Ainsley had also considered it a worthy day to make soup so had brought with her an offering to the soup eating vegetarian gods of her own, clevery disguised as a pot of pumpkin soup… or actually just straight up a pot of pumpkin soup.

Needless to say, much soup was enjoyed by everyone present.

The next morning I awoke at a time that I could only call ridiculously early… or maybe ridearly… or possibly even earliculous… but I certainly wouldn’t stray too much further than that. But I did get up early. Like, the kids weren’t even awake and the sun was still sleeping too.

We ate the meal often called breakfast for sustenance as well as enjoyment. I smiled at everybody’s morning hair as I find morning hair quite entertaining. This is a little known fact about me.

The day was filled with all of the activities you might expect from some kind of lakeside summer camp. Except we were all keen participants and not ostracized step-children, ditched by our families for the holidays because of our annoying belching habits and yet undiscovered skin conditions. We played scout-esque, sickeningly feel good family bonding games, skateboarded, shot hoops, went walking, blah-di-blah-blah.

And then we did that all over again some more.

That’s all.

White curry mee in all of it's glory. Props by Iluka Beach Shack Co

White curry mee in all of it’s glory. Props by Iluka Beach Shack Co


WHITE CURRY MEE

Packet instructions seemed to work fine for me.

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