Food, Wine & Just Good Living With SaucyJoe

It started with a love of food, wine & fun and blossomed into a maddening pursuit of the best recipes, techniques, grills, smokers, wines, crafted beers, rubs, marinades and sauces... We do more than play with our meat though -- we review and discuss all things cooking, drinking, reading, laughing and living at SaucyJoe's.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Just in Case

Work hard, play hard. Considering how hard everyone's been working this week, it'll take a lot play time to balance things out. With that in mind I wanted to pass along some helpful info for the day after.
One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.
The only problem I see with this would be the use of a blender. Kind of takes away from the soothing effects of the milkshake. You may want to throw a couple of asprin in the mix for good measure. Drink slowly and go back to bed for a few more hours.

Thanks to Connie for this helpful hangover remedy. Hope you don't need it!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Burn Ban Lifted!!

I've been icthin' to light my charcoal grill, but I've been a good boy during the burn ban and used my gas grill exclusivly. No More! I checked the county web site before I started dinner and there in nice bold letters was the announcement that the burn ban has been lifted ... kinda. For the most part it's done, but they don't want you burning after dusk. It didn't go into details on what type of burning couldn't go on at night, so I fired up the charcoal grill, threw on some burgers and then started searching through the fridge for anything else I could grill. Found some chicken breasts I was going to use for another recipe and headed back to the grill. Couldn't let those good coals go to waste!!

With the exception of grabbing a really hot pair of metal tongs while saying hello to family as they walked by, it was a great success! Sorry to Libby and Ave for scaring you as the tongs and a couple of choice words went flying.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Bananas are healthy & yummy!

Last night, I hung out with my best friend Cathy and we had yummy banana daiquiris. Here's the recipe:

Banana DaiquiriIngredients
  • 1 1/2 oz Light rum
  • 1 tblsp Triple sec
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 1/2 oz Lime juice
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 Cherry

  • Mixing Instructions:
    Combine all ingredients (except for the cherry) with 1 cup crushed ice in an electric blender. Blend at a low speed for five seconds, then blend at a high speed until firm. Pour contents into a champagne flute, top with the cherry, and serve.

    We actually drank them out of frosted mugs but did the cherry was fun! We also floated banana liquor on top which made them even more yummy. Does having real banana in it make it at all healthy?

    Friday, March 24, 2006

    Hang Time

    Usually one associates hang time with some sort of sports event or as with my teacher Jim Doutre, the time grapes stay (hang) on the vine. Regardless of the event, hang time usually funnels down to the longer, the better. This continues in our newest definition of Hang Time. Hangin' with friends and family.

    We talked about this in an associated post over a month ago, but it's still so important. Spend as much time hangin' with friends and family as possible. Guaranteed there will be talk of good food, drink and the good life in each conversation.

    I was fortunate to have great Hang Time last weekend with dear ones Connie and Cathy down in Austin. It is amazing to watch how a thought or idea can grow when nutured by so many great people. We all learn and grow from each other.

    'Tis my wish that we all embrace each time we have to hang with friends and family.
    Life is short, Hang On!!

    Monday, March 13, 2006

    Smokin' and Spicin'

    As I’m sitting around on a Sunday afternoon, recovering from the weekly Saturday night dart competition in beautiful downtown Anamosa, IA, I continue to bask in the praise from this and last weekend’s smoking, recipes courtesy of Cheryl and Bill Jamison’s Smoke and Spice, a veritable barbecue bible.

    Last weekend, as part of a command performance for the 41st birthday celebration of my future brother-in-law, Adam Ardolino, real estate and financial services baron of Eastern Iowa, I smoked a pork shoulder and some wicked-hot turkey tenderloins. Both recipes were easy to follow, and all took a good deal of time in the smoker.

    Maple-Bourbon Ham (or, in this case, pork shoulder)

    2 Tbsp maple syrup
    2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
    2 Tbsp Dijon (or honey Dijon) mustard
    1 Tbsp bourbon (cheep!)
    1 Tbsp vegetable oil
    1 Tbsp paprika
    1 Tbsp onion powder
    2 Tsp coarse salt, kosher or sea salt
    12-14 Lb bone-in cooked ready-to-eat ham, or pork shoulder

    Maple-Bourbon Mop

    ¼ cup maple syrup
    ¼ cup bourbon
    ¼ cup cider vinegar
    3 Tbsp vegetable oil
    2 Tsp Dijon mustard

    Maple-Bourbon Glaze

    ¾ cup maple syrup
    ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp bourbon
    3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
    2 Tbsp unsalted butter
    2 Tbsp minced onion
    1 Tbsp cider vinegar
    2 Tsp yellow mustard seeds, cracked
    1 Tsp freshly ground black pepper


    · The night before you smoke the ham, criss-cross cut the fatty side of the ham with cuts about ¼ to ½ inch deep.
    · Combine the paste ingredients in a bowl.
    · Spread the paste all over the ham using your fingers. NOTE: I used too much bourbon (in the paste, not the chef!) and had a thinner mixture. So I rubbed it over the surface and worked it into the ham as much as I could.
    · Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight
    · The next day, pull the ham out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 45-60 minutes
    · Prepare the smoker for barbecuing (Apple wood chips are almost mandatory for smoking ham!) bringing the temperature to 200-220°F.
    · Mix the mop ingredients in a saucepan and warm over low heat.
    · Put the ham in the smoker, fat side up.
    · Cook for 5 ½ to 6 hours basting every 30 minutes
    · Mix the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and warm over low heat.
    · Brush the ham with the glaze twice during the last hour of cooking.

    Hot Times Jalapeño Turkey Tenderloins

    Injection Liquid (Does Dr. Dave inject? Of course Dr. Dave injects!)

    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1/3 cup pickling liquid from a jar or can of pickled jalapeños
    1 Tsp yellow mustard

    4 – 2 lb turkey tenderloins

    Hot Times Rub

    2 Tbsp coarse salt, kosher or sea salt
    2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
    2 Tsp ground cinnamon
    ½ Tsp dry mustard
    ½ Tsp cayenne pepper

    Hot Times Mop

    2 cups chicken or turkey stock
    ¼ cup vegetable oil
    ¼ cup pickling liquid from a jar or can of pickled jalapeños
    ¼ cup jalapeño jelly

    NOTE: I ran out of the jalapeño pickling liquid, and I had all of those jalapeños left over, so I pureed all of the jalapeños and added them to the mop. Whoeee! That’ll make your tongue sweat!


    · The night before you plan to barbecue, mix the injection liquid ingredients in a bowl.
    · Using a kitchen syringe, inject the mixture deep into the tenderloins in several spots.
    · Mix the rub ingredients in a small bowl.
    · Message the rub well into the tenderloin meat.
    · Wrap the tenderloins in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
    · One hour before cooking, pull the tenderloins from the refrigerator and allow them to sit at room temperature.
    · Prepare the smoker for barbecuing bringing the temperature to 200-220°F. Apple or Cherry wood chips smoke turkey well.
    · Put the tenderloins in the smoker and cook for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours per pound or until the internal temperature in 180°F.
    · Combine the Hot Times Mop ingredients in a saucepan and warm over low heat.
    · Baste the tenderloins once every 30 minutes with the Hot Times Mop.
    · When done cooking, remove the tenderloins from the smoker and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

    Sliced tenderloins make a nice presentation. Best served with cold beer (but then, isn’t everything?) because these babies are hot!

    Wednesday, March 01, 2006

    If you're smokin' in here, you better be on fire!!

    May 9th! Can you believe it??? The burn ban has been extended to May 9th for the county and that left me no choice, but to bring the smoker inside. Now let me quell your concerns right off the bat as I won't be firing up my water smoker in the house. I did entertain some thoughts of cooking steaks in the fireplace though!

    My indoor smoking solution was to purchase a Cameron Stovetop Smoker. It looks like a long cake pan with a sliding lid on top and folding handles on the side. Simple as could be to operate, I had it up and smoking within an hour of opening the box. Add a small pile of wood chips (looks like sawdust) to the bottom of the pan, place the drip pan on top of the chips, grill grate comes next, food on top of that and then slide the top on. Place the whole thing on top of a stovetop element preheated to medium and let it smoke. Most of the smoking is done in less than 45 minutes.

    The smoker came with four sample containers of wood chips (Alder, Oak, Cherry and Hickory) and a small instruction manual/recipe book. More than enough to get you started and hooked on smoking foods. As you run out of chips, you can order more online or you may have a local source available.

    Airtight it isn't! I found that out the first night and fixed it quickly with a foil wrap along the edges. (Next time I'll use the oven mitts!) The smoker uses one heating element on the stove to smoke, but due to its' size it may cover two and take away some valuable stovetop space. Since this is just a smoker, you'll probably need to have a grill pan,your gas grill or oven ready to add the finishing touches to your food. Clean up isn't bad if you add foil to the bottom of the drip pan and hit the cooking grate with a non-stick spray before cooking.

    This is a great way to do a quick smoke on your food and add some extra flavor to many of your recipes. So far I've smoked chicken breasts, turkey cutlets, salmon and on the veggie side, tomatoes for my salsa. This'll hold me over until the burn ban expires or I save up enough money for a burn ban exempt outdoor smoker!