Table Talk: June 2016
The buzz on Tulsa’s tastiest products, restaurants and events
It’s that time of year when fair-weathered backyard grillers begin dusting off their grill covers. And those who’ve never done so much as flip a burger run their fingers longingly down all the shiny charcoal and gas grills at the big box stores.
I admire people who grill year-round. I’ve watched my dad grill as the snow is falling — undeterred from his cedar-plank salmon — and stand guard at his Hasty-Bake under a scorching sun. For you grilling gurus, there is no “grilling season.” But for most of us, this is peak time.
A simple steak on the grill is great, but barbecue is its own animal. Cooking low and slow is the name of the game for ribs, brisket and other smoked meats.
For smoked meats, start with a great rub. Bubba-Q-Boys, made by Tulsans Kristy and Josh White, is a good one. It’s a blend of salty and sweet, with a little heat. You can find it at Ida Red, Jack Wills or www.bubba-q-boys.com.
Here are Kristy White’s five sure-fire ways to up your barbecue ante.
1. Some fat is good for flavor, but be sure to trim the excess on chicken, brisket and pork.
2. For ribs, remove the membrane from the back of the slab. This will make it easier to know when they are done and tender.
3. Before your meat goes on the smoker, massage it thoroughly with rub and let it reach room temperature.
4. When smoking ribs, smoke for 3-4 hours at 220-250 degrees. During the last 30 minutes, baste with barbecue sauce so it caramelizes with the rub and meat.
5. After pulling the meat off the bone, let stand for 15-20 minutes before serving. This firms up the meat and makes it easier to slice.
Whether you’re grilling or smoking, this cornbread salad is a perfect side dish. I use a package of ranch dressing mix to speed things up, but if you want to make homemade ranch dressing, it’s even better.
Prepare the dressing using the dressing mix, mayonnaise and sour cream.
Break half the cornbread into a large glass bowl or trifle dish.
Layer half the corn, beans, tomatoes, peppers, onion, cheese, bacon and dressing on top of the cornbread, then repeat with remaining ingredients.
Chill until ready to serve.
Here’s another side for your summer dinners. Set aside some smoked meat to add to these not-too-sweet baked beans.
Savory Baked Beans
Rinse beans. Cover with water, and let soak overnight.
Drain water. In a Dutch oven, cover beans with 1-2 inches of fresh water. Add onion, mustard, bay leaf, molasses and brown sugar. Bring to a boil.
Once the water is boiling, cover and place in a 200-degree oven. After 1 hour, remove from heat, add salt and stir. Stir once every hour, letting beans cook at least 4 hours. If liquid is disappearing, add a cup of water. In last hour of cooking, add meat and stir to combine. These beans are forgiving, but are best when cooked 5-6 hours. If you want the beans to brown on the surface, remove lid for the last 30-45 minutes of cooking.