Posts Tagged ‘BBQ’

Sriracha Tofu Skewers

Paul | May 30, 2016 in Food,Recipes | Comments (0)

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Servings: 4 | Difficulty: Easy


1 16-ounce container extra-firm tofu
3/4 cup Sriracha
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon white miso paste
2 garlic cloves
1 bunch scallions
1 container cherry tomatoes
bamboo skewers


Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes. Drain well on paper towels.
Put Sriracha, soy sauce, and white miso paste in a blender with 3 chopped scallions and garlic cloves. Blend with 1/4 cup water until smooth.
Reserve a cupful for dipping; marinate tofu in the rest overnight.
Soak skewers in lemon water, at least 30 minutes.
Cut remaining scallions into 1 inch pieces.
Thread tofu onto skewers alternating with scallion and cherry tomatoes. Shake off excess sauce as you thread; keep for basting.
Grill tofu 3-5 minutes, brushing with sauce. Cherry tomatoes should be on the edge of bursting.

Notes: Adapted from a recipe by Richard Hales – Sakaya Kitchen Miami:


July 4th 2014: stuff on sticks

Paul | July 5, 2014 in Food,Fun,Recipes | Comments (0)

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Courtesy Hurricane Arthur, it was too wet to grill outside, so we improvised and used my Yakitori grill to make stick based foods: Suya, Yang Rou Chuan, and Eggplant Rollups.  Plus hotdogs (not on sticks), baked Mac and Cheese, Orzo and Shrimp Salad, green salad, and ribs from Redbones. Guests brought watermelon gazpacho (amazing), sangria (also amazing), and potato salad (fabulous).  All in all a wet, but successful 4th.


Suya (Nigerian Beef BBQ)

Recipe By: Funke Koleosho
Serving Size: 8


Suya is an all time Nigerian favourite and it is gaining much popularity internationally, as was quite evident in one recent CNN documentary/report. Suya is so popular, you find a mai suya (suya vendor) on every street corner you turn in major Nigerian towns and cities!

As we all know, quite simply, suya refers to any meat seasoned with the unique blend of traditional Nigerian spices and condiments, collectively called Yaji, and barbecued over hot smoky fire. Even though we are more familiar with the more popular beef suya, nowadays, there is chicken suya, fish suya and even veggie suya!

This unique spice used to make suya, Yaji, literally translates “the hot or temperamental one”. It’s supposed to be a really spicy mix with its main ingredients being chilli powder and ground ginger. The name suya itself is believed to originate from the sound you make when your mouth reacts to the fiery heat that hits you when you eat it….(shuuuuuuu….yaaaahhhhhh).

Now, I really love suya but am not a fan of the overbearing fiery heat of the spiciness (from the chilli powder), which apparently some people really enjoy, especially with super chilled lager (beer)!

Though there are some fantastic mai suya’s out there selling some excellent tasting suya, there are some equally not so good ones…I figured that making my own would be a sure way to get the right taste for me every time. I tell you, it’s so so easy. All you need is a good yaji blend and good cut of meat. Slicing the meat could be daunting but fear not, get your butcher to do it for you and if not, freeze the meat for a while and when its semi-frozen, slice thinly with a very sharp knife….. Give it a try.


1 pound Beef with some streak of fat (the fat will prevent burning when on the grill)
5-6 tablespoons Suya mix – yaji (use more or less depending on chilli content)
2-3 tablespoons Groundnut oil (or any vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon Groundnut paste or peanut butter, (optional)
1 Beef seasoning cube
bamboo skewers

Iceberg lettuce
2 or 3 Salad tomatoes, washed and sliced
1 Red onion, thinly sliced

1. Soak skewers for at least 30 minutes
2. Combine  the suya (yaji) mix and seasoning cubes in a large mixing bowl. Add some groundnut oil (the amount depends on the amount of beef used) and groundnut paste. Mix into a wet paste.
3. Thinly slice beef into sheet-like pieces. Rinse and place pieces and add to mixing bowl. Work spices into the meat and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours.
4. Skewer the beef pieces as you desire. Heat up an iron griddle (you may also use an open barbecue grill), and place the skewered beef.
5. Allow to cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side or until meat is cooked to your preference. Avoid burning by regularly turning.
6. For the perfect presentation, remove the suya from the skewers used to barbecue (I expect some burning to have occurred) and string onto new satay sticks.
7. Serve suya with sliced onions and tomatoes on a bed of shredded iceberg lettuce. Enjoy eating it with your preferred cold drink. 


Afro Food “Suya Meat Rub” is available from Amazon and is quite tasty.



Lamb Kebab 羊肉串 (Yang Rou Chuan)

Recipe By: Saveur
Serving Size: 8

1 lb. boneless lamb shoulder
1/4 cup ground cumin
1/4 cup crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground Szechuan peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 white onion, minced
3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
kosher salt
bamboo skewers

1. Cut lamb into 3/4 inch pieces.
2. Whisk 2 tbsp chile flakes, 2 tbsp cumin, the oil, Sichuan peppercorns, white pepper, garlic, onions and salt in a bowl.  
3. Add lamb, toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
4. Soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.
5. Heat charcoal grill to high.  Bank coals on one side. 
6. Remove lamb from marinade and thread onto skewers.
7. Sprinkle lamb with remaining cumin, chile flakes, plus salt.
8. Grill lamb on hottest part of the grill, turning as needed, until slightly charred and cooked through 2-3 minutes per side, 10-12 minutes total.



Eggplant Rollups with Chili, Mint and Feta

Recipe By: Paul Harsha (Adapted from Veggie BBQ Ideas)
Yield: 25 rollups
Olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 eggplants
1 red chili (jalapeño, serrano, or habenero), deseeded
1 bell pepper (yellow or orange), deseeded and cut into chunks
6 oz. feta cheese, cut into cubes or crumbled
1 bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped
Cocktail sticks (or toothpicks)

1. Put the lemon juice in a food processor and add the chili.  Pulse until finely chopped.
2. Add the bell pepper and pulse until  just chopped.
3. Add the feta and pulse until just blended.  Taste and add more lemon juice, if needed.
4. Add the mint and pulse until incorporated.  You still want to be able to see the mint and bell pepper. The feta should be creamy.  Cover and refrigerate.
5. Cut the eggplant lengthways, discarding the ‘outside’ slices. Each slice should be about 1/4 inch thick.  It’s easiest if you use a mandolin, but a sharp knife will do.
6. Brush olive oil over both sides of the slices Grill on a hot area of the barbecue for around 2 minutes on each side or until lightly colored. A kitchen grill also works well for this.
7. Remove from the barbecue and let cool.  Cut the eggplant into uniform strips ~2-3 inches x 5 inches.
8. Place a spoonful of the feta mix onto each of the eggplant slices. Roll the eggplant around the mixture and push a cocktail stick through to secure it.
9. Place rolls on a clean plate and serve chilled.


burger (or whatever) sauces

Paul | July 7, 2013 in Food,Fun | Comments (1)

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My two favorite of the non-BBQ sauces I made for the 4th.  The Fake Shack is amazing, but I think the Harissa Mayo is going to be hanging around.

Fake Shack Sauce

Recipe By: Kenji@Serious Eats
Yield: 3/4 cup


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
4 slices kosher dill pickle
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
pinch cayenne pepper


Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth, scraping down sides of blender with rubber spatula as necessary.


Harissa Mayonnaise

Recipe By: Paul Harsha
Yield: 1/3 cup


1/3 cup mayonaise
2 teaspoons harissa
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon mint leaves, finely chopped (optional)
Lemon zest (optional)


Whisk ingredients together, refrigerate to let flavors blend, serve.

Chili Watermelon Gin (and Tonic)

Paul | July 5, 2012 in Food,Fun | Comments (0)

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Chili Watermelon Gin (and Tonic)

Recipe By: Paul Harsha
Serving Size: 8


Watermelon Syrup
16 ounces seedless watermelon, cubed
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 serrano chiles, seeded
Pinch of salt
Gin & Tonic
1 ounce watermelon syrup
2 ounces gin
3 ounces tonic (Fever tree) or club soda
Lime slice for garnish


1. Puree watermelon, sugar, chiles, and lime in a blender.

2. Strain watermelon mixture through a sieve

3. Transfer to fridge to chill (at least an hour).  Pour liquid off any solids.  Save liquid, discard solids.

4. Fill a tall glass with ice.  Add Watermelon, then Gin, then Tonic (or club soda) to taste.

5. Garnish with lime slices.

Fruit Salsa

Paul | June 19, 2011 in Food,Fun,Recipes | Comments (0)

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2 peaches
2 plums
1 small onion
3 tablespoons cilantro
1 clove garlic
2 serrano peppers
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
white pepper


1. Put lime juice in a cuisinart.  Add the seeded peppers and garlic, process until very fine.  Move to medium bowl.

2. Use cusinart to chop onion, then peaches, then plums. Put in medium bowl with lime/chili mixture.  Be sure not to over chop. Pieces should be scoopable, but not pulverized.

3. Use cuisinart to chop cilantro until fine. Add to bowl.

4. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper, and Tabasco.  Mix well.

5. Chill for an hour to let flavors blend, stir.

6. Serve with blue corn chips. Also good on fish.

Yield: 2 cups


The ingredients are variable — basically two firm tart fruits and two softer sweeter fruits.  I use nectarines in place of peaches when available, but basically anything ripe and in season.  Even pear.

My most recent variant was mango/peach.  Two mangoes (peeled) and two peaches (unpeeled).

White BBQ Sauce

Paul | June 4, 2011 in Food | Comments (3)

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2 cups mayonaise
1 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbs. cayenne
1 tbs. white pepper
2 tbs. brown sugar
1 tbs. black pepper
1 tsp. cumin

1 tbs. horseradish (optional)


1. Mix all together, pour over cooked chicken (or use as grill sauce).

2. Marinate chicken in salt, pepper, lemon and oil before cooking.


I found the original of this on the Web ages ago and have tweaked it a bit over the years.   It  turns out to be local to northern Alabama.  The Food Network has a recipe from Big Bob Gibson’s which calls for (yech) corn syrup, but adds horseradish.  However, this version is closer to what I started with:

2 Cups Mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tablespoons salt
2 Tablespoons black pepper
6 Tablespoons white vinegar
6 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 Tablespoons white sugar



Texas Barbecue Sauce

Paul | in Food | Comments (0)

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From “The Texas Cookbook”  Arthur and Bobbie Coleman, 1949


1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. red pepper
1/2 tsp. mustard
1/2 pint Wesson oil
12 oz bottle catsup
1/2 bottle Lea and Perrin Sauce
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, grated
1 lemon lemon juice
Tabasco Sauce to taste


Brown the onion and garlic lightly in the Wesson oil.  Add all the other ingredients and cook until blended well.


This is verbatim from a very old Texas BBQ cookbook.  I tend to add paprika, cayenne, celery seed, and liquid smoke, depending on my mood. Sometimes a little vinegar, too.

Smoking the Controversy

Paul | in Food,Fun | Comments (2)

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The latest Dizzy Pig newsletter contains this little bit of heresy:

Using wet wood is the easiest way to over smoke your food. There is almost nothing good about the smell of wood that is trying to burn, but can’t. The smoke is brown and thick, it burns your eyes, and your meat only needs to be in that smoke for seconds before it lays down a nasty flavor on your meat that won’t go away.

So now you know what not to do, but what DO you do? Use dry wood and don’t put your meat on until the smoke is burning cleanly. Generally the smoke will start off as a brown or tan color, and as it dries the smoke will tend toward a blue color. Clean burning wood doesn’t always produce visible smoke, so you don’t need to see the smoke to taste it. When in doubt, put your face in the smoke and smell. If it burns your eyes, smells strong, or has a tan or brown color then wait.

All my life, I’ve soaked my woodchips before use.  It even says to do it on the packaging.  NOW, I’m being told it’s actually hurting my BBQ.  I use a box for the chips, anyway, so should be fun to try out.  Maybe tomorrow…

While I’m on the subject, here’s a good chart and a slightly more in depth comparison of wood chips. I used to be all about the hickory and mesquite, but the last few years have gone with pecan or cherry.  I use Cowboy Charcoal in my Big Green Egg because it’s easy to get, but Naked Whiz has a whole page of brands they like better.  Royal Oak, for example.

for Memorial Day: a simple rib recipe

Paul | May 27, 2011 in Food,Fun | Comments (0)

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Paul’s Smoked Pork Ribs


2 to 3 racks of fresh pork spare ribs
1 cup yellow mustard
Heavy duty grade aluminum foil
Pork Rib Rub (I use Dizzy Dust)
Apple Juice
Apple Cider Vinegar


1. Rinse ribs in cold water and pat dry. Use a table knife and a paper towel to remove the membrane. If ribs are not already trimmed, then trim according to your preference, taking care not to cut too much off. I remove the bone side flap, square the ribs, and scrape off excess fat as needed.

2. Use a barbecue brush or a spoon to coat one side of the pork ribs in mustard. Shake your rib rub over the rib racks, coat well.  Let liquify for 45 minutes, then rub in.

3. Repeat for other side. Let rest at least 30-60 minutes. Refrigerated, of course.

4. Put racks on a large cookie sheet or pan, cover loosely (make a foil tent so as not to knock the seasoning off) with foil and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

5. Bring Grill to 220-210 degrees.  Soak wood chips and add to coals.  Mix water, apple juice, and cider vinegar in a drip pan and place under ribs.

6. Smoke for three hours, naked.  Start bone side down and flip once an hour.  Spritz with cider vinegar and apple cider at each flip. Sprinkle with dust as needed.

7. Smear honey in aluminum foil.  Add a splash of apple juice and a splash of cider vinegar.  Wrap ribs in foil.  Smoke for 2 hours.

8. Unwrap ribs and smoke for an additional hour, bone side down.  Spritz as needed, or you can add sauce during the last half hour.

There are some helpful pictures here, although the recipe differs: