Dry Aged Australian Ribeye

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Adventure in Food had a rockin’ special in April for a full Australian grassfed ribeye roast for $5.99/lb. Yes. So yes. We grilled it up for Albany John’s birthday in May. It was an awesome and affordable way to go all out for any occasion.
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Here’s what the full roast looked like unfrozen and out of the vac bag. Yep, that’s one whole ribeye roast alright. This was a hefty guy, something close to 15 lbs, if I recall.

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Underside. I wanted to try dry aging this in our fridge. Salted the outside liberally, and tucked it in the fridge as pictured on cooling racks, turning every few days.
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Mr. Beefers after a few days in the fridge shortly before go-time. It took up about half of a row in my fridge, and after a few days I started talking to it and calling it Mr. Beefers. “Good morning, Mr. Beefers,” and “My, you’re looking well today, Mr. Beefers!”

At this point I wasn’t sure how well the experiment would turn out. Would Mr. Beefers acquire an off flavor from the fridge? Would it make any difference?

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A few hours over indirect heat on the grill (and covered on occasion). I didn’t carve anything off before slapping it on the grill. Once it hit rare, it came off the grill. And as you can see from the first image, I didn’t screw it up and cook it well done!
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And then we play the waiting game.
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It was an intensely beefy flavor, to be sure, although I’m not sure how much was from the dry aging or the grilling. However, I did slice off two large hunks so Mr. Beefers would fit on the grill, so I’ll give you a heads up if I notice something spiritual going on when it’s not kissed with smoky goodness. Overall, it was an awesome way to feed a crowd of 15+ people (with leftovers for seemingly EVER) for under $100. Definitely check out Adventure in Food’s specials page for deals like this when they come up.

Grilling in Winter

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Snow can’t stop me from bringing the heat! I shoveled out the grill, cleaned her off, and smoked up some pork shoulder and ribs. As you can see, one of her wheels got lost in all of this snow somewhere along the way.

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The night before I’d picked up some baby back ribs at Roma. Just a bit over $5 for a half rack. Not too shabby. Sure beats restaurant prices.

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And I also can’t say no to $2.99/lb pork shoulder.

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I made my own rib rub up. A little spicy kick, but nothing outrageous.

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Rubbed liberally on both pieces of pork, and let them sit over night.

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Here they are after a night in the fridge.
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Coals got all nice & toasty.
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Dumped the coals over half of the bottom of the grill with some applewood chips in tin foil on top of the coals.. Put a pan on the other side to catch any meat drips.

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The porky duo hangs out above the pan, and then I cover the grill, shaking the bottom occasionally to release the dead ashes which clog up air flow. Wound up putting another chimney of coals on here.
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Ribs smoked for about 5 hours before hunger set in. Good amount of smoke, I probably could have let them go another 30 minutes with some sauce, but overall I’m happy with how they came out.
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The pork shoulder I let go for about 7 hours. Nice bark formation on the outside. Planning on using some of the fattier bits for split pea soup

 

Pork rib recipe here:

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May Potluck

This past Saturday, we had a potluck with the Albany Eats! crew! I gave somewhat short notice, but Jerry, Cassie, Sue, R & M, 3rd Auntie, Jon in Albany, & JoJo, were nice enough to come out on a not too rainy day.

Oh, and evidently the covered area in Prospect Park was reserved that day, so we just moved up the hill. Uh, I promise I’ll at least TRY to scout out the next location a little better, mmkay, guys? On the plus side, we had some sweet music to rock out to.

Albany John grilled some flank steaks on his new portable Weber grill.

I made blondies with cacao nibs.

Jerry brought some bomb-ass olive oils to drizzle over bread, greens, and cheese. Mmmmm. He’s ever so kindly written them up here. Thank goodness, cause all I know is that I liked the 3rd olive oil best. I think it was Arbequina. Nice – I’ll have to try it out again.

Sue brought chicken taco bites! I love little bites like this. They’re so time consuming to make, but so tasty! Great job, Sue!

Third Auntie (a long time reader and commenter) brought her homemade pesto with pasta and asparagus. Mmmm. Yummy! I was so psyched I got to finally meet my 3rd Auntie! She’s a blast – you’ll be lucky to meet her, too.

Cassie’s dessert bars! So good! The coconut ones on the end had my name on them. So coconutty! These were a big hit. Well, everything was a big hit, but you know what I mean. Dessert! Everyone loves it!

JON MADE HIS OWN SAUSAGES!!! I never thought I’d be able to taste some of Jon’s handiwork, but HOORAAAYYYY! I did. These were some delicious sweet italian sausages. Great coarse grind on them. Damnit Jon, now I need to learn how to make sausages.

Grilling, eating. Albany John about to put his second flank steak on the grill.

Rochelle’s bread pudding just past the weber grill on the left hand side. So creamy on the inside, and nicely crisp on the outside. Girlie knows how to make some bread pudding. So creamy. Yet so bready. Yum.

I forgot to take pics of Jojo’s tasty tea & fruit salad (and Trader Joe’s sparkling pink lemonade – squee!), but they were a wonderful addition. Really refreshing and tasty.

I can’t believe how well everything worked out. We had a good spread, not like, 4 dozen burgers and a sack of chips. So many tasty different items! And people who are way better at planning than I am and brought extra forks and plates. Man, I have the best readers in the world. You guys bring awesome food and stuff to eat off of them.

Sooooo, if you would like to be a part of the next potluck you can shoot me an email. If you already have, I’m just going to continue jamming up your email and invite you again, though. I’m tentatively planning Sunday, June 26th just to give you a little over 1 month of notice, and partially because my June is pretty freaking full already.

It was great seeing you all! Thanks for all of the good eats and times!

Seafood = Yum

Rochelle came over to help me celebrate some good news recently. Steamed lobster – only $8.99 per pound at Matt’s (574 Saratoga St, Cohoes, NY). Well, raw. I steamed it at home. Nom. Nothing says celebrate like lobster. And a big ole bottle of Cook’s to keep it classy.

I was going to chuck the green stuff out of the lobster’s body (after checking that no one wanted it!) and R was all “NOOOOO! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! THERE’S STILL MEAT IN THERE!” cause it looked like I was going to toss out the whole body. You know you’re in good company when someone shouts that (the company of seafood loving lobster non-wasters). And it sure looked like I was gonna toss out the delicious lobster body, too.

And bonus – it was a female! Red coral eggs yum.


Oh, and 50 clams and some spicy marinated squid (Albany John’s recipe). On the grill! Albany John was like “This is enough seafood to feed a small army… or two Asian women,” So right. We did some damned good damage. I think only one clam was left over. Maybe we forgot about it.


In sum – for tasty lobstrosities and clamosity, head to Matt’s in Cohoes. Such freshness!

Spiediefest 2010

Hello, and welcome to Spiediefest 2010! Spiedefest was brought to you by the brilliant minds of JoJo & Andy Badera! They had been tweeting amongst themselves on The Twitter about that Western NY delicacy – spiedies.

Eventually it spiraled into a meeting one weekend in the summer that involved a handful of people around several pounds of meat. I was lucky enough to be included and was able to take my first nibble of spiedies. Man, it’s a good way to grill meat.

Andy’s chicken and pork spiedies had a tart and punchy amount of vinegar added in too. Kept them quite tender and juicy, lemme tell ya!

JoJo and her hubby made beef and oh my gosh they crisped up so perfectly on the outside of the grill, and yummy, delicious pinky meat on skewers… yeah, what doesn’t taste awesome on skewers?

In addition to that, she also made a delicious corn salad. I would have downed the entire bowl if it weren’t for her kick-ass carrot cake.

Here are all of the meats, fresh off of the grill. Since I had no such knowledge of spiedies I brought brats and a kielbasa from Rolf’s. I also brought a tomatillo salsa-salad kind of thing. I had a lot of tomatillos ripen out of my garden, and diced it up with some tomato, florida avocado, red onion, long pepper, adobo, and lime juice.


Hell yeah, that’s right you heard me mention carrot cake! Jojo makes the best carrot cake I’ve ever had. And isn’t stingy with the cream cheese icing, either. I knew I liked her for some reason. And I got to watch her frost it, too! How killer is that?!

Here’s a plate o’goodness. Chicken spiedie on the bottom, hunk of kielbasa (the red circle looking thing), beef spiedie, and then corn-goodness on the left and tomatillo stuff on the right.

Man, it was tough work eating all of that food, but someone had to do it. And it was so, so good.

The good company helped, too. It was a leisurely afternoon of grilled meats, and good peeps.

LOOK AT HOW PRETTY THAT CAKE IS!!!! Witness and testify to it!!


NOW BEHOLD THE GOODNESS INSIDE!!! A nice layer of cream cheese frosting on the inside, AND nuts and raisins and pineapple. I am usually not terribly crazy about either of those ingredients in carrot cake, but guess what?! THEY WERE AAAWWWWEEE-SOOMMME.

In sum, if you ever get to try JoJo’s carrot cake, you’re in for a treat!

I’m so glad that such an event was thought up. People, food, sunshine. Can’t ask for much more!

Grilled Chicken & Chuck Steak

Albany John and I bought split chicken breasts and chuck steaks at Hannaford. They were on sale ($1/lb for the chicken boobs, $2/lb for the moo cow) and more than likely factory farmed after living terrible lives waiting for the axe. I hold no illusions about such cheap meat being ethically sourced or living happy lives dancing in the country.

BUT THEY WERE ON SALE AND I WANTED TO GRILL SOMETHING. I know, I’m part of the problem with the demand for cheap meat and factory farming.

I think Hannaford is the better chain grocery store in the area. They usually have lower prices, much friendlier staff, and better quality overall.
After trying “good” beef (grain fed, no-hormone, etc), I think their beef tends to be not that great as-is, but it’s fine when it’s got a sauce or marinade on/in it.

I let it sit in a ton of garlic (~3/4 of a head), and a little bit of chili powder, parsley, marjoram, kosher salt, and olive oil.

Albany John made some kind of marinade out of sake, garlic and other stuff for the chicken.

We eventually found a grill in Waterford, NY. Because we. Needed. Charcoal. Grilling. I rather liked it – it had a good view of Peebles Island and some docked boats, sans $6 parking fee. I’ll have to remember it when I think of going to Peebles Island again. It’s right next to it, and you can walk there from the Waterford side.

The chicken took a chicken’s age to cook, but oh man was it nice and charred. Albany John and I tore into a breast while sitting on a bench at sunset. I’m sure we looked like wild hobos tearing maniacally at a piece of food, but in our minds it was a nice snack while waiting for everything else to get to the right temperature.

I did the steak, which was surprisingly easy to cook. Just a few minutes, and then pulled at rare. And man, I love instant-read thermometers. It makes cooking meat much easier for me (in that I don’t overcook it).

We drove home and let the meat rest a little while longer while we showered up. I made a salad from the last of the greens from my garden (some gai lan leaves, the pai tsai that wasn’t eaten by earwigs, and misc lettuces). I had to pull them. They were getting too tall, and the heatwave wasn’t helping either.

I also tossed in some sugar snap peas (man, they also did not like the heat), and some black beans. The black beans are those tiny little buggers in the salad. Who’d have thought black beans are pale green when fresh? I had to peel the pods to get them (trust me, the pods are inedible. way too tough).
They turn black when they dry, which I learned after the heatwave killed an indoor blackbean plant I had growing. But now I have, like, three dried black beans THAT I MADE MYSELF.

I made a garlicky, anchovified Caesar dressing to go along with it. GARLIC OVERLOAD was the theme of the night.

Check it, here’s the only piece of meat I’ve ever cooked rare! Albany John cut everything up and we ate it with some rice. The beef was also really good dipped into the salad dressing.

I’m liking rice more now out of laziness. It’s super easy to make in the rice cooker and heats the house up the least in comparison with other carbs (pasta, potatoes, bread, etc).

Oh yeah, and one more thing:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!