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Everything posted by Zeemanb

  1. Between Alton's constant purse-lipped "humorless Methodist great grandmother" style critiques, and Bob & Susie trying to split the Food TV atom without any sense of irony stemming from the fact that (alleged) staged/fake shows like Mystery Diners make the rotation......any guilt I'd normally have over my love for Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen disappears completely.
  2. I can't say NONE of them have gotten the advertised position, but I did get to talk to Season ? winner Holly Ugalde about her experience on the show. She definitely did not receive the grand prize job as a chef in London, but didn't get into the details other than to say that there's "a lot more to the story" when it comes to the fate of the winners. She did travel TO London, did some HK related appearances, and mentioned there was very long lag time between the filming of the season and receiving any money for it after it finally aired. Totally pleasant person to speak with, really sharp and knew how to cook. Oh, when discussing the overblown drama between contestants, she said that when she watched her season that the fighting and insanity was actually toned DOWN compared to what was really happening.
  3. 1. Start with whole chickens for short cooks, and once you figure out how to manage the temperature pretty well, go with pork shoulder/boston butt for a longer cook. Chicken and pork are comparatively much cheaper and more forgiving for the new cook. 2. Sure, just use less charcoal to shorten the time/waste, and if you want to practice w/more fuel there are plenty of things like pork butt that freeze really well. 3. Here is the definitive resource dedicated to the WSM.......check it out: http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/ . You get good BBQ the same way you get to Carnegie Hall. Edited for bizarre small font....
  4. Ditto- I recently upgraded from my Android phone camera to a Nikon D5100 and have fallen into the abyss...would love any camera related info, you're doing an awesome job on taking photos while multitasking! Loving the blog!
  5. Nah, I'm sure the next time he's at Lidia's in KC we'll have to beg him to stop reciting it. So I'll hold out for THAT.
  6. Zeemanb

    Dinner! 2012

    Pate is kosher with ANYTHING! Our new local "old world" butcher isn't doing me any favors...outrageous stuff. Green Dirt Farms is awesome...the people, the cheese, the location. I'll pretend to be too cool for Bourdain, but seeing your good friends cooking for him and having dinner is pretty neat. When Green Dirt Facebooked that they had bossa that was "about as ripe as what we served Tony", I made the drive across town to hit that market Saturday. Our CSA starts in another week, but we're already in creativity mode.... You will find this hilarious....the platter is from your favorite place, Fishs Eddy's, which I didn't know anything about until YOU told me about them when we had dinner at your house!
  7. Zeemanb

    Dinner! 2012

    Ditto, and with the mild winter this is the first year I've had my sage come back on its own in the garden...already flowering so I've got a ton to put to good use. Great idea, I do love lots of sage in a dish....
  8. Zeemanb

    Dinner! 2012

    Technically, I only "cooked" the toast, but one of the most satisfying meals in recent memory. As local to the KC area as it gets.....Green Dirt Farms "bossa" cheese- Camembert style, and this particular one was goooooood and ripe (same farm that was recently on the No Reservations KC episode). Also some of our favorite Farm to Market "Grains Galore" bread, and some coppa and duck pate from our newest addition to the butchery scene- Local Pig. Local radishes and some coffee and chile infused honey I got from Local Pig while picking up the meat snacks. My wife hates cheese that wafts across the room as it sits at room temp, I feel bad for her.....
  9. The only thing I can think of here is the time, way back in Batali's Po days, when Mario didn't think anyone was in the bathroom and began angrily forcing open the stubborn (locked) door while my mother was in there. Good times.
  10. Zeemanb

    Smoked Chicken Skin

    Searching some competition BBQ bulletin boards could render some detailed methods for you... "bite-through" skin (vs. rubbery/fatty) has been an obsessive goal for what is sent to the judging tables for a while now. One method I recall is to peel back the skin, scrape out some of the fat, and reapply the skin w/toothpicks which can also be used to stretch it out a bit.
  11. BREAKING NEWS: Friday night's meatloaf and mashed potatoes held up just fine for my lunch today. Eyewitness testimony is split as to whether the pop machine is actually sold out of Diet Dr. Pepper, or if the outage is due to mechanical failure. More on this story closer to dinner.
  12. I love to read food blogs, but when someone feels the need to qualify their blog as a journalistic endeavor, it generally lacks a level of humor or irony required to grab my great unwashed attention span.
  13. If it was Utz Crab Chips instead of hushpuppies, I'd be calling my wife..."I really don't appreciate you getting Cheerwine shipped to KC and me finding out about it on eGullet...is that tonight's dinner?". I want this blog to start immediately. And I want some Cheerwine. And some crab chips.
  14. Lol, I think they would all involve telling his significant other A) where they can put that tip, or B) how death is preferred over it.
  15. I'm just theorizing. I don't even have a grill or smoker! In my experience, making good brisket is the final stage in real bbq proficiency, and the burnt ends are the crown jewel. Once I really nailed my method, similar to what chileheadmike describes, I found them to be so delicious with the perfect levels of bark, fat and meat, that I no longer wanted to even mess with the brisket flat that you slice up (and some bbq restaurants will cube it to create faux-burnt ends). In my quest to create ONLY burnt ends with no wasted smoker space dedicated to cooking the flat too, my local butcher managed to get me a whole case of good Piedmontese brisket points-only. In the stores, other than whole briskets you usually only find the flats for sale….you never see the point end by itself other than packaged corned beef. I figured…with all points, I’d yield the same product I was used to cooking, just way, way more of it. Now, this was true to some extent….I ended up with more bark since I could fit many smaller pieces of the same cut on the smoker, and the finished product was still good. People still loved the bumper crop of burnt ends, but I just found them lacking. Still good, but once you get REALLY good at them, anything less just sucks. I cannot explain it with science, but I firmly believe that in order to get the highest quality of the best thing about bbq brisket (in my opinion), you have GOT to keep it whole…that super fatty no-mans-land between the brisket and the flat remaining intact until after the initial cook is key. More bark with less fat/drier meat, while still tasty, isn’t the same. Moral of the story: burnt ends are a delicacy for a reason- the best example means you don’t get a ton of it. I always have enough bbq to send people home with plates of it…but if the selection includes burnt ends, that means I really, really love you.
  16. One great equalizer is cooking in a few contests and realizing the bbq you have to create if you want a higher score, and the bbq that you, your friends and family love the most can be 2 radically different things. AND after you've seen things like....someone literally dumping an entire can of charcoal fluid into the firebox on their offset and the resulting napalm cloud, you just figure...man, if it's smoky and delicious and you like eating it then live and let live! While I do not condone the activity, using liquid smoke and a crockpot for a brisket is still going to taste better than whatever came out of the aforementioned smoker! Oh, another thing about water....it evaporates. I never liked my 2am waking nightmares, wondering if the heat had spiked because I didn't get up in time to replenish it. I've had a few guys really take it to the wall arguing the "adds moisture to the meat" angle, but I generally just smile and nod. Again, however you want to spend your 12-16 hours making your food is completely up to you. Nine times out of ten it's still going to be better than what you find in any highly rated bbq joint.
  17. Oooooohhhhhhh Ooooooohhhhhhhhhhh!!!! I have to do the gratuitous "Well, you sure can tell when a Texan is doing bbq...they gotta use a 'Texas Crutch'...aluminum foil or an oven!". That is sometimes followed by "And they sure do like to use old railroad ties (mesquite) for the flavorin'!", but I find that to be gratuitous. Lol, I never have understood the "This region's BBQ is HORRIBLE!" debates....but they are entertaining in small doses. Very cool setup, and I like the fact you have it dialed in solid but it's still stripped down w/no water pan needed. I use a couple of WSM's, but have pretty much de-mythologized the need for water in the water pan over the years....I need the heat shield in that space, but I switched over to filling the pan with sand at one point, and now I just put a 12" terra cotta pot holder in there and rarely have to deal with temp fluctuations. Good looking brisket...and we are always looking for ways to re-purpose the meat when we have gigantic amounts left over too. Burnt end chili is something my wife started making, and holy lord it's good. Enjoying the blog! I love reading about food from all parts of the world, but having one from close to home is always cool too...then you get to learn things like- there are people who make me weep with jealousy at their seafood selection who have never eaten brisket!
  18. Christopher Elbow for sure....and DO pick up a tin (or a case) of his drinking chocolate as well. The Spiced Venezuelan is our favorite, but you can't go wrong with anything in the shop. Oh yeah...his ice cream...unreal... http://www.elbowchocolates.com/ Natasha's Mulberry & Mott is a place you'll want to visit while in OP... http://www.natashasmulberryandmott.com/home.html If you happen to make it to the Downtown/River Market area, Bloom Baking Co. has great stuff...can't find a website for them, but they are on Facebook. For breads, Fervere is mighty awesome... http://www.fervere.com/ Those are the major players that come to mind right now, but definitely feel free to reach out via PM or email if you have any specific questions as far as edibles of any kind while you're in town!
  19. I always get the feeling he is try to channel Gene Wilder's and Johnny Depp's Willie Wonka character. At the same time. My wife goes "So I guess we know who's going to get the lead in the next Human Centipede film". I guess she'd have a point if pure mirth was the main ingredient in THAT franchise.
  20. WOW! Is Ron chipper this season or what? The way they have apparently attempted to make him less sinister has made him MORE sinister! And I like it! I don't like the way they have eliminated the female robot voice that announces and describes the additional ingredients...."Secret ingredient...water. Water is a liquid, and it is consumed by both animals and people. It is very wet and will always seek its lowest point". Love this show.
  21. Paul Bacino? Good Brinkmann cooking result pics, I believe. Not sure about the location, but tomato plants, bbq, the morel avatar.....dead center in my comfort zone, looking forward to this for sure, no matter who it is!
  22. Comment to my wife after I made her watch the first episode from last season: "See? I wasn't exaggerating AT ALL, was I?". I wait for his single word descriptions of the food with great anticipation. And whether someone is smiling, weeping, or changing into a Transformer, his half-smile stare does not change.
  23. I don't know who got a photo of my deck four to six weeks in the future, but it's not funny. Whoever it is, total cruelty. Cannot trust this incredibly early warm weather in Missouri just yet....lol.
  24. Oh man, when I was a little kid, every single time we were at my grandmother's house, my great-grandmother would come down the hall to the living room with a box of dates and offer them to everyone. Weird which memories we manage to keep. Anyway, it was always a flat box similar to chocolates, I'd say definitely in the neighborhood of one pound. The only other semi-related thing I have to add here is....last night I roasted and ate ten merguez stuffed dates. Our new local butcher shop is going to be my downfall.
  25. Zeemanb

    Paula Dean

    Well, I like Mario, so that must mean all fault lies with Joe Bastianich.
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