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, April 21, 2006

Mango Tango Revisited

I'm not quite sure how I did it, but the original Mango Tango post went the way of Ted Nugents musical career. Sorry Ted.
The Mango Tangos have been well received and I've run out of Mango Nectar quite a few times. It's getting to the point that I need to keep a few ice trays of Mango Nectar in the freezer and a few cans in the pantry at all times. This will be a regular drink all summer long. Enjoy!!!

Here's the recipe ... again!

2-12 oz. cans Mango Nectar
4 oz. Dark Rum
2 oz. Coconut Rum
2 oz. Triple Sec
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
1 lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)

Fill 2 ice cube trays with the Mango Nectar; freeze until solid. At least a few hours

Working in batches, puree the mango ice cubes, dark rum, coconut rum, Triple Sec, pineapple juice, and lime juice in a blender until smooth. Serve

Recipe courtesy Food Networks Kitchens Get Grilling
Thanks Connie for catching my Tripe mistake

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Smoked Pork Butt!

I have had a desire to try smoking some pork shoulder or pork butt for some time now, so last weekend I got up the gumption to smoke some butt! I bought a 5 pound pork butt for $4.99 (How’s that for a cheap dinner?), and I used a recipe from Peace, Love and Barbecue by Mike Mills and Amy Mills Tunnicliffe. This recipe made over 10 very tasty sandwiches. It was an easy recipe to fix, though it took a long time to smoke (typically 4-5 hours, mine went longer though for reasons outlined below).

Mike has some very good advice for smoking pork butt. “Don’t plan on doing anything else during that (smoking) time. You’re going to need to babysit the meat. Fix yourself a cooler with an ample supply of beer, get something to read or someone to talk to”. I showed this to my wife, Linda, and announced that I was planning to follow this recipe to the letter (this on the nicest Saturday we have had here in Eastern Iowa). Needless to say, this did NOT fly! She quickly pointed out that I could keep a fine eye on the smoking process from the garden, which is actually closer to the smoker than the deck, while I was preparing flower beds. She did let me drink the beer though.

Here’s how it went:

Thursday Night Brine

· Fill a 1 gallon plastic freezer bag half full of water.
· Add ½ cup of Kosher Salt
· Mix until the salt is dissolved
· Place the Pork Butt in the bag and refrigerate over night

Friday Night Rub

· Remove the Pork But from the brine bag, rinse and pat dry
· Tenderize the meat by puncturing it with a fork, all the while screaming in a high voice “SCREE! SCREE! SCREE! SCREE! SCREE! SCREE!” You can even turn on the kitchen faucet to simulate that shower sound.
· Season the Pork Butt liberally with your favorite rub or dust. I used Saucy Joe’s Ultimate Rub.
· Tenderize again. You probably won’t get away with the sound effects a second time. I didn’t.
· Refrigerate over night.

Saturday Morning Smoker Prep

· Soak apple wood chips for two hours. Apple is THE wood for pork!
· Fire up the smoker and get to a constant temperature of 225-250°F. NOTE: I set the smoker at 200°F, and that was too low for a reasonable cooking time. The meat never got above 150°F. I had to finally raise the temperature to get the meat to reach a ‘done’ temperature after over 8 hours.

Saturday Smoking Start

· Remove the Pork Butt from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.
· Place the Pork Butt in the smoker, fat side up. This allows the fat to render and soak the rub spice flavor down into the meat.

Mopping Sauce Ingredients

1 qt apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cayenne pepper

Mopping Sauce Prep

· Place ingredients in a large saucepan
· Heat to a boil, stirring constantly
· Thoroughly dissolve all ingredients

Saturday Smoking

· Smoke for 1 hour, then mop the meat
· Mop every 30-35 minutes. NOTE: Mop once an hour if you are using a water smoker. I did this and added apple wood chips at the same time.
· At the 4 hour mark, insert a meat thermometer into the center of the meat, not near the bone.
· Continue to cook until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165-170°F for sliced pork or 185°F for pulled pork. I went for 185°F and the meat was ready to fall apart.
· 20 minutes before the meat is ready to come out of the smoker, mop the Pork Butt with your favorite barbecue sauce.

Serving Smoked Pork Butt

· Slice or pull the meat apart, removing any chunks of fat as you go.
· Shred the meat by hand using two forks, or chop it with a cleaver.
· Eat the meat alone, or pile it on a bun. Add more barbecue sauce, sprinkle some more rub, add a dollop of coleslaw and squash that top bun down.
· Hold on tight for a true smoked treat!

Smoked Pork Butt Sammiches!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Oh Yes, you need those bananas ...

With such great results from the hangover remedy, I thought that we would all benefit from all the positive attributes available from our fine yellow friend. Thanks Connie for the Banana info!! Enjoy!!!

Bananas Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and
glucose combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained
and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two
bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout.
No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's
leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help
us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial
number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our
daily diet.

According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people
suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a
banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of
protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you
relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

Forget the pills -- eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains
regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia :
High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in
the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure:
This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low
in salt, making it the perfect way to beat blood pressure. So much
so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana
industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce
the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power:
200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through
their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and
lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that
the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more

High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal
bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to

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.

Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer
from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness:
Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels
up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites:
Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected
area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it
amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work?
Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at
work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips.
Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most
obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report
concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to
control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate
foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders
because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw
fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases.
It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating
the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control:
Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower
both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers.
In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure
their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):
Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural
mood enhancer tryptophan.

Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6,
B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in
them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat,
sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance.
When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our
potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a
high-potassium banana snack.

According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine,"
eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death
by strokes by as much as 40%!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you
compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the
carbohydrates, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A
and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also
rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So
maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A
banana a day keeps the doctor away!"

Don't forget Cathy's Banana Daquiri recipe. Good for ya ... Good to ya!!!!