Herby sorta thai ‘slaw

This is a story about the search for new sides to go with my BBQ.

“Some kinda ‘slaw has got to be a good start”, I thought to myself (because if I thought to someone else that would make me some kind of other-world super computer human and that, I am not).

This started with the usual cabbage and carrot scenario, and then branched off into a few of the ingredients that might compose a Thai green papaya salad, and then a little kale because quite frankly I live in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales and local law dictates that kale must constitute at least 18% of my daily food intake (also, I really do like the stuff. Really), and then a little nam jim inspired dressing to finish her off.

It is a little different and bloody good so you should probably try it.


Enough to go on the table with a few other sides at your next BBQ.

2 cups shredded green cabbage from approximately ¼ medium cabbage
1 carrot, grated
2 leaves curly kale, stem removed, shredded
1 Lebanese cucumber, randomly chopped
1-2 tomatoes, randomly chopped too
2-3 red radish, thinly sliced
½ cup bean sprouts of some description
2 shallots (spring onions), sliced
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
1 handful each coriander and mint, roughly chopped
Lime dressing (recipe follows), or your favourite nam jim or nuoc nam will work just fine


250ml lime juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 clove garlic, microplaned
3 coriander root
Combine all ingredients and whisk until sugar is dissolved.
Check seasoning and adjust with a little salt if necessary.
Use it to dress the salad above.
Any leftover dressing will happily hang out in the fridge for 5 days and can be used to anoint chicken, seafood or noodley dishes or whatever you think might like a little limey goodtimes.

Pulled pork burgers with celery and apple ‘slaw

My opinion is that celery can be pretty savagely under-rated by the average punter (not that I’m calling you average – you are a bloody unique and beautiful, individual little snowflake. Fuck yeah you are). Pulled pork, on the other hand, is not.

I figure that if I can combine the two in a dirty little ménage au trois with the ever-willing burger bun, then it would be kinda like wing-manning that red headed, freckly kid into a coital union with someone other than his second cousin on his mother’s side. The celery would be lifted to dizzying new heights, the pulled pork would be humbled by the true love it never really thought it would find and the bun, well the bun would just mosey on outta there before anyone woke up in the morning, probably stealing a half smoked pack of fags and a warm beer on its way out, never to be heard from again… because we all know that’s just what the buns are like…

Eat celery – it’s good… and so is pulled pork.

The ‘slaw looked very ‘slawish

I made some oven chips out of potatoes which I blanched in boiling water for 1 minute and then cooled, followed by seasoning and 15 or so minutes oven time

Onion and pickles all day

A good time in my mouth, to be sure


Pulled pork (you’re pretty pro at that by now, yeah?)
Sliced onion
Mustard sauce
BBQ sauce

Make your burgers with a bit of all of these things. Nice work.

CELERY & APPLE ‘SLAW (enough for burgers for the fam and some left for your lunch tomorrow)

3 cups shaved/chopped cabbage, from approx 1/4 – 1/8 drum head, honky dory, just like from the olden days, green cabbage
1 cup finely slice celery heart (including leaves)
1 apple, julienned (I would normally use granny smith apples for a little tarty tart, but today my refrigerator told me all I could use was the Pink Ladies so that’s what it was)
‘slaw dressing (½ cup of mayonnaise mixed with ½ cup of apple cider vinaigrette works pretty well for me – recipes follow)

Mix salad ingredients together and then dress with as little or as much ‘slaw dressing as you damn well want.


2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (or something else acidic)
Salt and pepper to taste
200ml vegetable oil
50ml olive oil (or use an extra 50ml vegetable oil)
A splash of water if it needs thinning out

Put the egg yolks, mustard, vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper into a bowl if you are hand whisking this, or into a round tub if you live in a country that has electricity and you have the common sense to own a stick wizz.
Whisk until the yolks start to fluff up and turn pale.
While whisking, slowly add the oil in a light trickle. Don’t stop whisking while you’re doing this.
You should notice that it is all binding as one glorious spreadable mass. Do not be tempted to pour the oil in quickly. Take it nice and slow and worry about getting it done quickly when you’re married.
Once all of the oil is in there add A DROP or two of water to get it to your desired consistency, and check seasoning. Always check in with the seasoning.
If this is your first time, smear some of your finished mayo on a piece of fresh bread and eat it like you are an eight-year-old trailer park kid with his school lunch.
Mayonnaise will last for a week in the fridge.


1 cup yellow mustard, or whatever mustard it is you like
¾ cup castor sugar
400ml apple cider vinegar
1200ml blended oil

Slowly emulsify oils into other ingredients. The same as that mayonnaise thing you just learnt about.
Remaining vinaigrette will last for for-ever in the fridge.

pulled pork burgers with celery and apple slaw
Go that ‘slaw. Good work celery and co

Girls vs Boys Southern Smokehouse Cook-off

A man, a coffee and a smoker

It was to be another cook-off at foodisthebestshitever HQ. The teams were girls versus boys; the girl’s team comprising of my wife Jennee and her sister Liz (who can get an extra special mention right now because she flew in from the other side of the country especially for the occasion), while the boys team was made up of myself, yer ol’ uncle Grazza, and Jennee’s brother, Queenie. The theme was “Southern American Smokehouse” or something thereabouts. The esky was full of booze. The table was set. The competitors were ready. The Girls v Boys Foodisthebestshitever Cook-off 2016 was about to begin…

*The people in the story may be fictional, but the events are real.

The boys

We (the boys) felt there was a lot of smack talking from the girls. Like, a lot of smack talking. The girls were being particularly good at smack talking. In fact, I was walking down the street in a local town when I was approached by a young man who informed me that he had heard a rumor my man Queenie was very slightly hung. Now, Queenie may not be the manliest of guys names but I know for a fact that this brother is packing the equipment needed for the job. Well, I’ve heard he’s packing… don’t look at me like I’ve been sussing out my brother’s package. Holy shit you guys know how to contort a story… much like the women folk around these parts… great segue. That bloody smack talk.

A weaker boys team may have crumbled, but our resolve would not waver. We cleared our minds and our pipes, centered our chi and got the eff on with the job.

Our little tree motif was whittled by Queenie, made from 100% repurposed wood that was otherwise just laying around, taking up space and producing air and shit.

The rocks displayed our organic approach to our cooking and our lives, and the ebb and flow of the world we live in.

The plates were also repurposed old plates, which were recently introduced to their new life as, well, plates.

That was our story and we were sticking to it.

Feel the emotion

Our Ode to the South was based on nothing more than a child hood obsession with KFC and an adult (or maybe more correctly termed; a 30-40 year old) obsession with smoked meat… and fried chicken… and an old Elvis 7inch. Still, it was our Ode to the South none-the-less, and it went a little something like this;

• Pulled pork finger, cheesy jalapeño crust, pickles, kimchi mayo
• Smoked rib, Big Red Rub, mustard sauce
• Tater tots injected with white trash heroin AKA cheese sauce
• Beer battered onion rings, ranch dressing
• Fried and then smoked and then fried again chicken, hot sauce, blue cheese sauce
• Smoked jalapeno popper
• Smoked brisket burger, crumbed (breaded) milk bun, slaw, barbecue sauce

The girls

The girls relied heavily on smack talk in an attempt to throw the boys from their game. But they did eventually bring some tasty and creatively produced treats to the table, ensuring a close competition.

That layered salad was pretty special

The girls based their plate on a love of the hush puppy and 1980s layered salads. Happily re-jigged to fit with-in the guidelines of the “Smokehouse” brief, their entry went almost exactly like this;

• Layered salad with crumbled corn bread, smoked capsicum and corn, pickle and iceberg lettuce
• Smoked pork rib
• Smoked prawn, smoked Andouille sausage and smoked eggplant hush puppies

The result

Once the smoke had cleared and the gloves were un-tethered and removed to reveal calloused hands strapped crudely with ordinary house hold masking tape, the votes were tallied and the announcement of a winner was tasked to our youngest child, Obi. It was said around the table that both boys and girls had brought their A-games to the kitchen this day but unfortunately there could be only one winner – one team whose A-game was in fact a little A-er.

On this day of our lord, Sunday March 27th 2016 *drum roll please*… it would be the boys that would march away victorious from this cooking stadium, heads held high and then swiftly and smartly the victory was relegated to a distant memory, one that would not be spoken about ever again, as we were the men folk and we knew about the way of the world…

That onion ring. Bangin’

A recipe for the WINNING BEER BATTERED ONION RINGS (enough for a few sides or maybe a Friday night on the couch watching midget wrestling)

2 med-large onions of your choosing
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self raising flour
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon Big Red Rub or Cajun/Créole spice mix
1 bottle o’ beer… whatever you’re drinking will be fine
Oil for deep frying
Ranch dressing and extra Big Red Rub to serve

• Slice onions into 1cm-ish rings, popping the first 4-5 center rings out for something else you’re cooking that has onion in it
• Heat oil in a deep fryer or pot or plastic bucket if you’re not that smart. 180C is the go
• To make batter mix flours, oil and spice mix. Slowly whisk in beer until your batter is quite smooth and is thick enough to coat your finger nicely. Not too thick is the key here
• Coat the onion rings with plain flour and then dip them into the batter. Drag them out of the batter and ever-so-slightly drag them across the side of the bowl to remove excess batter
• Lower them gently into the oil and fry for 2-3 minutes until crisp and golden, turning half way through
• Drain on kitchen towel, season with salt and pepper and a little extra Big Red Rub, serve with ranch sauce on the side

Smoky Grilled Pork Ribs with South Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce

bbq pork ribs
Sometimes, as a gentleman, you just need to eat yourself a big hunk of meat and gnaw that shit straight from the bone… Often, I even go that little bit further and cook it first just to really treat myself. And, if I want to truly venture out into the realm that is “the next level”, that aforementioned meat is going to be kissed and licked and touched by the golden hand of smoky smoky goodness… it’s starting to sound more like a late night visit from your Uncle Jimmy right now.

No Uncle Jimmy, I’m trying to sleep… Time to get back on track plenty fast methinks.

Smoking (not like out the back of the sports shed at lunch time styles or like that old guy with a pocket full of fivers out the back of the public toilets at Mardi Gras), or even grilling meat on your BBQ, weber or something else that involves coals and a few wood chips or twigs is something that you really need to feel. It’s Mr Miagi shit for sure. It is something that would take me more than a page of a blog to explain to you. So rest assured, I will not be holding your hand as we stroll casually through the intricacies of the techniques and methods needed to master the grilling of pork ribs… or anything else for that matter. It’s a watchy-learny type thing I think…

After three hours over the glowing coals,and a basting with a little of the mustard sauce, these ribs come out looking as tan as a cougar after her weekly trip to the solarium. Unlike a cougar though, these ribs are tender and delicious, and you would be more than happy to show them to your friends and let them have a little chew too. Also dissimilar to my comparison to a cougar, these ribs leave a damn fine taste in your mouth and have you wanting for more.


Borrow that hash tag if you want, it is a cracker.

The taste of smoky goodness mixed with the elation of chewing a damn fine piece of meat from the bone… Some of my favourite sides… A kick-ass mustard sauce that I would happily smear all over my own body and attempt to lick it off… I am a happy happy man, albeit one who is covered in mustard sauce and looking comparable to a professional contortionist.

Get some one to show you how to cook ribs over the coals. Thank them for that and show them out. Serve the ribs with this mustard sauce, grilled corn with coriander, chilli and heaps of butter and ‘slaw.

This is what BBQ ribs looked like back in the olden days
This is what BBQ ribs looked like back in the olden days

…and how they look now. Pretty similar I guess
…and how they look now. Pretty similar I guess

Get them on the table with some sides
Get them on the table with some sides

You know where this is going
You know where this is going

Oh dear good lord
Oh dear good lord

SOUTH CAROLINA MUSTARD BBQ SAUCE (recipe from Southern.Food.com)

¾ cup yellow mustard
¾ cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons louisiana hot sauce (if you want some spice)

• Combine all ingredients in small saucepan. Whisk to combine and simmer for 20-30 minutes, whisking occasionally
• Allow to cool before using
• Store remainder in a sealed container in the fridge for bloody ages. At least a few months

Pulled pork with jerk spices, posh ‘slaw, pickled carrot and jalapeño yoghurt

You only get one pic today because I've almost used all of my space allowance and I am to tight to purchase a space upgrade
You only get one pic today because I’ve almost used all of my space allowance and I am to tight to purchase a space upgrade

Pulled pork just sounds wrong. It sounds like something a million teenage boys across the world may be doing at any one time. It sounds like something I should not touch if it were served to me on a plate. It sounds… well it just sounds wrong, that’s all. SO WRONG IT’S RIGHT (insert crazy pork addicted eyes and loud voice here. Mess up your hair a bit, too), in fact. This stuff is the goods. Whether it be with jerk spice, a tasty Asian inspired marinade or the traditional Tex-Mex style bbq sauce, you should (maybe you already are you filthy little boy) embrace the pulling of the pork. Do it. Eat it now. Put it in your face!!

Pulled pork with jerk spices / apple, fennel and radish slaw / jalapeño yoghurt / pickled carrot (for 4-6 with left overs)

For the pork
1 hand fresh pork (the front leg of the piggy, often found pickled/corned and also in the last century)
1 brown onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup jerk seasoning (store bought or recipe below)
• In a casserole dish, sauté onion and garlic in a little oil until starting to soften
• Add pork and cover with jerk spice, then add 2 cups of water to the dish
• Cover and cook in a preheated 150C oven (or simmer gently on the stove top. If you rock the stove top styles you will need an extra couple of cups of water) for 6 hours or until meat is falling away from the bone
• Remove pork from braising liquid and reserve liquid, skimming away excess fat (if you believe there is such a thing)
• Discard skin and pull pork away from bones. Shred into smaller pieces using two forks or your fingers if you want me to love you
• Put the pulled pork back into the reserved liquid and set aside to stay warm, or save it for later, or maybe re-heat it over a low flame if it has cooled down a little too much in the “pulling process”… which, unless you have chef’s hands, it most probably would have
• Serve with ‘slaw, jalapeño yoghurt and pickled carrot for a kinda smart casual looking dinner as I have here, or add some tortillas for a Sunday bbq type thing, or put it all into a big soft bun for a burger to be washed down with beer and plenty of good times

Jerk seasoning
1 tablespoons each dried thyme, ground allspice, coriander and black pepper
½ teaspoon each salt, ground cinnamon and cumin
1 pinch dried chilli flakes
• Mix all ingredients together
• Store left overs in an air tight container

Apple, fennel and radish ‘slaw aka. posh ‘slaw
1 granny smith apple, julienned
4 radish, julienned
1 small bulb fennel, finely sliced how ever you see fit
¼ medium green cabbage, finely sliced (a mandoline is good for the slicing if you have one… or possibly you may have an Asian supply store next door where you could purchase one for a minimal fee)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
½ teaspoon castor sugar
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper
• Combine and mixy mixy

Jalapeño yoghurt (enough for some leftovers for your pork sandwiches tomorrow)
½ cup jalapeños (use less if you can’t handle the heat. The yoghurt does mellow the heat though… a bit)
½ brown onion, finely diced
½ bunch coriander, chopped
2 cups thick natural yoghurt
• Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly

Pickled carrot
1-2 carrots, peeled and sliced finely (possibly on that mandoline you just bought?)
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon caster sugar
• Combine all ingredients and allow to sit from 30 minutes to whenever you remember about them, to pickle the carrots

How to get a guy horizontal part II


As Pauly has already informed you, we have a request from an avid follower for a meal to cook a guy to get him horizontal* if you know what I mean. And not like rowies in his beer either. Lets get a little more creative and tap into what is still usable of the right side of your brain eh.

Pork belly. Ribs. Girl on girl action?

Jennee suggests that ribs and slaw may be a choice for me. But what about the general populous of males out there? Jen claims she doesn’t know. Hehe. Top bird my Jennee. Top bird. But seriously Jen… Waddayareckon?

Still goin’ for the ribs n ‘slaw option. She says that’s all you need. Oh, and garlic bread.

I say yeah but nah. We need more than that surely. What is man to you? Simpleton? Sex symbol? Toy? Gravy boat? I hope so (even though I’m not sure what the gravy boat thing is about).

Actually, go the ribs and ‘slaw option** with a carton couple of beers just to top it off. And your company is very important to us, too.

And now you’re just thinking this monologue is shit. I’m shit. My point is about as apparent as a small Romanian woman with a headscarf in a line of refugees… You know it’s there but you can’t really differentiate it from the filler. Or maybe you don’t even know it’s there… Like the bit of skin between a mans ball sack and his bum hole… What was the point again???

Does it really matter? I think if I keep drinking this bottle of red I’ll have my name on a tin of cold baked beans later on. Yeah, even I do it. Unbelievable. You’d better start re-writing your thesis right now.

In conclusion I will say I do believe the meal should involve some kind of meat on the bone (should I leave that one alone? Yeah, probably a good idea) just to evoke some of that deep seeded caveman desire to take a woman and ravish her. Maybe even have a wooden club discretely placed for him to only-just-notice and awaken the ancient Adonis within. And it cannot hurt to have stickiness to the meat. If he has to take his food stained shirt off after dinner then that’s going to help the night come together a whole heap easier.

Shit, it’s like I’ve actually done this before.

I haven’t PS. Maybe been a little curious or dished out a half-assed attempt or two, but…


*May not have been actual words of requestee.

**There are recipes for this sort of thing all over this blog. So maybe I do like this sort of shite. Gosh… I’ll do what I want.