March 25, 2012

Bacon Bouquet

Ever have one of those fancy events to attend and your just not sure what to bring? Like one of those Art gallery openings or when your wife's friend was having her interpretive dance recital. I tried to cut through a bagel into my hand deep enough to need stitches in order to miss the latter of these, but failed miserably and barely cut my hand. ( True Story)Well I tend to be a little uncomfortable in these situations and I figured my old friend BACON would help to calm my anxiety at one of the events. A dear friend was directing a theatrical performance and it was the closing night of the show and some thing needed to be done to show how proud I am of her efforts. Since you are not allowed to wear cleats in these places it needed to be a covert op. I timed the end of the show brilliantly and snuck in the back door with a bouquet that I had created for her. As she was basking in the glow of the fanfare and adoration of her superior directorial skills, I was able to a slip one more bouquet into her arms. I was able to steal away into the rafters and not be subject to the bright lights of broadway.

Some of us less sophisticated folks may not
be able understand all the fancy catterwalling
that goes on up there on the big stage but we do understand that bacon is like the chameleon of the food world, it crosses all boundaries and loves all colors. We are all one in bacon's eyes and we should learn from this.
Peace and Bacon...The Cleat

March 17, 2012


I fired up the Waste Receptacle (UDS) this morning for a test run of Dreamland's BBQ SHAKE rub for my next installment of Rub Wars.  It occurred to me that since I had my sacred barrel blazing already I should put all that wonderful smoke to good use.  My boy and I were already celebrating one part of our ancestral heritage this morning in observance of St. Patty's Day so the idea dawned on me to pay homage to another little section of our DNA that made it over on the boat from a small village just outside Rome about 85 years ago.
Green is for the Money and Gold is for the Honey's 
Coach Beef has already been over the Fatty or what he calls the "HAPPY PAPPY" in detail on this very blog and your hard drive has never been the same since.  My way is a bit different, mixing the Old Country with the New Country.  Check it out and try it yourself.
I do the same basic process as The Beef except my base is always Italian Sausage--Hot like I like my women!  Don't judge's in my blood!  I might have to surrender my KCBS membership for this one, but I'm also not a big bacon fan so I forgo the weave too. My stuffing for this fatty is basic shredded mozzarella cheese.  I season heavily inside with garlic powder and Spice Classics Italian Seasoning.

After the roll-up the outside also gets dusted with the seasoning.  In the past I have coated the outside with BBQ rub as well but decided to let the sausage stand on it's own for this one.  I smoke them for 3 hours at around 265 with a flip half way through using Hickory chunks or in this case some chips that my wife picked up for me at the grocery one day.  There really is nothing too it and the results are phenomenal.

Sober up, wipe off your Blarney Stone, fire up your Drum and give this fatty a try!

The TrashMan

March 15, 2012


"Et tu BRUTUS?"  -- THE IDES OF MARCH in the year 44BC - "Woe unto CAESAR."  

If you will indulge me in a bit of reminiscence... Fast forward to THE IDES OF MARCH 1990 - a PARKING LOT at the CAPITAL CENTRE in LANDOVER, MD.

Capital Centre LANDOVER Maryland

TWENTY TWO years ago today my buddy EK and I, (along with his girlfriend at the time, Phyllis, who later became Mrs. EK which eventually led to a BROOD of children...) set up proverbial 'shop' in the parking lot of the old Cap Arena.  That 'setup' became what I call my FIRST OFFICIAL FORAY INTO THE WORLD OF PROFESSIONAL SMOKE!!

"Huh??" You may be muttering.  Well, let me clarify.  On that day EK and I decided to set up our 'grill' and BEGIN TO DISSEMINATE OUR EPICUREAN ENDEAVORS!!

In other words, WE SOLD GRILLED CHEESE.  NOT exactly food worthy of a bid to THE ROYAL.
(pardon the profanity... and, YES, the 'meat' sticker is a joke!!!)

However, as significant life milestones, put this in the memoir!  The idea of firing up the grill in a random parking lot, knowing that our food was being appreciated by many and envied by others seduced me into a LIFE OF SMOKE!!

Since those life-changing grilled cheese (YES, food CAN be life-changing!) I have traversed across this great country preparing culinary delights in fields and lots at countless events and venues!!

From the 'ghetto grill' purchased at the local convenience store that fits one burger to the BACKWOODS PARTY  to the rented Propane Grill w/hood I have used them all.  However, I must say it's not the size of the 'grill' but the FUN BETWEEN THE BUNS...sorry, that was poor wordplay.

Again, the Gran Pappy believes you must cherish every moment with family and friends.  Now that the weather is WARMING  you need to GET OUT YOUR CALENDAR.  Speak with your significant other/self and say, "WHERE am I going?  With WHOM and WHEN?"  It's too easy to make excuses.

You don't have to travel far.  A simple 'tailgate party' at the local park with family.  Meeting a few friends for a 'mini tailgate' before or after a youth lacrosse or baseball game.  

Eventually, YOU WILL want to throw a BIG OL' TAILGATE PARTY!! Don't fret, the GRAN PAPPY will be here to provide you with EXPERIENCED 'How-To' advice.  Shoot, who knows, MAYBE I'LL EVEN JOIN YOU!! 

Yours in Smoke~~

Gran Pappy of Pork

March 4, 2012

Some Like it Hot!!!

This is a shout out to that great American scientist Wilbur Scoville. Who isthat you say? Only the man who enabled us to differentiate between- "That's a little spicy" and "Holy #%!& thats *%#$#&* Hot"!!! Is there an ambulance nearby!!!! I may need a new colon!!!" He came up with the scale that tells us how hot/spicy stuff is. My friends all love my bacon wrapped, cheese filled jalapenos(2500-8000 Scoville Units) but I thought it was time to up the ante. So I strapped on the cleats and took it up a notch. The serrano pepper(10,000- 23,000 Scoville units) is smaller but packs quite a punch. The serrano stood up during the coring and
cheesing process and went on the egg at 375 for
about 45 miutes with a little apple wood
in the mix. The bacon gets so nice and crispy and
the cream cheese mellows the capsaicin so no one usually gets blown out of the water. Well thank god the wife was working late cause the cleat took a beating this evening folks. The count is Serrano's 1- Cleat 0. It was a painful experience that I do not care to revisit.
The worst part was when I started to tear up and
rubbed my eyes with capsaicin covered fingers.
The agony was only superficial at this point and things took a wicked turn after my third serrano. I was pretty sure the ambulance people would have kicked me in the gonads for being such wimp so i refrained from dialing 911. The only thing I found that made them palatable was slathering the next three or four in nutella. That lovely Italian peanut butter type substance made for an interesting combo with the intense flavor of the peppers. All in all I ate 12 of these beauties and suffered dearly for my appetites. Looking back I realized that 12 is only about half of what I usually eat when I make the jalapenos. Maybe this will be part of my triathlon regiment to help shed those last few nasty ounces I need to lose in order to qualify senior nationals!! Any daredevils out there that want to give them a try please be careful. Peace and Smoke!!!