Thursday, February 27, 2014

Pork of Luck

Someone's misfortune could turn into a quick grill-me-up.  Our family friend's fridge went out and they needed to dispense their spoils before they...well...spoiled.  Enter dinner for a Monday night (and then some).
It's like 6 pounds of pork sausage at 8 venison steaks.  

Time to grill it up on the Old Smokey.
     Venison Steak, Pork Sausage served with arroz gandules and asparagus.  Quick, delicious meal thanks to some friends!  You know who to call if the freezer ever goes out again...

Happy Plates

Burnt Out....TBH/TBT

Blast from the past.   This is like one of those great, bad memories.  Or maybe you could call it a bad, great memory?  Let's say it was a "how to not" do something so to speak.  Visiting my friends in BR for a weekend in Feb of 2011, we decided to utilize the make-shift pig pit for a couple of hams.  Long story short, the ham was frozen and we ran out of daylight but it still tasted good.  
As usual, I will utilize photos to tell the story...  

Nom nom nom. food food food.

Happy Plates, y├íll.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Man and His Old Smokey

     The Old Smokey is a simple charcoal grill.  It can survive hurricanes, getting thrown/kicked across the yard, and every adventure in between.  I bought my first OS as a frosh at Louisiana Statue University.  We tailgated next to Grahman Hall and grilled some hamburgers.  That particular OS lasted my victory lap through college and well into its alternative use as a fire pit.  I've owned three OS's overall and continue to enjoy their production of old smoke, even heat, and tasty treats.  Here are a compilation of photos from my favorite grill over the past 4 years.


You can even cook breakfast on the thing.  

You can buy Old Smokeys at Wal-Mart.  The small ones are $40 and the large ones are ~$60.  I highly recommend OS for any charcoal enthusiast.

I received no monetary endorsement from Old Smokey in the creation of this blog post.

Happy Plates! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ready for Summer

Who's ready for summer?  Me.  This cold weather stuff that has been happening lately is for the birds.  With a difficult bird season behind me, and the weather somewhat warming up.....I'm ready to cook some good food again.  Like these images below...

cold drinks taste better on hot days...

Spring is SO close.  But until it warms up enough for a good ole out doors crawfish boil, I'll still be enjoying my Taco Tuesdays.

Happy Plates.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Process: Part II

Two years ago, I blogged the process for roasting whole pigs.  It was a lot of work and takes a lot of prep (setting up, waiting, cooking, serving) but the end result is all worth the headache. Once that full pig is revealed to the masses present, everyone knows they are in for some good looking cooking.
     The whole pig roast was in jeopardy this year without the McDonald house as the place to cook.  With no definite location to host the usual grill set up, I traveled to J&J Packaging in Brookshire, Texas to place the order for a head, ribs, and shoulder.  Wouldn't you know a customer was passing a suckling pig into his car as I was arriving!  As I approached the door into their facilities, the urge to roast my own babe grew.  My usual Mexican friend was ready to greet me when I entered. "One cabeza" I started (clever Spanish I thought to myself)  "Two ribs and a shoulder," I continued.  Quickly, he explained they were out of ribs.  Feeling dejected, I threw a shot in the dark.  "Do you have any whole pigs?"  "Whole pigs? For roasting?" (You usually need to order whole pigs a week in advance.....) "yeah I have some," he says.  He brings me the smallest one they had, weighing in at 23 pounds.  The perfect pig! 
 ...Now, how to cook it......
     This year, with the help of a friend, I wanted to add some flare to the process.  It would be great if we could create something to allow us to cook a whole pig on the parade grounds where we tailgate for the LSU vs Arkansas game.  We figured a "new" grill is just what we needed.
     Enter my friend, Barton.  The guy is a modern MacGyver.  He had some things around his house to weld together to create our new "Grill Monster."  

After a lot of fandangling and nearly 5 hours on Thanksgiving night, the grill was complete.  It even tried to eat him!    
     Now back to the process, the pig needed to be seasoned and kept cold for a couple of days while we transported it to Baton Rouge, LA.  Thankfully the temperature never got above 50 degrees, so with some ice packs and bags, the pig stayed fresh!  I used my grandmother's recipe of adobo sauce from Puerto Rico (garlic, oregano, salt and pepper, and olive oil) and I added some cayenne pepper.  This creates a thick paste to spread onto our meat.

The longer this can marinate, the better.  Ours soaked up the sauce for a couple of days, and boy could we tell!  We arrived at our spot around 6:00am to get the pig on the grill by 6:30.  Grill Monster was one of the few grills (if not the only one) rolling this early on campus! The parade grounds looked like a frozen tundra with temperatures in the mid 20's.

We cooked the pig for 6 and a half hours at a temperature of about 325.  After the initial searing of the meat, we wrapped it in foil to prevent further "burning."  Once the cooking was complete, we let the pig rest for a little while.  (It was tired after all this)  The meat literally fell off the bones and was delicious.  Best pig yet.
The weather was beautiful and the game was exciting (a little more exciting than it probably should have been).  Talk about happy plates.  And happy LSU fans.

And a Happy Grill Monster.

Until the grill monster feeds again....

Happy Happy Happy Plates!