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Mary’s Memo #2261

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF
     Don’t get me wrong, Andy Husbands and Chris Hart, authors of Wicked Good Barbecue with Andrea Pyenson, can barbecue for me anytime they want and I’ll eat every bite! However, most of their recipes are too labor intensive for me. That said, Wicked Good Barbecue by a couple of guys from Boston includes a wealth of information useful to anyone who cooks outdoors and likes to smoke their choices.
      Husbands, is the award winning chef/owner of Tremont 647 in Boston where he has enticed patrons with his adventurous American cuisine for over a decade. When he’s not in Boston he’s on the BBQ trail with his championship-winning iQUE team. As part of
the iQUE team, co-author Chris Hart has dominated the BBQ circuit for the past 10 years. Although he spends his days developing software, his passion for cooking barbecue has him on the iQUE team weekends, putting his talents against the best pit masters in the US.
     Regarding the useful information in Wicked Good Barbecue, I didn’t know that turbinado (raw sugar) doesn’t burn as easily as white or brown sugar in a dry rub. The recipe follows minus MSG that’s listed as optional anyway. Hard-to-find ingredients can be ordered from Amazon.com.

iQUE DRY RUB
1 cup turbinado sugar3/4 cup kosher salt1/2 cup Spanish paprika6 tablespoons chili powder2 tablespoons cumin seeds, freshly ground4 teaspoons mixed peppercorns, freshly ground4 teaspoons garlic granules3 teaspoons onion granules1 teaspoon chipotle powderPlace all ingredients in a spice blender and pulse until it becomes a fine powder. Refrigerate in an airtight container. This rub will keep indefinitely, but try to use within a month to ensure freshest flavor. Recipe makes 3 cups.
Source: Wicked Good Barbecue by Andy Husbands and Chris Hart; Fair Winds Press, February 2012; paperback with color photos $21.99 US. Order from Amazon.com.SPOTLIGHT ON JICAMA
     Jicama (pronounced HEE-kah-mah), also known as the Mexican potato, has a sweet, nutty flavor. It can be cooked, but I like it best raw. After purchase, store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks. Peel just before serving. Cut in sticks like you would do French fries or slice. Jicama is a fair source of vitamin C and potassium. It’s especially good with southwestern-flavored dip or your favorite salsa.
NOT ALL SUGAR-FREE PRODUCTS SAFE FOR TEETH
     According to a recent article in the British Dental Journal, acidic ingredients in sugar-free candies and beverages, used for flavoring and as preservatives, don’t cause cavities, but they do weaken enamel, leading to irreversible dental erosion. In addition, sorbitol and some other sugar alcohols, used as reduced-calorie sweeteners in sugar-free chewing gums, are fermented into acid by bacteria in the mouth and thus cause damage, too. In contrast, the sugar alcohol xylitol, also used in some sugar-free gums, is okay, perhaps beneficial, for your teeth. If you consume acidic sugar-free foods and vegetables, rinse your mouth afterwards with water.
Source: University of California, Berkeley, Wellness Letter, April 2012.STRAWBERRY FEST STILL ON AT CHIEF & RAYS

     Rave reviews for this salad when I served it at the Bryan
Chief. I had planned to reserve it for the 2012 Christmas sheet but
instead we’re sharing it now during Chief and Rays Strawberry Fest.
STRAWBERRY & GREENS WITH CANDIED PECANS

       Salad:


6 cups spinach, stems removed3 cups endive4-ounce package crumbled feta cheese1 pound package strawberries, sliced2 cups candied pecans (recipe follows)Salt and pepper to taste1 cup Citrus vinaigrette or enough to moisten the greens but not drench them        Toss just before serving.
        Citrus Vinaigrette:
1 cup olive oil (I prefer light)Zest of 1 orange¼ cup Florida brand orange juice¼ cup white wine vinegar1 tablespoon minced red onion1 teaspoon Dijon mustard1 tablespoon sugarIn blender combine all ingredients except olive oil. Slowly add oil to form a thick emulsion.
        Candied Pecans:
1 egg white at room temperature2 cups pecan halves½ cup packed light brown sugar1 teaspoon kosher salt1 teaspoon vanillaWhisk egg white until frothy; add brown sugar, salt and vanilla. Toss pecans in mixture until coated. Spread in a single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F oven until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from paper. Cool completely. Pecans can be prepared ahead of time, also vinaigrette.
Source: Adapted from recipe by CQ Restaurant Chef Eric Sayers, Hilton Head Island, SC.

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