“10 Hot Grilling Tips for Memorial Day” –Knitting Monthly.
Nearly every publication puts out a barbecue guide this time of year. Although I was tempted to write up a “Braising 101” post to satiate my nonconformist itch, I just couldn’t help but fall in line because cooking with fire rules. It’s in our DNA. People love to cook with fire. In fact, there is a compelling evolutionary hypothesis that cooking with fire is what allowed our human ancestors to develop larger brains. The only negative here is that over the weekend, people who rarely step foot in the kitchen are tending grills by the thousands. I’d guess part of the reason barbecue sauce is packed with spices and sugars, is to help mask the overcooked meats of the bi-annual griller.
style ribs were the indulgent welcome of the sinful life. I was lucky to have been mentored by such skilled and passionate pit masters. And now, we are lucky to live in a time where BBQ knowledge is so accessible.
A quick Youtube search of “BBQ Ribs” yields more than 250,000 results. Now the problem isn’t finding information, it’s determining which information is worth a damn. Luckily for you, I am here to act as a filter. “But how do we know you’re giving us reliable information?” you might ask. Well, am I not writing in an authoritative manner? What more proof do you need? While I cannot truly speak as authority on barbecue, I’d wager I’ve read more about cooking than anyone you know (I’m at least in the top 3). I’ve also grilled a couple of times, too.
articles that discuss the science of great barbecue, I recommend you give amazingribs.com a visit.
Things to keep in mind or whatever:
Well, there you have it, another BBQ primer. I know I say this every post, but I hope you found something helpful here. Please feel free to comment or ask questions below. I plan to write more specific barbecue centric posts throughout the summer. Have a great holiday.
Until next time,
Tacos! ♪ What is it good for? Absolutely everything! ♪
You can practically wrap anything around a tortilla and call it a taco. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should, but you certainly can. Tacos are as versatile as they are delicious. Today, though, I want to focus on the standard American weeknight staple, the ground beef taco. Boring? Sure, but it is easy, delicious, and something that most people already cook for dinner.
This article is going to hopefully exemplify the type of cooking posts that I will write in the future. My goal is to help people become better cooks. I plan to do this not by providing quality recipes (although I hope to do that too), but by discussing the recipes people are already using. I’ll elaborate.
pan on medium-high heat and wonder, why not high? Why not medium? Does it matter? It might, but it might not. It all depends on what you are cooking and what you are trying to achieve.
Cooking techniques on the surface are fairly basic, but there are plenty of nuances that you learn as you apply them to different foods and different cuisines. By familiarizing yourself with how food reacts with specific cooking techniques, you will free yourself from the rigidity of the recipe. It will also help you execute recipes with greater success. Hopefully I will provide you with an easy way to acquire cooking knowledge and technique that will be immediately helpful. And because we’ll do this with recipes you already cook, it will be easy to practice.
So let’s get to the tacos.
I’ll break this up into three sections, Meat, Toppings, and The Shell. We’ll look at how we can improve each component starting with the easiest to the more laborious modifications. Try as many or as few suggestions as you’d like. Hopefully you’ll find that some easy changes can elevate your basic tacos. I’m sure there are plenty of details that I will have left out for brevity, so please ask for any needed clarifications in the comment section. I will try to promptly reply.
I like to use a lean ground beef (90% or higher) or venison for basic tacos. Ground Turkey or Chicken isn’t too bad either if you are looking to cut calories. Fatty beef makes for an oily taco filling with muddled flavors.
There are endless ideas for toppings. Here I’m just going to talk about maximizing the flavor of the basics.
Crunchy or soft, the tortilla is probably the most overlooked component to a great taco.
I hope some of this information is helpful. The format and style of future posts will most likely evolve to become streamlined and digestible, no pun intended. Most importantly, please, PLEASE, let me know what you liked and didn’t like about this post. I need your feedback to make these posts better.
Enjoy your tacos.
See you next time,
First off, thanks to Shannon and Dave for the hospitality and encouragement. I’ll tell you a little about myself before I share a simple recipe that everyone should know.
My name is Ryan and I am a food nerd (“Hi, Ryan” they respond at our meetings). Some might consider me as a foodie, but I personally dislike the term because of its snobby connotation. Whatever you call me, I do think and read about food A LOT. I watch food-centric TV, I read mammoth cooking tomes, and I frequent food blogs regularly. In the past year I’ve listened to nearly 100 hours of cooking related podcasts. But most importantly though, I cook. I cook virtually every dinner (aside from take-out) that my family consumes. For me, there is no better hobby than cooking. It’s a hobby that you can share with others. It’s a hobby that nearly everyone likes to talk about. Cooking is what makes us human.
1 Whole Fryer Chicken (3 – 4 lbs.)
Assorted Root vegetables (Example: 1 onion, 3-4 small turnips)
Salt (preferably Kosher)
Pepper (freshly ground)
Heat oven to 450F with rack in the middle position
Cut up vegetables to the size of golf balls
Place veggies in an oven safe pan (I like a 12in cast iron skillet)
Pat chicken dry (inside and out) with paper towels (The drier the skin the crispier it will get)
Aggressively salt and pepper the bird (inside and out)
Place whole bird directly on top of the veggies
Place all into oven and cook for an hour
Remove from oven and let chicken rest for 10-15 min
Carve and serve with the vegetables
If you aren’t much of a cook yet, just follow the above instructions. If you want to improve from there, here are a few notes to boost quality:
But in a cool way that doesn’t sound cliché or hammy. Maybe I’ll think of something for next time. Until then, cook like your next meal depends on it…
Dinner & a Movie
Bringing you food and drinks so that you can make movie night that much more delicious.
"Food is essential for life; therefore make it good"
Shannon does it Julie & Julia style as she cooks through a cookbook and shares thoughts and recipes along the way.