Pork ribs on the pellet grill over a sunny weekend in April.
If you're from the South, there's nothing better than BBQ. Growing up, my favorite food was BBQ ribs. Weekend grilling with my dad as master chef, my mom as sous chef (makin' the sides), and me and my brothers waiting for the best meal ever...it's one of my favorite memories.
Sam's is a great place to buy a rack or two of ribs. These beauties required little preparation before placing them onto the pellet grill. Our party of eight ate until we were full and had few 'to spare'.
My husband was a master smoker and he did a fabulous job. Here are the directions on how to smoke the perfect ribs on the pellet grill.
Pork ribs: Feeds 8 - 10
Two racks of pork ribs
Wood Pellets: Hickory
Spritzer of equal parts apple juice and apple cider
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup apple juice
T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup apple juice
Heavy-duty aluminum foil
The full meal on the pellet and charcoal grills consisting of ribs, a whole chicken, corn on the cobb, and roasted potatoes.
Preheat the pellet grill to 180 degrees for 15 minutes. While the grill is preheating, remove any of the silver membranes from the bone side of the ribs. A butter knife will do. Combine the Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup apple juice, and T. Worcestershire together and brush onto the ribs. When the grill is ready, place directly on the grates, meat side up. Smoke for three hours. Tip: Take your spritzer of apple juice and cider and spritz the ribs once an hour to add moisture.
After the three-hour smoke, remove the ribs from the grill. Turn the temperature up to 225 degrees. Wrap the ribs in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Tear a couple of pieces per rack so you can keep moisture in more tightly. Before placing on the grill, add the honey, dark brown sugar, and remaining apple juice to the ribs. Continue to smoke for another two hours.
After the two-hour smoke, remove ribs from the aluminum foil and place, once again, directly on the grate for another 30 minutes to an hour. During the final smoking, process is when you add your favorite BBQ sauce.
Once the ribs reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees, take off the pellet grill and let them rest. Serve and enjoy!
Three delicious sandwich recipes made famous at the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club
The Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club is known for its famous sandwiches. The first is the pimento cheese.
The Pimento Cheese Sandwich
Eight ounces of cheddar cheese (preferably freshly grated)
1/2 cup cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup of pimento or red pepper (finely diced and squeezed)
3 T. favorite mayonnaise (or substitute avocado)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Kosher salt/pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients and spread onto your favorite bread. Serves four.
Another Augusta classic is the egg salad sandwich. It's a traditional egg salad with fresh dill.
Classic Egg Salad Sandwich
Eight eggs boiled (for the perfect boil, place eggs in a pot covered in water. Bring to a boil. Turn the burner off. Let sit for exactly 14 minutes. Cool down with water. Peel).
1/2 cup mayo (again, you may substitute avocado)
2 celery stalks (finely chopped)
1/4 cup sweet onion (finely chopped)
2 tsp. fresh dill (finely chopped)
1 tsp. mustard
A hint of ground pepper
Dash of smoked paprika
After the eggs are boiled and cool, separate the yolk from the white. Mix the yolk, mayonnaise, mustard, pepper, and paprika. Add the whites, onion, celery, and dill.
Once tossed together, spoon onto your favorite bread and serve. Makes four sandwiches.
The last of three sandwiches for the Masters Tournament roundup is the chicken salad sandwich. This is California chicken salad which is sweeter than the traditional chicken salad. It's more sweet and savory.
Chicken Salad Sandwich
Three large chicken breasts (roasted at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees. Season with olive oil, Kosher salt, and pepper).
Cup of red seedless grapes (chopped in half or thirds)
Cup of pecans or walnuts (your preference)
2 celery stalks (finely chopped)
2 green onions (finely chopped)
1 tsp. chopped dill
Cup of mayonnaise
1/2 juiced lemon
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
After the chicken has roasted and cooled, cut into small pieces. Add the grapes, nuts, celery, onion, and dill. Mix the mayonnaise, lemon, mustard, and salt/pepper. Combine the two. Scoop onto your favorite bread and serve. Makes six to eight sandwiches.
While traveling down the river by Point Pleasant, West Virginia, at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio, chef Jeff created his delicious apple tarts with a surprise element for this particular crew. As a riverboat chef on the Hines Furlong Line, Sundays are special and made for comfort food.
If you've heard of Point Pleasant, the town became famous by sightings of a moth man that appeared in the area in 1966. Witnesses said the red-eyed creature had wings with pointed tips and long legs. In 1975, the creature inspired a book, The Mothman Prophecies" which was later made into a movie starring Richard Gere. After half a century, the moth man is still part of the folklore and is celebrated at the annual moth man festival.
Of course, this story has nothing to do with the recipe. It was Jeff's wife Dawn that inspired the surprise hidden inside the apple tart. He said she always eats her apples with peanut butter or Nutella. What a wonderful treat for the crew inspired by his lovely wife as he floats down the Ohio River on a sunny afternoon.
4-6 large Granny Smith apples (cored, peeled and sliced)
1 box of puff pastry (thawed)
Cup of powdered sugar
1/4 cocoa powder
Apple pie seasoning (to taste)
Heavy cream or 1/2 & 1/2
Peanut butter chips
2 eggs (beaten with a splash of cold water)
Directions: For the apples, start a skillet over medium heat, add butter, then apples & toss to coat. Sprinkle with apple pie spice & add a pinch of salt (salt brings out flavor in sweets too). When tender, set aside to cool (almost to or at least room temperature).
Prepare puff pastry by laying out each sheet then work the folds out to make two smooth sheets using a little bit of flour to prevent sticking. Cut each sheet into four even squares giving you eight total squares. Spoon apples into the center of each square (dividing equally) & add half a dozen chips to each. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush two sides of the pastry & fold the corners to make a triangle. Pick up & gently pinch edges to seal.
Use a fork to crimp edges but a fluted pastry wheel would work as well. Lay on a sheet pan & cut a slit or use a fork to pierce the top to let steam escape. When done, brush the eight tarts with the remaining egg wash. Bake at 375° for 12 -15 mins until golden brown.
For glaze...in a bowl mix powdered sugar and 1 tsp. of vanilla. Slowly, add dairy (whisking constantly) to make a semi-thick glaze. With a sifter add cocoa powder & stir to incorporate. Note: if you like more cocoa, add a tsp. or two to taste (you may also omit & have a plain vanilla glaze if you choose).
After the tarts have cooled for 15-20 minutes, put glaze into your favorite zip-top bag & cut a tiny piece out of the corner to make a pastry bag (if you don’t have a pastry bag) pipe as you wish to decorate & finish with powdered sugar. Note: "The peanut butter chips are meant to be a surprise...more of a lagniappe-like, Wow, I wasn’t expecting that. Enjoy! "
"I love fresh salmon." Whether grilled, baked, smoked, or sautéed, I'm all in. The little market in Lone Oak, KY. catches fish from the Gulf Coast in Alabama each week and hauls it back to Kentucky in a refrigerated truck. Taking advantage of fresh fish for flavor, heart health, and the joy of cooking is such a gift to the community.
I'm not negating the wonderful fresh fish available in our neck of the woods. The rivers, lakes, and ponds that surround western Kentucky are such a blessing for those who enjoy fishing, cooking, and eating their catch.
A couple of weeks ago, we bought a pellet grill. Nothing fancy. Kevin ran across a deal he couldn't walk away from at the local Lowes Home Improvement Store. He got a close-out on a grill, regularly priced at $500 for $200. That's right. There were six available. He called a few of his buddies at CSI and the grill's flew off the shelves. (If there were more, I would've shared them with my readers).
It was time to test out the new smoker/grill on fresh salmon. Now, Kevin isn't a big fish fan....so, in his attempt to eat more fish, he gave it a whirl and I'm oh so glad he did. If you want the recipe...let's get to it.
Two pounds of salmon (or whatever you need for the meal)
Quart of cool water (make sure your fish is covered)
1/3 cup Kosher salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
Mix together the brine and place the fish in a plastic or glass container. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. This process helps to eliminate excess moisture in the fish as well as infuse the fish with salt.
The next morning, take the fish out of the brine and pat dry. Let it rest in the fridge, skin side down, for a couple of hours (minimum of two hours).
Smoking on the pellet grill
Rub the skin with a bit of oil so it won't stick to the rack. For the wood pellets, Kevin used apple wood. You'll start with a small fire and gradually work your way up to a higher heat. Smoke/grill at 140-150 degrees for about an hour gradually moving to 175 degrees for three hours. Once the internal temperature of the fish reaches 140 degrees, it should sustain that temperature for 30 minutes while on the grill.
After the first hour, baste the fish with pure maple syrup every hour.
After the salmon has held its internal temperature of 140 degrees for 30 minutes, take it off the grill and let it rest on a rack before serving or placing it in the fridge. Once wrapped in plastic and refrigerated, smoked salmon will last for 10 days.