Monday, February 01, 2016

Balsamic Glazed Sausage & Pepper Stuffed Ribs: What's on the Grill #324

Every once in a while, a recipe comes along that intrigues me. Intrigue may be the wrong word. How about captivate? In the case of Ted Reader, the latter is more relevant.

I've had Ted's King of the Q's Blue Plate BBQ book for about eight years. It's a killer cookbook for the grill, but it is also super involved. Almost every recipe has at least 15 plus ingredients which often include another recipe in the book for another 15 more. It is not for the faint of heart. It is for the extreme griller.

I've had success with a lot of his creations, but I've put this one off for some time. The reason? I'm not really sure. Perhaps, intimidation.

While we all love ribs and dare I say a lot of us love stuffing, how often do we put the two together? Ted is a definite yes and I'm a definite second. Perhaps you will be the third.

In essence, this recipe involves braising spareribs and then trussing them together as they hold the stuffing in place for their final minutes on the grill. It's audacious, it's different, it's involved, and it's good.

I never have, until now, braised ribs. While it works, I think I may have gone a little long, and truthfully, want to try this again with a proper smoke. Nonetheless, this was a dish that packed in the flavor and filled the plates. I hope Ted is proud.

Balsamic Glazed Sausage & Pepper Stuffed Ribs
By Ted Reader from King of the Q's Blue Plate BBQ Adapted by Another Pint Please

2 racks pork spareribs - Either Spareribs w/rib tips or St. Louis Cut will do, I used the former
4 T rub of your choosing. I opted for Paprika, cumin, brown sugar, thyme, salt, & pepper.
1 lemon, sliced
2 cups apple juice
1 baguette loaf, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 stalks celery, diced
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp & chopped
1 lb cooked Italian Sausage
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup green olives, sliced
1 long chili pepper, diced
1/4 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, & basil)
1/4 cup melted butter
salt & freshly ground black pepper
olive oil

Balsamic BBQ Glaze
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, & basil)

Remove any excessive fat from the ribs.

Remove the membrane.

Rub the meat with the rub of your choosing or what I've posted above.

Place the ribs, meat side down, in a roasting pan.

Place 3-4 slices of lemon on top of each rack.

Pour apple juice over ribs and cover the pan with aluminum foil.

Place ribs on grill over indirect medium-low heat, 300-350 F. Grill for approximately 2-2 1/2 hours or until the bones wiggle.

While the ribs are cooking, cut the baguette into 1/2 inch cubes. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet and bake in a 200 F oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until the bread has dried.

In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, garlic, onion, celery, bacon, sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, chili pepper and fresh herbs.

Add 1/2 cup boiling water and the melted butter. Stir. Season with salt and pepper.

Place 1 rack of ribs, curved side up, on a cutting board. Place the stuffing on the rack and then place the other rack, curved side down, on top of the stuffing. Press together firmly.

Truss the racks.

The glaze

In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients. Set aside.

The grill

Place the ribs on the grill over indirect-medium high heat (350 F).

Grill the ribs for approximately 10-15 minutes a side, while basting the ribs with the glaze during the last 10 minutes of grilling.

Remove from the grill and allow to rest.

Slice and serve.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Relatively Wordless Wednesday

The easiest, last minute, destined to be gone in no time, incredibly satisfying, looks awesome, grilled appetizer is planked camembert (or its cousin, Brie).

Throw in some of your favorite preserves followed by some savory crackers and you almost have a meal. Almost.

Sometimes, charcoal bags fail.

Usually on very frigid days, no less.

I've been waiting for a cold snap. It hasn't happened, but this one will do.

The snow here, unlike the east coast, has been light. Nonetheless, I have my priorities.

Thanks to my friends at Wildwood Grilling, I'm pretty much guaranteed never to run out of grilling planks. Your own APP branded planks are never far away.

Finally, this time of year especially, fun for the grill, starts in the kitchen.

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Samuel Adams Utopias: 2015

There is beer and there is beer. The latter is Samuel Adams Utopias.

Samuel Adams Utopias

Ironically, to the casual drinker, Utopias is about the furthest thing one would expect a beer to be. It's uncarbonated. It has a 28% ABV and a single bottle costs almost $200. However, for those with a love of the craft, Utopias is much sought after and endlessly treasured.

This is only the ninth batch of Utopias Samuel Adams has brewed since its inception in 2002. This 2015 bottle is my second, the last being the 10th-anniversary bottle in 2012.

Samuel Adams Utopias

Just how much do I treasure Utopias? So much so I still have some 2012 remaining. Let me tell you, that was no easy task.

Samuel Adams Utopias

Utopias is much like a port. It's meant to be sipped and enjoyed slowly. There is so much going on with every sip, it takes a lot of thought to process it all. Having Utopias is not having a beer, it's having an experience.

Samuel Adams Utopias

The 2015 tastes of molasses, dark fruit, and fig. It has a constant level of spiciness with a hit of alcohol towards the end. Best of all, there is a funkiness which permeates every sip. It is fantastic and my tasting notes don't begin to do it justice.

Utopias is a living experiment, created, in part, by the previous vintages before it. It's worth seeking out and in my case, holding on to as long as possible.

Note: My bottle of Utopias was kindly provided to me by my friends at Samuel Adams...which was fantastic, as due to its high ABV, Utopias is unavailable in Ohio.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Relatively Wordless Sunday?

Because 2016 is up and running...

Red Flannel Hash.

An absolutely awesome recipe from Jamie Purviance and Weber. I adapted it to the Gourmet BBQ System. Simply fantastic.

Red Flannel Hash on the Grill

Because the best peppers, are grilled peppers. In this case, Anaheim.

Finally, Weber has a brand new app. It's fantastic. My feedback is totally unsolicited, uncompensated, and has nothing to do with the awesome introduction splash picture.

The app is seriously awesome, I'll try and talk about it later. If you get a chance, check it out.

Finally, there's dessert...because, well, there's always dessert.

Planked Pears with Goat Cheese & Walnuts

Enjoy your Wednesday Sunday!

Sunday, January 03, 2016

How to Use Evernote to Keep Track of Your Spice Rack...and other stuff

I have always been a geek at heart. Since my youngest days, I've glommed to technology. Whether it was typing thousands of lines of code into a TRS-80 for a game that would never work, overlaying graphics onto home video with a Commodore Amiga, or wishing my Palm Pilot was also a cell phone, I've loved my tech.

The only thing changed through the years is the amount of hair on my head.

Fast forward to today. I am a huge fan of Evernote, the virtual file cabinet/note-taking application. The more of my life that is paperless, the better. I've been using Evernote for years, and I've worked it into about every niche possible and as of this weekend, this includes our spice rack and freezer.

Too many times I've bought a new spice I thought needed and didn't, or didn't buy a spice I thought I had, and of course, didn't. No more!

Spice Rack

Outside of some basic alphabetizing and organization, I captured photos of every spice in the cupboard using the Evernote app on my iPhone.

Spices in Evernote

Every photo is an individual note within Evernote. Each of these notes are stored within a notebook called "Kitchen" and tagged with a keyword of "spice."

Now that it's organized, here are the two things I do. First, when pulling together ingredients for a recipe, I have an easy way to see if I have the needed spices. Evernote's search capabilities utilize OCR to scan the photographs. In other words, the picture is good enough to show what I've have got versus retyping the names off the spice jars.

Of course, if I were just using Evernote, this would be great. I also happen to use an iOS app called GroceryTrip to streamline my shopping trips. While Evernote makes it easy to search off the photographs, GroceryTrip requires text entered in the note body. By tagging notes with "GroceryTrip", the contents of the note are analyzed and automatically added to my shopping list.

Spice listings in Evernote

If I find myself running low on something, I add the "GroceryTrip" tag to the note, and it automatically appears on my GroceryTrip shopping list. Win-Win.

Since the spice cabinet was knocked out, I've added in the oil/vinegar/sauce shelf, as well as the freezer. The mystery of the cabinets have been solved all with the help of a little technology and unlike the tech of 30 years ago, this tech resides in my pocket.

Finding the right ingredients for these chili rubbed grilled scallops can now happen anywhere.

Grilled Scallops on Weber Grill

Note:  I am a paid user of both applications and talk about them only because I like them.