Saturday, October 31, 2009

Holen One Farms Dipping and Glazing Sauce - Yum!

I love to try out new barbecue sauces and was excited to get the products I ordered from Holen One Farms. In addition to the Holen One barbecue sauce (dipping and glazing), they also have a marinade which I hope to try out tomorrow with steaks and a rub I want to check out on a smoked Boston butt.

First I fired up with the Portable Kitchen (PK grill) and got out my new Cusinart silicone basting brush which is so much nicer than the bristle brushes which always manage to end up stuck somewhere not so special. The Cuisinart grill brush is a tad large for the boneless, skinless chicken breasts or looks so, but it worked out fine. I just didn't dip as deep. It's great, also, for bigger barbecue saucing jobs too, of course.

Often I marinate my chicken to ensure moisture and to add some flavor, but I wanted to get the full flavor of Holen One Farms barbecue sauce. So, I just sprayed the grates with a little Pam grilling spray and put the chicken on.

This is a tomato based sauce, so I didn't sauce the chicken beforehand like a marinade. A lot of folks make that mistake, and they have chicken that's no cooked in the middle and burned on the outside as that sugar in the sauce can scorch in a heartbeat.

With these smaller pieces of chicken, I grilled one side until I could see a white color coming up the sides nice and then sauced the up or raw side. The chicken in thin slices like this is close done when you see the cooked part coming up the sides.

I flipped all the chicken with the raw and sauced side down and grilled for a couple of minutes while saucing the grilled top sides with grill marks. Then, I made one last flip for under a minute just to set the sauce on the first grilled side. That was over on a low heat part of the grill as I usually offset coals to do these kinds of tricks that make the grilled foods both taste better and look prettier.

Here's the grilled chicken lathered with Holen One Farm barbecue sauce right ready to come off the grill.

The sauce smelled so good (along with the charcoal) that the dad-person wandered over to see what we were griling up, and he stuck around to try the new bbq sauce as well. I forever grill up more than we can eat, so visitors are always welcome.

My teen son was the first to check in, "Hey, this is good sauce." His Dad then took a couple of bites and said, "Yep. It's a winner."

Holen One Barbecue Dipping and Glazing Sauce is a very nice all-purpose and company barbecue sauce. The flavor is clearly a bump up from mass marketed barbecue sauces at the grocery store, but Holen One did not go over the top and add too much heat or other strange ingredients that put it in a niche category. It appealed to my son who likes mild, his dad who goes medium, and I'm a hot sauce lover but thought this was one fine barbecue sauce.

That's another for the barbecue sauce favorites list which is slowly growing. There are loads of barbecue sauces out there, but I find few that rock the whole house. Holen One is a score!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Got a Quickie Reipce Featuring French's (mustard etc) - Enter to win by 10-31-09

Karen contacted me from French's. Yes. The mustard folks, but they have other great products too.

My son just discovered French's spicy mustard. Now, I've had that FOREVER, becuase I like some zip to my mustard. He just had not given it a try. I guess we were out of garden variety yellow mustard, and he tried the French's brown mustard on his brats. He is now a BELIEVER. Yep. He is going through my mustard fast.

Karen just wanted to let me know about a contest featuring French's products, and I was thinking some of my barbecue fans might have some good sauces featuring mustard - spicy or not. OK. It's kind of a South Carolina thing (that mustard barbecue sauce), but I'm betting some of ya'll use a little mustard as a secret ingredient. I know I do - like in my barbecue baked beans.

Sorry the notice is short. This has to be knocked out by Halloween 2009, but here are the general rules. Might want to double check the site links for more details. I don't think I'll be able to get it together this quick, but I'll bet some readers can, so knock us out and share your recipes too. That's always fun!

Each Recipe for the French's Contest Should:

Be original, unpublished, and created by you;
Include at least one French's product;
Include no more than 8 ingredients(with the exception of salt, pepper and water…those are freebies);
And be prepared and ready to serve in no more than 1 hour.

For recipe inspiration and giveaways, check out the French’s Facebook page:

Recipes will be evaluated on appearance, creativity and overall deliciousness and must be submitted by October 31, 2009 online at French's.

Five finalists, determined by online voting and a judging panel, will compete in a LIVE Cook-Off event to be held in New York City for a chance to win the Grand Prize of $25,000!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chef Hymie Grande Makes Some Great Barbecue Sauce

I fired up the PK charcoal grill to try out my latest barbecue sauce - Chef Hymie Grande. His barbecue sauces caught my eye, because they are the first to carry the American Diabetes Association seal. Although, I do not have diabetes, I have high tri levels and some family memebers with diabetes. Gotta keep an eye on that.

Chef Hymie Grande barbecue sauces are vegan friendly. I am very not vegan as anyone will know who reads my blog or web site Yes You Can Grill. I aim to please though, so it would nice to have a good vegan barbecue sauce in the arsenal though I slathered mine on meat, of course.

Chef Hymie has three barbecue sauces out and a ketchup coming up soon which I look forward to trying out. The one I'm using on this grill time is the New Mexico Sweet Barbecue Glaze which is billed as having a "mild, earthy flavor." He also has a medium and hot version (and I do love hot).

I've heard people say that Chef Hymie barbecue sauces taste kind of smokey, and that always makes me nervous. I've had way too many barbecue sauces and dishes with fake smoke added, and I must say that Liquid Smoke tastes like . . . well . . . Liquid Smoke. It's kind of like plastic flowers. They're OK I guess and have a place on the market, but I'd much rather have real than fake.

Since the Chef Hymie Grande sauces are all natural and don't even include high fructose sugar plus are made in small batches, I quickly set those worries aside after reading the side of the bottles. But, it's still all about the taste. So, even if it's a good idea, the barbecue sauce has to pass the taste test to survive around this house.

Chef Hymie barbecue sauce is medium as far as texture. It's not as thick as Kansas or Texas barbecue sauce, but it's not thin (and made as a mop sauce) like many North Carolina pork barbecue sauces. Also, the color is darker than the typical barbecue sauce, so don't think I burned my barbecue chicken. I didn't. Trust me. I seldom do that, and when I do, the dog is very happy.

I brushed Chef Hymie Grande on the boneless chicken strips right near the end of the grilling time. That's one grilling mistake many folks make - using barbecue sauce as a marinade or rubbing it on too soon. Sauce goes on the last five minutes or so - just enough time to heat and set the bbq sauce.

Everything looked great, and Chef Hymie bbq sauce smelled fabulous. But, again, it is all about the taste.

I had to taste test the grilled chicken, and . . . wow . . . great stuff. I was sure Chef Hymie had a hit with his new barbecue sauces. I never say that though. I served the grilled chicken up, and the kid and the dad-person both thought Chef Hymie Grande sauce was a score. I hold it neutral until I get reactions from the family and friends. But, I usually nail it.

While I don't normally think of New Mexico as a barbecue sauce state, I'm giving that second thoughts. I adore Chef Matt's sauces out of Arizona (close), and Chef Hymie Grande ranks there with the best. I feel a road trip coming on, but New Mexico/Arizona sure is a haul. The barbecue sauces are great though, so I may have to put that on my to-do list.

If you want to check out the sauces, then see Chef Hymie Grande sauces at Open Sky. He really does have top notch barbecue sauce. I'm very impressed.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Instant Fire Every Time with FlameDisk - Easier Than Charcoal

If you've ever been frustrated trying to start charcoal, the FlameDisk may be just what you've been looking for. FlameDisk is an alternative to charcoal, but it can be used in your old charcaol grill that may be sitting there gathering dust if you've had bad grilling experiences.

All you have to do with Flame Disk is open it up and light it. That's it. You are grilling in seconds and with no pain. Plus, you do not have any clean up with FlameDisk.

FlameDisk is perfect for tailgating, but it's fine at home for barbecue parties or whereever you may want to fire up a grill. It's really a very simple grill accessory, but it does wonders for those who may be a bit grilling challenged.

Above you can see the FlameDisk in my Weber Smokey Joe. It's a perfect fit in my tailgater grill, but it can be used in larger charcoal grills too.

If you want to read more about FlameDisk, see my FlameDisk review at Yes You Can Grill, or you can find Flame Disk at my Yes You Can Grill Store.

I've always said that there's a grill to match every personality and taste. In this case, it's not a grill, but FlameDisk could certainly make grilling easier and more fun for many who have had a hard time getting the hang of outdoor cooking.

FlameDisk is nice, too, for pros when they don't want to have to think too much. You see the easiest pork chops I've ever grilled. Yep. It was a breeze to grill with FlameDisk, and there's no mess to worry about other than the dinner plates which are still sitting in the sink.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Eli Honored at RiverPark Cooleemee - Bull Hole - NC

It was a family trip out to the Bull Hole in Cooleemee, NC today where Eli was honored for saving a drowning teenager earlier this year. That happened when I was hosting a Carolina Cook Out through Food Buzz (an online foodie site). Those who follow my blog will likely remember that Eli went into the Yadkin when he heard the kid yelling for help, and the two boys were swept down the river. It was 20 minutes before I knew, for sure, if he made it out or not. He did. And, the other young man was fine after a trip to the hospital.

This was the 8th year for the Catfish Fry at Riverpark, but it's the first time I'd heard about it and got a chance to go. The Cooleemee Historic Society contacted Eli and invited him and the family out for the event which featured catfish (of course) and also bluegrass music.

Eli is kind of shy, but he got up and accepted his award for being a hero, and he thanked the RiverPark crowd and told them that the catfish was great. It was too. The three Rons (Bivins, Shoaf and Web) can sure fry up some fish.

The family enjoyed the catfish and fixings as well as the bluegrass music. The band was really good, but I didn't catch the name of the group. Maybe someone will know and can add that in the comments.

I was very proud of Eli as you can see. I still get chills when I think about him going in the river that day in May. The Yadkin was raging with waves that looked like the ocean or fast whitewater and not a slow, sleepy river like usual. I've never seen it like that before or since, and I've been down at the Bull Hole off and on since high school.

The Bull Hole is absolutely beautiful and one of my favorite places. I'm glad it's a park now and that folks can enjoy it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Guy Fieri Needs to Head on Out Here for Some NC Barbecue

Keaton's Should Be on The Must-Visit List for Guy Fieri - Don't Ya Think?

Doesn’t Guy Fieri have the coolest job around – hosting Diners, Drive-in and Dives? If you haven’t seen the show, he visits little eateries all over the country to get the best food in town (including barbecue). The show is not gourmet now. Fieri really does visit the little joints that draw the locals. So, if you’re looking for good stick-to-your-rib eats, you should check out the TV show and take some notes.

Guy has been out in California lately crowning the “Next Pork Personality.” Seems they had a pig grill off, and Kristina Vanni of Hollywood won with her Spicy Asian Pork Tenderloin with Pear Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Baby Bok Choy. What? Haven’t tried those yet? Well, you have to remember this is California barbecue we’re talking, so they do things different out there.

I am wondering if those pear mashed potatoes taste anything like the ones my sister made for Thanksgiving with applesauce. All I will say is that they did, indeed, look like mashed potatoes, but putting gravy on them was not such a great idea. It would rank right up there with gravy on ice cream which is about the only thing we don’t gravy up here in the South.

In any case, I’m glad that we have all kinds of barbecue all over this country and something to appeal to every palate. I'll have to get out to California one of these days and check out what they're doing in those parts.

Around here, of course, barbecue is pork served on a white bread bun with a vinegar based sauce. And, it’s some mighty fine stuff even if folks from other parts of the country often just don’t know what to make of pig pickin’ North Carolina BBQ with vinegar mop. Generally it grows on them, or I guess they move away – one or the other.

Then, there’s also Keaton’s Barbecue in Cleveland NC (sort of – really it’s in the middle of nowhere) which is chicken, and it’s barbi-fried. Yep. They fry it some way but not Southern with a thick coating and then they get it lathered up with a thin barbecue sauce that sinks to the bone. It used to be the thing to slip off from high school now and then and get some Keaton’s chicken, although I won’t confess to involvement or not in such truancy.

I’m sure it’s getting old out there in California what with the great weather and all, and I think Fieri needs to road trip on out here to North Carolina and dive some barbecue joints. Heck, he won’t even have to visit three states to get his cue. In fact, he might start a Hatfield and McCoy feud again if he doesn’t showcase eastern AND western style North Carolina barbecue. Yes. There is a difference. Just ask anyone who loves NC barbecue. And, then Guy really does have to round that out with Keaton’s chicken, because it’s just the best barbecue chicken ever.

If Guy needs some tips on NC barbecue, he can give me a call (-: I can hook him right up and also round up some camouflage pants and a ball cap if he doesn’t want to stand out like a sore thumb. He can also practice saying “ya’ll,” although most people from other parts of the country just can’t manage to pull that off very well. Ya’ll know what I’m saying – wink.

So, any great barbecue dives from your neck of the woods that you think Guy needs to check out? If so, drop a comment. Maybe we can turn him on to some good ones. But, then we might have to wait in line at our favorite barbecue joint. Hum. Maybe you should just whisper in my ear and keep our secrets.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another Rainy Day for the Barbecue Master and Family

I have some new barbecue sauces from Demon Pig that I can't wait to try out, but it's still raining here in the not-so-sunny South, and my nose is still running too. Bummer. Not a good way to celebrate hump day.

This seemed a better day for chicken pot pies (Marie Callender's are definately the best), but I can still dream of a beautiful outdoor grill room with counter space, wine racks and maybe even one of those cool outdoor fountains. Ah heaven.

In the meantime, I've been shopping, since I don't feel up to doing much else. And, online shopping is so easy. Gotta love it.

In addition to some new sauces coming (including Wild n Mild which the hunters who read my blog will love), I'm also waiting on Grill Floss (no kidding) and a Cuisinart silicone basting brush. So, be sure to check back soon, because I'll have some new flavors and new barbecue toys to talk about and some ideas for the holidays.

Monday, October 12, 2009

John Boy & Billy's Grillin' Sauce Saves the Day

I must confess that John Boy & Billy saved the day here, because I feel like crud (although I'm pretty sure it's not the swine flu), and it's raining. It's a toss up as to which is pouring down harder - the rain or my snot. Bummer.

The kid and I had a wonderful smoked pork loin on the PK grill two nights ago sauced up with John Boy & Billy's Grillin' Sauce. I wasn't sure what two radio hosts based out of Charlotte, NC and known for comedy might come up with as far as BBQ sauce, but this was the real deal and no joke.

The taste of John Boy & Billy's Grillin' Sauce is kind of medium as far as texture (thicker than most NC sauces but not as thick as Texas barbecue sauces). The sauce also has a little zip but not enough to put off my mild loving son. He's just not into hot when it comes to food. Girls? Hum. Well, the hot ones do turn his head. He's 16 years old for the record. His sauces - make 'em mild.

Overall the verdict is that John Boy & Billy have a great balanced Grillin' sauce and that's coming from hot Momma and mild Kido.

Having been up most of the night, since it's hard to sleep when you can't breathe and with the chicken thawed in anticipation of grilling along with the rain pouring down (even though I do have porches), I just was not feeling that grilling thing happening. On the flip side, I sent the kid out to get Chinese last night (though did not feel up to eating myself), so I wanted real food but did not want to work too hard at it.

I confess that I plunked the chicken in a pan lined with tin foil (to reduce clean up) and dumped on John Boy & Billy's Grillin' Sauce. There is no rule that says you have to use grilling sauce or any kind of barbecue sauce on the grill, so in the oven went the chicken and sauce at 350 degrees for around an hour - give or take.

Even feeling awful and even having done nothing special to the chicken other than saucing it with John Boy & Billy's Sauce, dinner came out great. My kid had seconds and then thirds. I could taste the bbq sauce even with the nose running and giving me fits, and it taste great after not having been eating much.

I won't bless ya'll with photos of chicken in a pan lined with tin foil. The barbecue sauce gets much thinner when dumped on baked chicken so does not look too gourmet, but hey that's OK. Good barbecue sauce is good sauce. And, you can use it in baking or in the crock pot in a pinch. Today was a pinch, and the food was great if not exactly pretty. A cute bowl could have fixed that, but it would have been one more thing to wash when I doubt the dishes are getting done tonight anyway.

Someone told me that John Boy & Billy mentioned me on their show when I ran for mayor and tied the old guy who held that spot forever - amen. That puts me in good company as the radio boys tend to favor NASCAR guys and wrestlers (called wrastlers in these parts). Well, I hope they said something good about me. I didn't ask. Some things I do not need to know. Really, they need to have the Grill Girl on the radio show some day. Don't ya think? I'm at least as hot as their sauce and can wrastle if necessary.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pig Pen's Original Seasoning Sprinkle is Great as a Barbecue Rub Too

I have been in a "trying new barbecue stuff" mood lately, and so I grabbed some Pig Pen's at Food Lion. It was with the barbecue sauces and rubs, and since it was dry, I figured it was a barbecue rub. WRONG! Well, it turned out way right. There are times when not being able to see that well comes in handy. This was one of those times. Other times it does not work out so well, so I am trying to learn to use my progressive bifocal glasses, although they make me seasick and walk geeky.

I brought home Pig Pen's Original Seasoning and lathered up my pork loin. Those pork loins were on sale this week at Food Lion, and it's hard to pass up pork loin which is fabulous slow cooked on a grill.

When I opend up the seal on Pig Pen's, I noticed right off that it had a zip. That's fine by me, but my younger son does not like foods too hot, so I went easy on the rub on the pork loin.

That pork loin was smelling like heaven as it was cooking, and my mouth was watering. It takes a while to slow cook a loin, so the kid and I were getting quite hungry, but good food is worth waiting for - and this was massive pork loin.

That pork loin was some of the best I've had. The Pig Pen's gave it just enough zip to make it stand out big times. So, then, I had to round up my reading glasses and get a handle on this new and fabulous grilling rub.

Well, the joke was on me. Pig Pen's is really a seasoning sprikle kind of like a seasoning salt but zestier. The other joke is that the guy who makes this lives right in my home town. How random! I don't know any guy who goes by Pig Pen, so I am going to have to ask around. This is not a big area. It can't be that hard to find the Pig Pen guy.

In the meantime, I will continue to use Pig Pen's Original as a barbecue rub but also as a sprinkle as intended for all kinds of foods - really anything that you might hit with seasoning salt of some type.

Yum! I am tempted to go get another slice of that pork loin with Pig Pen's, but I just came off that winter Consumers Digest grill project where I put on 10 pounds or so. I dropped that (or most of it), so I will hold myself back. But, I can tell you that was sure a good loin.

Never Been to a Redneck Grill Party? You're Missing Out.

Folks do things different in the South and that includes barbecuing. Actually barbecue is slow smoking pork, and grilling is putting anything else on the grill and cooking it. But, we done figured out that the rest of the country don't know no better.

If women are involved in the barbecue party planning, there will be some decorating. If the flowers are not in bloom - no problem. That's what plastic flowers was made for. Other favorites are flags and mostly American and plastic yard birds are also pretty darn popular.

Now, if guys are taking care of the details at the barbecue, you will not have decorations and maybe not napkins. That's what pants are made for.

The best Southern grills are homemade. They are made out of all kinds of stuff, so recycling is alive and well below the Mason/Dixon as is dumpster diving. Most common of the homemade barbecue grills or barbecue smokers are ones made when your oil tanks go to leaking or if you come across a big old barrel that ain't good for much else.

If you have to bring in a store bought grill down South, that's no problem. Most everybody has a pick up or a relative with one. But, some Southern men figure it's too much trouble to unload the grill, so they just fire up in the bed of the truck. This is not FDA approved or recommended but no casualties have been reported to date.

The older guys will, if they get a chance, supervise at the barbecue. After all, they done their dues. Old fellows, however, are not content to go plop down in a lawn chair. Oh no. They figure they better offer up some advice so end up spending as much time supervisiing as they would have grilling. It's just a guy thing I guess. Tell a woman not to worry about cooking, and she mostly won't unless something catches fire (also known as "afar).

The longer a redneck barbecue lasts the more fun is had and the better (or worse) the dancing gets. In fact, a redneck party can last until the cows come home at which time they have to be milked, of course, as things like that just can't be put off to another day.

If you are not sure if you throw redneck barbecue parties, check out Are You a Redneck Grill Guy or Grill Girl at Yes! You Can Grill. Of course, you probably already know, but it's still fun to peek, and you can email in your other redneck party notes if you like.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Lexington, North Carolina Barbecue Festival 2009

It's time for the Lexington, NC Barbecue Festival again. It's an annual event scheduled for October 24 this time, and this is the 26th year. One of the highlights each year is the pig themed sculpture made of sand. It's always impressive.

Yum. The barbcue sauce is simmering and ready to be poured on the slow cooked pork which is served on white bread buns with slaw. They also have curly pig tail fries to round out the signature festival meal. But, there are lots of other great foods at the Lexington BBQ Festival.

There are many artists and craft folks at the BBQ festival each year, so it's fun to do some holiday shopping while enjoying the barbecue pork.

I always look for the fresh made bread at the Barbecue Festival and take home a loaf or two for supper or for the next day. Hard to beat home baked bread.

Last year it rained for the 25th annual Lexington BBQ Festival, so everyone is hoping for sunny skies this year.

For information and tips on the Lexington, NC Barbecue Festival, check out Yes You Can Grill - my grilling web site.