Baked Beans: Putting the BB in BBQ

  Baked beans, cole slaw, and smoky meat are the holy trinity of barbecue.  Take any one of them away and it’s like sitting on a two-legged stool.  You’ll be keenly aware that something very important is missing. We’re enormous fans of baked beans, and between the two of us we can’t remember ever having…

Jalapeño Poppers à la Carolina

  The first time I tried Palmetto Cheese, it was a revelation. I became a pimento cheese snob. I have always loved pimento cheese. It was the stuff between slices of Wonderbread that made my heart sing.  But Palmetto Cheese is next-level stuff.  Theirs is the first pimento cheese I’ve ever had that included bits…

Hickory Smoked Pork Tenderloin

We asked the building management if we could please, please, please set up a Big Green Egg on the roof of our building.  The answer was polite (we love our building and management!) but firm.  Nope.  No dice.  It’s in the lease.  But we have a lovely electric grill on the roof. And we totally…

BBQ and the NYPL

We’re librarians by day.  True story.  And just to dispel a few quick misconceptions, there’s nothing meek, mild, or bookish about us.  We are meat-eating, beer and bourbon-drinking, loud-laughing librarians.  We’re the kind of librarians who want people to come into the library, bring their intellectual curiosity, make some noise, find something amazing, and go…

Spicy Wings Are Beautiful Things

New York City has a stunning sunset.  We love being on the Queens side of the East River because we get the gift of watching the sun set behind the Manhattan skyline.  There aren’t too many things that can improve on an NYC sunset–but perfect chicken wings in the foreground definitely make the list (priorities!)….

Beef Ribs – Texas Style

I was born in Texas.  I only lived there for a few years, but I really believe there’s something about arriving on the planet somewhere in Texas that creates a predisposition for the true and uncompromising love of beef ribs. Don’t get me wrong–I love pork ribs too!  Never let it be said that I…

Late September peppers

Growing peppers on an 8th-floor balcony in Queens isn’t the simplest gardening experience I’ve had, but it has been both challenging and rewarding every summer.  In years past I’ve grown jalapenos, pepperoncinis, and Thai bird’s eye chilies, but this summer called for something different. This morning’s small harvest represents the end of our late summer peppers. …

Carolina Chicken-Q, Take 2

The Chicken-Q from a few weeks ago was so incredible we just had to do it again.  While there’s lots to love about all cuts of the bird, we’re big fans of the legs and thighs when it comes to Chicken-Q.  International Meats is our go-to for free-range chicken, and John scored the skin perfectly…

Diamond Dave’s Tri-Tip

I fell in love with a tri-tip sometime around 2008.  My friend Dave grilled it in his backyard, way out in Tulsa Oklahoma.  Mind = blown.  Every time I make a delicious tri-tip, I dedicate the first bite to Dave. This lovely cut courtesy of International Meats, hands-down my favorite butcher in Astoria. Also, hey…

First Root Veg of the Fall

One of the best moments of early fall is the day it’s finally cool enough to turn the oven on to enjoy roasted root vegetables.  Here in NYC, this was the week!  We started with something simple, just locally grown beets, carrots, onions, and garlic.  We added herbs from our own balcony garden and a…

Beef Barbacoa

When a chuck roast dreams, it dreams of becoming barbacoa.  We started this dish early on Sunday morning and just finished this amazing dinner Monday night.  Was it worth the wait?  Absolutely. International Meats provided yet another beautiful cut, a 3.5 lb. chuck roast to write home about. After cubing the meat, it was into…

Pork Chop Perfection

Sawkill Farm provides the most beautiful and consistently delicious pork chops we’ve ever had the pleasure to grill.   All you need is a smoking hot grill and a simple seasoning of salt, pepper, garlic, and smoked paprika.  Sauteed zucchini and baked sweet potatoes rounded out the plate, but the chops stole the show.

Fresh Figs in Balsamic Vinegar

There’s neither smoke nor peppers in this dish, but every meat-stravaganza needs a sweet ending.  Enter this simple and amazing dessert.  Fresh figs from our favorite neighborhood spot, United Brothers Fruit Markets–lovingly called the “Parthenon of Produce.”  The balsamic vinegar was a gift from a colleague and the richest and most delightful balsamic I’ve ever…

Western Carolina BBQ Sauce

Some things are sacred.  This is one of those things.  Western Carolina bbq sauce is the perfect companion to our NYC take on Wilkes County Fire Department Chicken-Q.  Think cider vinegar, plenty of peppers, brown sugar, and butter (with all the good bbq spices thrown in).

Chicken-Q: Wilkes County Fire Dept. chicken with an NYC twist

  This weekend was all about North Carolina bbq, where vinegar and peppers meet butter and spices.  Big hat tip to the Wilkes County Fire Department, whose chickenque fundraisers have inspired thousands to get in the kitchen and try to emulate the amazing secret marinade. Our NYC take on this NC tradition started with beautiful…

Cochinita Pibil – pork shoulder in achiote paste

  Amazing pork shoulder courtesy of Sawkill Farm, recipes courtesy of Alex Stupak’s Tacos: Recipes and Provocations.  Learning to make and use achiote paste has broadened our horizons and expanded our the possibilities for pulled pork!

Beef Belly

This beautiful cut of beef belly (or beef navel) was a treat to cook and a delight to eat.  Hat tip to Sun Fed Beef for having this cut on hand at last week’s Jackson Heights Greenmarket.

Before the tacos

salsa verde featuring fresh tomatillos, lime, and grilled serrano peppers – seeds and all!

Why BBQ?

Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start. – Anthony Bourdain