This recipe is more than a little different. Different, but, pretty damn tasty. If you take the time to make it, I am certain you’ll agree.
You know things are a little off when Phil Dunphy is associated with a recipe you’re about to whip up. You read right. Phil is in your kitchen!
Ty Burrell of Modern Family fame (among other things) has a recipe that appears in a recent issue of Food & Wine Magazine. It seems Ty is a foodie/beerie. He just opened Beer Bar located in Salt lake City, Utah of all places. It’s directly next door to, Bar X, of which he is a co-owner. Beer Bar serves a huge list of 150 beers and they’re paired with house-made bratwursts. I think that was part of a dream I had a few nights back. Almost too good to be true.
Beer and brats. A classic combo.
Ty has teamed up with Salt Lake City Chef Viet Pham to help with his restaurants culinary inspirations. We recently tried our hand at constructing their Brat Reubens.
Have a look at the results…
That relish had tons of flavor. Mighty good.
Some assembly required…
It tastes WAY better than it looks right here. Although, honestly, it doesn’t look that bad.
NOTE: We used a fresh made local bratwurst from Bob’s Processing in South Haven, Michigan. They have great stuff there. If you ever find yourself cruising through SW Michigan and crave some smoked meat or award winning house cured bacon this is THE place.
It’s hard to even see the bun through all of the toppings! That’s pretty great, right?
This sandwich really delivered. Oh, but how do you make it you ask. Here’s a link to all of the delicious details.
It’s hard to imagine another smell that says “summer” more than BBQ.
TITLE: Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue AUTHOR: Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe PUBLISHER: Chronicle Books CUISINE: BBQ/Grilling
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Featured Ingredient: Brisket Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal. The beef brisket is one of the nine beef prime cuts. The brisket muscles include the superficial and deep pectorals. As cattle do not have collar bones, these muscles support about 60% of the body weight of standing/moving cattle. This requires a significant amount of connective tissue, so the resulting meat must be cooked correctly to tenderize the connective tissue. [Wikipedia]
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First Impressions I’m a sucker of BBQ cookbooks, so, I’ll try my level best to be objective. It won’t be easy. Dr. BBQ (aka Ray Lampe), has near legendary status in the smoky sub-culture of BBQ. So, you’re learning from a true master of the grill. There are lots of beautiful color images by Leigh Beisch throughout the book. I just loved the books finished size. It made it very easy to keep it open while cooking. A big plus for me. Most recipes are contained to one page. Love the design artwork with the two-tone pages. There is a fair amount of reverse type. But, it is surprisingly easy to read.
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What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents) Tools & Techniques
Spices and Sauces
Ribs Rule the World
Pork, Glorious Pork
The Necessary Side Dishes
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It’s hard to resist Rhett & Link. I know what you’re thinking…
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The Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)
Superchicken Wing Rub
Windy City Rib Tips
Competition-Style Pork Butt
Smoky Skirt Steak Fajitas
Smoked Flat-Cut Brisket with Coffee
Superchicken Smoked Wings
Smoked Scotch Eggs
Planked Salmon with Soy-Honey Glaze
Cheesy Mac and Cheese
Let’s just say that most of Ray’s recipes made my mouth water. Instantly! Were there one’s that rose above the crowd? But of course. The Roadside Barbecue Spareribs (p.56) seems like a recipe that most would be grill masters could easily tackle. I love Cuban food. So, the Cuban-style Leg of Pork (p.79), was an instant winner for me. It looks delicious. No lie. I’m making that soon. Keep an eye out here for the finished product. I know about the State Fair. And, I know about Disney. As you approach Frontierland, you can see a steady stream of people walking and eating. More like gnawing. They’re tackling giant, beautifully cooked turkey legs. It’s almost like they’re in some turkey induced trance. Anyway, if the State Fair Turkey Legs (p.129) come even close to those, then I say, “We have a WINNER!” Finally, the Bacon and Blue Cheese Coleslaw (p.161) would make a fine addition to any meal whether it was barbecued or not.
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Special Features I like the fact that recipe names are included in the table of contents. It makes it easy to see what you’re getting yourself into. I guess you could flip to the index. But, the index is never that great to navigate for something like that. There is a lot of info on tools, equipment and cooker types. That’s expected since BBQ isn’t like cooking in your kitchen. It requires special stuff. A great excuse for me to accumulate extra gadgets! There is a Table of Equivalents (p.176). I think it’s a conversion chart in sheep’s clothing. I really should stop obsessing about that.
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Conclusions Slow Fire, is a fun book. As, most BBQ/grill books are. There are some pretty intense ones on the market today. This one takes a much more laid back approach. That’s to my liking. The recipes here could keep your grill happy all summer long. Or, all year long depending on where you live. The recipes are of medium difficulty. Nothing that couldn’t be tackled by any would-be BBQ enthusiast. Ray is super creative. I like that. It’s not just another BBQ book. And, that’s good because it’s a pretty busy space. There are some truly unique recipes here that deserve your attention. This cookbook claims to be for beginners. And, lots of its elements are aimed at the novice. But, there is really something here for outdoor chefs of all experience levels. If you’re a near expert BBQer you needn’t turn your nose up at the thought of a beginner book. There is certainly something here for you too. So, dig out your pigtail, tongs and tin foil and get grilling!
TITLE: Ultimate Camp Cooking AUTHOR: Mike Faverman and Pat Mac PUBLISHER: Andrews McMeel Publishing CUISINE: Grilling/Outdoor
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Featured Ingredient: The S’More I don’t know a campout that’s complete without S’Mores. It is one of the simplest recipes you can make. But, it takes patience and technique to pull off a perfectly melted campfire treat. Graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate. Three ingredients that when combined in just the right proportion and at just the perfect temperature makes a summertime memory like no other.
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First Impressions It’s a nice size, easily portable. And, has a comfortable, well-worn texture to it. It almost feels like an old Boy Scout handbook. I think the cover may possibly be waterproof. I’m not going to experiment, I’ll leave that to you. The recipes are contained on one or two pages at most. That means there is no need to flip pages to continue a recipe. If you’re actually using this on a camping trip, any recipe that’s more than two pages may be too complicated anyway. I always like to give photo credit. In this case an entire page (p.199) is dedicated to the topic. Go there if you’re interested.
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What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents) Ultimate Camp Cooking Basics
Entrees (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Vegetarian)
Soups and Salads
Metric Conversions & Equivalents (Yes, its own chapter!)
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Now to get you in the mood for a campfire makin’, S’more eatin’, good time…
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The Best Of The Book (Our Favorite Recipes)
Brie Cheese Wrap
Omelet in a Bag
Ponderosa Steak Sandwich
Chicken Camp Casserole
Chicken Pot Pie
Pulled Pork Taco Bar
Cedar Plank Salmon
Pat Mac’s Chili
Are there some recipes that rise above the campfire flame? Indeed there are. The Dutch Oven Benedict (p.38) seems like it would be an awesome start to a day of hiking, fishing or exploring. It’s pretty rich. You’re going to want to move around a little after eating it. A dinner consisting of Drunk’n Flank Steak (p.91) and Dad’s Potatoes (p.142) would be a perfect end to a day in the great outdoors. It’s certainly a BIG upgrade from the typical food you get on a camping trip. Unless, that trip includes an RV of some type and a personal chef. Let’s finish the day off with an individual Camp S’More Pie (p.193). A creative take on a true outdoor classic.
Special Features If you’ve never been camping, or cooked outdoors there are some great tips here. The Basics section has ideas for meal planning, packing and camp site cleanup. If you need suggestions on how to handle a bear in your camp, you can quickly flip to page 22-23. You may want to read this section ahead of your trip. My “favorite” feature, the Metric Conversion Table rears its head. In this cookbook it has its very own chapter! The reality is that this time the chart may actually be useful. I’m assuming you’re not bringing the resources of your entire home kitchen out into the wilderness with you. And, there’s a better than even chance you won’t have a cell signal. So, if you have the need to convert, you’re all set. I’m not quite sure what’s up with the Fahrenheit to Celsius to British gas mark table, but, if you happen to be camping in the UK you’re covered. The stories from Mike and Pat make for some entertaining reading. If you’re bored on your camping trip or it’s raining and you’re tent-bound, you’ll have some material.
Conclusions Ultimate Camp Cooking is a fun read. It’s obvious that the authors enjoy what they’re doing. One look at the cover image and you’ll know that they won’t be taking the subject too seriously. And, as much as the cookbook seems like a novelty, there are some great recipes inside. There are only three appetizers, but there are a ton of main courses. Four vegetarian dishes, but, loads of great sides. It seems like a mix that would work well if you have limited cooking resources. The hardest part to any of these dishes is the cooking process itself. Things are cooked outside and not necessarily grilling. Once you have the fire built, the recipes go together easily. It might not produce five star restaurant food, but, it is certainly five star camping food. Your camp site cuisine will be the envy of all. Your neighbors will be drooling over their box of Cheez-It’s and bag of Dorito’s when they spy your dinner. While you’re finishing off your Stuffed French Toast (p.82), enjoying a beautiful morning, they’ll be looking despondently at their cold Pop-Tart. Sad…