Thursday, June 23, 2005


I offer this as a continuing part of our outdoor cooking for a crowd theme:

Since Dad passed away on the last day of 1989, Barb's husband Tim has been the champion turkey griller in the family. I have done some really kick hinder grilled turkeys, but none somehow quite as good as Tim's. Till this year. At least, that's what my son Steven says. The great thing about this method of cooking turkey is that the white meat stays wonderfully moist! And cooking times are reduced about 25%. Try this, I GUARANTEE you'll love it!

You'll need:

1 Turkey, thawed
commercial Poultry Seasoning
1 Foster' Oil Can (24oz or 32oz)
Squeeze Parkay

24-48 hours before grilling, prepare turkey by removing giblets and washing thoroughly inside and out. Pat dry (inside and out). Cut off "Parson's Nose" (that triangular piece of fatty flesh at the turkey's butt. Rub a generous amount of poultry seasoning into skin and cavity of bird. Cover (I use oven roasting bag). Refrigerate.

Prepare Kettle as described in PULLED PORK BBQ.*

Remove half the contents of the Foster's can (I know how I would go about this, but you use your own judgment). Center turkey over the drip pan. With the keyhole side facing UP, slide the Foster's can into the birds cavity so about half the can is left exposed. Cover grill. After every hour, add 9 coals to each side and brush the bird with Squeeze Parkay. Cooking time is about 12-15 min per pound.

* always use charcoal briquets made from real wood like Kingsford (hickory) or Royal Oak (white oak). Most cheaper brands like Great Lakes or your store brands are made of pressed carbon. The flavor they impart in your food is entirely different than that of the wood based coals.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

BBQ BRISKET, Texas Style

BBQ Brisket, Texas Style
Originally uploaded by greatwhitebear70.
It used to take me about 12 hours to make this. Then, at a canoe rally, I ran into a chef from Ft. Wayne who taught me this great shortcut. It works wonderfully, and cuts cooking time to about 4 hours.

1 cup soaked Mesquite Chips
1 or 2 whole Beef Briskets

A day or two before you are going to Q, rub down brisket with your favorite rub (I prefer KC Masterpiece).

Step 1: On one side of your kettle, light a small pile of about 15 charcoal briquets. Wrap your wood chips tightly in heavy duty foil and poke a few holes in the top. Place on top of fully lit coals. Place your brisket on grill over a drip pan (I usually use a disposable foil roaster) as far from coals as possible. You can do 2 briskets by overlapping the narrow ends until you have close to uniform thickness. When smoke begins to pour out of the foil packet, place lid on kettle and cook for about one hour.

Step 2: Remove Brisket and wrap tightly in heavy duty foil.* Move drip pan to middle of kettle. On opposite side of burning coals, make a pile of 28 coals and light. Add enough coals to burning side to make a pile roughly even with the other side. When the coals in the new pile are mostly covered with grey ash (about 25 min), place brisket over drip pan, replace lid, and cook about 3 hours (31/2 if doing two), adding 9 briquets to each side every hour.

Step 3: Remove Brisket from grill. On stove top, heat up a pan full of sauce. Remove brisket from foil to a cutting board. Slice thinly across the grain (electric knife works SO well for this). In Texas, they would serve the beef like this on a plate with the sauce on the side. I prefer to slice the beef into the sauce, cook it till the sauce starts to thicken, and serve on good bakery buns. Your option!

* you can cook brisket in your oven on 350 for about 3 hours, or follow instructions for grill.

posted by Mark

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Strawberry Dip

This is the easiest recipe ever! It goes great with a barbecue, or any time you want to serve fresh fruit.

8 oz vanilla yogurt
8 oz sour cream
1 small pkg Instant Vanilla Pudding

Blend ingredients and serve with fresh strawberries.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


In keeping with today's theme on my blog, I thought I'd post some recipes dealing with outdoor cooking for a crowd. The instructions are for cooking on a 27" Weber Kettle, but these can easily be adapted to use with a smoker. Need help, let me know!

First, a word about the sauce. I have tried a myriad of different sauce recipes, some highly successful, some not so much. But the truth is, there are so many really great sauces on the market, it seems foolish to go to the trouble of making your own. So, my sauce for pork and chicken: 2 bottles Rasta Joe's BBQ sauce (mild) + 1 bottle Hunt's Hickory and Brown Sugar BBQ sauce + 1 bottle Heinz 57 sauce + just enough water to rinse the bottles.

The day before you are going to make your Q, prepare a whole pork shoulder* (uncured picnic ham) by cutting off the rind and excess fat. Rub down with a good BBQ rub (I like KC Masterpiece), place in a plastic bag (I use an oven bag), secure tightly, and refrigerate about 24 hours, or up to three days.

Soak 2 cps wood chips (hickory, white oak, or any fruit wood work well with pork) in water for a couple of hours. Drain. Place 1 cp wood chips on each of 2 squares of foil, and fold into tight packets. Pierce the top of each packet once with a fork.

Place a large drip pan in the middle of the coal grate of your Kettle. I usually use a disposable foil roasting pan with the edges turned up. On each side of the pan, place 28 coals. Light them and let them burn till they are mostly covered with ash, about 30 min. Place a foil packet on each bed of coals.

Place cooking grate on kettle so that handles are centered above the coals (this is important!) Center pork shoulder(s)** over drip pan. Cover and cook about 4 hours (or till internal temp hits 165), adding 9 coals to each side every hour. When done, remove to a rack to cool slightly.

Pour sauces into a large, heavy pot. Using heavy rubber gloves (like Bluettes), shred the meat with the grain and into the sauce. Simmer BBQ on stove top about half our or so, or until sauce starts to thicken. Serve on good bakery buns (I prefer Onion Rolls or Kaisers). A 10lb. pork shoulder makes about 15-20 large sandwiches.

* equal poundage of Boston Butt Roast works just as well.
**with care, you can get as many as three shoulders on at once


Monday, June 06, 2005

Chocolate Sheet Cake

As requested by Big Brother, this is the sheet cake recipe Mom used. It is similar to 'Texas Sheet Cake', but uses buttermilk instead of sour cream.


Mix in large bowl and set aside:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar

Combine in saucepan:
1 stick butter
4 tbls cocoa (Mom used 6)
1/2 cup Crisco (Mom would have eliminated the butter and used all Crisco)
1 cup water
Bring to boil, stirring well, and pour over sugar and flour.

2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk with 1 tsp soda
Mix well--it will be thin.

Pour onto large, greased cookie sheet. Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees.


(Start 5 minutes before cake is done)

In saucepan combine:
1/3 cup milk
1 stick butter
4 tbls cocoa (very generous)
Bring to boil and remove from heat.

1 lb powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Spread over hot cake as it comes from the oven.

In the eleven years Tim and I have been back in this church, I don't think there's been a single potluck (and we have many!) where this cake has not shown up!


Saturday, June 04, 2005

BUTTERMILK PECAN CHICKEN (from the Patchwork Quilt Restaurant, Middlebury IN

The Patchwork Quilt is one of the most famous, and best, restaurants in northern Indiana. Reservations must be made weeks ahead (months ahead on weekends). It draws regular visitors from Chicago, Ft. Wayne, Cleveland, Detroit. This is one of their more popular dishes.

2 fryers (cut up)
1/2 cp Margarine
1 cp Buttermilk
1 Egg, slightly beaten
1 cp all purpose Flour
1 cup ground pecans
1 Tbls Paprika
1 Tbls Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper
1/4 cp Sesame Seeds
1/4 cp Pecan halves

Melt margarine in a 13x9x2 baking dish. In a shallow dish, combine buttermilk and egg. In another shallow dish, combine flour, ground pecans, paprika, salt, pepper, and sesame seeds. Dip each chicken piece in the buttermilk mixture, then the pecan mixture.* Place each chicken piece skin side down in melted margarine, then turn chicken pieces to coat and place skin side up in the baking dish. Place pecan halves on each chicken piece. Bake at 350 about 75 min, or until chicken is golden brown and tender. Serves 8.

* I find this recipe works better if you let the pieces dry on cookie cooling racks for about 10 minutes at this point.

posted by mark