Monday, May 24, 2010

Oven BBQ'd Chicken Drumsticks with Cola Q' Sauce

Are you a leg person? I am. Actually, I like all the parts of the chicken, but my kids love the legs. I love that they are dirt cheap this week at the grocery store, $.89 a pound, how can you not love that?

I was in the mood for a little BBQ, when am I not? Almost never. I just wish I had my charcoal grill. Nothing beats chicken with a sticky sweet BBQ glaze right off the grill. Cold from the frig is good too. Ahhh, I can hear my daughter now while she's reading "ewwww mom, that's gross." She doesn't know what's she's missing. Cold BBQ chicken is awesome. So is fried. But that will be for another day.

I am a Coke A Cola fiend. I admit it. Next to sweet tea with lemon, it's my favorite beverage of choice. So I decided to throw together a cola sauce. We like sweet sauces with a little tang so this one is pretty sweet. Feel free to adjust the sugar. And don't limit yourself to just Coke, you could also use root beer, Dr. Pepper, Cherry Coke, ect, ect.
But I wouldn't recommend diet sodas, since I don't drink them and I've never used them, can't say how they would turn out. Sorry.

So here we go. I started the chicken with a quick brine. My brine solution comes from America's Test Kitchen, I use it for pork too. Works great. Never to salty and the meat is always moist. I find it seasons the chicken perfectly. Just make sure to rinse it off. Of course I forgot to take a picture of this step. I'm new to this. Bear with me. It'll get better. Promise. :)

After you brine them you'll want to rinse them, pat them dry, and season them up ~ go ahead give then a little rub.

Once you have them seasoned I like to baste them with a little butter, cause it makes everything better. Feel free to use olive oil, canola oil, or even Pam.

Then preheat your oven to 400 degrees, spray a roasting rack with Pam ( here is the one I am using, cheap as chips: Professional Cross Wire Cooling Rack Half Sheet Pan Size) set over a pan lined with foil and pop them in the oven on the center rack. Roast them for 45 minutes. While they are roasting make your BBQ sauce. After they are finished roasting remove them from the oven and turn it to broil. Brush the legs lightly with BBQ sauce and put them under the broiler for 2 minutes, or until they start brown and get bubbly. Remove them from the oven and give them a little more sauce. Pop them back under the broiler until they are spotty black in spots. Not all black, that's burnt. After they are colored to your liking take them out and let them rest 10 minutes before serving.

Mmmm, look at that sticky yumminess.....

Oven BBQ'd Chicken Drumsticks with Cola Q' Sauce

3 lbs chicken drumsticks
1/2 stick unsalted butter -- melted
1/4 cup table salt
1 quart water
Spice Rub
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt (omit of brining)
Cola Barbecue Sauce:
1/4 cup onion -- grated on the large size of a box grater, with juice
2 cloves garlic -- pressed, grated on a microplane, or minced fine
1 cup cola (recommended: Coca-Cola)
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke -- 1 tsp if you prefer a smokier sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

To make the brine:
Dissolve salt in cold water. Place chicken in gallon size ziplock freezer bag placed inside of a large bowl, or place chicken inside of a large bowl and pour brine over chicken. If using a baggie, squeeze out any extra air, zip bag closed. If not using a bag, cover the chicken with plastic wrap, I weigh it down so all the chicken is submerged. Place chicken in the frig for at least 30 minutes, I usually do for an hour. I wouldn’t go longer than 4 hours, but that’s me. Do whatcha like.
After the quick bath in brine, I rinse the chicken thoroughly and pat it dry.
Rub and Roast:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a roasting rack with Pam and lay it over a foil lined baking sheet, or you can line a baking sheet with aluminum foil sprayed with Pam.
Combine the rub ingredients, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, pepper, and salt **only if not brining. Sprinkle the chicken liberally with the rub. Take some melted butter and lightly baste the chicken with it. Pop it into the oven for about 45 minutes. While chicken cooks, make the sauce.
For the sauce:
In a heavy non-reactive saucepan over medium heat combine onion, garlic, cola, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, cider vinegar, 1/4 cup brown sugar,
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and dijon mustard. Give it a stir and gradually bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat slightly to keep a gentle simmer going. Simmer the sauce until reduced and thickened, about 30 minutes.
Back to the chicken……
After the 45 minutes is up, remove the chicken from the oven and preheat your broiler.
Baste chicken lightly with the sauce, pop it under the broiler for a few minutes, until it starts to bubble and brown. Every broiler is different, it usually takes about 2 minutes in mine. Remove chicken from broiler and baste again with sauce, this time lay it on a bit thicker. Pop it back under the broiler for a few minutes, until it begins to char in some spots, usually another 2-3 minutes. Broil until it’s the color you like. I like mine spotty black and charred in a few spots.
Try subbing Dr. Pepper, Cherry Coke, or even rootbeer for Coke. I have never tried diet sodas so can’t recommend it.


  Tizzy Sig

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Homemade Soft Pretzels. Yum.

Last night I was out of dessert for the little GP's, and just like old Mother Hubbard, I went to my cupboard, and it was bare.  Okay, maybe not bare, but it had very little sugar and very little cocoa powder.  I was also low on butter, so I searched through the mountain of recipes I have in my Mastercook and came up with pretzels.  Hardly any sugar and butter, no cocoa and I still had yeast left from when I made Moomie's Buns.  Saving me a trip to the store, bonus!  Picking up one item from the store drives me bonkers.  I don't know why, maybe because I spend so much time at the grocery store, maybe because I hate jumping in the truck during hottest part of the day to get there.   Either way, I hate it, so I don't do it.

Onto the recipe. Can I just say making pretzels is pretty simple?  I cannot tell you how much better homemade is than the store bought ones, and so easy to make too!  No need to buy them again. But here is a tip, active dry yeast and rapid/instant yeast are not used the same.  I followed Alton's instructions for combining the sugar, salt, and water in a bowl then adding yeast. When I returned to my mixing bowl, after the 5 minute foaming stage, there was no foam.  I am not a baker, as I said before, but I have baked a few yeasty treats before and have picked up a thing or two.  When using rapid rise yeast it works a bit different than active dry.   If using rapid rise, add it to the flour, not the water, and heat your water to 120-130 not 110-115, unless you want dead yeast like me.  Poor little yeasties.

After I fixed my yeast faux pas, I continued on with the recipe exactly the way Alton instructs.  Very straight forward recipe. All of his are, which is why I love them so much.  Now, mine looked like a 5 year old rolled them out, except for one or two that were pretty enough and actually resembled a pretzel.  These are the ones I am showing you of course.  Looks aside, they were sooooo yummy!  Isn't that what matter's the most?

I have read a few comments about these being like a Philly pretzel, on that I will disagree.  When I think of Philly pretzels, I think of the ones that they sell downtown on the streets.  Those are very dense and chewy, and sticky too.  These were not.  They had some chew, but were not dense at all.  I found 14 minutes in my oven produced a nice dark brown pretzel that was crusty on the bottom, soft and chewy in the middle, and devoured in less than a minute. I used a little melted butter mixed in with the oil to brush on the foil instead of all oil like Alton instructs. Using a little butter gave mine a nice crusty buttery bottom, I love buttery bottoms. I like buttery anything. It makes everything better. Oh, and here is a tip, Alton tells you to use parchment for a reason. That reason, so you don't have to peel your pretzels off of the foil and burn the crap out of your fingers like I did.  So don't be like me, use parchment.  Maybe I should have gone to the store after all?

I already have visions of pretzel variations dancing in my head.  Cinnamon and sugar, onion for my hubby, maybe a bit of melted chocolate. You could do so much with this basic recipe and I plan to.  The hardest part of making pretzels was waiting for them to cool 5 minutes before eating.  My family loved them, yours will too.  And if they don't, send them to me, with some spicy brown mustard, cause that's how I roll.

Risen dough, don't you just want to poke it?

Misshapen pretzels out of their bath and ready for the oven. Remember, don't be like me, use parchment.

Pass the mustard?

Alton Brown’s Homemade Soft Pretzels

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Tizzy Sig

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to all you Mothers, Mommies, Mums, and "Mutha's"....

It's Mother's Day and for me that means I am barred from the kitchen.  That's right, DH and the little GP's don't allow me to cook or clean up on Mother's Day.  The cleaning up, I can deal with, but the cooking is killing me today.  I've been reading so many blogs this weekend, and finding so many new recipes I want to try that I am antsy to get back in the kitchen.

Warning, this post is very long.....I can't help it, I love roasted chicken.......

Now if I were cooking today, something for myself, it would be a roasted chicken.  Next to a nice juicy steak, nothing beats a perfectly roasted chicken with homemade gravy and mashed garlic potatoes.  At least in my book.  And since I am still working on my steak technique, I would cook myself a roasted chicken.  Extra crispy skin, please.  And pass the gravy.

But since I can't, I will just have to blog about the one I made yesterday.  Guess, I had my roasted chicken after all. ;)

I wanted a simple roast chicken, nothing to herb-ey.  Since I will be using the left over chicken carcass (carcass, every time I hear that word I think of buzzards picking at some roadkill, isn't there a better word?) to make chicken stock because my freezer is out at the moment.     I was also out of a lot of fresh herbs, carrots, and celery, oh and to lazy to go to the store.  Usually my favorite recipe for simple roast chicken is Thomas Keller's method, dry the chicken inside and out, let the kosher salt rain down on the skin, sprinkle with fresh black pepper, truss, and roast at 450 degrees for about an hour.  But with this method comes a lot of smoke, maybe it's the pan I use or fatty chickens, I don't know.  I do know  I wasn't in the mood for being smoked out, and since it's 90 degrees here I couldn't open my windows,  I went a different route.

Cooks Illustrated starts their chicken off  with a brine, slathers on an herb rub, roasts on one side, flips and finishes on the other.  I like this method.  Since I didn't have homemade broth, I decided to skip the brine today.  Last time I brined and used low sodium broth the end result was still a little too salty for the gravy.  Don't know if I just didn't rinse the chicken well enough or not.  I didn't want a salty gravy, or one I would have to dilute.  Gravy makes my world go round, didn't want to mess it up, so I skipped the brining.  Feel free to brine, or not brine, there is no question, a chicken roasted properly doesn't have to be brined.

Did I happen to mention I hate to clean a rack after roasting a turkey or chicken? I do, I hate it more than anything, so here is my solution.  Foil.  I love  foil.  I just take a small piece and wrap it around each rack grate (are they grates?) and the bottom that touches the pan.  Saves me a ton of time (and cursing) during clean up.  I also love foil when I run out of twine for trussing my chicken.  Easy peasey made just for me-sey.

So here it is, a simple roast chicken for when the fridge is bare and you are too lazy to drive to the store:

Simple Roasted Chicken with Garlic Butter

1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature (you won't need all of it, just make sure you have enough on hand)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small clove garlic
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth ( I prefer homemade or Swanson Organic)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth (can omit and use all broth)
1 sprig of rosemary or thyme (optional)

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Set V-rack in small roasting pan and lightly spray rack with nonstick cooking spray, or cover the with foil like I did.

Remove the giblets from the inside of the chicken.  I toss them except for the neck.  Don't bother to rinse the chicken, rinsing your chicken is not necessary, in fact the FDA advises against it since you can contaminate your kitchen more so by doing it, so don't do it.  K?

Take 1/2 stick unsalted butter at room temperature in a small bowl, press, finely mince, grate, put through a food processor, whatever is your chosen method for finely mincing one small clove of garlic, do it, and add it  into the butter, then add about a 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, and some fresh ground pepper black pepper, maybe an 1/4 -1/8 of a tsp (all depends on how much you like pepper, I lerve it!)

Loosen the skin from the chicken, careful not to tear it. Grab up some of that butter and rub it under the skin, I go heavy on the breasts since that is the favorite for the GP's and part of the chicken most in need of flavor and moisture.  Lay it on thick, I do.  Butter makes everything better.  After the breast is done go down into the legs.  Rub the skin down with some of the unflavored butter, or olive oil, and season it up with a little kosher salt and pepper.

Season the inside of the chicken cavity with salt and pepper.  I don't have an exact measurement, just a pinch inside of kosher salt should do the trick and a few grinds of pepper.  Now if you are a trusser, truss, if you are not, don't.  I found myself out of twine so I ended up using foil, which was a heck of a lot easier!  Just tear of a small piece of foil, going lengthwise, roll it, scrunch it, do whatever it takes until it looks like a piece of long rope.  Cross the legs together and wrap the foil around the legs, twist it to tighten it so that it stays. I love foil.

I roast two at a time, using the same timing.  These are breast side up, you want to begin with them breast side down. Notice the little necks.  Great for the gravy.

Add the onion to the pan and place those necks right on top.  Set your chicken on the rack breast side down and place in the roasting pan. Roast chicken for 30 minutes.

Remove roasting pan from oven; decrease oven temperature to 375 degrees. Using tongs or wads of paper towels, (or silicon heat resistant oven mitts like I have) and rotate chicken breast-side up; brush breast with 1 teaspoon oil or melted butter. Add 1 cup broth and 1/2 cup water to pan and continue to roast until chicken is medium golden brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast  is 160 degrees, or thigh registers about 175 degrees, (an additional hour in my oven, but you should really go by the temperature of the chicken.) Tip V-rack to allow juices in cavity to run into roasting pan. Transfer chicken to a plate to catch any additional juices.. Let it rest at least 15 minutes before trying to carve, I wait 20.  While you wait, make the gravy.

Remove chicken neck and onions, set aside for gravy.  Using a wooden spoon, scrape up browned bits in roasting pan and pour into a fat separator, or into a freezer baggie set inside of a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Allow liquid to settle; once settled if you are using the baggie method,  seal the baggie, it should be in a cone shape from the 2 cup measuring cup, snip of the end over a small saucepan.  Keep the measuring cup close by, when you get down to the fat, plop the baggie in the measuring cup.  Don't throw this down the drain of your sink, it will congeal and clog it.

Once you transfer the juices to small saucepan, then add wine, onions from the pan, chicken neck, herb sprig, and remaining broth; simmer over medium heat, until you have the flavor you want, about 10-15 minutes. Add accumulated juices from chicken and discard herb sprig and chicken neck.  If you like a thicker gravy like I do, take a tablespoon or two of cornstarch and add enough water to make a thin paste, or a slurry.  Whisk in a little at a time to your boiling broth, you may not use all of it, you may need more, depends on your preference. When you are happy with the consistency, adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper to taste.

Carve chicken and serve with gravy and savor that deliciousness.   As you can see I make two at a time, I save the bones and wings for stock, and any leftover chicken is either used up the next day simmered in leftover gravy and poured over white bread, or if I'm out of gravy I use the leftovers for chicken salad.  De-lish!

Tizzy Sig

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Beans, beans, the magical fruit......the more you eat......the more you....

Come on sing along if you know the words.  My grandfather used to sing the bean song to us when we would eat beans, and now I sing it to my older daughter who just hates it.   The song and the beans.  Which is fine with me, because then there are more for me, and my littlest GP who loves them as much as I do.

Yesterday for Cinco de Mayo I made grilled chicken tacos.  No recipe just rubbed them down with a bit of spices, grilled them on my Foreman grill.  With those tacos I made oven roasted corn from the farmers market, yum.  I also made my favorite black beans, Frijoles De Lata.

I lived in Miami for a little over 4 years.  I loved the food in Miami, so many different cultures to choose from.  One of my favorites was the Cuban food.  I worked downtown where little Cuban cafes were plentiful.  Cafe con Leche, (cuban coffee with milk) and pastelitos with guava and cheese, were my usual breakfast.  Afternoon snacks of ham croquetas were frequent occurrences as well.  My favorite of all was dinnertime, mojo marinated grilled chicken breast, sweet caramelized plantains, with black beans and rice is a perfect meal.  Mmmmmmmm....I could eat that every I miss authentic Cuban food.

Lucky for me I met a Cuban friend on a message board and she shared a recipe for black beans.  She called them "quick and easy black beans."  I'm all for quick and easy.   The first time I tried them it brought me back to the days when I lived in Miami.  They tasted exactly the way a little cafe around the corner from where I worked made them.  They are so flavorful and easy, I make them often.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Frijoles De Lata (quick and easy black beans)

1/2 cup pure Spanish olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 medium size green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 large , ripe tomato, chopped, or 1/2 cup chopped and drained canned whole tomatoes
Two 16-ounce cans black beans, with their liquid
1/2 cup Cuban beef stock, canned beef broth or water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Few dashes of Tabasco sauce, optional
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Chopped onion, minced fresh parsley, or minced fresh coriander
for garnish (cilantro)

In a medium-size saucepan over low heat, heat the oil until it is fragrant, then cook the garlic, onion, and bell pepper, stirring, until tender, 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook another 10 minutes. Add the beans, stock, cumin, Tabasco, and vinegar, stir to blend, correct the seasonings, and simmer, covered, until heated through, 20 minutes.

Garnish and serve with beans hot over Arroz Blanco (white rice)
Recipe courtesy of Gail CL board


Tizzy Sig

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Creamy Coleslaw

Yesterday I forgot to post the recipe for coleslaw, so I'm doing it now. :) This slaw is creamy, and a little sweet, just the way I like it..  If you want more zing add more vinegar.


  1   head  green cabbage -- shredded*
  1   small  carrot -- peeled and shredded*
  2/3 cup  mayonnaise
  1/4 cup  sugar
  2   tbsp.  milk
  2   tbsp.  vinegar
  1/2 tsp.  salt
  1/4 tsp.  pepper

Toss cabbage and carrot in a medium bowl. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over cabbage mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight to allow flavors to blend. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

*Useful Tip: For extra convenience, use one package (16 ounces) refrigerated cole slaw mix (cabbage and carrots)

recipe source: Steph's Country Kitchen Goodness

Tizzy Sig

Monday, May 3, 2010

I like big butts and I cannot lie other Q'ers can't deny...

Pork butts that is.  I especially like them already de-boned.  De-boning a pork butt would not only save me time, but stop me from exposing my young GPS to the swearing that went on in the kitchen yesterday morning while doing it.  Okay I admit it, this was the first pork butt I have ever used for pulled pork.  My usual cut is a boneless shoulder, but yesterday I decided to try something new.  In trying something new I learned if the Boston butt does not read boneless, it is not boneless.  Seems pretty simple now that I think about it. Hey, rump roast doesn't read boneless, or eye round for that matter, both boneless.  Remember, I am not a chef.

Sunny Florida is heating up, and when it gets hot outside I have a craving for BBQ.  But we recently relocated to Florida, and we are living in an apartment, which means we no longer have our Weber charcoal grill.  So what's a chick to do when she wants BBQ and doesn't have a grill?  Cook it indoors of course.

I have a great recipe for indoor Memphis style pulled pork that I usually use and it is de~lish, but when Cooks Illustrated (January 2010) came out with a recipe I had to try it.  

In this recipe CI tries to get the smoky flavor you would normally have by using a grill, but you slow roast the pork in the oven.  Now, I know BBQ is a very personal thing to a lot of people.  BBQ pork in the oven is blasphemy to true BBQ worshippers.  "It isn't BBQ if it isn't cooked outside on a grill."  Yeah I know, but I don't have access to a grill and I WANT BBQ!   I don't care that it hasn't slow roasted over a bed of coals or wood, and that it is missing a perfect smoke ring inside.  I care that is satisfies my craving and that my GP's love it and think I am a kitchen goddess (which they do.)   They don't know it's not true BBQ nor do they care.  

I have to admit, I like the method of the recipe, brining, slow roasting, and drying out the meat a bit to get a nice "bark," but, the rub could have used some punch.  I have never ever, ever, ever, made a recipe for BBQ that didn't have garlic powder in the rub.  I love garlic, so I felt that was missing, and some onion powder why we're at it.  Next time I make this I will definitely use my own recipe for rub.  I thought it lacked punch.  The slathering of the meat with mustard and smoke flavor added nice flavor to the bark, this is my first time trying that and I will definitely do that again.  The brine perfectly seasoned the pork, but didn't impart a big smoke flavor.  Good news for me because my hubs isn't a fan of really smoky meats.  All in all the pork recipe its self is great for an indoor pulled pork.  For those who don't like smoke, it isn't very smoky at all.  Pork perfect, my problem was with the sauces.  

I have been dying for a good Carolina mustard based sauce.  I was hoping CI would deliver and well, they didn't.  For me anyway.  I know a few people around the web have tried this recipe and loved the sauces, sorry I am not in that crowd.  Don't know if it was the brand of mustard I used, or the fact that the mustard ratio to other ingredients was way higher than any other I have seen around the web, but the end result was not a keeper in this house.  In fact I dumped it because it went untouched at dinner.   We also felt the Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce lacked punch so I ended up making my own sauce.  I'd give the recipe for that but I just threw together a bunch of ingredients until it tasted good.  All in all this is a great indoor pulled pork recipe,  but for my taste, next time I will change the rub and sauces. 

Pulled pork on homemade buns, with a side of creamy slaw, and oven roasted fresh corn on the cob from the farmers market, life is good.

Indoor Pulled Pork
Cook's Illustrated (January 2010)

Serves 6 to 8

Note: Sweet paprika may be substituted for smoked paprika. Covering the pork with parchment and then foil prevents the acidic mustard from eating holes in the foil. Serve the pork on hamburger rolls with pickle chips and thinly sliced onion. Alternatively, use 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce thinned with ½ cup of the defatted pork cooking liquid in step 5.  The shredded and sauced pork can be cooled, tightly covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat it gently before serving.


      1  cup plus 2 teaspoons table salt
      ½  cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
      3  tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
      1  boneless pork butt (about 5 pounds), cut in half horizontally
      ¼  cup yellow mustard
      2  tablespoons ground black pepper
      2  tablespoons smoked paprika (see note)
      1  teaspoon cayenne pepper


 1. Dissolve 1 cup salt, ½ cup sugar, and 3 tablespoons liquid smoke in 4 quarts cold water in large container. Submerge pork in brine, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

2. While pork brines, combine mustard and remaining 2 teaspoons liquid smoke in small bowl; set aside. Combine black pepper, paprika, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and cayenne in second small bowl; set aside. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.

3. Remove pork from brine and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Rub mustard mixture over entire surface of each piece of pork. Sprinkle entire surface of each piece with spice mixture. Place pork on wire rack set inside foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Place piece of parchment paper over pork, then cover with sheet of aluminum foil, sealing edges to prevent moisture from escaping. Roast pork for 3 hours.

4. Remove pork from oven; remove and discard foil and parchment. Carefully pour off liquid in bottom of baking sheet into fat separator and reserve for sauce. Return pork to oven and cook, uncovered, until well browned, tender, and internal temperature registers 200 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 1½ hours. Transfer pork to serving dish, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes.

5. FOR THE SAUCE: While pork rests, pour ½ cup of defatted cooking liquid from fat separator into medium bowl. Whisk in ingredients (see below).

6. TO SERVE: Using 2 forks, shred pork into bite-sized pieces. Toss with 1 cup sauce and season with salt and pepper. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.

Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce


      1½   cups ketchup
      ¼  cup light or mild molasses
      2  tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
      1  tablespoon hot sauce
      ½  teaspoon table salt
      ½  teaspoon ground black pepper


While pork rests, pour ½ cup of defatted cooking liquid from fat separator into medium bowl; whisk in sauce ingredients.

Lexington Vinegar Barbecue Sauce


      1   cup cider vinegar
      ½  cup ketcup
      ½  cup water
      1  tablespoon sugar
      ¾  teaspoon table salt
      ¾  teaspoon red pepper flakes
      ½  teaspoon ground black pepper


Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl with ½ cup defatted cooking liquid (in Step 5) and whisk to combine.

South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce


      1   cup yellow mustard
      ½  cup white vinegar
      ¼  cup packed light brown sugar
      ¼  cup Worcestershire sauce
      2   tablespoons hot sauce
      1  teaspoon table salt
      1  teaspoon ground black pepper


Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl with ½ cup defatted cooking liquid (in Step 5) and whisk to combine.


Tizzy Sig

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Moomie's Buns ARE beautiful!

Her burger buns that is,  I've never met Moomie in person so I can't speak for the other "buns."

This recipe is from the King Arthur Flour message board, The Baking Circle .  Moomie, or Ellen her real name, is a contributor there that shared her recipe for homemade burger buns.  They were so popular King Arthur added them to a cookbook and they quickly made their rounds on a couple message boards I frequent.

Today I spent the afternoon in the kitchen making these beauties......okay not the whole afternoon, they take longer to rise than to actually make, and they are totally worth it!  I don't think I will ever buy a store bought hamburger bun again.  These were so quick and easy to make.   I don't know why I waited so long to make them.  Golden yellow on the outside, tender on the inside, and so delicious.  I made the mistake of letting the kids taste one and now I think I have to hide them just so I'll have some left for dinner tomorrow.  Which reminds me, stop by we're fixin' butts tomorrow. ;)

On to the recipe.  Here is Ellen's Site if you want to check out her notes and variations.  This really is a very versatile recipe.  You can make burgers buns, hot dog buns, even dinner rolls using this recipe.  Some people say they will try to make hoagie rolls out of the dough, but that's where I draw the line.  As a chick who grew up outside of Philly, working in a hoagie/steak shop, we take our hoagie and cheese steak rolls VERY SERIOUSLY.  There just isn't the right chew for these to be hoagie rolls.  Sorry Moomie, but I will be using these buns for many other things, like tomorrow with indoor pulled pork......mmmmmm pork.

Here is the recipe I used, since finding this recipe I've noticed a few slight variations, a little more yeast and a little more salt, than the one I used.  There are versions for the bread machine and for a stand mixer, I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer.

Moomie's Beautiful Burger Buns

1 cup water (mine was lukewarm)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine (butter baby)
1 egg
3 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast ( I opened two packages of rapid yeast to measure 1 tblsp)

Place all ingredients in your bread machine. Select dough. Allow to run cycle.

Dump out onto lightly floured surface. Divide into 8 pieces. With each piece, slap into a bun shape. Usually four or five slaps will do it. Place on greased cookie sheets or your bun pans, cover; rise about 30 to 40 minutes.

Bake in preheated 375 F oven for 12 to 15 minutes till golden. Cool on wire racks. I like to add a teaspoon of onion powder and about 1/2 teaspoon dried onion to the dough in the bread machine. It makes a light onion-y flavor that is wonderful!

When I do these for burgers, I split the bun, butter, and fry in a skillet till brown. Yummy! They make great sandwich buns too! Nice and soft! You can't go wrong with this recipe!

Tizzy notes:

Using your stand mixer, attach the dough hook.  Mix on low to incorporate the ingredients, then turn up your mixer to about 2 or 3 speed and let it knead the dough until it forms a ball on your hook.  It will be very sticky.  Pour out onto a lightly floured surface and hand knead until it's nice and smooth.  I kept adding flour to the top and board until it stopped sticking, wasn't much tho.

After you are finished kneading grease a bowl with oil.  Drop your dough ball in there and turn it around inside the bowl to oil the surface of the dough.  Either top the bowl with a tea towel or saran wrap and put it in a draft free place in your kitchen.  I like to turn my oven on warm, turn it off in 30 seconds, and place my dough inside the oven.

Let the dough rise for 1 hour or until it doubles in size.  After it has doubled punch it down (after you let your DD who is watching you like a hawk touch it)then divide it into 8 equal buns and slap it around 4 times (let DD slap it too because she says "what's more fun than slapping dough around?" obviously she doesn't get out much.)

After you have slapped the dough, form the bun shape and place on greased cookie sheets, or parchment paper like I used, no fuss no muss.  Cover the pan with a tea towel or saran and let them rise again for 30 to 40 minutes.  Then remove the cover, brush them with a little melted butter or egg wash if you wish and bake in a preheated 375  degree oven for 12-13 minutes or until golden brown. Split, serve, enjoy!

Tizzy Sig