Sunday, March 8, 2009

BBQ and Writing...

I invested in a very essential item for living in Texas: a smoker. The one I got is a water smoker; it has a five foot tower to hang meat over a bowl of water that keeps things moist and catches the fat.There is a firebox on the side that produces heat but mostly smoke. This handy gadget allows me to produce delicious BBQ of all kinds, by burning wood instead of charcol or gas. (Does this make it green?) BBQ in Texas is different from almost everywhere else. The meat is rubbed down with a mixture of dry spices instead of goopy sauces. (You can always add your own afterwards.)

I like mesquite wood best for smoking. I start with a bunch of regular wood logs, like the kind you buy at Home Depot for your fireplace. Once I have a really nice bed of coals, I start putting chunks of mesquite wood on the coals. You have to do this about every fifteen minutes in order to keep the smoker going. I've smoked pork ribs, country ribs, brisket, pork loin, corn on the cob and even managed to make a good smoked salmon. (Great for breakfast with onions in eggs.)

I have some other things in mind a want to try, like smoking a lasagne or stuffed eggplant. My doctor keeps yelling at me about my cholestorol and stuff like that, but I can't help it! Texas Monthly has a great article on the Best Barbecue Joints in Texas. I was drooling after the first page!

How does this relate to writing? When you smoke, be prepared to spend six to eight hours just tending the smoker. This allows you to relax in the backyard and think, read or write. It a very relaxing way to spend the day, not to mention all the food you get to eat when you're done!

2 comments:

mimsy said...

I took a charcuterie class in culinary school about 8 years ago. We had a wonderful AltoShaam smoker (commercial equipment, but available to anyone with money and/or credit). First day of class we listed all the things we wanted to smoke. We were a small, yet creative group of students (to say the least)and our chef instructor encouraged our creativity. We did all kinds of food with varying results. Some of the things we smoked were, of course pork of all cuts,various kinds of sausages, other meats (turkey is great!), fish of all types, shell fish (oysters, mussels, shrimp etc) Cheeses, tomatoes, peppers and all types of vegetables. Smoking is an outstanding way to add zip to food. If it's edible and at least somewhat solid, you can smoke it. Don't forget to try different types of wood too- they do impart unique flavors.

Where food's concerned, it's always good to take a giant leap out of the box.
Just let me know when dinner is...:)

Dan said...

I have my ribs and turkey legs down pat! I love using mesquite or hickory for a strong flavor, and pecan for a more delicate flavor.

I can even make a nice smoked salmon for breakfast!