Squash Blossoms

I used to work with a guy that grew up in Italy. Like me, he loved to cook.

I asked him one day — “Alessandro, what’s your favorite thing to make?”, thinking I’d get a pasta dish or a great pizza recipe.

“They’re really hard to find, but when I can get them…squash blossoms. No question”

As it happens, a few weeks later I was in a farmers’ market and saw a nice looking bundle of squash blossoms. Without overthinking it, or finding a recipe, or planning anything out, I grabbed them.

The difficulty with squash blossoms is that you have to use them immediately. Like, same day. We had other dinner plans that night, but this opportunity was too good to pass up — I had never cooked these before myself, and I don’t think I’ve even eaten them in a restaurant.

A quick search found a simple recipe of mint, parmesan, egg. Whisk the filling together, and pack it into a ziplock bag. Cut the corner off, and pipe it into the blossom.

Then, whisk together some flour and some very cold club soda. Give each blossom a quick dip, and then fry in a heavy cast iron pan with 375 degree oil until you get a nice golden brown color.

Dip them into some warm tomato sauce immediately after frying — if you’re not close to burning your mouth, you’re waiting too long. These are best right out of the oil. (Ok, but don’t actually burn yourself).

What really works here is the delicate tips of the flower grab a nice coating of the batter and get super crispy. The creamy minty savory filling works perfectly with the crunch and sauce to deliver an addictive appetizer.

Good call Alessandro!

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Blistered Green Beans with Roasted Tomato Almond Pesto

This may just be my new favorite vegetable recipe. Well, let’s say green vegetable because it’s pretty hard to beat a perfect bruschetta in the middle of tomato season. But this is a close second.



The secret is in the caramelization of, well, everything. The green beans have to be blistered, and the tomatoes charred. The almonds toasted to a deep brown. Put it all together and you have a collection of flavors that simultaneously complement and contrast each other.

First, the tomatoes. I’m going to admit it — I cheated. Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it cheating — I made this in November, and it’s a fairly well known fact (well, at least I know it!) that good canned tomatoes are much better than the off season fresh ones you get in the supermarket. So I did a little experiment: I used whole San Marzano tomatoes, out of a can, instead of fresh cherry tomatoes. I know! Heresy.

But you know what? They turned out great and I would do it again in a second. The secret is to keep the tomatoes relatively whole, except make a small hole with your finger and squeeze out the liquid in the middle. Give them a quick pat to dry, and then toss them with a light coating of olive oil and arrange them on a sheet pan so they’re not touching. Roast them around 350 until the edges start to get black. When they’re done, scrape them up with a spatula and proceed as normal. By the way — roasting canned tomatoes like this works to add a huge flavor shot to all sorts of stuff like dips, sauces, hummus, etc.

Next, the green beans. I got out my cast iron skillet, cranked the heat up and got some vegetable oil just at the point of smoking. Toss in some washed (but very dry!) green beans and let them sit until they’re thoroughly blistered. Then give then a turn.

Here’s where it all gets good — combine half of the tomatoes with the almonds (and the rest of the ingredients — see the recipe!) and give it a whirr in the food processor. The pesto that results is good enough to eat with a spoon, and even better on top of the blistered green beans.

Toss it all together and consume voraciously!




(Ha! Mine doesn’t look like Bon Appetit’s version! Looks like mine has more tomatoey pesto goodness — I’ll take it!)

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Mmmm Mofongo

The first time I heard about mofongo was on the Food Network. The host was interviewing the chef at Benny’s Seafood (I’m guessing it was Benny) in Miami, famous for their authentic Puerto Rican fare. What struck me about Benny’s take on mofongo wasn’t the flavors, or colors, or textures — it was the way he put the whole mixture into a big cylindrical mortar and then used a baseball bat as a pestle, crushing the fried plantains and chicharrónes to a delicious mush. It just looked cool.

Mofongo with Creole Chicken Stew

First, for those of you that missed that episode… what is mofongo? Mofongo is a dish made out of fried plantains, traditionally mashed together with fried pork skin. It’s popular in Caribbean cuisines, and I see it most associated with Puerto Rico. The plantains form a starchy base upon which a hearty protein is layered. In my case I added a creole-style chicken stew, but you’ll often see shrimp, pork or soup on top as well.

My culinary foray into Puerto Rico began one weekend when I was trying to think of something relatively exotic to make. For a couple reasons, mofongo fit the bill, so after a bit of searching to find the perfect recipe, I was on my way to a local Latin American grocery store to get the ingredients. On the way, I made a call to a close friend of mine and Puerto Rican cuisine expert (hi Chris!) to get the inside scoop on the “right” way to make a proper mofongo. He suggested mixing a sweet (slightly more ripe) plantain in with the green plantains, and advocated topping it with either shrimp or chicken stew. Apparently the cool kids these days lean toward shrimp as a modern and slightly healthier take on a classic.


One of these things is not like the others…

Plantains, pork rinds, chicken, a banana, and sofrito ingredients in hand, I began following the recipe. The first step, as Chris always says, is making the sofrito. Sofrito is the base of most Puerto Rican cuisine, and consists of bell peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro. It resembles (in spirit and composition) mirepoix in French cuisine, holy trinity in Creole cuisine, and probably a variety of other regional flavor bases.


After assembling these ingredients and giving them a spin in the food processor, I cooked them in olive oil until they darkened slightly and started to form a fond (brown bits) on the bottom of the pan. This is the base of the dish, and adds much of the structure and deep flavors, so whenever I cook sofrito, mirepoix, tomato bases or similar, I always make sure to take lots of time and get the browning right.


As the sofrito was cooking, I took four bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and put them under the broiler. Ultimately, I planned on cooking the chicken for a long time in the sauce, so my goal was to just get some basic browning (again, brown foods taste good!) on the meat before I incorporated it in to the rest of the sauce. After about 10 minutes or so, the skin on the chicken was a deep mahogany. At this point, I changed my plans slightly — the recipe called for pork rinds to be mashed into the mofongo, but why not amp up the chicken flavor and use the crispy chicken skins instead? To get the crispness I was looking for, I removed the skins, gave them a few more minutes in the heat, then set them aside.

Crispy chicken skins are even better than pork rinds

Crispy chicken skins are even better than pork rinds

The rest of the stew came together unceremoniously — if you’ve ever made stew, gumbo, or chicken the steps will be familiar. To the sofrito base, I added tomatoes, more bell peppers, more onions and some homemade duck stock (I was out of chicken stock) from the freezer. For even more flavor, I used more stock and tomato juice than the recipe called for, and reduced it down after everything came together. Next I added the thighs, cooked vigorously for about 30 minutes, then cooked it on low for a few more hours until we were ready to eat. Right before plating, I removed the chicken from the bones, shredded the meat, and mixed it back in.


The last step was the mofongo itself. Plantains were a little tricky to peel at first, but once I got them going it was pretty easy. I had bought a banana at the store to use just in case none of the plantains had the slight sweetness that my friend had suggested, but fortunately they were all perfect on their own. I sliced them, and fried them in 375 degree oil in small batches. The small batches are important — it’s incredible how much the oil temperature drops with each new batch, even in a heavy cast iron pot.


DSC_0521Once all plantains were fried, the last step before plating was mashing. I looked around and found a wood salad bowl that would act as a perfect mortar. Now I just needed the right club to smash them with. Since I didn’t have a baseball bat handy, I first tried the bottom of a glass (too dangerous), the side of a coffee mug with a handle (awkward and kind of dumb), and finally found the perfect smasher — a meat mallet (duh). I mixed in the chopped crispy chicken skin and proceeded to mash away. The mixture was a bit dry, so I added whole milk until I got the consistency I was going for (hard to describe, but much drier and lumpier than mashed potatoes).

Final step — plating and eating! I formed the mofongo around the sides of a ramekin, ladled some stew on it, and dug in!


Thomas sees bananas and is instantly interested

Thomas sees bananas and is instantly interested


Here’s the recipe from Bon Appetit

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Cooking Up Some Kimchi

Kimchi is a controversial dish around my house. It all started about 4 years ago — the first time I attempted homemade kimchi.


You see, kimchi, more than just about any other food I know, seems to be designed from the beginning to to be pungent. Start with cabbage, no olfactory picnic on its own, and add in fermented shrimp, fish sauce, anchovies, green onions, and garlic. As if that weren’t enough, take all of these ingredients and let them sit at room temperature for about a week. The result is, well, unique.

Four years ago, I set out to make a batch after receiving a huge head of cabbage in our weekly farmers box. I took the biggest vessel we owned — one of those plastic cereal Tupperware containers — and filled it with the ingredients.


Let’s just say I learned one thing over the ensuing week, and another over the ensuing year: 1) Tupperware cereal containers are not airtight or aroma-arresting; 2) Tupperware cereal containers hold on to certain flavors for a long time. We (well, I, since the wife refused to go anywhere near the container) were eating kimchi-infused Kashi for months.

OK, so after a lead-in like that, I’m sure I have all the readers hooked. So why bother with a dish like kimchi? The simple answer is that there’s really nothing like it. In Korea, it’s said that 95% of the population eats it daily (40 lbs per capita per year), and families make literally tens of pounds of it at once to last them months. Once you get used to it, it’s easy to see why — kimchi has an addictive crunchy, garlic-y, umami, spicy, sour tang that adds an incredible kick to a wide variety of foods. Kimchi fried rice is a slam dunk (try it with a sunny-side up egg), but it’s also just the trick to punch up eggs, tacos, steak, or anything in need of a little flair. In a lot of ways, it’s kind of like a crunchy hot sauce with a lot of character.


In the jar — where the magic happens!

The health benefits are amazing too — it’s said to be one of the healthiest foods around. The natural bacteria, lactobacilli, are the same as those found in yogurt, and keep your gut functioning properly. It’s also filled with an alphabet of vitamins — A, B and C.

But don’t take my word for it — give it a shot. I used the recipe that I found on Chow.com, but couldn’t get kochukaru (Korean spice powder), so I substituted red chili paste instead. Not exactly the same, and I’m sure my Korean friends would scoff at the switchout, but the taste is still very good. I also found 2 oz of fresh ginger to be way too much, so my recommendation would be to halve that. Once it’s all done, throw it in a big (glass!) jar with a tight-fitting lid, and taste it every few days.

You’ll like it!

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Valentine’s Day Roasted Duck with Duck Fat Spaetzle

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite days to cook. It’s a great excuse to make something extravagant, while avoiding the mobbed, amateur-hour restaurant prix fixe meals. It’s a time to break out that special bottle of wine you’ve been saving, try a complicated new recipe (or dig out an old favorite), and enjoy a quiet, relaxing night and some good music. Last night, we did all but the quiet part — I opened a bottle of 1985 Bordeaux that I had gotten as a 30th birthday present, made a roast duck inspired by duck a l’orange, and took Bon Appetit’s suggestion and listened to one of Sara’s favorite albums — Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. My 4 month old wasn’t so into the “quiet” part, but he at least hung out peacefully with us for a few minutes as we ate our dinner.


I don’t typically order duck in restaurants, but we had a stunning dish at Le Bouchon last year that paired roasted duck, bigarade sauce, and duck fat spaetzle with peas. The combination blew me away — the fatty richness of the duck, paired with the bright, slightly citrus-y sauce on top of crispy spaetzle left me dreaming about the meal for months. Although I’ve never made roasted duck, when we were digging around for fun things to make this year, duck with spaetzle quickly came to mind.


I bought 6, but one outsmarted me and refused to be pried open!



Some old Bordeaux to cut through the rich duck fat


First things first — the spaetzle. I made mine earlier in the day in order to keep things a little simpler at crunch time. You can find plenty of spaetzle recipes on the web, but the ingredients are simple: eggs, milk, flour, salt, pepper. Reader of this blog will recognize my love for eggy mixtures like this — the batter is pretty similar to popovers, crepes, and Grandpa’s dumplings. Once you’ve mixed it all together and let it sit for about 15 minutes, you push it through the holes in a colander into boiling water, which gives the spaetzle “noodles” their orzo-like shape. After I made mine, I tossed them with some butter and refrigerated for a few hours.






Thomas keeps an eye on the spaetzle


Onto the duck. If you’ve roasted a chicken, roasting a duck isn’t too different. Recipes and techniques abound, ranging from boiling and roasting, to just roasting, to roasting low and then blasting with high heat. Whatever you do, either lightly score the skin or prick it with a fork (don’t penetrate the meat) so that the copious fat under the skin can render out — you’ll need it later. I also sprinkled mine with salt, pepper, and Herbes de Provence and stuffed the cavity with orange peels, but if you don’t have that, salt and pepper and thyme if you have it would be great. I ended up starting the duck pretty early and roasting it low at 300 for about 90 minutes then at 425 for another 30 minutes or so. You want the thighs to end up around 170 degrees, and the skin to be golden brown. If I did it again, I’d probably experiment with boiling, as it supposedly renders more fat out — but if you don’t want to fuss with that, you would get great results roasting at 400, flipping 45 minutes in, and then watching it until the skin is golden and the temperature is 170.


Oranges went inside the cavity


The bigarade sauce requires duck fat, so start it after you’ve been roasting the duck for enough time to get at least 2 Tablespoons of pan drippings. I used 2T of fat and probably and extra 1T of browned pan bits — I suggest this if you have some you can scrape up. Start with the roux — slowly whisk in 2T of flour and cook it for about 4-5 minutes over low heat until it gets light brown and/or it smells “nutty” — like fresh bread. To this I added stock (I only had turkey stock, but chicken or duck stock would be even better), apple cider vinegar, the juice and pulp of a fresh orange, a small amount of sugar, and some salt. After the first tablespoon of vinegar, it seemed like it needed a bit more brightness, so I added another tablespoon. Tasting the sauce in isolation, it didn’t blow me away — but combined with the duck and spaetzle, the tangy, slightly sweet, slightly orange-y flavor worked perfectly.


Crispy skin!


Finally, the best part — the duck fat spaetzle. Pour a generous amount of duck fat (and browned bits!) from the bottom of your pan into a frying pan (I used a cast iron skillet), crank the flame to high, and put on top of it several scoops of the spaetzle and a scoop of peas. I suggest somewhere around 3 parts spaetzle and 1 part peas — trust me, the peas are important (I don’t even generally like them). Peas add subtle depth of flavor and sweetness. Brown the spaetzle for about 10 minutes — make sure to “flip” the spaetzle every 2 minutes or so to keep it from burning. I used a spatula and just scraped the bottom and flipped. What will eventually come out is amazing — browned, rich goodness. This is why we cook! Make sure to taste it and add salt if needed.


Nicely browned and crispy



That’s it! Carve the duck (watch YouTube if you need pointers), place it on top of the spaetzle, pair with a full-bodied wine, and enjoy!

Recipes (use these as starters, don’t be afraid to modify!)

Duck Bigarade — I just used the sauce from here

Roasted Duck — I kinda started with this recipe but didn’t really end up following it that much. But it’s a place to begin.



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Monster From the Deep

I’ve always been a little apprehensive to cook octopus. Read about it on web, and mostly what you’ll find are remedies to make the meat tender. Some advocate hitting it exactly 73 times against a rock near the water front (yes, has to be along the water front). Others say you have to leave it hanging in the sun for at least 3 days. My favorite — boil it with a cork. Perhaps a tipsy cook dropped his wine stopper into the pot once, and found that the meat seemed to be especially edible afterwards. Who knows.

I love this picture -- it just seems to scream "sea monster"

I love this picture — it just seems to scream “sea monster”

The truth is, cook it right, and the octopus will reward you with pleasantly firm, oh-so-slightly chewy, mild flavored meat. I’ve had it a few ways — in pasta, cold, in salads — but nothing compares to a hint of char and the citrusy tang of the Greek Holy Trinity: olive oil, oregano, and lemon. I made the dish as an appetizer, but found myself unable to devour about 2 out of the 3 pounds. (And at $3/pound, it’s about the best taste for your buck you can find!)



I boiled mine for about 45 minutes with a bay leave, some wine, and yes, a cork (it would be toying fate to forego one). You’ll know it’s done when piercing it with a knife feels a bit like piecing a potato. If in doubt, cut off a small piece and see if it’s still overly chewy.

From there, I tossed it in black pepper, olive oil, oregano, lemon and salt and allowed it to marinade for a few minutes. I grilled it for about 10 minutes over high heat — enough to get a bit of char on the outside but not overcook, and then removed it. I added a bit more of the pepper/oil/lemon/oregano vinaigrette and served it over a bed of garlic spinach. A few dashes of aleppo pepper added some nice color and a hint of spice.

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Grandpa’s Dumplings

Growing up, my mom’s mom was the undisputed queen of the dumpling. My maternal grandma and grandpa owned a Czech restaurant called the Country Kitchen (no relation to the chain) that specialized in all the favorites: roast pork and dumplings, svickova (marinated beef with a sour cream gravy), koprova (dill pot roast, yep, sour cream gravy) — the list goes on. Her dumplings were generally yeast dumplings, perfect sponges to soak up the gravies. All of her food was delicious, homemade, and the perfect winter meal to fatten you up and entice you to spend the rest of the night curled by the fire.


Today, however, I highlight my dad’s dad’s dumplings. I made them last night, and that probably was the third time in my life that I’ve eaten them. I’d consider my grandma’s dumplings “the ones I grew up with”, but my grandpa’s as an exotic spin — familiar as a bready pork accompaniment, but unlike the gravy soakers I was used to. His are an egg dumpling, devoid of yeast, described by him and others half-derisively as “sinkers”. They’re heavier than a yeast dumpling, but chewier and somehow more satisfying.

Old time recipe calls for a wooden bowl, this will do!

Old time recipe calls for a wooden bowl, this will do!


Part of the fun making this recipe was deciphering the handwritten version, most recently transcribed in the mid 90’s, but undoubtedly passed along for at least a few generations. If you’ve never recreated a dish passed down by your grandparents, do it! The recipe itself is simple, but the results fantastic — as readers of this blog may have noticed, I have an affinity for eggy flour concoctions. I made the dumplings to go along with my favorite chicken recipe, and they added a perfect texture and flavor to the chicken and vegetable gravy.

The consistency you're going for

The consistency you’re going for

Give them a shot — below is my description of the recipe, but I’ve included a scan of the authentic version too, for posterity.

Everybody in the pool!

Everybody in the pool!


Makes about 6 servings.

Original scan: Grandpa’s dumpling recipe


  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Milk, room temperature
  • 1 slice of white bread


Toast the white bread. Cut into cubes, discard crumbs. Put a big pot of water on to boil. Your biggest pot — these guys need some room.

Sift flour and salt into a medium sized bowl. Sifting is important, as we want all of the lightness we can get since these dumplings don’t have any leveners of their own. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl with a whisk (I used an egg beater but a hand whisk would be fine too). When they’re frothy, add them to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon.

Add the milk until the dough is the consistency of putty. Stir in the bread cubes. Form dough into golf-ball sized clumps and add them to the water. I found that the best way to do this is to wet my hand and then grab a handful, form quickly into a ball, and drop in. When the dough starts to stick, wet your hand again.

Boil dumplings covered for 30 minutes, stirring after the first 5 minutes (make sure none are stuck to the bottom) and about every 10 minutes afterward. It’s not a huge problem if some of them aren’t fully in the water — just make sure to have the cover on so the steam cooks them.

Pull them out of the water after a half hour and slice immediately.

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My Favorite Chicken

Some of my favorite kinds of recipes are the ones that don’t require a lot of effort, but taste like they’ve been in the works all day. Mussels definitely fit the bill, but when I’m looking for an entire dinner, my go to is a chicken recipe that I made up a few years ago when trying to find a more interesting way to cook chicken thighs. I’m sure I’m not the first one to discover the delights of cooking chicken parts on top of a bed of onions, mushrooms and carrots, but I’m unquestionably a beneficiary. The result is a one-pot dish that takes about 10 minutes of prep but more than stands up for a fancy Sunday dinner.

Chicken with Herbs

This recipe is about as simple as it gets, and that’s the point. It’s not a recipe to haul out the cookbook to make, nor is it something that you need to worry about which ingredients you’ve forgotten. At the essence, it’s 4 ingredients — chicken, carrots, mushrooms, onions. Add some white wine, herbs, and cornstarch, and it’s a meal. The drippings from the chicken flavor the onions, mushrooms and carrots as they cook, adding a richness that oil alone doesn’t match. Finish it off with a splash of white wine and a sprinkle of corn starch, and you have a rich sauce to carry the flavor through the meal.




  • 4 or 5 chicken thighs, as many as will fit uncrowded in your skillet
  • 4 carrots
  • A box of mushrooms
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, sliced
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Cornstarch
  • Herbes de Provence (or thyme or oregano)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Slice carrots, mushrooms and onions. Place in cast iron skillet (or another oven-proof skillet) and drizzle with olive oil, salt, herbs and black pepper. Mix until coated.

Place chicken thighs on top of vegetables. Sprinkle thighs with salt, herbs and pepper.

Roast until thighs are at 165. This generally takes about 45 minutes.

Remove thighs from skillet, set aside. Put skillet on the stovetop and crank up the heat. Add white wine, about 1/2 cup or to taste. Sprinkle cornstarch a teaspoon at a time, stirring frequently, until sauce is thickened slightly.

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Showin’ Off Your Mussels

Mussels are a special occasion food — the best I’ve ever had was at the Auberge du Soleil hotel bar in Napa, California. The Auberge bar is perched on a hill, overlooking the entire valley. The cocktails were great, the mussels were spectacular. Sure, a big part of the experience was the view and the company, but the Staube pot filled with buttery broth, heady herbs and meaty mussels alongside a loaf of crusty bread certainly capped everything off.


But here’s a little secret — for all the fanfare, mussels are surprisingly easy to make. I’d certainly consider them one of the best bang-for-your-buck dishes out there. Trying to impress a girl (or guy) with a great dinner on a special occasion? You can’t go wrong with mussels and champagne. They’ll take you about 20-25 minutes, start to finish, and most of that time they’re just sitting in the pot, soaking up flavor.

Start by picking up a bag of mussels at the store — look for minimal cracked shells and a fresh scent that smells like the ocean. When you get them home, spot check them all as you drop them into a cool bowl of a water, throwing away any cracked or open (a little open is OK, a lot open is not) ones. Let them sit in the water for about 5-10 minutes to clean them off.


The broth is the fun part — Ina Garten has a complicated recipe that takes an hour and looks delicious. I, on the other hand, typically just wing it — the essential parts are butter, herbs, white wine and garlic. Preheat the oven to about 350 degrees for your bread. Start by adding about 2 Tbsp of butter (more is better) to a cast iron dutch oven or large saucepan. If you have about 1/2 of a finely chopped onion or a shallot, add it and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and a sprig of fresh thyme (or about 1/2 tsp of dried thyme). If you’re feeling complicated, you can add in a teaspoon of flour at this stage and brown it a bit — it will thicken the final broth slightly. From here, add about 1/2 bottle of white wine (or less wine and some chicken broth or water if you prefer) and bring to a simmer. Pour out the cold water that your mussels are swimming in and add them to the pot — you don’t need to cover them all with liquid, as steam will cook the upper ones. Now is also a good time to put the bread in the oven.


Put a lid on the pot and cook the mussels for about 10 minutes, or until all of them are opened. Serve alongside the bread, and throw away any mussels that didn’t open. Crack a bottle of champagne, and you’re an instant hero.

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American Barbecue in a Japanese Grill

Kamado grills, which most Americans know by the Big Green Egg brand, are renowned for rock-solid temperature control, a wide range of cooking intensities, and incredibly barbecue flavor. Costco recently carried the Vision Kamado grill, which is a pretty strong competitor to the Big Green Egg at a great price. I picked one up recently, along with a nice piece of brisket, and took a low-and-slow spin in the backyard.


My last foray, several years ago, into real barbecue began with a big hole in my parents’ backyard and ended with the less-than-fully-cooked pork shoulder spending some time in the oven. Although ended up tasting great, I was looking forward this time around to having more control over the process than a shovel had given me.

Loosely following the instructions at AmazingRibs, I first dry-rubbed the brisket and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Early the next morning, I filled the fire bowl on my kamado to the brim with natural charcoal, added some hickory chips and lit it up. When the temperature hit 225F, on went the brisket. After about 9 hours (and, more importantly, an internal temperature of 204F), I took the meat off and put it in a cooler that had been warmed slightly, and let it sit for about 90 minutes.


The meat was a huge hit. A few observations that worked well for me:

  • Some sites (AmazingRibs included) talk about trimming the fat cap and other even suggest it. Don’t trim the fat cap. Brisket is a fairly lean cut, and that fat is delicious in the final product. If you don’t want to eat it, cut it off your own piece, but don’t deny your guests the succulent fat
  • Take advantage of the long rest as you time dinner. The rest period can be anywhere from about 20 minutes to almost 2 hours. Use this time as slack as you prepare the other stuff and pull dinner together.
  • A good thermometer that you can put in the meat is key. This saves you from having to continually open the lid

Check out AmazingRibs for directions and the recipe for the dry rub.

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