Sunday, April 25, 2010

Restaurant Review - El Pollo Allegre Mexican BBQ Restaurant

By golly here’s a restaurant review I’m proud to do. My friend Julio Salazar from Dalton just put the best Mexican meal on the table I’ve ever had. He bought a big Stump’s offset from me and I told him he could cook southern BBQ and I guess he took my word for it and is doing just that in a new and really nice place on Hwy 53 in Calhoun, Ga. along with a full Mexican menu. This ain’t no standard run of the meal food here folks, it stands alone in my book and I’ve made it my business to see what’s being served around our neck of the woods for a long time now. Everything we had would put the top restaurants to absolute shame and I’m talking by a long shot here. He’s been famous in Dalton for a long time now for his El Pollo Allegre place on Grimes St in Dalton and just could not see making a change in his “half chicken & free condiments" menu so he opened this place and you’ll find anything you want in the way of authentic Mexican along with our wonderful Southern Pulled Pork and Baby Back Ribs at this new place. The trio of his famous chicken, steak, and shrimp Fajitas are awesome – all three items were done to perfection – and served with the usual rice and bean and even they were special. This is a MUST TRY for anyone that loves fine food. It's just a 1/4 mi off I-75 on the left and next door to Ingles.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pulled Pork 2 Ways

For a friday it was not all that busy so I spent some time trying to get the area for our FREE BBQ lunch on monday looking nice and came home to freezer dive for our suppa. Plans were to have a thin crust pizza with pulled pork and pineapple but we had to nix that because all our cheese was left at the office. Had a couple of bolios or what ever the mexicans call their sub rolls left over from our spam lunch so it wasn't hard to figure out we needed to have pulled pork sammies instead of pizza. Not to be too dissapointed with not having the pineapple / pork pizza I decided to have my sammie two ways, since we had some slaw already made I couldn't pass on that, so I just halved mine and made one with pineapple on it. Both had Blues Hog Honey Mustard BBQ Sauce on em and the one with slaw had a good amount of Texas Pete on it too. The pineapple one had Parmesean and no hot sauce. HMMMMMMMM.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Golf, Bum Knee, Yard Work, & My Favorite Meal

Normally yard work is reserved for Saturday but not this past Sat because I learned that my bum knee would not take walking 18 holes even with the little electric pushcart. I love walking but just can’t do it anymore – anyway I couldn’t work so I cooked a couple racks of lamb. I really like these little lollipops so I came up with a nice sauce for em with Blues Hog Honey Mustard as the base and added a little white wine, minced and sautéed garlic, fresh lemon juice, and fresh mint. Just cracked salt and pepper on the lamb.

With the no yard work Saturday in the books and the knee rested a bit it was time to get that big old yard mowed and make a round with the weed eater, but I saved time for my favorite dish in the whole wide world. If they hang me tomorrow and give me a last meal request, right here it is. This is the best meat in the world and cooked with these wonderful root vegetables makes it even more special. I seared the meat in a deep cast iron pan and removed to a plate to sauté chopped onion, celery, bell pepper and minced garlic, added 12 oz of PBR, 6 oz of water and smoked it in the Backwoods Chubby till the meat was tender then added an appropriate amount of the parboiled root vegetable to the stew. We used sweet potato, rutabaga, carrots, zucchini, and onion. Served with mushroom risotto and rolls. It is my fav meal and this really is the best beef ever.

Friday, April 16, 2010

When The Hot Links Are Way Too Hot... wrap em in bacon and use a lil barbecue sauce on em. I made this batch of Texas Hot Links not too long ago and really went overboard on the peppers and they were really hot even for a chili head like me. Someone posted about wrapping peppers in bacon so that's what I did with my overly hot links never even thinking that doing so would help with dialing the heat back at the same time. I cooked these on the little Traeger 070 at work - man them are handy grills to have around. Any way it wouldn't matter if you links was too hot or not because everybody knows what bacon does to stuff, I mean I know Emeril has about wore out the "Pork Fat Rules" thing, but it is true. Fixed some of that mexican flea market corn, tater tots, brocolli, and loaf bread to go with it - pretty good stuff.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chicken Fingers Have Never Been So Good

All the places including Zaxby's just wish their chicken was half this good. Boy oh boy did Chez John throwed a good one on me with this idea of using Pringles here - Perfect is about the only way to describe the results. Anyways, no need to do anything different, you still dredge in your seasoned flour, dunk in the milk and egg wash, roll in them Pringles. I used Smoked Paprika, Cayenne, and Lowery's to season the flour. Oh man, did I say these were good?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hot Steak Plate

A little diner in town has one of those banners out front provided by the Coca Cola co advertising "Old Fashioned Hot Steak Sandwich". Well, those words have not been far from my mind since the day she put it up there and it immediately took me all the way back to the early 70's when we use to love going to a little Diner on East Morris St called Griffin's Drive In I believe it was and get what I think was the same thing and they called it "Hot Steak Plate", served with a large serving of slaw and mashed potatoes. I haven't been to the little place that has the ad up because the price is 8.99 and I'm pretty sure even if it turned out to be as good as it should I wouldn’t want to pay 8.99 for it. At the same time though I just could not get it off my mind and we fixed a close cousin to it last night without the slaw and mashed spuds. I cooked a small boneless chuck roast yesterday till falling apart tender and pulled it, so we had the nice broth the make the gravy with - which is key here - and subbed rice and early peas for the sides cause that’s all we had. Purdy good stuff but just not the same. I guess it's something kin to SOS or open steak sandwich with dark gravy and I’m sure it’s been made with a variety of meats starting with the Army’s super salty chipped beef or any number of other canned items, but even though I can’t swear to it, something tells me Griffin’s used some purdy good cubed beef steak – had to be – or me and old Randle Owens and many others would not have made a bee line from Constellation Finishing Co so many times for it. Anyway, next time it hits my table it will be cubed beef cut in strips cooked fork tender and served with the gravy, slaw, and mashed taters – and I can promise you I won’t be waiting too long either.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Store Front Cooking Today (ABT's)

Should get these pulled pork and cream cheese ABT's done about noon 30. I have em dusted with Obies Sweet Rub. Right before heading out the door this morning I found a little boneless chuck roast that I had vac sucked and had resting for a couple weeks in the bottom of the fridge, it has been seared and is now braising. The door is always open.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Incredible Ham & Turkey

…And family. We were missing a few but everyone gave the dinner the highest praise ever. The ham was the star and started out as a so so 17.5 lb Smithfield smoked (cook before eating) ham with water added and I didn’t think it could possibly turn out as good as it did. It was a tight fit but I cooked it along with a Turkey breast in the Backwoods Chubby directly on the rack with a little hickory for smoke (but with full water pan) at 325 about 20 min per lb till the internal temp was 145, applied the wonderful glaze and continued cooking till the internal reached 160, let rest 20 min and sliced. I wanted something different for a glaze and came up with a combo you might say of two glazes I had run across on my search for recipes. Very simple and very good - 1 cup mustard, 2 to 3 tbs apricot preserves, 2 oz bourbon, 1 to 2 cups brown sugar, 2 cups Gingersnap cookie crumbs (make sure the crumbs are FINE). Mix the preserves with the mustard and brush on the ham once it reaches 145, sprinkle on the brown sugar and press into the mustard slather, sprits with the bourbon, sprinkle on and press in the gingersnap crumbs, continue to cook until an internal of 160 is reached. I have hit on a fail proof way to crisp the skin on a chicken or turkey and cooking them this way also provides an incredibly moist bird that is so good you don’t need to brine or marinate. I like The Slabs Birds & Bones rub and just add it generously all over the bird making sure to add to the cavity, and under the skin as much as possible.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What's In a US Passport?

Just the thought of being required to obtain a passport gives cause to think about our immigration problem and quite frankly really bums me out (putting it very mildly). On close inspection of the content of the passport itself and the documentation that came with it, I couldn’t help being much more than bummed out, it’s down right sad. Twelve million or more people from Mexico are living among us illegally while enjoying benefits of all kinds derived from our taxes and now we are even going to include them in the bogus nation destroying health plan that our crooks in congress have forced upon us, but I can’t go to Cancun for 3 days to attend my son’s wedding without being hit with this hypocrisy. Back to the contents of the passport…first of all a card of instructions comes with it and it is made up like so many similar things you see today with one side in English and the other in Spanish (not insisting on the use of English was our first mistake). Inside the cover is “O say does that star spangled banner yet wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave”. The next page has a quote by Abe Lincoln, “AND THAT GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE, SHALL NOT PERISH FROM THE EARTH”. Page 2 is your mug shot and page 3 begins with “We the People Of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the USA”. There is something very wrong here and it will be multiplied 12 million times over when Obama pushes through the law to make the illegal legal, which is at the top of his list of things to do.