Fun way to cook the perfect steak

By NBN Cooking Crew

The buffalo tro is a variation of a Plains Indian cooking technique. The Plains Indians used fresh buffalo meat, and since firewood was scarce, the meat was cooked directly on the coals of buffalo chips.  Thankfully, today wood is not scarce!
A fire pit of pecan or hickory wood is lit and burned for three to four hours to form coals.  The coals are raked into a bed six to eight inches deep.  The steaks are placed (or thrown) directly on the coals, and the intense heat sears the meat keeping the juices inside.  The steaks are then scraped to remove coals before serving.  

We have heard several stories on how this method of cooking earned its name. We have even shared a few of them over the 27 years we have published this magazine, but to keep it simple, we are going to stick with this version today.

A group of men were attempting to raise funds for a camp dedicated to handicapped children. One of the men had learned this method of cooking over open coals from the Plains Indians in Kansas, where he had once lived.  The secretary at the camp was asked to have fliers printed that advertised the event. When the flyers arrived, to everyone's surprise they read "The First Annual Buffalo 'Tro'" versus "Throw."  And the rest is history! The recipe below will be enough to season four 8-10 ounce steaks.

1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. Dale's Seasoning

You will jaccard each steak. Mix all dry seasonings together in a bowl. Lightly sprinkle first side of 4 steaks with dry seasonings.  Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of Dale's Seasoning over each steak and lightly rub in with finger tips.  Flip steak and repeat.  Allow seasoning to sit for at least 30 minutes while grill gets hot.  

1 c. ketchup
1/2 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. beer
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. tabasco sauce (optional)

Mix ingredients, simmer 10 minutes, and cool. Use this sauce to "clean" the steaks after coming off the coals and after resting for at least 10 mins. Slice steaks into strips and dip in sauce before serving.

This sauce can also act as a marinade to replace the Dale's Seasoning, but it will need to soak in the sauce for at least six hours before the dry seasoning is added.

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Planked Orange Rosemary Glazed Rack of Lamb

Fire Up The Grill
By Steve Collins
The Home Chef

I love the combination of flavors here: orange and rosemary with a hint of a bite from jalapeño. This finished rack of lamb has a subtle smokiness. Remember to soak your plank in water for at least an hour before cooking. To make a sauce for the lamb, add beef or chicken stock and brandy to the remaining glaze and reduce. It will be delicious!

Orange Rosemary Glazed Rack of Lamb
1 rack of lamb rib chops, trimmed of excess fat
Olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 orange, in 1/4-inch slices
3 generous sprigs of fresh rosemary

Glaze and Sauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 c. shallots, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
1/2 c. orange marmalade
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, removed from stem and finely chopped
1/4 c. brandy
1/2 c. chicken or beef stock

One grilling plank soaked for at least an hour

Make the glaze: Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the shallots and jalapeño and cook for two minutes, stirring frequently. Add the rosemary and orange marmalade and blend well.

Cook the lamb: Prepare a hot grill. Rub both sides of the rack of lamb with olive oil and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Distribute the oranges evenly on the plank. Lay the rosemary sprigs over the orange slices and place the rack of lamb, fat side up, over that. Brush the glaze mixture over the lamb. Return the remaining glaze to the saucepan to use for the sauce. Close the lid and cook for 40 minutes. An instant read thermometer inserted into the center should read140°. The center meat will be pink. If you prefer more done meat, continue cooking for a few more minutes. The temperature should be 160° for well done.

Make the sauce: Add the brandy and stock to the pan and stir well. Bring it to a boil and then lower to simmer. Simmer for at least 10 minutes. Serve with the lamb. If there are meat juices from cooking the lamb add these to the sauce.
Let rest for 10 minutes and slice. Serve with the sauce. Serves 2.

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Travels & research for new cookbook yields delicious new recipes

Barbecue Is Now!
By Paul Kirk CWC, Ph.B., B.S.A.S.
Kansas City Baron of BBQ
Barbecue Guru
Order of the Magic Mop
Ambassador of BBQ
Certified Master BBQ Judge

In my travels and researching two new cookbooks for next year's publication, I came across several recipes using smoky Spanish paprika. This is a variation of hummus — minus the tahini. This creamy dip gets an unexpected kick from the pimentón, which is the Spanish smoky paprika.

1/2 lb. dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
1 tsp. cumin seeds
4 large cloves garlic, smashed
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. hot pimentón or other hot paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil with lemon*
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. cilantro, minced
Grilled pita bread or bread

In a medium saucepan, cover the chickpeas with 3 inches of cold water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer until just tender, about 1  1/4 hours.  Drain and pat dry with a clean tea towel.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, cook the cumin seeds shaking the pan until they are lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to a spice or coffee grinder and let cool then grind to a fine powder.  

In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, pimenton and cayenne pulse until finely chopped.  With the machine on, add the 2 tablespoons oil and the lemon oil in a slow steady stream and puree until the chickpea dip is very smooth.  Season the dip with salt and pepper, scrape into a shallow bowl.  Drizzle with oil and garnish with cilantro and serve with bread.  

*Bottles of lemon-flavored extra virgin olive oil – made by crushing olives with lemons.  Are available at specialty markets and some large supermarkets.

This is a very good hors d'oeuvre when served with bread that has been brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper and pimentón before grilling.  You can use canned chickpeas in place of the dried ones, but the texture and flavor won't be quite as interesting.  

Here's another fun appetizer, especially when you make it with your barbecued chicken.

Chicken and Peach Wontons
Nonstick cooking spray
8 oz. ground raw chicken or turkey (cooked smoked chicken) *
3 oz. creamed cheese, softened*
1/4 c. pineapple juice
3 Tbsp. finely chopped green onions
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 c. finely chopped, peeled fresh or frozen peaches thawed (use peach jam) *
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
36 wonton wrappers
Cooking oil for deep fat frying

For Filling: coat a large skillet with nonstick spray; heat over med high heat. Cook and stir chicken or turkey until no longer pink; drain. add pineapple juice, green onion, soy sauce and ginger. Bring just to boiling reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 4 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Stir in peaches and pepper. Cool mixture slightly.

To fill: Spoon 1 rounded tsp of chicken mixture into center of each wonton wrapper. Brush edges lightly with water. Fold the four sides together toward center; pinch corners and seams closed.

Meanwhile heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy saucepan or deep fryer to 365° degrees F. Fry wontons, 4 at a time for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Remove wontons from oil; drain on paper towels.  Place fried wontons in a single layer on baking sheet. Keep warm in a 300*F oven whiling frying remaining wontons. serve warm. Makes 36 wontons.

This chicken salad has a creamy dressing and is another way to use your leftover barbecued competition chicken and serve it over crisp lettuce leaves.

Chicken Salad with Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato
5 slices bacon
3 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. minced green onion
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
12 leaves romaine lettuce
1 large avocado, sliced
Place bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain bacon slices on paper towels; crumble.

Stir chicken, bacon, tomato, and celery together in a bowl.

Whisk mayonnaise, parsley, green onions, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl until dressing is smooth. Pour dressing over chicken mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.
Stir chicken mixture and serve over romaine lettuce leaves; garnish with avocado slices. Serves 6.

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Three Awesome Tailgating Tips!

Once again I'm proud to be a part of the Middle Tennessee Blue Raider Football Network as the broadcast teams Tailgate Guru! Talk about fun foodie gigs! That got me thinking that this would be a perfect time for some tailgate tips.
I'm sure that everyone reading the National Barbecue News has done their fair share of tailgating. In fact – I dare say that many of these tips are utilized by barbecue and grilling gurus for a wide variety of events.
Before somebody points out that I didn't list any tips for pulled pork or hickory smoked ribs let me just say that I like to enjoy tailgate parties. Meaning – my ribs, Boston butts, and items that take longer to cook, are done before hand, properly stored, chilled, and reheated at the tailgate. That makes for more fun time!
Here are Three Awesome Tailgate Tips that can make your next tailgate a pretty good time.

This tip is for people starting out on their college football tailgate journey. As much as you want to impress your buddies, and tailgate rivals, a simple menu that can be prepared quickly and served quickly is always a winner. This does not mean you can't have great ribs or anything else. It just means don't spend all day cooking at the tailgate without producing some tasty eats!

Your HUNGRY guests are waiting! You could pre-smoke some ribs and pulled pork and even some chicken. Use your grills or smokers to reheat the final product. Or stick to brats, burgers, wings and such. That way you can add in secret recipes for sauces and sides to knock your tailgate buddies taste buds out! That leave you time for enjoying the day and playing corn hole!

Okay, this is a safety thing but it also makes for a great game day tip. This is a two part tip. Part one: Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot until they are ready to be disposed of or properly stored. Also, have two sources of ice. One for keeping things cold. And another for beverages.

Part two – Menu planning. Don't roll out your signature six alarm chili when it's 90 plus degrees! During the early months of tailgate season the weather is often brutal here in the South. Plan your menu to reflect that. During Hot weather go with menus that are not too "Heavy." Think of stuff you would eat on a beach trip. Sandwiches, burgers, sausage, salads, pasta, shrimp, wings, and such. Look at traditional picnic items for suggestions. When cold weather rolls around that's when I roll out the pots of chili, stews, gumbos, low country boils, and more!

My wife, Ally, is a tailgate prep master. She's an Auburn Tiger as was my mom. Ally takes tailgating prep work to extremes. I would guess that almost 90 to 95% of everything we cook at a tailgate is pre chopped, diced, sliced, marinated or even cooked.

We roll up, pull out the tables and such, and are serving something in mere minutes even if it's just some homemade snacks while the main course hits the grates.

Chopped onions, peppers, tomatoes, or extra pineapple for grilled apple deserts? How about the burgers already formed and seasoned, the wings already marinated. Just reach in the cooler and pull out the storage container of prepped items. Done!

A Few Final Thoughts
Here are some things that make any tailgate go smooth. Wash your hands! Have plenty of ice, water and beverages. Have clean wipes, napkins and paper towels. Take garbage bags, bug spray, band aids and antacid. Dress for the weather. Take a poncho, sweater, blanket or for hot days an extra shirt. Check your grill, gas, propane, charcoal or wood. Extra chairs, a covered area and some game day music would be great. And don't forget a football!
Have Fun At The Game, the Race, or a Jimmy Buffett Tailgate!

Kent Whitaker aka "The Deck Chef," is a culinary writer and cookbook author – his newest title is Great American Grilling. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motorsports, and bass fishing. Kent lives in East Tennessee with his wife and son.

Photo courtesy of Kent Whitaker
Kent Whitaker and his wife Ally tailgate with their son Macee and niece Ashton.

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Bypass the Bait Shop: Barbecue Sushi has Endless Possibilities!

By Ardie A. Davis
AKA "Remus Powers"

Were it not for the absence of short grain white rice seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar and salt, Jason and Megan Day's Burnt Finger Bacon Explosion would be the ultimate Xtreme Sushi. Otherwise it's a "Fattie," or a "Barbecue Sausage," per Burnt Finger's website. Whatever we call it, it's delicious!

Last year's sensation, BBQ Bacon Sushi—bacon wrap, seasoned ground beef with cheese in the center, rolled with a bamboo sushi mat—yields fantastic meat-centric bacon cheeseburger rolls, sans sushi rice.  
How about some barbecue that is in step with today's healthy lifestyles and cross-cultural fusion: Barbecue Sushi! The possibilities are endless.

First let's get past a major sushi stereotype. Bait shop-sourced "Redneck Sushi" is standard humor in barbecus circles. Minnows and mud bugs may make it as sushi ingredients, but forget about crawlers and stink bait.

Thanks to Yuki Matsuse, a friend from Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, I recently got hands-on familiarity with two styles of sushi that busted my raw fish sushi misconception. Yuki taught my wife, Gretchen, and me and two of our grandchildren, Henry and Emma, how to make sushi without raw fish. Technically, it's the seasoned short grain white rice that is essential to sushi, not raw fish.

Given that new insight,  I was of course inspired to make barbecue sushi, stretching the rules a bit by allowing any type of rice, seasoned or not.

Traditional sushi requires time, sushi tools, organization and attention to details. It is worth it.

Recognizing, however, that most cooks these days won't make the necessary effort to prepare traditional sushi, there's an easy way to make casual barbecue sushi.

Besides ease, casual barbecue sushi's small portions of meat and other ingredients make a healthy culinary combo.
Casual sushi is barbecue-friendly. Instead of seaweed sheets, ingredients are stuffed in fried soybean curd pouches. Remember: short grain white rice seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar and salt is essential in traditional sushi, but not in barbecue sushi. You can substitute unseasoned short or long grain white or brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, beans, edamame, hummus, coleslaw, hashbrowns, pimento cheese, shredded cheese or other ingredients.

Tinker with this recipe you'll be ready to take off in infinite directions.

Casual Barbecue Sushi
Makes 16 starters or 2 to 4 entrees

8 fried square soybean curd pouches (Aburaage) – available frozen at Asian markets or supermarkets; call ahead to assure availability.   

Water for boiling

For Fried Soybean Curd Marinade:
1-3/4 c. water
1/2 c. soy sauce
2 c. mirin or dry sherry—or moonshine, if you dare
1 c. brown sugar

For Stuffing:
2 c. cooked long grain brown rice
1 c. barbecue meat, your choice; great way to use leftovers
1/4 to 1/3 c. barbecue sauce for light garnish

Place each pouch on a cutting board and roll flat, making it easy to open. Cut each pouch in half and carefully open.
Boil soybean curd pouches in water for 5 minutes to remove excess oil. Transfer to colander to drain. When pouches are cool, gently squeeze out excess water between palm of hands.

Heat marinade until sugar is dissolved. Add pouches and simmer for 15 minutes, turning occasionally to soak them evenly. Turn off the heat and remove to a deep dish to cool.

Stuff each pouch with 3 to 4 tablespoons of rice, indented with your thumb to make a meat nest. Add small portion of meat; lightly garnish with barbecue sauce. Serve immediately.

Who invented it & when? Unknown. First version, originating in Southeast Asia, consisted of salted fish wrapped in fermented rice. Hanaya Yohei is credited with inventing today's version in the late 19th century. He used fresh instead of fermented fish. Fish/rice/seaweed portions could be quickly prepared and easily handled, like fast food today.
Is raw fish required? No
Is a seaweed wrapper required? No. Sushi takes on several forms, including sushi in a bowl.
– Source: Wikepedia

Photo by A. Davis
Barbecue sushi in fried soybean curd pouches. Yum!

Photo by A. Davis
Fried soybean curd pouches in boiling water.

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