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August 16, 2015

Food Thread: A Smoke-Free Grill: Is It A Crime Against All That Is Great About America? [CBD]


[Those ribs are trimmed really, really badly]

I have a conventional smoker, but I find myself using my propane grill more and more. It has a smoke box with a dedicated burner, so I can tailor the amount and duration of the smoke very easily. So for foods that don't require a long cooking time, like pork ribs, it's easier to make on the grill. I still use the smoker for big stuff like brisket and pork butt and when I am cooking a lot of food (my smoker has two racks).

However, there are some terribly deluded souls who do not like smoked meats, but do like meats that are dry-rubbed and cooked low and slow.

[Full Disclosure: I like both. I prefer smoke...especially the sweeter woods, but enjoy a smoke-free meal occasionally.]

I'll usually buy one package of St. Louis pork ribs at Costco. They have great pork, and the ribs are trimmed very well. They come in packs of three, which is convenient because I have found that people prefer smoked to unsmoked by about 2:1.


I'll dry-rub all three racks, then put two in my rack holder (Just stop it....) on the grill with three chunks of cherry wood, and one on a sheet pan in the oven at 250 degrees. After about an hour or so, the wood is burned completely and the smoke has dissipated. I then transfer the unsmoked rack to the grill to finish cooking.

I prefer the way the ribs cook in the vertical holders as opposed to directly on the grill or in a pan in the oven. They seem to cook more evenly, and the fat renders perfectly.


Yuengling's Ice Cream may be good. It may be bad. I don't care. I want some.

I love the transition from brewery to ice cream maker. Prohibition? Hah!

Here's an editorial decrying the new craze of prior restraint. Not a big deal you say? Possibly, but it's from Food Safety News. When even trade publications and niche, non-political writers notice the slide into totalitarianism, maybe we have gone too far.

Bon Apetit's Top 50 Restaurants nominees are chock full of hipster douchebag eateries that source only locally, require ironic facial hair and gauges on their employees, sneer at meat, and just love them some leftist politics. Maybe I am being a bit harsh, but most of the restaurants on the list that interest me are in the South. I may be revisiting my stance on the War of The Southern Rebellion.

This is a bit of an odd take on a classic dish, but the breadcrumbs thicken the sauce nicely, and the pop of the parsley works pretty well. It is missing the obligatory shot of Pernod, but you can add that if you are feeling particularly Gallic and snooty, and have a beret handy.

Wide Noodles with Mussels


  • 1 lb. wide pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped to yield 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper


Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.

In a large skillet with a lid, heat the olive oil over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onion, shallots and garlic and saute over high heat 4 minutes, until softened and browned. Add the wine and lemon juice, bring to a boil, then add the mussels, and cover. Cook for 5 minutes, until all the mussels have steamed open. Discard any that haven't steamed open after this time.

Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente.

Meanwhile, push the mussels to the side slightly and add the bread crumbs and parsley to the liquid, stirring to combine. Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the pan with the mussels, tossing over medium-high 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

digg this
posted by Open Blogger at 04:00 PM

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