Ribs ready to eat

A great spring weekend is about to come to a close with some tasty memphis style ribs.



First spring ribs on the smoker


What to do when you need to eat less meat.


So if you are craving some ‘que but either can’t or don’t want meat, this substitute might work for you. I shortened a recipe from The Grit, the world renowned vegetarian restaurant in Athens, Georgia. This is the easy shortcut, slice 8 oz of tempeh into 2″ x 1/4″ strips, brown, brown, brown it in butter and olive oil, or if you are vegan skip the butter, use more oil! Then put the browned tempeh into a sauce pan, cover with your favorite bottled sauce, stir in a half cup of julienned carrots, and a couple tablespoons of minced green onion leaves (dark green parts only). Heat for 5 to 10 minutes, then take off the heat and let rest about 10 minutes before putting on a good toasted bun. Toasting is key. Tonight we used Stubbs Sweet Heat bbq sauce which frankly we did not love; the heat was out of balance with the rest of the good flavors in the sauce. Next time I’ll try another sauce and maybe some smoked sea salt while browning the tempeh. Give it a try, or keep it in your back pocket as an option for meatless friends at a summer bbq.

Cornell Chicken

It was time for a little more backyard BBQ this weekend. This time around I tried the Western NY staple, Cornell Chicken. I made a slight variation on the original recipe based on an America’s Test Kitchen recipe I previously got my hands on. It certainly works to make a pretty good looking and tasty chicken. No Cornell Chicken can be served without salt potatoes, so of course I made a pot full. If you’ve never had salt potatoes, I recommend you try them. Add 1.5 to 2 cups kosher salt to 8 cups of water, boil three pounds of small round (I used Yukon Gold) potatoes until tender, then drain and set the individual potatoes on a cooling rack and watch the salt crust form. Melt some butter, a stick should suffice, throw in some fresh chives and a twist of the pepper grinder and you are good to go.

backyard smoker

Smoking some Sunday ribs.

backyard bbq ribs

smoked some ribs yesterday afternoon – they turned out pretty darn good.

roasting peppers on the grill

Fire roasting chiles on Flickr.

I wasn’t barbecuing, but I was using the grill to fire roast some peppers for a mole-esque sauce for some pork butt. Turned out to be good eats.