Sophie's Foodie

Sophie's Foodie

0 comment Sunday, April 20, 2014 |

Letting Bratwurst soak up some suds, spices and then grilling them is a real blast. A griller's delight! However, a real pay off (maybe a major goal thing for the entire year) is being able to sink your teeth into one as it comes off the grill! "Holy Jumpin' Up And Down, Martha!"
But first dude, you have to get yourself happily involved into a premium Bratwurst like Johnsonville, or "Brats" as many people call them. If you going to grill and eat Brats�buy the best, don't be "A Skimpy Dude"!
Just As Important If Not More Important: Purchase a bottle of beer for cooking the Bratwurst. Geez, maybe get a whole bunch more beer so that you can stay extremely focused and cool during this whole cooking and grilling process.
Music: And in the meanwhile, get with some funky music. Blues, jazz... "something that cooks a little!" Motivation and excitement stuff!
I used a bottle of "Henry Weinhard's Blackberry Wheat Ale" to cook the Brats in. I hope you remember some of their great commercials, "Hey there, where y'all goin' with all that beer?" from the Oregon Border Patrol guys.
Some folks prefer using a dark beer, or ale when cooking the Bratwurst, and that's cool! Actually, you could probably use a nice wine as a substitute. But Brats and beer kinda go together. Are you startin' to get it?
Recipe Time: (I'm assuming that if you have read this far, that you are still alive)
  • One Beer (Just one? You got to be kidding? Get a grip, dude! Chill!)
  • Package of Johnsonville Brats (A five pack. If you do this right 5 ain't goin' be enough)
  • Maybe Some Spice like Luzianne Cajun ('tis 1 of the best seasonings out there, period)
  • A Pan (Spring for the Bayou Cast Iron one at Amazon)
  • Any Kind Of BBQ Grill (One that lights up, dude)
  • For You� (A six pack of cold beer to get thru all the dark periods of grilling ...golly gee, like you never know when a minute flare-up might occur. Be prepared!)
  • I have a first-class shallow cast iron pan (like the Bayou below) that I can use on the barbie. It takes a little longer to warm up than a normal pan, but they are the best thing since sliced bread.
    Ok, you don't really need a cool cast iron cookware pan like the Bayou necessarily, but they come in handy for other things, like using as a casserole or lasagna pan. Plus, Amazon has a great price on one.
    Sure, you can buy flimsy, expensive aluminum foil pans all the time, but it won't take long before you realize you could have easily afforded the Bayou pan in the first place. What were you thinking? Don't be "A Skimpy Dude"! Geez!
    Getting To The Gritties: Light both sides of the barbecue: For a gas BBQ, medium even low for the pan, between medium and high on the other side. For charcoal, push the coals to on side and put the pan on the other. For the Traeger Grill place directly over the middle on high heat.
    Place a brew in the pan, place a brew in you. Let it get to a simmering type of temperature. Some folks add onions, peppercorns and all kinds of things. That's cool! Like maybe use your imagination. But, I hope it's not a first, dude!
    I added bunches of Luzianne Cajun Seasoning to the pan. Place the Bratwurst in the pan and cook on both sides until they turn grayish. You will see that the seasoning sticks to the Brats as they are simmering.

    Crunch Time: The whole idea, the premise, your goal for the week is not to destroy the Bratwurst. So let's be cool and gently cook them in a simmering temp. You do not want the casings to break.
    Some people cook them for about ten minutes. It takes me more like 20 minutes. I cook them real slow.
    Once you get the grayish look, it is time to grill them. Hey, not to hot of a grill. You don't want them to split. Is your brain starting to rally? Do you have the situation within reach?
    What you want is nice grill marks on your Bratwurst. Move them around on the grill to insure even cooking, turning only once. Again, watch the heat, you don't want them burned on the outside and not cooked in the inside...that sucks big time!
    So have fun with Bratwurst. Sure, you can grill the proverbial and cheaper weenie (dude, you don't ever want to know "what's in dat weenie") and, do you really really want to be known as "A Skimpy Dude"??? Get with the Brats!

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    Challenging, maybe more than barbecuing and grilling meat is coming up with ideas for grilling veggies and getting healthy!
    En Eefecto: Vegan folks like to grill as much as their meat-eating friends. For me grilling veggies and fruit can be both challenging and rewarding. Plus, it should be part of the "total meal experience".
    The closest many of the pure meat lovers get to vegan grilling is a shish kabob�a couple of cherry tomatoes, a green pepper and maybe some chunks of pineapple. Well, at least it's not all meat.
    I will have to admit, I blog more about barbecuing meat than I do about grilling vegetables and fruit. However, in reality I grill more fruits and veggies than I do meat, especially when they are in season.
    The above photo is of four zucchini (2 yellow, 2 green), two ears of corn and a head of cauliflower, fixed a very special way. I think you will like the recipe for the cauliflower.
    I cut the zucchini length wise and rubbed EVOO (only olive oil safe for vegans) on them so they would not stick to the grill. I husked the corn and also rubbed EVOO on it.
    I am a big fan of Chef Paul Prudhomme. I used his "Vegetable Magic" on both the zucchini and the corn.
    Before I put the corn on the grill I zapped both ears for 4 minutes in a covered pie plate, and poured a tad bit of water into the dish. I figured that this saves a lot of grilling time, and the idea is to have everything cooked and done at about the same time.
    Clean a head of cauliflower and brush on Spectrum non-egg mayo and yellow mustard. Next, finally chop up a couple tablespoons of red onion and distribute over the entire head. Sprinkle on Prudhomme's Vegetable Magic. Cover and zap for 4 minutes, with a little water at the bottom of, like a Corning Ware dish.
    Place the cauliflower in a separate pan and place shredded "Sheese", a non-dairy type of cheese over the top before putting on the grill. Actually, the cauliflower is cooked, but the Sheese is not completely melted. Hey, anyway, it's going to look cool on the grill.
    Light up one side of the grill to medium heat or 325 degrees. Place the cauliflower in a metal container, lined with foil and place on the unheated side. Close the hood periodically to help melt the Sheese.
    Place the corn and zucchini on the heated side. This will go fast! Flip the zucchini after a couple of minutes on the grill. If overcooked they will become soggy. The corn is less sensitive. Make sure you get the cool grill marks.

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    0 comment Saturday, April 19, 2014 |
    Portable should mean portable and the Weber Baby Q is just that. Take it camping. Take it to a picnic.
    Now, the unit weighs in at 29 pounds which is not exactly light and doesn't sound portable, but it is, and the good news is: it won't blow over in a wind storm. The Weber Baby Q is designed to sit on a table top.
    In other words, it doesn't come with a stand, although you can get one for it. It seems that everything is made in every country but the USA. Well this is made in the USA.
    The Weber is cast aluminum and has 189 square inches of cooking area�..this translates to grilling four steaks at a time. For those who care it is 14 1/8 high, 27 � inches wide and 16 inches deep.
    If there is a downside it is the size of the propane canisters it is designed to use. That would be small�.the camper stove size. For convenience sake, you can buy a tank adapter hose to accommodate a larger tank.
    With the Weber Baby Q you are going to get those great grill marks too, not to mention great tasting food�so have at it!

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    My family and I love Country-style Pork Ribs. These are serious-sized ribs. My father-in-law use to call them Dinosaur bones, and rightfully so when he barbecued them.
    This package of pork ribs weighed five pound and there were five of them. So each rib weighs a pound. These ain't etsy bitsy baby back ribs, folks! Ok, they are theoretically not even ribs at all, but...who cares!
    Your goal, anytime you are BBQing, or cooking, should be to add taste and keep whatever you are cooking moist and tender. This may be a "Duh!" but the "moist & tender" part can be tough to achieve if not done right.
    Let's get to the recipe, now. Wash the ribs and pat dry. Rub with a generous amount of EVOO.
    If you don't know what that term means you may want to consult "Rachael's Unabridged Dictionary Of Cooking Terminology". Hey, you'll also learn what "Delish, Stoup & Yummo" means.
    Just kidding, she's a Doll and prepares excellent food and you can learn a lot from her! Maybe the fastest cook in the world!
    Rub the ribs with EVOO and placed in a plastic marinating container or large plastic bag. Next, pour a generous amount of a quality Rub on these puppies. I prefer to make my own and here is a good one from Cheryl Jamison (author of Smoke & Spice...see her two books below) who has given me permission to pass it on : "Wild Willy's Number One-derful Rub Recipe".
    Once you have her Rub made, distribute generously on the pork ribs and rub in real good. Now, this works like a champ for a marinade, just plain old yellow mustard. ( Has all the ingredients you'll need for one of the best marinades you'll run across)
    Don't go berserk! But, pour on a fair amount of mustard and distribute with a cooking brush.
    Best results dictate marinating the pork ribs over night. Before you put them on the grill or in the oven, let them sit out for 30 minutes while you get the cooking temperature up to medium or 325 degrees.
    My Traeger Grill cooks on indirect heat and theoretically I can put them directly on the grill, but the mess with the mustard could be catastrophic. I highly suggest that you some type of pan when cooking.
    On a gas grill, use indirect heat by lighting one side of the grill and putting the ribs on the other. On a charcoal grill, a two-zone fire should do the trick. Put a water pan in the middle of the grill to keep things moist. See this gas grill tip: ( How To BBQ Pork Ribs On A Gas Grill).
    In an oven, I suggest using a Dutch Oven, or Clay Pot. Add a little water to the Dutch Oven so that you maintain moisture and don't burn up the meat.
    Cooking time should be around two hours. Check for internal temperature, ideally around 170 degrees. I added another 20 minutes to this by smoking them on the Traeger at 90 degrees. You can do the same thing on a gas grill by using a "Smoker Box"!
    Once you take the pork ribs off the BBQ, wrap in foil for 15 minutes before serving. I would even do the same with a Dutch Oven.
    I hope you enjoyed this post on this very simple recipe. Sometimes things can just get too complicated and why not just do simple?

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    0 comment Friday, April 18, 2014 |

    BBQ gift ideas for Xmas, Birthdays, Fathers Day, Mothers Day...Any Day:
    (Please keep this site active by checking out my quality advertisers!)

    If your significant other's BBQ comes off the grill so bad that even the "dog" won't get in line, maybe it's time to step in and give them some help!
    The goal is to get them happily involved with the right BBQ books, accessories, or whatever tools it takes to get them to "Rock Star" status on the grill.
    Here are some of the best BBQ books out there:
    How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques...."Steven Raichlen might as well be called the guru of grilling, so well versed is he in every aspect..." -- Family Circle
    Next: Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue Sauces: 175 Make-Your-Own Sauces....If you are really serious about barbecuing, Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue Sauces will help you learn about slow-cooking meat over smoke and teach what you need to know to start approaching barbecuing like a pro.
    Next: Barbecue America: A Pilgrimage in Search of America's Best Barbecue ....This is a delightful read for those who submerge themselves in the lifestyle of the BBQ-er, and even those who merely observe.
    You have to have a super Meat Thermometer! I have had a Taylor Theomometer for years. You can easily carrying around in your pocket and it is reasonably priced.
    Sure, you can go out and buy a cheap set of barbecue tools! Don't! Theses are heavy duty and will last for years. Plus, they come with an awesome carrying case.
    There are marinating sauces and then there are sauces. Next to beer (just kidding), there are no better sauces made than what Fischer and Wieser make! You buy them in six packs...6 twenty ounce bottles. They come in a variety of flavors...I kind of like the Raspberry-Chipotle, especially over pork. It also makes for an awesome salad dressing. I use it as a marinade and finishing sauce. You can even use it as a dipping sauce.

    I can give you a lot more BBQ gift ideas with books and grilling accessories, but this should get you started in the right direction. If you have any questions, please leave a comment on my blog.

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    This can't be cast as one of those all exclusive "red-neck" BBQ recipes, but, hey a good chicken noodle soup is vital! First though, this very important quiz!........
    Who invented Chicken Noodle Soup?
    Martin Short ___
    Martha Stewart___
    Genghis Khan___
    Bambi___
    Who Knows?___
    Last Chance Answer! - Donald Trump___
    In my research, I couldn't come up with a definite answer, but the guess is, it is a derivative of a Chinese noodle soup.
    My variation of chicken noodle soup is really thick and falls into the category of being a "stoup", a phrase coined by Rachael Ray (On one of her 30 minute meal shows, but this is not her recipe) for being so thick that it is a cross between being a stew and a soup�.thus, stoup!
  • Quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • One large onion
  • One clove of garlic
  • Two large carrots
  • Two stalks of celery
  • One roasted Anaheim pepper (optional)
  • Three or four large chicken breasts
  • Wild Willy's Number One-derful Rub Recipe
  • Ah, the el twisto, Luzianne Cajun Seasoning
  • 22 ounce package of large egg noodles
  • Six 14 oz cans of low sodium chicken broth
  • One to two 14 oz cans of low sodium beef broth
    Get your grill up, or you, to 400 degrees or more. In the meanwhile, coat each chicken breast with a little olive oil and put on a generous amount of Wild Willy's rub onto each of the breasts. You can pan fry or grill each chicken breast on the barbie until done. I prefer the BBQ. (Besides this is a BBQ blog).
    I use a 6 � quart stock pot for my chicken noodle soup. Finely chop up the onion and garlic and caramelize in the olive oil until you get a nice brown coating.
    Dice up the carrots (not you!), and celery and add them to the pot, sauté them for seven minutes, or so.
    Add one can of beef broth to the veggie mix and reduce the heat. I like to cook everything separately, so I add two thirds of a package of egg noodles to boiling water and cook for seven minutes. Add a little olive oil to water to keep the noodles from sticking.
    Add the beef broth and four cans of the chicken broth to the pot. Add rinsed noodles, bring up the heat, but don't boil. Cut up chicken into bite size chunks and add to pot.
    You say," why not just cook the chicken in the broth, dude"?
    For one, it will reduce the chicken chunks to minuscule size. Ok, with that I really doubt that I am making an impression! Open a can of chicken noodle soup and compare the size of the chicken chunks to yours. The result is what happens when you boil chicken and cut corners.
    You don't have to cook the noodles separately either, but I don't do starchy noodles....do you really love that darling starchy taste?
    The toughest part is the spice part. The noodles will make it a bland. This is where the Cajun Seasoning comes in. Shake it on the finished product, stir, taste, and shake it on some more until you get rid of the blandness.
    Now, you are going to have some different tastes in your soup and that's cool! The caramelized onion and garlic add a wonderful taste to soup. You will receive yet another great and separate taste with the barbecued chicken because of the rub. The nice spicy taste will come from the Cajun Seasoning. I also add a roasted Anaheim pepper, but that's optional.
    Remember that chicken noodle soup is good for the soul�.and well, you too! This is just one in a number of recipes that I hope you enjoy!
    "Wild Willy's Number One-derful Rub Recipe" (Courtesy of Cheryl Jamison�. She has one of the best barbecue books out there, and I can't recommend it enough, or highly enough�.."Spice & Smoke")
  • Main all-purpose rub, good on pork & beef rib, brisket, chicken, and more ("And More" Meaning Pulled Pork, Steak, Hamburger).
  • 3/4 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup salt (Try to use Sea salt)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne
  • What could make this chicken noodle soup recipe better? Well, you could add more veggies, maybe even double up on the carrots and celery.

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    0 comment Thursday, April 17, 2014 |
    Gas grills are a way to go if you are looking for convenience and versatility, this will especially include the Ducane 4100.
    The Weber barbecue folks acquired Ducane not to long ago, and nothing has dropped off in quality from the Ducane quality of years past. The unit is heavy stainless-steel with four fast-heating burners and an abundance of grill area.
    Not only is it a handsome looking BBQ, it has a totally enclosed storage area for your tools and the propane tank.
    Temperatures can rise to 600 degrees and is perfect for searing those steaks to perfection immediately after work. The unit is ideal when grilling for large crowds.
  • Outdoor gas grill with 4 stainless steel burners
  • 48,000 BTUs for high temperatures and 693 square inches of total cooking space
  • 167 square inch warming rack
  • Electronic ignition and professional-grade lid thermometer
  • Stainless steel wire cooking grates for easy cleanup
  • 5- year limited warranty
  • Priced in the $400.00 range
  • Most folks think you have to spend $1000, plus to get a quality gas grill. Not long ago that was true. But, with the Ducane 4100 you get a durable, quality grill for less than half of that.

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