Posts Tagged BBQ
If you were to ask Kyle what his favourite pizza is, I would bet that hands down he would say BBQ Chicken Pizza. For nearly as long as I have known him, this is the pizza that Kyle gravitates towards on any menu, regardless of whether it’s a place that primarily serves pizza or not. He’s tried this pizza nearly everywhere he can. However, on our recent trip to Hawaii, we all went to dinner to California Pizza Kitchen and Kyle did not order the BBQ Chicken Pizza here…where it was invented (or so it says on their menu). This was not an easy decision for Kyle. He was swayed by the Habanero Carnitas pizza when his eyes gravitated to the words “pulled pork” – another weakness of his. He hummed & hawed for quite some time. I swore I could see the sweat beads starting on his forehead when the stress of making a decision almost became too much…until the last minute when I quickly said: “I’ll make you a BBQ chicken pizza when we get home.”
So, the first weekend since we’ve returned from our vacation, I kept my promise to my husband. I turned up the oven and got to some pizza making. I made some No Knead Pizza Dough a la Jim Lahey (the method in his book, not the 12-24 hour version that is out on the internet & in Bon Appetit mag – although this one is tasty as well); I fried up some applewood smoked bacon (since there was a version at California Pizza Kitchen with bacon on it); and I used the leftovers from our recent Buffalo Chicken Wraps to add some heat to our pie. While this wouldn’t be a necessary way to cook your chicken for this pizza, if you love the flavour of hot sauce as much as we do, then I’m sure you’d be just as delighted to taste it here as well. Go ahead and make this pizza without it, but I hereby take zero responsibility for your sub-par pizza.
BBQ Chicken Pizza
pizza dough for 1 12″ pizza
1/3 cup BBQ sauce (your favourite. We used a Guinness BBQ Sauce)
1/3 cup cooked buffalo chicken breast, cut into small, bite-sized pieces
3 sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
150g mozzarella, shredded
4 green onions, sliced – the white & green parts separated
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 425ºF (500ºF if you’re using the No Knead Bread).
Lightly coat a 12″ round pizza pan with olive oil. Spread your dough onto the pan and top with the BBQ sauce, mozzarella, chicken, bacon, and the white parts of the green onion. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until your crust has started to turn golden, the cheese is melted, and the toppings have some colour to them.
Top with the green parts of the green onion and the cilantro. Slice into 8 pieces and serve.
Like so many people these days, I follow many food blogs. As you may have noticed (or maybe not if you’re so consumed by my awesome recipes) I have a list of a few of my absolute favourite blogs pertaining to good eats in the sidebar. Most of these sites are well-established blogs that have been around for years, and they’ve all received much praise, so there is no need for me to gush over blogs I’ve read for years to you now. However, I recently discovered a new blog that just started in June, and I absolutely have to shout at the top of my lungs: “check it out now!“
When you have a moment (such as now) take a peek at spoon fork bacon. This site is incredible. It combines tasty recipes, drool-worthy photos, beautiful food-styling, and creative graphic design. An absolute dream for lovers of food porn. I also find it endearing as Teri and Jenny seem to be lovers of pig. Ah! A blog after my own heart.
I believe I’ve had this conversation many times: I am a pork fiend. I will choose fall-off-the-bone ribs and bacon over a steak and chicken any day. I’ve rarely met a pork dish I didn’t like (although there have been those few overcooked, dry-as-sawdust loin roasts and chops which I am still seeking therapy for). Here’s a rib recipe that ensures you’ll have succulent pork every time. Slow roasting will leave you with tender meat that’s not dried out. Add a bit of time on the grill, and slather the ribs with this sweet sauce and pork awesomeness is served.
Maple Espresso Glazed Back Ribs
If you want to make these ribs in the winter without freezing your toes off using your outdoor grill, you can finish them off under the broiler instead. Since the broiler will be much hotter than a medium-low grill, slather the ribs with lots of BBQ sauce, then broil for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste with more sauce, turn the ribs and broil the other side for 3-5 more minutes.
2 racks back ribs
salt & pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 shots espresso
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 star anise (optional)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Take ribs out of fridge to bring them up to room temperature while you’re waiting for the oven to heat up.
Sprinkle ribs liberally with salt and pepper. Place ribs on a baking pan covered with tin foil. Place in oven and roast for 2 hours, turning ribs every 1/2 hour.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine remaining ingredients (garlic through star anise), stir to combine. (Note: if you don’t have star anise in your home, and you can’t see yourself using it in other recipes, feel free to omit it) Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, or until thickened enough that the sauce coats the back of the spoon.
After ribs have slow-roasted for 2 hours, preheat grill to medium-low. Coat the ribs with the bbq sauce and grill for approximately 20 minutes, turning a few times, and basting with the bbq sauce. Cut into individual ribs if desired to serve.
Serves 4 (or 2 if you want a whole rack each).
It never fails. When August arrives people around here start talking about summer being over. OVER! I admit, I’ve been guilty of this terrible behaviour as well. Letting the dread of blistery wintery days cloud my mind instead of enjoying the hot sun. But we still have so much time left – summer doesn’t officially end until September – what are we worrying about? Granted, our little capital city has had many an August where the days are filled with rain and we’re lucky if we get to temperatures even close to 20°C. But this year, I believe mother nature has finally given this city a break from August gloom and showers.
So to make the most of our remaining weeks of summer, let’s go forth and barbecue as often as we can. Summer is a time to indulge in wonderfully vinegary coleslaws, sunny conversations with friends, sweet corn on the cob, sandy beaches, and grilled meat dripping with sticky BBQ sauce. Not a time to dread the impending chill of winter. There will be no more mention of summer’s end until I see the leaves falling from the trees.
I’ve given you a recipe for a barbecue sauce before: sticky and thick with balsamic vinegar and a usual BBQ sauce addition, ketchup. But this one may be different from those you’re used to. It’s base is made up mostly of mustard and fruit. Mustard-based BBQ sauce may sound unusual, but it’s the staple slather for meat in South Carolina. If you’ve grown to adore the smoky molasses and ketchup-based BBQ sauces, you may shy away from such a tangy sauce, but don’t knock mustard-based ones until you’ve tried them. Typically these types of BBQ sauces taste best basted on pork dishes (tenderloin, shoulder, chops…bacon…so on) and grilled chicken. You could really try this anywhere you’d use your regular BBQ sauce though – perhaps on top of your burger or basted on a juicy steak.
This sauce was developed on a day I had originally planned on making a peach-based BBQ sauce. But as per usual, the plan was quickly changed when I discovered all the peaches were unappetizingly not ripe. Lucky me the apricots right next to them were calling my name. I picked up as many as I could hold. Some to snack on, some for salads, and some I was going to reduce into a thick accompaniment to my grilled meats.
Apricot Mustard BBQ Sauce
1/2 lb apricots, about 4
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 Tbsp jalepeno, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp brandy
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 cup whole grain dijon mustard
1/4 cup molasses
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp each kosher salt & pepper
The first step here is to peel the apricots. No one wants to gnaw on fruit skin while trying to enjoy grilled meats. To do this, get a pot of water on to boil. Cut a small “X” in the bottom of each apricot. When the water is boiling, put the apricots in for about 20 seconds. With a slotted spoon, remove the apricots and dump them into a bowl of ice water. Once the apricots have had a moment to cool, you can remove them from the water and easily peel the skins off. Now dice the apricots.
To prepare the BBQ sauce, begin by heating the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onions in the oil for about 5 minutes or until starting to soften, stirring frequently. Add the jalepeno and garlic and saute for another minute. Add the brandy and let cook for about 30 seconds, then add the diced apricots, and remaining ingredients.
Let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes. If you have a hand blender, remove the pan from the heat and blend the sauce until smooth. Or you can use a regular blender by slowly pouring the sauce into it and blending until smooth. Note: If you are using a blender, remember to not put the little cap on the lid!! If you do, the heat from the sauce may cause the contents to explode all over you and your kitchen, potentially causing burn injuries. To prevent the sauce from coming out of the blender when you turn it on, lightly cover the top of the blender with a tea towel.
Makes about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of sauce. Sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
* Very sad: my camera died on me while I was making the sauce. I took a few pics with my iphone, but they are terrible and grainy, so I only included one here.
THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Do NOT drink the water in Canada. It’s tainted. It must be. About 2 weeks ago I found out one of my oldest friends is 2 months pregnant. Last week a friend of Kyle’s broke the news that he is going to be a papa. Then just the other day, one of my dear friends from school informed everyone she is nineteen weeks along in her pregancy!! I’m telling you … something’s in the water. I’m extremely happy for all our friends – I love receiving good news from people (positivity is like a drug for me!) – but to be on the safe side I’m sticking to drinking imported, bottled beers & wine for the next little while. Good thing I’m on VACATION!!
Speaking of that. I’m about to head out. We’ve got 15 hours of traveling ahead of us before we land in Nova Scotia. I’m hoping my mother-in-law will have a Keith’s ready for both of us when we walk off the plane (hint! hint!). Before we go I’m making good on one thing I said I would try to do: One more post before I left. But with the business of the past week I couldn’t get some extra posts together for while I’m away. Seafood posts will commence upon my return!
Cutting this short now. A frosty beer and fridge cleaning are calling me now before we run. Take care.
And PS – Congrats to all the Soon-To-Be Moms & Dads … and to those adding new ones to families!
Brined & Grilled Pork Chops
NOTE: These require overnight brining, so remember to start the night before. The herbs/seasonings can be played around with to your liking (we’ve used fresh oregano & garlic, lime zest with chipotle chilis…). And yes, it seems like a lot of salt & sugar if you’ve never brined before – but it seasons the chops before they hit the grill. You end up wiping the majority of the brine off before you cook them anyways. (A little birdie, whom I recently gave the recipe to, mentioned that these are D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S breaded and fried as well)
4 bone-in pork chops (1″ thick)
2 cups buttermilk
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 Tbsp garlic, minced (about 6 cloves)
2 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp salt (Kosher salt is best for this if you have it)
2 Tbsp white sugar
freshly ground pepper
Combine buttermilk, herbs, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and sugar in a large zip lock bag. Place pork chops in the bag and refrigerate overnight – although you can get away with a quick 4 hour brine if you must have these ASAP.
Take pork out of fridge and allow to come up to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Prepare grill to medium-high (lightly oil grill). With lots of paper towel, wipe off as much of the brine as you can manage. Sprinkle pepper on both sides of all the chops. Grill the chops for 5-7 minutes per side – until desired degree of doneness (remember, FDA just lowered the safe temperature to eat pork to 145° – so pink pork is good to eat!!!). Allow the chops to rest for about 5-10 minutes before you dig in.