Friday, May 16, 2014

Applewood Smoked Pulled Pork with Carolina Slaw

This pulled pork recipe can be adapted to fit whatever flavours you like. I personally think that ancho chilies are a perfect complement to the applewood smoke.

There are a few key steps and lots of hanging out by the que to pull this off, but what’s so bad about hanging out in the sun all day on your deck?

When choosing a cut, I always use a pork butt. This may be also called a shoulder roast. I like to use about 8-10 lbs. The first step is to rub the pork. I use an Ancho Chili rub that I have created. The rub includes paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, mustard powder, and a few other ingredients, along with freshly ground Ancho chilies. The ancho is a poblano pepper that has been smoked and dried. It adds a smoky note and not too much heat. A guajillo chili is a nice addition as well. Make sure to liberally rub the pork the night before and wrap it up for the fridge.

The next thing you will need to do is make your sauces. There will be a mop, which I put in a spray bottle to spritz the pork every 20 minutes or so on the BBQ. You will also need a finishing sauce. This is used to moisten and flavour the pork after you have pulled it.


1 cup apple juice
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup beer

Combine all ingredients and pour into a spray bottle.

Finishing Sauce

½ cup hot water
2 tbl brown sugar
1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
1 tbl paprika
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine the hot water and brown sugar. Stir to dissolve. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix.

Cooking Method:

Light the BBQ on one side only and remove the grate from this side. Heat the BBQ and keep it in the range of 225 – 250 degrees F. Cook the pork on the cool side of the BBQ for 1 – 1 ½ hours per pound with an applewood smoke. To get the smoke, soak applewood chips in water and mix ½ dry and ½ wet wood chips in a tin foil pouch with a few holes poked in it. Set the packet on the element to get the smoke going. Replace with a new pouch whenever the smoke stops.

When the pork has reached 190 degrees, internal temperature, take it off and let it rest for 30 mins or so. Then pull the pork using two forks to shred it. Then add a few squirts of the finishing sauce to enhance the flavour and moisture. Serve the finishing sauce on the side for people who want more.

Serve with Carolina Style coleslaw. I use brocco-slaw for this because I like the way it holds up and keeps a crunch.


¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbl white sugar
6 tbl vegetable oil
2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp celery seed

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and heat through to dissolve the sugar. Cool completely and combine with the brocco-slaw. This is better if it sits in the dressing for a few hours to overnight even.

I love to pile the pork and slaw on a bun together to eat. This is gold….enjoy the accolades.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lowcountry Shrimp Boil

Lowcountry Shrimp Boil

I have been dreaming of doing a crab/shrimp/crawfish boil for years. Finally after some research, a very important favor from a foodie friend, and an oportunity, I had the stuff to make the magic happen.

There are two kinds of boil seasoning that come prepackaged. Old Bay and the most famous, Zaterians and in order for this to be authentic, you need one of the two. I was able to get my hands on a package of the Zaterians and did a shrimp boil during a recent camping trip, so I made this over campfire. Here's the process...its super easy and impressive:

Feeds 5-6 people

2 lb Jumbo Shrimp (you can use crab or crawfish, if you can find them, or any combo of the three)
2 lb little White or Red Potatoes
6 links of Andoulli Sausage (I used hot Italian Sausage)
4 Cobs of Corn (halved)
3 Lemons (halved)
1 Large Sweet Onion (Vidalla if you can find it)
1 head of Garlic (top chopped off)
4-5 Bay Leaves
1 package of Zaterians Crab, Shrimp, & Crawfish Boil Mix
1 Bag Ice

Fill a large stock pot with enough water to more than cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil and add the Zaterian's Mix, Bay Leaf, Lemons (squeeze and add), Onion and Garlic. Let the mixture boil for 10-15 minutes so that everything is dissolved and/or permiated through the mix.

Add the other ingredients in stages based on how long they take to cook. First, the potatoes, 10 minutes later, the Sausage, 5 minutes later, the corn.

Once the corn has had 5 minutes, add the shrimp. The shrimp only need 2 minutes if fresh or 4, if frozen. Once that time has elapsed, add as much ice as you can fit in the pot and let it sit for 10 minutes. The reason for this is to stop the cooking process but allowing the spices to penetrate the food.

Strain your food out and serve with butter, lemon and your favorite hot sauce. This is meant to be eaten with your fingers and will get messy...but that's the beauty! (The garlic is awesome just squeezed out of the bulb onto toasts)

Grab a beer, turn on some Zydeco and you're all good...

Monday, April 1, 2013

Maple-Bourbon Glazed Ham

Maple-Bourbon Glazed Ham

I have made this am twice now and it is absolutely fantastic and super easy. You can swap out the liquids for any other liquids and it will turn out well. Also, adding herbs works well too.

4-5 lb Boneless Ham (Uncoooked)
2 cups Apple Juice
1 ½ cups Bourbon (Jack Daniels or similar)
1 cup pure Maple Syrup
2 tbl Dijon or Whole Grain Mustard
2 oz Water
1 ½ tsp Corn Starch

Place ham in a large pot or Dutch oven with a heavy lid. Mix in apple juice, bourbon, syrup, and mustard and bring to boil over med-high heat. Once the mixture is boiling, bring down to a simmer and cover for 1 ½ hours. Check the ham to make sure the internal temperature is 160 degrees. Once it is to that temp, it is eatable.

Preheat  to 375 degrees. Uncover ham and take the liquid out and reserve it. Transfer about 2-3 cups of the liquid into a skillet and reduce over high heat until it is about ½ of the amount. Turn off the skillet and baste the ham with the liquid. Put the ham in the 375 degree oven for approx.. 30-45 minutes, basting with the reduced liquid every 8-10 minutes.

Take the remaining ham liquid, put it in a pot and bring to a simmer. Mix the corn starch and water in a small bowl until dissolved, making a slurry, and ad to the ham liquid. Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes to thicken. Turn off and cover until ham is ready. This is liquid gold on top of the ham at supper!

Once the 30-45 minutes is up, the ham should be glazed and caramelized. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes before carving and serving.

I suggest you serve this ham with my Potato-Bacon-CheddarTart!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bacon-Feta Meatloaf

This meatloaf was inspired by our favorite Friday night pizza, the bacon feta. It turned out really well. The oregano adds a hint of the flavour of a pizza as that is the main herb in pizza sauce.
The ingredients below can be swapped out to suit any flavour profile you are craving. Swap out the veggies, herbs, and liquid to change the flavours.

 For the Meatloaf
2 lbs of ground beef
1 onion (diced)

2 cloves garlic (fine dice)

1 stalk of celery (diced)

1/3 cup of red wine (if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it)
2 1/2 cups of roughly chopped french bread

1 ½ tsp. dried oregano
1 cup milk

2 eggs (beaten)

1 Jalapeño (fine dice)
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

8-9 strips of bacon


Take out a large mixing bowl and a sautee pan. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Sautee the onion, garlic, celery, and jalapeno in olive oil until just turning brown. (Approx 6-8 mins)

Pour in the red wine and simmer it until the liquid has fully reduced (approx. 4 mins). This will intensify the flavor of the wine. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cut the french bread into about 1/2 inch chunks and soak it in the milk in a shallow dish. Soak this for about 5 - 10 mins, turning a few times, until the bread has soaked up all of the milk. Once the milk is fully soaked into the bread, transfer the bread to a cutting board and chop the it up into a fine dice. Add the bread to the mixing bowl along with the rest of the ingredients.

Make sure not to over mix the ingredients as this may make it too dense.

Form the meat into a rectangular block on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Take the bacon and wrap it around the meat. Put into the oven for 1 ½ hours or until a thermometer reaches 160 degrees. Let the meatloaf sit for 10 minutes to rest before slicing. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Almost Traditional Ukrainian Borscht

10-12 Medium Beets (peeled and diced)
2 Onions (diced)
8 strips of bacon diced
½ can tomato paste
6 carrots (shredded)
½ head of white cabbage (shredded)
2 Russet Potatoes (diced)
8-9 tomatoes (peeled and diced or canned)
1 L beef stock
1-2 L water

First, take your bacon and dice it very small. Then, in a deep soup pot, brown off the bacon. Make sure not to let it get crispy, just brown.  

TIP: If you put some water (about ½ cup) in with the bacon it will evenly distribute the heat and render of the fat. Once this is done, the water will evaporate off and you will be left with just the oil and the bacon will then brown perfectly. This will make it easier to control and also will leave you with uniformly browned or crisped bacon. This works every time.

Drain off the fat into a small bowl and take the bacon out of the pot. Keep the fat, we will use this later. You will be left with some little brown bits on the bottom of the stock pot now. This is total flavour, so pour the beef stock and water in there and scrape the bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon. Bring the stock to a simmer while you peel and dice the beets.

Put the beets in the simmering stock and work on the rest of the veg. Once the beets have simmered for a few minutes, add the bacon. This will give a nice subtle smoky undertone to the soup. The bacon is totally untraditional, but hey, bacon is awesome and Ukrainians love the stuff too, so why not!

Once you have simmered the beets for 15 minutes or so, put in the shredded carrot, diced potato, tomatoes, and cabbage. Let this simmer.

Take a skillet out and put some of the bacon fat in it on medium-high.  Dice the onions and sweat them in the pan. Do not brown them; just cook them until they are translucent. Now add the tomato paste to the onions. Stir it around to incorporate it and cook it for a few minutes. This will intensify the flavour. Add about ¼ cup of water to the skillet and dissolve the tomato paste in it and add this to the pot.

Simmer the entire soup for a couple of hours.

Serve with fresh dill and a dollop of sour crème….and a big shot of vodka!

За здоровя!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Ceviche de Camarón

This is a wonderful method of serving any white fish, conch, or shrimp. The lime juice in the dish actually cooks the meat and marinades it.

They serve this dish, in numerous variations, throughout Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

Serve this on a tortilla chip with some hot sauce for a refreshing picnic/beach idea that will never spoil in the sun.

The ingredient list on this recipe is very loosly done. There is no set amount of things, just make sure you have roughly equal parts of the veggies (excluding the Serrano and Cilantro) and you will be fine.


1 Large Field Cucumber
2-3 Carrots
3 Roma Tomatoes (Seeded)
3 Serrano Chilies (Seeded)
1/2 large Red Onion
1 Handful of Cilantro
3 lbs of raw shrimp (deveined and shelled)
10-15 limes (Juiced)
1 tbs Olive Oil
3-5 dashes of Franks Hot Sauce

Wash and cut the limes in half and squeeze the juice into a large bowl. I have a wonderful juicer that I use (see photo) that makes ceviche a breeze. Doing this by hand can prove to be tedious.

Wash the shrimp and cut into small pieces (1/2 or 1/3). Place the shrimp in the lime juice. Make sure that the shrimp are covered by the lime juice. If not, squeeze limes into the bowl until they are all covered. This will cook the shrimp. Let this sit for around 1 hour, until the shrimp appear "cooked". They are not cooked yet but the process has started.

Meanwhile, dice all the veggies into very small pieces. This will be a test of your knife skills.

TIP: For the cucumber, peel and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds with a spoon, as pictured.

TIP: To dice an onion, cut it in half from tip to tip and cut off the end that grows, leaving the small nub on the end. Remove the skin. Make 2-3 cuts, parallel to the cutting board, but don't cut right through. Now cut small slices lengthwise without cutting entirely through. (see photos)

Once your cuts are done, you can proceed to chop the onion moving from the cut end to the back. This will give you a perfect dice every time without mangling the onion. Quick and easy.

 Once the cucumber, carrot, tomato and onion are cut, you can deseed the Serrano chili. Cut the chili in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly or you will burn your skin, especially your eyes, if you touch them after handling the pepper. Cut the pepper into super small dice.

Wash a large handful of Cilantro, dry it off with a towel and chop it roughly. Once you have all of your veg prepped and the shrimp have sat for a good hour, you can add the rest of the ingredients and stir.

Let this sit overnight in the fridge, covered and you are ready to enjoy!

Serve on a tortilla chip with a dash of hot sauce.

¡buen provecho!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

BBQ'd Ancho Rubbed Shrimp with Peach Glaze & Mango Salsa

This is a 20-25 minute recipe that is super easy and equally impressive looking.

For the salsa:
2 ripe mangos (small dice)
1 serrano chilli (deseeded and diced super small)
1/2 red pepper (small dice)
1 handful of fresh cilantro (chopped)
3-4 chives (chopped)
The juice of 1 lime
1 large splash of olive oil
pinch of salt

Cut all ingredients roughly the same size except for the Serrano (you could sub out jalapeño or any other spicy pepper). Combine and let sit in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

For the shrimp:

I used large Pacific Shrimp but anything large enough to sit on the BBQ grate is fine. Devein and shell the shrimp and rinse. Rub with an ancho chili rub. Start your BBQ and get it screaming hot. Let the rub work for 10-15 mins before grilling.

For the rub:

This is my secret rub, so I won't put the proportions, but the ingredients are black pepper, kosher salt, sugar, onion powder, mustard powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and freshly ground dried ancho chilies.

For the Glaze:

This is a super easy trick...take peach jam (or apricot or whatever) and add a splash of orange juice (or apple) and stir. This glaze is awesome on BBQ'd shrimp.


Put the shrimp on wood skewers that have been soaked in water for 10-15 minutes to prevent burning. Place them on the hottest part of the grill and only cook them for about 2 minutes on each side. Brush the shrimp on the cooked sides with the glaze to coat. Once the shrimp change color, they are done. Hopefully you will have a bit of char on them as it enhances the flavour.

Serve the shrimp with the salsa and eat together. This could go with some rice...TIP cook your rice with chicken broth instead of water to enhance the flavour.