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Posts Tagged ‘Tailgate Tuesday’

Tailgate Tuesday: Beer cheese soup

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017


Tailgate Tuesday has traditionally been our weekly contribution from our resident pitmaster, Joe Pichey from GoBlueBBQ. Due to a new job, Joe has had limited time this season, so I have taken the reigns as interim Maize and Go Pitmaster. These tailgate recipes will be posted each Tuesday throughout the football season and will feature a variety of appetizers, main courses, and sides to help you be the king of your next tailgate. Gentry’s BBQ, a Orlando, Fla. based BBQ and catering company, sponsors this season’s feature by providing their killer rubs and sauces for use in the recipes. Buy them here. In addition, Fogo Charcoal provides charcoal to use in each recipe. Buy it here.

PreviousGator kabobsSteak tacos nortenos with bacon fat flour tortillasBrisket burnt endsFried pork tenderloin sammy with fire roasted green chile jam and savory corn casseroleSmoked onion dipJalapeno ballsSous vide french dip cheesesteakWestern style chopped pork and red slawCarolina hush puppiesSmoked beef empanadas; Home-cured applewood smoked bacon
Recipe Archive

I couldn’t let Wisconsin week go by without combining two of my favorite Wisconsin products: beer and cheese. This recipe is an adaptation of the beer cheese soup that Southern Soul BBQ in St. Simon’s Island, Ga. makes. I’ve made it many times and it’s always a crowd pleaser, especially on a cold fall or winter Saturday.

Ingredients
1 stick butter
1-2 minced onions
2-3 minced celery stalks
1-2 minced carrots
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
Gentry’s Smoke Stack BBQ Rub
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chicken stock
5 cups whole milk
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup monterrey jack cheese
1 TBSP worcestershire sauce
2 cans beer
Chopped green onions
Crumbled bacon
Directions

There aren’t a lot of steps to this recipe. It’s mostly chopping vegetables, shredding cheese (unless you buy pre-shredded), and whisking.

Start by dicing your onions, celery, and carrots. In a large stockpot, melt your butter and add your diced veggies, a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of white pepper, 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne, and a few shakes of your Gentry’s Smoke Stack BBQ Rub. Sautee your veggies until they are cooked through and starting to soften.

Next, whisk in a half cup of flour, stirring constantly until the whole mixture thickens and turns a medium blonde color. Quickly pour in your warm chicken stock (try not to keep it in the fridge prior to using). This will deglaze your pan. Then whisk in your five cups of whole milk — because we don’t use that candy ass two percent! Keep whisking until the whole mixture thickens.

Now reduce your heat to a simmer and add all of your cheese in batches, stirring constantly until it is melted and well incorporated. Once it’s fully melted, add a tablespoon of Worcestershire and two cans of beer. Any cheap beer will do, but since it’s Wisconsin week I used New Glarus Spotted Cow. If you’ve never had this stuff, get up to the badger state and pick some up. They make a lot of great beers and they’re not sold outside of Wisconsin, but Spotted Cow a cult favorite. Stir it all together and let simmer until it’s ready to serve.

Spoon it into soup bowls and serve along with some nice hearty bread and of course some more Spotted Cow. Top with chopped green onions and crumbled bacon — that bacon you made last week will work great! — for even more flavor and sprinkle some more Smoke Stack Rub on top.

Visit Gentry’s to purchase their great rubs and sauces. You can follow them on Twitter at @gentrysbbq and you can also follow our resident pitmaster Joe at @mmmgoblubbq.

Tailgate Tuesday: Home-cured applewood smoked bacon

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017


Tailgate Tuesday is our weekly contribution from our resident pitmaster, Joe Pichey from GoBlueBBQ. Joe has limited time this season, so we will be tag-teaming the weekly recipes. These tailgate recipes will be posted each Tuesday throughout the football season and will feature a variety of appetizers, main courses, and sides to help you be the king of your next tailgate. Gentry’s BBQ, a Orlando, Fla. based BBQ and catering company, sponsors this season’s feature by providing their killer rubs and sauces for use in the recipes. Buy them here. In addition, Fogo Charcoal provides charcoal to use in each recipe. Buy it here.

PreviousGator kabobsSteak tacos nortenos with bacon fat flour tortillasBrisket burnt endsFried pork tenderloin sammy with fire roasted green chile jam and savory corn casseroleSmoked onion dipJalapeno ballsSous vide french dip cheesesteakWestern style chopped pork and red slawCarolina hush puppies; Smoked beef empanadas
Recipe Archive

With the holidays coming up most of us will be hosting family and friends or at the very least spending a few extra days at home. That means more breakfasts to make, more meals to cook, and more people to feed. So why not load your freezer with some homemade bacon that you can pull out, quickly defrost, fry up, and serve to the hungry kids or your mother in law who keeps forcing you to try her spinach and goat cheese quiche. Yes, that’s right, I said homemade bacon. It’s a delicacy that takes more time than other smoked meats, but if you have the foresight to plan ahead I assure you you’ll fall in love and never want to go back to store-bought bacon again. It’s a pretty easy process but you have to be precise in your measurements and give it time to cure.

Ingredients
6-9 pound pork belly
4.5 tsp Kosher salt
4.5 tsp Ground black pepper
6 TBSP brown sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp Prague Powder #1
Gentry’s Beef Brigade BBQ Rub
1/2 cup maple syrup
More ground black pepper
Directions

To get a pork belly you’re going to have to go to a butcher. You likely won’t find it at a regular grocery store, though you may be able to ask the butcher at the counter for one. In Chicago, I love Peoria Packing which has amazing prices on anything pig-related. I picked up a 9-pound belly for about $20.

You can get your butcher to remove the skin for you, which is way easier than doing it yourself, but I didn’t have time when I went to the store, so I did it myself. You can tell the difference between skin and fat by how tough it is. Skin is hard to even slice through with a knife, and if you’re lucky, you might even get one with nipples still on it! That’s normal…you just don’t want to eat them. If you do it yourself, just make sure to slice it all off without removing meat or fat. If you do remove a little here and there, it’s not the end of the world, but try to remove as little as possible. It’s a bit of a process, but it must be done. If you want to save the skin and make cracklins, you can go full southerner, but otherwise just toss it.

Depending on the size of your belly (the pork one, that is), you can cut it in half at this point. You want about a 3-pounder, so if it’s six pounds, cut it in half. If it’s nine pounds, cut it in thirds. You can either do both or pop the one(s) you don’t use in the freezer for a later date. I cut mine in half and made two varieties. I’m showing you the maple pepper variety now, but I also made an Asian one that was great.

Now it’s time to make your brine. There are two ways to cure bacon: dry and wet. I’ve done both with great results, but it’s universally safer to wet brine because it helps avoid hot spots or dry spots with your cure. So that’s what we’re going to do.

Mix 4.5 teaspoons of Kosher salt, 4.5 teaspoons of ground black pepper, 6 table spoons of dark brown sugar, 3/4 cup of water, 1/2 cup of maple syrup, and a half teaspoon of Prague Powder #1. You want to be really careful with Prague Powder #1 (it’s the pink stuff that you’ll probably have to order online). Never eat it and always make sure to use the correct amount in the curing process. There are several handy dandy calculators that can help you get the right amount so you don’t use too much or too little, which could make you sick.

Put your pork belly into a large Ziplock bag and then dump the brine into it and seal, pushing all of the air out. If you have a FoodSaver, use it. Put your bag on a cookie sheet and put into the fridge for 7-10 days. Each day you’ll want to massage the bag and flip it over to help the cure get all over the meat.

After 7-10 days, it’s finally time to smoke. Many people say seven days is the sweet spot, but that requires precise planning ahead and being able to smoke it on the seventh day. Mine went 10 days and was just fine. Take it out of the bag, being careful not to spill the liquid all over the floor or counter. Dump it down the sink, then rinse off your belly with cold water. Rinse it really well to get everything off. If there is pepper still clinging to it, that’s fine. Now, pour your Gentry’s Beef Brigade Rub all over it and rub it in. Yes, we’re using a beef rub on pork, but it works great. I like even more pepper, so I added more coarse ground black pepper and also drizzled some maple syrup on top.

Fire up your smoker to about 200-225 degrees. I have a Masterbuilt electric smoker that I inherited from my wife’s grandfather, who got into smoking about 10 years ago because of me, but then got to old to do it, so he gave me his smoker. I affectionately named it Lloyd and use it solely for smoking bacon because it’s so easy to keep the temperature low and consistent. I used apple wood for this, which is my preferred wood for smoking bacon. Hickory works great too, but stay away from harder, more pungent woods such as mesquite. I tried pecan once and did not like the result.

Put your belly in and let it go for 2-3 hours until it reaches 150 degrees internal. Mine took about three hours but I also had two bellies in at the same time. Once up to temp, pull them, put them on a plate or sheet pan, and stick into the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. This lets the juices rest and congeal and will make it much easier to slice than doing so right out of the smoker.

When you’re ready to slice some up, cut equal-sized slices and fry them up like you would any normal bacon. Because these slices will likely be thicker than store-bought bacon, it won’t get as crispy as that, but you don’t want it to. Give it a taste and I promise that you’ll never want to buy pre-made bacon again. Slice up the whole belly and seal it with your FoodSaver or in freezer bags and then throw them in the freezer for a later date. My freezer is now full of bacon to last me the next few weeks!

Visit Gentry’s to purchase their great rubs and sauces. You can follow them on Twitter at @gentrysbbq and you can also follow our resident pitmaster Joe at @mmmgoblubbq.

Tailgate Tuesday: Smoked beef empanadas

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017


Tailgate Tuesday is our weekly contribution from our resident pitmaster, Joe Pichey from GoBlueBBQ. Joe has limited time this season, so we will be tag-teaming the weekly recipes. These tailgate recipes will be posted each Tuesday throughout the football season and will feature a variety of appetizers, main courses, and sides to help you be the king of your next tailgate. Gentry’s BBQ, a Orlando, Fla. based BBQ and catering company, sponsors this season’s feature by providing their killer rubs and sauces for use in the recipes. Buy them here. In addition, Fogo Charcoal provides charcoal to use in each recipe. Buy it here.

PreviousGator kabobsSteak tacos nortenos with bacon fat flour tortillasBrisket burnt endsFried pork tenderloin sammy with fire roasted green chile jam and savory corn casseroleSmoked onion dipJalapeno ballsSous vide french dip cheesesteakWestern style chopped pork and red slaw; Carolina hush puppies
Recipe Archive

A few weeks ago I mentioned my favorite lunch spot in Chicago, Nini’s Deli. I can’t recommend this place enough if you’re ever in the Windy City. It has been featured on Chicago news and even on the Travel Channel’s Food Paradise this year. It’s Cuban-Mexican fusion inspired by the owner, Juan’s parents, who are from Cuba and Mexico. My absolute favorite sandwich is the ropa vieja burrito, but you can’t go to Nini’s without getting an empanada or two. That’s what inspired this week’s recipe.

Ingredients
4-6 pound beef shoulder roast
3 onions
1 can diced green chiles
Monterey jack cheese
Gentry’s Beef Brigade BBQ Rub
1 bottle dark beer
1 egg
2 TBSP milk
1/8 tsp salt
2.25 cups sifted flour
1.5 tsp salt
1 stick butter
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
Vegetable oil for frying
Directions

Start with your beef shoulder and rub it all over with your Gentry’s Beef Brigade BBQ Rub. As its name suggests, this stuff is great on beef, delivering a nice salty and peppery flavor with hints of coffee and garlic. Fire up your smoker to 225-250 using your preferred type of wood. I like a mix of hickory and oak.

Pour a bottle of dark beer into a foil pan and fill it the rest of the way with water. You can use two bottles of beer if you want, or just drink one of them. Put the foil pan in the smoker underneath your meet to provide moisture during the smoke process. Depending on the size of your beef, it will cook for anywhere from five to eight hours, so plan accordingly.

About halfway through the smoke, you can start your empanada dough. First, whisk together one egg, two tablespoons of milk, and an eight teaspoon of salt. Set it aside. In a separate bowl, mix 2.25 cups of sifted flour and a teaspoon and a half of salt. Now chop a stick of butter into a few smaller chunks and put them into your flour mixture. Using clean bare hands, kneed it all together until the butter is well incorporated into your flour. It should resemble crumbs at this point. Now, pour your whisked egg into it along with a tablespoon of cider vinegar (white will work too) and a third-cup of cold water. Mix it all together.

Dump it out onto a floured surface and form it all together. No need to really kneed it at this point, just make sure it’s compact so you can wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge until you’re ready for it.

When your beef reaches an internal temperature of between 195 and 205 degrees, it’s ready to be pulled. Remember, during the smoking process, it will hit a stall in the 150s and this is perfectly normal. Don’t panic if it takes a while to power through it. Just let the process work. You can also spritz with beer, cider vinegar, or water throughout the process if you want. When it’s done, pull it, wrap in foil, and set in a cooler for at least 30 minutes, up to a couple hours. This lets the juices redistribute throughout the meat. You could cut or shred it at this point, but trust me, it’s better to let it rest for a bit.

While it’s resting, slice up three onions and then sauté them with olive oil. Do this on a medium heat so they can sweat out instead of cooking quickly. Then toss in a can of diced green chiles and cook with your onions until heated through. Set aside. Your beef should be ready to shred at this point. I shredded and chopped mine out of preference.

Take your dough out of the fridge and roll out on a floured surface. Get it nice and thin, but not too thin. Use your best judgment here. Take a cup, bowl, or any other circular shaped object with a crisp edge and cut out circles as small or big as you want your empanadas to be. If you want to make them as appetizers, a standard-size glass will do. I used a cereal bowl and wish I had done them a little bit bigger, but they turned out great.

Now, spoon some beef into the middle of each circle, then top with a spoonful of your onion and green chile mixture. Finally, top with some monterey jack cheese. When you are filling them, just be careful not to over fill them or it will be hard to do the next step, which is fold them over. Fold one side over the filling to connect to the other side. Press with your thumbs all around where they connect. Use a fork to press into them to seal the two sides together, or braid them over each other.

Heat up some vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet and place a few of your empanadas in. After a couple minutes give them a turn so both sides can cook. Keep a close eye on these so they don’t burn. You want a nice golden brown color. Once they’re ready, remove from the oil and set on a paper towel to cool, then they’re ready to eat! These are fantastic dipped in a Mojo sauce. I suggest ordering a bottle of Mojo sauce from Habana Cafe in Gulfport, Fla. I had dinner there on a work trip a couple weeks ago and that stuff is like liquid crack.

These may not be a traditional tailgate menu item, but I can assure you that after you try them they’ll be a crowd pleaser and you’ll want to make them again.

Visit Gentry’s to purchase their great rubs and sauces. You can follow them on Twitter at @gentrysbbq and you can also follow our resident pitmaster Joe at @mmmgoblubbq.

Tailgate Tuesday: Carolina hush puppies

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017


Tailgate Tuesday is our weekly contribution from our resident pitmaster, Joe Pichey from GoBlueBBQ. Joe has limited time this season, so we will be tag-teaming the weekly recipes. These tailgate recipes will be posted each Tuesday throughout the football season and will feature a variety of appetizers, main courses, and sides to help you be the king of your next tailgate. Gentry’s BBQ, a Orlando, Fla. based BBQ and catering company, sponsors this season’s feature by providing their killer rubs and sauces for use in the recipes. Buy them here. In addition, Fogo Charcoal provides charcoal to use in each recipe. Buy it here.

PreviousGator kabobsSteak tacos nortenos with bacon fat flour tortillasBrisket burnt endsFried pork tenderloin sammy with fire roasted green chile jam and savory corn casseroleSmoked onion dipJalapeno ballsSous vide french dip cheesesteak; Western style chopped pork and red slaw
Recipe Archive

Did you know that hush puppies are a staple of barbecue sides in the Carolinas? I didn’t until my trip to North Carolina a couple weeks ago when I visited Lexington Barbecue and Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge and both served hush puppies with each BBQ plate. You didn’t even have to order them; they just came automatically like a roll or piece of toast.

I grew up going on family vacations to Myrtle Beach, S.C. every summer so I’ve always associated hush puppies with seafood. I never even considered them as a BBQ side. But they’re actually a great fit. Dip them in some BBQ sauce and you’ve got a great pairing for your smoked meat. And the best part is they’re easy to make and most of the ingredients are common items that you already have in your pantry.

Ingredients
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 onion, finely diced
1 Anaheim pepper, finely diced
1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
Vegetable oil for frying
Gentry’s Smoke Stack BBQ Rub
Gentry’s Cakalacki Gold Mustard Sauce
Directions

Start by mixing your half cup of cornmeal, half cup of flour, teaspoon of baking powder, half teaspoon of sugar, and fourth-teaspoon of salt in a mixing bowl. You can use whatever grind of cornmeal you want. I used polenta because it’s what I had, but next time I make them I’ll probably go with a finer grain, but that’s just preference.

In a separate bowl, mix a half cup of buttermilk with a pinch of baking soda. Add in a beaten egg, a teaspoon and a half of vegetable oil, some finely diced onions, and finely diced Anaheim pepper. Remember, you’re going to be biting into these hush puppies so you probably don’t want huge pieces of onion and pepper, so make them nice and small. Mix it all up nice and well, then add your dry ingredient mixture and mix it all up until it forms a thick batter.

In a deep pan, heat vegetable oil up to 350 degrees. Once it’s up to temperature, drop in spoonfuls of batter and let fry for a few minutes. Use a spoon or spatula to turn them after a couple of minutes so both sides get submerged. Don’t let them get too dark or they will taste burnt. Once they start turning golden brown, carefully spoon them out and set on a paper towel to cool. Now they’re ready to eat! They are great dipped in BBQ sauce and the Gentry’s Cakalacki Gold works as a perfect dipping sauce for them. I was pleasantly surprised with how well these turned out and can’t wait to make them again.

They’re crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside with a little savoriness from the onions and peppers. The sauce adds some tang. They’re the perfect appetizer for your next tailgate or party.

Visit Gentry’s to purchase their great rubs and sauces. You can follow them on Twitter at @gentrysbbq and you can also follow our resident pitmaster Joe at @mmmgoblubbq.

Tailgate Tuesday: Sous vide french dip cheesesteak

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017


Tailgate Tuesday is our weekly contribution from our resident pitmaster, Joe Pichey from GoBlueBBQ. Joe has limited time this season, so we will be tag-teaming the weekly recipes. These tailgate recipes will be posted each Tuesday throughout the football season and will feature a variety of appetizers, main courses, and sides to help you be the king of your next tailgate. Gentry’s BBQ, a Orlando, Fla. based BBQ and catering company, sponsors this season’s feature by providing their killer rubs and sauces for use in the recipes. Buy them here. In addition, Fogo Charcoal provides charcoal to use in each recipe. Buy it here.

PreviousGator kabobsSteak tacos nortenos with bacon fat flour tortillasBrisket burnt endsFried pork tenderloin sammy with fire roasted green chile jam and savory corn casseroleSmoked onion dip; Jalapeno balls
Recipe Archive

One of my favorite lunch spots in Chicago is a small spot in between River West and West Town called Nini’s Deli. This place is awesome, and if you go in there tell him Justin sent you. My man Juan serves up Cuban-Mexican fusion cuisine inspired by his parents’ ethnic background. One of the items that isn’t on his regular menu, but makes an appearance every now and then is his sirloin tip cuban steak sandwich. That’s what semi-inspired my recipe this week. It’s not the same, but it gave me the vision to try out my own recipe and that became what I’m calling a french dip cheesesteak and it turned out great.

Ingredients
4-5 pound beef roast
2 Onions
1 Green pepper
French Rolls
Worcestershire sauce
American cheese slices
Gentry’s Beef Brigade BBQ Rub
Directions

I was going to do this in the Big Green Egg, but Saturday turned out to be rainy, so I decided to toss it into the Sous Vide. If you don’t have one, I suggest getting one…you can get a good one for $100-150 these days. I used to think that using a Sous Vide was cheating on my smoker, but I’ve learned to consider it an essential tool in my BBQ tool belt if you will. It really is convenient — if you have the foresight to plan ahead — and produces some great results. It’s almost foolproof.

Start by trimming up your beef roast a little bit. I used an eye of round, a lean, inexpensive cut that works for roast beef. You can use pretty much any cut of beef for this, and if you want to turn it up a notch, use a brisket or top sirloin. But we’re going for economy here, so I chose a cheap cut. Give it a nice coating of your Gentry’s Beef Brigade BBQ Rub, which is great on beef. It’s a salt and pepper based rub with hints of coffee and garlic and it’s perfect for any giving a nice bark.

If you have a Sous Vide, then I’d also suggest investing in a FoodSaver so you can vacuum seal the items you cook. It’s not mandatory (a Ziplock will work) but it’s fun. Put your rubbed roast into the bag along with a sliced onion and several shakes of Worcestershire sauce and vacuum seal it. Get your Sous Vide heated up to anywhere between 130 and 140 degrees, and once the water is to temp, submerge the bag completely. I did mine at 140, which is the bottom edge of medium, and in hindsight would have set it lower because by the time it finished cooking internally after removing and searing, it was well into the medium and probably approaching medium well.

You can let it go anywhere between eight hours and 24 hours. If it’s a nicer cut of meat, six or eight hours could be enough, but if it’s a cheaper cut, let it go longer to really get nice and tender. Mine was in for about 19 hours before I pulled it. Remove the bag from the water, carefully cut it open without spilling the meat juice everywhere, and sear all sides on a hot cast iron. Save your meat juice in a bowl.

Now sauté your second onion and a green pepper and put your french rolls into the oven to toast a little bit. Then it’s time to start building your sandwich. Slice the beef roast and place a nice heaping amount onto the bottom part of the french roll. Top it with some sautéed onions and peppers and then a couple slices of American cheese. Now, leaving the top bun off, put it under the broiler for 30-60 seconds to melt the cheese. Put the top bun on and you’re ready to eat.

You can use the reserved meat juice as your au jus and enjoy your combination between a French dip and a cheesesteak. Sure, the Sous Vide took a long time, but this recipe was pretty simple, and well worth the wait.

Visit Gentry’s to purchase their great rubs and sauces. You can follow them on Twitter at @gentrysbbq and you can also follow our resident pitmaster Joe at @mmmgoblubbq.

Tailgate Tuesday: Jalapeno balls

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017


Tailgate Tuesday is our weekly contribution from our resident pitmaster, Joe Pichey from GoBlueBBQ. Joe has limited time this season, so we will be tag-teaming the weekly recipes. These tailgate recipes will be posted each Tuesday throughout the football season and will feature a variety of appetizers, main courses, and sides to help you be the king of your next tailgate. Gentry’s BBQ, a Orlando, Fla. based BBQ and catering company, sponsors this season’s feature by providing their killer rubs and sauces for use in the recipes. Buy them here. In addition, Fogo Charcoal provides charcoal to use in each recipe. Buy it here.

PreviousGator kabobsSteak tacos nortenos with bacon fat flour tortillasBrisket burnt endsFried pork tenderloin sammy with fire roasted green chile jam and savory corn casserole; Smoked onion dip
Recipe Archive

For the second straight week I give you an appetizer as our Tailgate Tuesday recipe. This one is a spin on the classic “Atomic Buffalo Turd” or “ABT” as those in the BBQ world like to call jalapeno poppers. This is basically that, but inside out.

Ingredients
10-12 jalapenos
8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 strips of bacon
Panko
Stone ground yellow cornmeal
Gentry’s Smoke Stack BBQ Rub
Oil for frying
Directions

I had a bunch of leftover jalapenos from my garden that were going to go bad a couple weeks ago so I sealed them in the foodsaver and tossed them into the freezer. Over the weekend, I decided to put them to use. This can obviously be done with fresh jalapenos, but that’s all I had at the moment. Start by slicing them in half and removing the seeds. Put them onto a cookie sheet along with your cream cheese and toss into the smoker for a little bit with whatever type of wood you prefer. I used a mix of oak and hickory for this.

I let these go for about an hour and a half. There’s not really a set time to smoke for this recipe. Just give it a look and use your best judgment based on the cream cheese. If it’s starting to melt, it’s done. You want to get a nice smoke coating on it.

While it’s smoking, fry up your bacon and chop into little pieces. After the jalapenos are done smoking, dice them up into little pieces as well. Place the smoked cream cheese, jalapenos, bacon, and a few shakes of Gentry’s Smoke Stack BBQ Rub into a bowl and mix well until they are all combined. Put the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up a little bit.

Now it’s time to heat up your oil. You want it to be nice and hot. In a separate bowl, mix your panko and stone ground cornmeal. Note: You can also use flour and eggwash mixture as your breading, but I wanted a crunch to it, so I went with panko and cornmeal. Now, take your jalapeno bacon cream cheese mixture out of the fridge and one at a time, scoop some into your hand and roll it around to make a ball. Roll it into your panko mixture and then drop carefully into the hot oil. These don’t take long to fry…only a few seconds, so don’t go anywhere. After a few seconds, remove and set on a paper towel to cool.

They make a nice, spicy appetizer for any tailgate or homegate. Just make sure your guests know what’s in them before they bite into one!

Tailgate Tuesday: Smoked onion dip

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017


Tailgate Tuesday is our weekly contribution from our resident pitmaster, Joe Pichey from GoBlueBBQ. Joe has limited time this season, so we will be tag-teaming the weekly recipes. These tailgate recipes will be posted each Tuesday throughout the football season and will feature a variety of appetizers, main courses, and sides to help you be the king of your next tailgate. Gentry’s BBQ, a Orlando, Fla. based BBQ and catering company, sponsors this season’s feature by providing their killer rubs and sauces for use in the recipes. Buy them here. In addition, Fogo Charcoal provides charcoal to use in each recipe. Buy it here.

PreviousGator kabobsSteak tacos nortenos with bacon fat flour tortillasBrisket burnt ends; Fried pork tenderloin sammy with fire roasted green chile jam and savory corn casserole
Recipe Archive

I usually don’t post a Tailgate Tuesday during a bye week, but I made this over the weekend and just had to share it with you. After last week’s super in-depth “homegating” recipe, I figured I should toss out a much easier one this week. It’s quick and easy and will instantly become a tailgate favorite. I introduce you to smoked onion dip.

Ingredients
4 sweet onions
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups sour cream
1 cup mayo
1 block gouda (not smoked)
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
Salt & fresh ground black pepper
Gentry’s Smoke Stack BBQ Rub
Potato chips or sliced baguette
Directions

Fire up your smoker between 250 and 300 with your choice of wood. I used a mixture of oak and hickory. You’re smoking onions, not tough cuts of meat, so they’ll absorb plenty of smoke and you want to be sure not to overpower it.

Peel your onions and cut in half. Sprinkle some Gentry’s Smoke Stack BBQ Rub on them and place them in your smoker. Let them sit for two or three hours until they are nice and brown.

You’ll want to remove the outer layer of each onion and throw it away. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of smoke in them. Let them cool for about 30 minutes so they’re easier to cut.

During this time, combine your 8oz cream cheese, two cups sour cream, one cup mayo, two tablespoons of cider vinegar, a few shakes of your Gentry’s Smoke Stack BBQ Rub, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together or use a food processor to get it nice and smooth. Now slice and dice your onions and them toss them into the bowl and give it another mix until they’re fully combined. Sprinkle some more Smoke Stack on top.

At this point, you could eat the dip with some potato chips and it’s great. Picture the Lay’s French Onion Dip that you buy at the store and this is even better. But if you really want to elevate the experience, toss it into the oven for 30-40 minutes until its bubbling and heated through. If you want to toss it under the broiler for a minute to crisp and brown the top, go for it.

This is a recipe that can be great as is (cold), but then once you heat it up it brings out even more flavor and you’ll be licking out the bowl once it’s gone.

Visit Gentry’s to purchase their great rubs and sauces. You can follow them on Twitter at @gentrysbbq and you can also follow our resident pitmaster Joe at @mmmgoblubbq.

Tailgate Tuesday: Fried pork tenderloin sammy with fire roasted green chile jam and a savory corn casserole

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017


Tailgate Tuesday is our weekly contribution from our resident pitmaster, Joe Pichey from GoBlueBBQ. Joe has limited time this season, so we will be tag-teaming the weekly recipes. These tailgate recipes will be posted each Tuesday throughout the football season and will feature a variety of appetizers, main courses, and sides to help you be the king of your next tailgate. Gentry’s BBQ, a Orlando, Fla. based BBQ and catering company, sponsors this season’s feature by providing their killer rubs and sauces for use in the recipes. Buy them here. In addition, Fogo Charcoal provides charcoal to use in each recipe. Buy it here.

PreviousGator kabobsSteak tacos nortenos with bacon fat flour tortillas; Brisket burnt ends
Recipe Archive

Those of you who read this site regularly probably know that I didn’t actually go to Michigan. Even though my mom and grandfather are alums and I got accepted, I chose to attend a smaller school on a soccer scholarship. That school was in the state of Indiana, so when I started to think about what type of food I should cook for the Purdue week Tailgate Tuesday that had to do with Indiana, I didn’t have to think long.

One of the food items served at the dining commons on campus that I remember the most is this huge, flat, breaded piece of meat sandwiched between buns. It may have had a piece of lettuce and a tomato slice on it, but mostly I remember having to take several bites just to get to anything but breaded pork. It was quintessential Indiana eatin’ and although I haven’t had one in about 13 years, I decided to try my hand at making one. In an effort to make it taste better than cardboard, I thought I’d top it with Jess Pryles’ fire roasted green chili jam (every recipe of her’s I’ve ever tried has been amazing) and pair it with a savory corn casserole.

Ingredients
For the sandwich: For the pepper jam: For the corn casserole:
2 lbs center-cut boneless pork loin 4 lbs green chiles 2 TBSP butter
2 eggs 1 TBSP vegetable oil 1 large onion, diced
2 cups buttermilk 1 finely diced onion 1 bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves 2 TBSP Worcestershire 2 TBSP sugar
Kosher salt & ground black pepper 2 TBSP yellow mustard seed 1/4 cup fresh sage
1/4 tsp cayenne 4 cups sugar 1 TBSP Kosher salt
2 sleeves of saltines 3/4 cup cider vinegar Gentry’s Smoke Stack BBQ Rub
2 cups insta flour (Wondra) 6 oz liquid pectin 6 corn cobs
Gentry’s Smoke Stack BBQ Rub 1 tsp salt 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
Oil for frying 3 eggs
Buns and mayo 1 1/4 cups milk
Gentry’s Cakalacki Gold Mustard Sauce 1/2 cup heavy cream
Sliced tomato, lettuce, red onion, pickles 1 cup shredded parmesean
Directions

The pork tenderloin sandwich isn’t actually BBQ, which is why I had to throw in the jam and corn casserole to at least add a grilled element to the recipe. Start with your pork loin and cut it crosswise into several equal pieces, about two inches each. Next, slice each piece horizontally in half, but don’t slice all the way through. Leave about 3/4 of an inch and then splay it open like a book. Place each piece between two pieces of plastic wrap, but make sure to sprinkle with water to keep the wrap from sticking to the meat. Use a heavy duty pan (a cast iron skillet works best) and pound it as flat as possible. I got mine about a half inch and I wouldn’t go any bigger than that.

In a bowl, whisk the two eggs, two cups of buttermilk, crushed garlic, a teaspoon of salt and pepper, and a couple shakes of Gentry’s Smoke Stack BBQ Rub. This stuff is a great all-purpose BBQ seasoning that is smoked paprika-forward and works great on pork, chicken, and beef. Cover the flattened pork pieces with this wet mixture and let sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

In the meantime, you can start the chile jam. Toss your whole green chiles onto the grill to char the skin. Let them go until the skin is blistered and black, then place them in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Next, peel off the blistered skin and discard, but it’s ok if you leave a few pieces in. If you want a spicier jam, keep the seeds. If not, discard these too. Chop the softened chiles into small pieces.

In a saucepan, sauté your onions until softened, then add the two tablespoons of Worcestershire, two tablespoons of yellow mustard seeds, 3/4 cup cider vinegar, four cups sugar, one teaspoon of salt, and the diced chiles. Boil rapidly for 2-3 minutes then remove from heat. Add the six ounces of liquid pectin and stir thoroughly. Allow to cool completely then place into jars. It will keep for 3-4 weeks in the fridge.

During this time, you can also start your corn casserole. Place a deep cast iron on the hot grill and melt your two tablespoons of butter. Add the diced onion, diced bell pepper, two tablespoons of sugar, tablespoon of Kosher salt, fresh sage, and a few shakes of Gentry’s Smoke Stack BBQ Rub. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent and start to brown. While this is cooking, slice all the corn kernels off of the cobs (make sure to then use a spoon to scrape off all the rest of the sweet guts of the cob). Now add the corn to the skillet and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or so. Then, add the 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal and remove from the grill.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the three eggs, 1 1/4 cups milk, and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Pour this into your corn mixture, stir well to combine, and put back on the grill for about 20 minutes or until it starts to set. If you want, you can either turn your oven’s broiler on and toss it in for a couple minutes to brown the top, or keep it on the grill and use a blowtorch to brown the top. This step is not completely needed if you don’t have access to these items while tailgating.

Now that your jam and corn are ready, it’s time to fry up your pork tenderloins. First, heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan until it’s 360 degrees. Crush up the saltines. You can do this with your hands or throw into a food processor until they form coarse crumbs and place into a shallow dish. Put your insta flour into another shallow dish and sprinkle with your Gentry’s Smoke Stack BBQ Rub. Take your pork out of fridge, then one at a time, dredge both sides in the flour, dip back into your buttermilk marinade, then coat with the saltine crumbs. Place it into the hot oil and fry for about three minutes per side until the pork is cooked through. Once it’s done, put it onto paper towels to cool slightly and drain excess oil.

Spread both halves of a bun with mayo and Gentry’s Cakalacki Gold Mustard Sauce. Place a piece of fried pork tenderloin on, then top with a piece of lettuce, slice of tomato, and slice of red onion. Top with a spoonful of the green chile jam, add a couple of pickles, and enjoy.

Sometimes recipes don’t live up to expectations, but this one completely exceeded expectations by all who feasted on them this past weekend. The coarse breading that felt more like what you’d get on fried chicken than what I was used to from my college days of pork tenderloin sandwiches provided great flavor with the Smoke Stack mixed in. The Cakalacki Gold and the green chile jam added a tangy, sweet, and spicy flavor profile, and then the corn casserole on the side provided a nice savory touch to complement it. Sure, these recipes were fairly involved and probably too much for a tailgate, but I would highly recommend for your next “homegate.”

Visit Gentry’s to purchase their great rubs and sauces. You can follow them on Twitter at @gentrysbbq and you can also follow our resident pitmaster Joe at @mmmgoblubbq.

Tailgate Tuesday: Brisket burnt ends

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017


Tailgate Tuesday is our weekly contribution from our resident pitmaster, Joe Pichey from GoBlueBBQ. Joe has limited time this season, so we will be tag-teaming the weekly recipes. These tailgate recipes will be posted each Tuesday throughout the football season and will feature a variety of appetizers, main courses, and sides to help you be the king of your next tailgate. Gentry’s BBQ, a Orlando, Fla. based BBQ and catering company, sponsors this season’s feature by providing their killer rubs and sauces for use in the recipes. Buy them here. In addition, Fogo Charcoal provides charcoal to use in each recipe. Buy it here.

Previous: Gator kabobs; Steak tacos nortenos with bacon fat flour tortillas
Recipe Archive

I had to travel to Ohio this past weekend to celebrate the life of my grandfather, who passed away last week at age 88, so I didn’t have time to cook anything. Because of that, this week’s Tailgate Tuesday will be a cook from last Fourth of July, so it doesn’t include any product from this season’s sponsor, Gentry’s BBQ.

Ingredients

• 12-14 pound packer brisket
• Your favorite beef rub
• Spray bottle
• Vinegar or apple juice
• Your favorite BBQ sauce

Directions

First, you need to trim your brisket. Make sure to use a sharp knife and make sure your brisket is cold so it’s easier to cut. On a brisket, there is a point and a flat and it’s pretty easy to determine which is which. Trim off most of the fat around the brisket except from the fat cap. With the fat cap, you’ll want to trim it to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, but it’s important for both flavor and moistness, so don’t trim it all off.

Once your brisket is trimmed to your liking, apply your beef rub. This can be as simple as salt and pepper or a beef rub that has more chiles, cumin, garlic, etc in it. Fire up your smoker to 275 and make sure there’s a water pan in there. Once it’s up to temperature, throw the brisket in. I prefer to cook fat side up to let the fat drip down into the meat. Others prefer fat side down to act as a shield from the heat. To each his own and it can also depend on the way the heat is dispersed in your smoker.

Grab a cold beer and relax for at least three or four hours before even thinking about opening up your smoker. No need to release heat during this stage. After three or four hours you can get out your spray bottle and spritz the brisket with cider vinegar or apple juice. You can do this every 20-30 minutes to keep it moist and also to check the color of the meat.

From about four hours to six hours in you should be in what is called the stall, where the internal meat temperature won’t rise much and you might be tempted to crank up the heat. Just be patient. Watch for the bark on the outside of the brisket to start getting nice and crispy and turn a deep mahogany to almost black color (as seen below) before you wrap it.

At this point, take some butcher paper and wrap your brisket like a present nice and tight. Put it back in the smoker to finish. Since it’s wrapped, it’s not going to absorb any more smoke, so you could put it into the oven at this time to finish if you want. Cook until the brisket reaches a soft and pliable feel. It should be around 200-210 degrees internal, but I prefer to judge the doneness by the feel. Using gloves, pick it up and kind of jiggle it around. If it feels loose and pliable it’s probably done. If not, put it back in. You could unwrap it a bit to get a better look and feel or stick a probe in.

Once it’s done, it’s very important to give it a rest in a cooler until the internal temperatures are back down to 140-145 degrees. This allows some of the juice to be reabsorbed back into the meat as opposed to all leaking out if you slide in right away. It could be an hour or two of rest and that’s just fine as long as you don’t have hungry people becoming hangry because of the wait.

When it’s time to slice, just remember that you shouldn’t slice with the grain. Always slice against the grain. You’ll want to determine where the point and the flat meet because they will have different grains. Slice the flat and serve it as brisket, but this recipe is for burnt ends so you’ll be using the point for these. Cut into cubes and you can remove any chunks of fat that may still be there.

Once you have your point cut into cubes, mix it with your favorite BBQ sauce in a foil pan and throw that back into your smoker. You’ll want to smoke it for another couple hours until it gets back up to about 200 degrees and is nice and sticky. At this point, it’s ready to serve immediately.

Visit Gentry’s to purchase their great rubs and sauces. You can follow them on Twitter at @gentrysbbq and you can also follow our resident pitmaster Joe at @mmmgoblubbq.

Tailgate Tuesday: Steak tacos nortenos with bacon fat flour tortillas

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017


Tailgate Tuesday is our weekly contribution from our resident pitmaster, Joe Pichey from GoBlueBBQ. Joe has limited time this season, so we will be tag-teaming the weekly recipes. These tailgate recipes will be posted each Tuesday throughout the football season and will feature a variety of appetizers, main courses, and sides to help you be the king of your next tailgate. Gentry’s BBQ, a Orlando, Fla. based BBQ and catering company, sponsors this season’s feature by providing their killer rubs and sauces for use in the recipes. Buy them here. In addition, Fogo Charcoal provides charcoal to use in each recipe. Buy it here.

Previous: Gator kabobs
Recipe Archive

This week’s recipe is one I found online this summer and had to try it, and it sure didn’t disappoint. It’s easy enough to make on a grill, so it’s tailgate friendly, and it’s a different and extremely tasty twist to the standard tailgate food. Give it a try and take your next tailgate to the next level.

Ingredients

Tortillas:
• 1 pack of bacon
• 2 TBSP + 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
• 1 1/4 cups whole milk, divided
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
• 3 cups all purpose flour

Filling:
• Hangar or skirt steak
• Gentry’s Beef Brigade BBQ Rub
• 2 TBSP olive oil
• 2 large onions
• 10 garlic cloves
• 4 serranos or jalapenos
• 4 tomatoes
• 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
• Monterey jack cheese
• Limes

Directions

Start with the tortillas, which will need space on a prep table in order to roll out the dough. Start with cooking the bacon in a skillet, ideally cast iron, on your grill until brown and crisp. Remove the cooked bacon and save for later. Pour out 2 TBSP of bacon fat and set aside for the tortillas. Save the remaining bacon fat in your skillet.

In another pan, combine the vegetable oil, 3/4 cup whole milk, and the 2 TBSP of bacon fat and bring to a simmer (not boil) in the saucepan on your grill. Then immediately remove it from the grill. In a bowl, whisk in the baking powder, salt, and flour, then pour in the hot milk mixture and add the remaining 1/2 cup of cold whole milk. Mix with your hands until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. Wrap in plastic, and let rest at room temperature.

Season your steak with Gentry’s Beef Brigade BBQ Rub and a marinade if you wish. For this recipe I used a cilantro lime marinade because I had it in the cupboard, but with all the other flavors in this recipe you certainly don’t need it. Grill your steak until nicely browned and medium rare, approximately 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes, then slice against the grain.

Add your skillet back to the grill and heat the reserved bacon fat, then add onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the serranos or jalepenos and cook another 5 minutes until the chiles are softened and the onions are brown. Add the chopped tomatoes until they are soft and begin to make a sauce, about 10-15 minutes. Mix in the steak slices and juices, the sliced reserved bacon, and some chopped cilantro and cook until the meat is heated through. Top with monterey jack cheese until melted.

If you’re doing this at a tailgate, transfer that whole filling mixture into a serving bowl and put your cast iron back onto the grill. Divide your rested dough into approximately 16 ping pong size balls. One at a time, roll out to approximately 6 inches each. Cook on the skillet until brown spots form on the bottom and air bubbles form on the surface, about 2 minutes. Poke large bubbles to release steam. Flip and cook another 1-2 minutes. Cook one or two at a time until done.

Fill tortillas with the steak filling, top with cilantro, and squeeze a little lime juice, and enjoy! These have a deep, rich flavor and the soft bacon fat flour tortillas will be an instant hit, full of flavor and thick enough to hold the heartiness and juiciness of the filling. You’ll probably never go back to store bought tortillas again.

Sure, it’s a little more work than grilling burgers and brats, but oh so worth it. Your tailgate guests will be asking for more.

Visit Gentry’s to purchase their great rubs and sauces. You can follow them on Twitter at @gentrysbbq and you can also follow our resident pitmaster Joe at @mmmgoblubbq.