Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Night Food Porn

Roasted Corn and Crab Salad with an Avocado Relish

With the native corn season at its peak right now, it's a great time to do something other than corn on the cob. This is a great hot summer's day meal. When I was putting this dish together I was thinking that the crab would take center stage, but that wasn't the case. It was the cool, crisp, roasted, native corn that stole the show.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ready to Brew

It's official, this Saturday I am brewing! Yesterday I went to Jasper's Home Brew shop in Nashua, NH and picked up everything I needed. The owner, Jeff, is always great to talk to. I only see Jeff about 2 times a year and our conversation is mostly about one of my favorite topics: beer. Although this time he seemed very interested in the BBQ world, so we talked about NEBS, and competing on The Circuit. I also turned him on to Pigtrip, he loved that! The whole time we talked I could smell the fresh cracked grain, the pungent aroma of hops. I was surrounded by glass fermenters, stainless steel kegs, hydrometers, brew pots, malt, yeast...I could almost taste the beer I was going to be brewing that weekend. If you couldn't tell, I'm very excited. But I'm not the only one...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to Brewing

Wow! That picture was taken back in 1994. Fourteen years ago! Back then I was brewing almost every week, 15 gallons at a time. 750 gallons of beer a year; that's around 8000 glasses. Funny thing is, I blame the BBQ for the weight gain! :)

My buddy Brendan from Transformer BBQ has recently expressed some interest in home brewing. So I started looking at my old brew notes and old pictures. I started going through some old recipes and really got the bug again. Now, when I wake up in the morning I think: Centennial IPA, Lakeside Lager, Dead Kenny's Porter, and I Want a Monkey Double Bock. These were some of the beers I used to brew. But, the beer I brewed more often than any of these was simply called: Strong Ale. It was the beer most requested by regulars to the brewery. It's also the beer that I brew when I have not brewed in a while and let me tell ya, I have not brewed in a while. Looking at my notes it's been since November of 2007, almost one year. Too long, much too long. I can predict a trip to the home brew store this week, maybe two...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Night Food Porn

Apple Bread Pudding

Last weekend at the Hudson Valley Ribfest the organizers added an apple category. It was the fifth category on Sunday and was completely open; anything edible and non edible would be allowed in the box. Kris had practiced this recipe a couple times beforehand, and we all thought it tasted great. It had a great caramel sauce that the sauteed apples sat in, and was atop a great tasting bread pudding made from challah bread. It finished in the middle of the pack. The judges didn't love it but also didn't hate it. I was lucky enough to walk around and sample some of our competition's apple dishes. Let me tell you, there was some amazing stuff there. From cheese cakes to deep fried apple wontons and everything in between. So this category was very tough to stand out from the crowd. At the end of the day we were still happy with our turn in, and it was great to eat something not BBQ.

Chris Hart Interview at Pigtrip

Today is part one of a two part interview with Chris Hart from iQue over at Pigtrip. Chris is a great guy and an incredible cook. It was very cool to see how he got his start in competition BBQ. Don't miss this interview; I can't wait for part two.

Also, thanks to Gary from Pigtrip for putting this together. This interview was transcribed from audio! I'm sure that was a lot fun.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What Kris Did Not Mention

In her previous post, Kris talked about last weekend’s competition in New Paltz. The ride up, the hotel/strip club, the pubs, the friends, the awards…but she never got to the highlight of the weekend for her: meeting Butch Lupinetti. She fell in love with Butch’s larger than life, positive attitude when she first saw him on the now infamous Throwdown with Bobby Flay. So when I told her that he would be at the Hudson Valley Ribfest, she got very excited.

The stalking began Friday night shortly after arrival. I said “do you want to go say hi to Butch?”
“Not yet…let’s go walk by his stand…” She said.
So, we walked (stalked) by his stand and spotted Butch talking to some people.
“He’s right there, want to say hi?” I said.
“No. Maybe tomorrow.”

Saturday night we did another walk by, but Butch was nowhere in site. Sunday we were very busy with the BBQ comp and had no time to spy on anyone. But today would be her last chance…

Being the great guy that he is, Butch attended the KCBS awards ceremony. Cheering everyone that got called like they were his best friend. Walking back from the awards I said “this is your last chance ya know?”
“Let’s go.” She said, and started walking to Butch’s stand.
Two lines formed at Butch’s Smack Your Lips BBQ stand, one for ribs, and one to get your picture taken with Butch.
Kris waited with a smile.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hudson Valley

By Kris

This past weekend we participated in the Hudson Valley Ribfest. New Paltz, NY, which is four hours away, is the farthest we have traveled thus far for a competition. And with 54 teams competing, it’s the largest contest we’ve competed in. We figured it would be best to leave Friday afternoon, beat the traffic, and relax at a hotel. Well, we left on time, sat in traffic, and checked into the Econo Lodge. I was afraid to sit on the bedspread, let alone relax at this place. The motel was easy to find. It’s right off the highway situated next to the Blue Moon Cabaret Exotic Entertainment Club.

We made the most of our Friday night by hitting a few pubs in the downtown area. They had some good beers on tap, 60 Minute IPA for Mike and Blue Moon for me. No relation to the strip club. We checked out of the motel early Saturday and made our way to the Ribfest. We had a great site next to one of our favorite teams, QHaven. We were lucky to spend some time with Max at his very first competition.

Throughout the weekend everything went according to plan, we had lots of laughs with all our friends, the weather held out, and we had a decent showing at the awards with a call for second place chicken and ending up third overall. Before every contest, as I peel Mike off the ceiling, I repeat my mantra. “Why do we compete at BBQ contests?” I ask. “To have fun.” Mike replies. “What do we hope for at every contest?” “One call and a top ten finish.” Mike replies. And that’s exactly how it went at Hudson Valley.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hudson Valley Ribfest Results

Grand Champion: I Que
Reserve Champion: BBQ-Brethren

1 I Que
2 BBQ-Brethren
3 Lakeside Smokers
4 Casual Smokers
5 Swamp Pit BBQ
6 Lo'-N'-Slo' BBQ
7 Two Little Pigs
8 Wine and Swine BBQ
9 Sexy Gino's Bare Ass BBQ
10 Uncle Jed's BBQ Team

1 Sexy Gino's Bare Ass BBQ
2 Lakeside Smokers
3 Cue's Your Daddy!
4 Ma's Que Crew
5 Boneyard Smokers
6 I Que
7 Double J" BBQ"
8 Q-Less
9 Stumpy Coals Smokin' Cre
10 Q Haven

1 Casual Smokers
2 Swamp Pit BBQ
3 Q Haven
4 Lo'-N'-Slo' BBQ
5 Stumpy Coals Smokin' Cre
6 Lunchmeat
7 Carolina Beau & The Yank
8 BBQ-Brethren
9 Sexy Gino's Bare Ass BBQ
10 Qwannabees

1 I Que
2 Uncle Jed's BBQ Team
3 BBQ-Brethren
4 Jacks Down Home BBQ
5 Lo'-N'-Slo' BBQ
6 Lakeside Smokers
7 Wine and Swine BBQ
8 Good Smoke BBQ
9 White Trash BBQ
10 Lunchmeat

1 I Que
2 Jacks Down Home BBQ
3 Good Smoke BBQ
4 Transformer BBQ
5 Two Little Pigs
6 Stumpy Coals Smokin' Cre
7 BBQ-Brethren
8 Cue's Your Daddy!
9 Wine and Swine BBQ
10 Grill-Billies

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Night Food Porn

Grilled Crab Legs

If you have never grilled crab legs, you should. They are easy to do, taste great, and have a great 'wow' factor. I cut the legs at the joints, then split each shell with my kitchen shears taking off about 1/2 inch of top shell. Then I take the meat out of the shell and remove the membrane that surrounds the meat. Put the meat back in the shell, brush with chive butter, and grill. After they are heated through, about 4 minutes, I give them a healthy dose of fresh lemon juice and a good sprinkle of sea salt.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Q Haven Visits Lakeside

We've known Ted and Sheila Lorson for over two years now. We met them at a BBQ comp and hit it off right away. Over those two years we have become very close friends. We would always try and make plans to get together outside the Circuit, but it didn't always happen. Everyone has a job and a busy life, and the two hour drive always seemed to get in the way. But, this weekend everything lined up perfect and The Lorsons packed up their new baby boy, Max and headed up to Massachusetts.
Thanks for the visit guys, we had a blast!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Night Food Porn

It’s been a good year for Lakeside with ribs. We’ve worked hard on maintaining consistency with our cooking procedure and recipe. We’ve received 2 first place calls, multiple top five calls, and finished 3rd place for ribs in the NEBS Team of the Year standings. But all that has changed…we’ve lost our rib mojo. I’m not sure where it went, or how we lost it, but it’s gone, baby! The last two comps we did, Troy and Harpoon, we’ve had some of our worst rib scores ever. Ever. So, in an attempt to lure our rib mojo back from its summer vacation, I’m posting a picture of our competition ribs.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Walking Around

When I go shopping for beer, nothing makes me happier than a good selection. I love seeing all the American craft brewed beers, some old favorites, and some new ones I have not tried yet. Plenty of Belgium beers to choose from is always a plus. Checking out the seasonal offerings is also something I like to do. Many people know that I love walking around butcher shops to look at the meat. But, I also walk around stores that have a great beer selection, too. Some people might think it's odd to walk around a store and look at beer...but I don't. On many of my 'walk throughs' I notice some real good things. The picture above was taken yesterday at Mckinnon's Meat Market in Salem, NH. I went there to talk to The Cheese Guy, but he wasn't around. No biggie, I thought, I'll go look at some beer. When I turned the corner into the beer isle, there he was, The Cheese Guy. He was looking at some Belgium beer and taking notes!! I was very excited to find out that he was putting together a beer and cheese pairing for one of his customers. That might not be a big deal to most, but to me that's awesome! All cheese experts need to know wine, but to take some time and get to know beer is a great asset as well. Good wine and good beer go hand in hand with great cheeses. This got me thinking about a beer and cheese pairing of my own. When it happens, I'm sure it will make a good Friday Night Food Porn post.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

NEBS Team of the Year Top Ten

The New England Barbecue Society statistical year ended with Harpoon last weekend. This year 205 teams competed in 22 comps, 13 BBQ and 9 grilling, in the New England and New York area. Here are the top ten for overall and each category. For full results please go to iQue's site. Also, a special thanks to Jamie Hart of iQue for keeping track of all the stats...I'm sure its a lot of fun.


1 I Smell Smoke!!!
2 Transformer BBQ
3 iQue
4 The Anchormen
5 Dirty Dick & The Legless Wonders
6 Lunchmeat
7 Lakeside Smokers
8 Purple Turtle Catering Company
9 Q Haven
10 Feeding Friendz


1 Purple Turtle Catering Company
2 Transformer BBQ
3 I Smell Smoke!!!
4 Lakeside Smokers
5 iQue
6 Lunchmeat
7 Feeding Friendz
8 Yabba Dabba Que
9 Dirty Dick & The Legless Wonders
10 The Anchormen


1 Transformer BBQ
2 The Bastey Boys
3 Lakeside Smokers
4 iQue
5 The Anchormen
6 I Smell Smoke!!!
7 Lunchmeat
8 Yabba Dabba Que
9 Purple Turtle Catering Company
10 Dirty Dick & The Legless Wonders


1 I Smell Smoke!!!
2 Transformer BBQ
3 Dirty Dick & The Legless Wonders
4 The Anchormen
5 Purple Turtle Catering Company
6 Lakeside Smokers
7 iQue
8 Lunchmeat
9 Yabba Dabba Que
10 Q Haven


1 I Smell Smoke!!!
2 Lakeside Smokers
3 Lunchmeat
4 The Anchormen
5 iQue
6 Transformer BBQ
7 Yabba Dabba Que
8 Purple Turtle Catering Company
9 Dirty Dick & The Legless Wonders
10 Q Haven

Rookie Team of the Year:

Sexy Gino's Bare Ass BBQ

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Night Food Porn

Wedding Cake
By Kris

We are very excited and honored to be attending the nuptials of Brendan and Julie, aka Transformer BBQ, tonight. For most people weddings are all about the dress, the flowers, the invites, etc. For me it was simply about the food and the cake. Especially the cake! Cake is the cornerstone of virtually every celebration. It is worthy of candles and inspires entire crowds to burst into song. Most brides cry during their vows. I got teary when I saw the cake. It was not only beautiful but delicious. Made by a local trattoria, the cake was vanilla with a chocolate mousse filling and old fashioned vanilla frosting, the kind that makes your teeth hurt. It brought me back to my childhood when my parents would attend a wedding and bring home that wonderful confection wrapped in a napkin. Oh what a delightful breakfast. In accordance with tradition, I carefully wrapped and froze our cake top despite objections from my new husband. He was under the impression that we can’t afford the freezer space. My reply to him was if we can fit two briskets, three racks of ribs, and countless chicken thighs-then the cake stays!! Only ten months until we can enjoy.