There’s a local pizza joint/brew pub that makes a killer appetizer called Prosciutto Involtini. In fact, when my bride and I eat there, we often have a salad and this appetizer and call it a meal. This dish is basically pizza dough topped with, mozarella cheese, and prosciutto.
A few weeks ago, she came up with the notion to try to make these at home. Her first attempt was a homerun, so I decided to make a batch for the Superbowl. We cheat a little a use a premade mozarella & prosciutto roll that we slice and lay over a ring of pizza dough.
Here’a a photo journal of the process.
Pizza dough laid out sort of like a pretzel
The Prosciutto and Mozarella Roll
A slice on each loop of pizza dough
The final result I didn’t get a shot of these on the grill. But I setup my Big Green Egg for pizza cooking/baking and grilled these at 425 degrees until the pizza dough began to get brown.
These were a big hit at the Superbowl party and are great with marinara suace for dipping. I’ll definitely do these again (and again).
My daughter is in the process of selecting an institution of higher learning, so that drew us to Nashville for a college visit. While the family enjoyed learning about some of the finer points of college dining halls, I discovered that Peg Leg Porker was only a short drive away. I excused myself from the cafeteria line and hit the road.
I’d seen a numer of photos from Carey’s social media sites, so I quickly recognized the place when I saw it. Located in an area of Nashville called The Gulch, Peg Leg Porker is in a trendy area of Southwest Nashville and a popualr destination for locals and college students.
Out front, Peg Leg Porker has a whole hog pit that they use on occassion and plenty of patio seating. Inside, the front wall is graced with a huge bar, TV’s, beer, and spirits, including Peg Leg Porker bourbon. But that’s a topic for another time. At the back of the place, a counter sits in front of the open kitchen. Like any good BBQ joint, the menu is simple and displayed above the register.
Being familiar with Peg Leg Porker, there was no doubt that I was having the dry ribs. So I ordered up a 1/2 a rack with a couple of sides, a glass of sweet tea, and settled down to enjoy me some Tennessee BBQ. And, I was not disappointed. The ribs were just the way I remembered them and my only regret is that I only ordered a 1/2 a rack.
When I finished, I bought a trucker hat with the Peg Leg Porker logo and headed back to meet up with the family. Carey was out of town this particular weekend, so we didn’t get a chance to reconnect. I did get a chance to talk with one of his crew that I’d met before.
I’m not sure how this college search will turn out, but I’m pulling for Belmont Unviversity. That would keep me in Nashville and good BBQ for the next 4 years!
With football playoffs underway, I wanted to try something different to share with friends while watching the NFC playoffs on Saturday. I’d seen this appetizer a couple of different times recently, so I decided to give it a shot.
Basically, pig shots are formed with a slice of sausage wrapped in a piece of bacon on it’s edge. This forms a “shot glass” that you then fill with whatever you choose. I used a mixture of cream cheese and green chillies. I applied a spicy BBQ rub and also topped them with brown sugar.
Here are a few pictures of the process:
Kielbasa & Bacon
Filled with cream cheese, green chillies, and topped with brown sugar
The finished product
Here is the stey by step process:
cut sausage (I used Kielbasa) into 3/8″ discs
wrap 1/2 piece of bacon (on edge) around each disc and secure with a toothpick
combine 8 oz. block of cream cheese (softened) with 1/2 can of green chillies
apply bbq rub
pipe or spoon cream cheese mixture into “shot glasses”
top with brown sugar
cook indirect at ~300* for 45-60 minutes or until the bacon is finished to your liking
*Note: I cooked indirect on the Big Green Egg with platesetter in place (wrapped in foil of course)
If I do these again, I think I’d add some grated cheese to the cream cheese mixture and experiment with a different type of sausage, Boudin maybe?
What’s on your menu for football playoff season? We all need a killer dish for the big game in a few weeks.
I’m a little late in posting this, but I wanted to share this experience. I had read on the interwebs about a challenge to all the pitmasters who would be cooking on Labor Day weekend, to set aside a little extra and honor the men and women of law enforcement with some BBQ.
As I was finishing up the ribs on Sunday afternoon of Labor Day weekend, I remembered the challenge. Since I had extra, we wrapped up a side of ribs, scrawled a note on a thank you card, and sent my wife and nephew on the short drive to the local police station.
There, they presented Officer Blomberg with ribs and a heartfelt “thank you” for serving and protecting the citizens of our community. He was super grateful and it warmed our heart to be able to express our appreciation and share some of what we have been blessed with.
So now, I pass the challenge on to you. The next time you fire up the BBQ pit, (or oven, stove, etc.), set aside a little extra and remember the first responders and public servants. They’ll appreciate it for sure, and you’ll be reminded of how blessed you are.
I’m going to tip my hand right away and say this about my trip to Fire-N-Smoke. I don’t care if you trim your brisket before or after you cook it, but for the love of BBQ trim it before you serve it. A litte fat on a brisket is expected, but this was waaaay too much. Sorry for the rant, now let’s talk about the rest of my visit.
Fire-N-Smoke opened recently in a location that has been a couple of different restaurants over the past few years. Luckily for them, the shopping area round the location seems to have reached critical mass and there’s enough traffic flow that they should be able to make a go of it. Not to mention, the facility lends itself nicely to being a BBQ joint.
Like most BBQ joints these days it seems, the menu is a giant chalkboard and orders are placed at the counter. I was pleased to see that they seemed to have all of the bases covered, as well as having a long list of salads, sandwiches, etc. I ordered the 2 meat platter (like I normally do when I’m trying a new place), and the Mrs. ordered her usual pulled pork sandwich with baked beans.
The food was delivered quickly and looked awesome. I was pleased to seee a nice smoke ring on the brisket and see that the pork was truly pulled and not chopped. The side dishes were served uniquely in individual sized pie tins, and the whole mess was piled on a large tray covered with butcher paper. In the case of the platter, bread & butter also accompanied the meal.
The brisket was my favorite, despite my earlier comments about it needing to be trimmed. The pulled pork was good, although it suffered a little from being re-heated. The Mrs. liked the addition of cole slaw to the sandwich. That’s the way a pulled pork sandwich should be served after all. The beans were good, if only dressed up canned beans, but the sweet potato dish was outstanding. There was a thin sauce spread across the meat on the platter and a little bit on the sandwich. My wife’s only complaint was that she’d like to have had a little more sauce, though oddly enough there was no bottle of sauce on the table. In this day & age, most places overwhelm you with sauce choices so it was odd not to find any at all on the table. Zip, Zilch, Nada.
I was a little surprised at the light crowd at 1:00pm on a Saturday, but I think Fire-N-Smoke should do just fine. As I said, they definitely have a good location, although there is plenty of competition from other restaurants as well.
Here’s how I’d rate my trip to Fire-N-Smoke in O’fallon, IL.
BBQ – B-
Side Dishes – A
Atmosphere – A
Value – B
Overall – B+
I’d recommend this place and I’m sure I’ll eat there again. Here’s the specifics on Fire-N-Smoke.
I have a friend at church who competes on the BBQ circuit. He typically mans the grill when the United Methodist Men (UMM) meet during the summer. Last month, after a succesful meal of grilled pork steaks, the guys decided they’d like to have ribs at the next meeting.
Well, that turned into a two man job. We decided that we would take the day off and plan to cook at the church. We also decided to press my Backwoods Pro Jr into service. Paul and I moved my cooker to church that morning and he trimmed the spare ribs down to St Louis style ribs while I put together 2 pans of my “magic” beans.
Paul uses Code 3 spices when he competes, so we decided to use them for this cook as well. We roughly followed his competition process, which means we wrapped the ribs in foil with brown sugar and butter, then finished them out of the foil and glazed them with sauce.
We also decided to do the rib tips at the same time, following the same process. It’s a good thing we did. We had a great turn out.
Here are a few shots of the finished product.
Everyone enjoyed the meal and fellowship. Next month, we’re frying fish!
Seems like we often go to casual gatherings where we take a dish. I’ve gotten tired of the same old thing, so I looked for a way to do something a little different while still cooking outside.
Enter, Chicken Sliders. This was pretty simple. I simply bought thin sliced chicken breasts at the lcoal grocery store. I cut each in half and hit them liberally with Plowboy’s Yardbird rub. I grilled a pound of bacon and then grilled the chicken. I placed the chicken along with a couple of strips of bacon and a slice of cheddar cheese on Hawaiian rolls to serve.
Here’s the process. First, I grilled a pound of bacon.
Next, I grilled the half chicken breasts that were sliced thin.
And finally, I assmebled the sliders with a slice of cheddar cheese, a couple of strips of bacon, and half a chicken breast on a Hawaiian roll.
A couple of things that I’ll do differently next time. First, I think I’ll use a tenderizer mallet to flatten the chicken breasts a little mroe. I also think that the slider would benefit from some other condiment. BBQ Sauce, mayo, etc.
Other than those few tweaks, this was a success and I’ll be doing this again.