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.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

What are we thankful for

I got busy over the Thanksgiving holiday to the point of beyond my mother, no one knew how thankful I was that they were a part of my life. Indeed, I am very thankful for my family and the closeness we share: friends that I wouldn't trade for the world and the life I have that allows me to carry on the Saucy life.

I raise my glass and wish the same opportunities to you.
Saucy Joe

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hot Legs!

Hot Legs!
(A tribute to Z-Z-Top)

This one is for those of you who think hot wings are too scrawny for ANY appetite. The original recipe comes from Super Smokers out of St. Louis, MO.


Ground Black Pepper--------------------------2 ½ tablespoons
Onion Powder----------------------------------1 tablespoon
Garlic Powder----------------------------------1 tablespoon
Seasoned Salt---------------------------------1 tablespoon

Chicken Legs-----------------------------------10-12 each

Honey--------------------------------------------1 cup
Hot Barbecue Sauce----------------------------½ cup
(I use Devil’s Spit from Famous Dave’s)
Apple Juice--------------------------------------3 tablespoons


• Mix the RUB ingredients in a bowl
• Place the chicken legs in a large zippered plastic bag
• Pour in the RUB. Close the bag.
• Shake the bag to coat the legs.
• Store in the refrigerator for 1 to 24 hours.

• Soak apple wood chips to provide the smoke flavor
• Fire up the smoker and get to a steady temperature of 225°F …OR…
• Set up the grill for indirect cooking with the chips pack over MEDIUM direct heat.
• I like to hang the legs on a chicken legs rack and place in the smoker after you get some smoke going.
• Smoke for 1 hour (turning at the half hour if on a horizontal rack).

• While the legs are smoking, mix the sauce ingredients in a sauce pan
• Cook the sauce over medium heat until warmed through.

• After 1 hour of smoking, coat the legs with the sauce, mop, baste or dip
• Smoke for another 30 minutes, coating once more.

Maybe the Saucy One can publish a picture of the chicken legs rack!

Monday, November 27, 2006

My week of food

Sam over at Becks and Posh sent out a challenge to food bloggers out there to keep a journal of everything consumed starting last Monday and ending Sunday night. Of all the weeks to do this! It does make for a prettier set of photos than I'd have for a regular week.

Strawberry Yogurt
Grilled Chicken Thighs - cooked last night and still smelled fabulous
Dominos Pepperoni Pizza
Red Guitar 2005 Old Vine Tempranillo Garnacha

A visit to the Great Lakes Brewing Company ... it was a great day!
Bratwurst + Pierorgi (Dortmunder Beer Bratwurst, Local potato cheese Pierogi, Braised Napa Cabbage, sour cream and Dijon Mustard)
Pub bites (seasonal fish in Porter Tempura batter)
New Orleans style Bread Pudding w/sweetened whiskey butter sauce
Sweet ale aged in Oak Bourbon barrels
Pumpkin ale (2)

Pumpernickel Bagel with cream cheese
Ham Sandwich (ham, swiss cheese on rye)
4 beers - GLBC Christmas Ale and Samuel Adams Octoberfest
Squash-Leek Soup
Pot Roast
Roll with butter
Makers Mark on the rocks - smooth

Banana for breakfast with coffee
Ham sandwich - more of the same, but the rye bread is fabulous!
Sam Adams Octoberfest
GLBC Christmas Ale
Cornish Hen with cornbread stuffing
cranberry-orange zest relish
sweet & regular mashed potato
green beans
black and green olives
Kenwood, Jack London Vinyards 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon

Pumpkin Pie
Ham Sandwich (I see a pattern)
tortillia chips
shrimp scampi w/linguine
cole slaw
Yellow Tail Merlot

Pumpkin Pie
Ham Sandwich (Mom ... are you trying to finish the ham before I leave??)
GLBC Christmas Ale - Draft (bar at the airport)
Pepperoni Pizza
Architype Shiraz

Lots of Coffee!!!
Cold Pepperoni Pizza
Grilled Chicken Legs (back on the grill again!!)
Chicken Family green beans
Roasted Potato Wedges
Steamed Spinich
Architype Shiraz
More Coffee

Looking back at the week I realize I didn't do much for breakfast and I had plenty to drink. Took advantage of my vacation! I'll have to work on my breakfast menu. It's much better when I have a regular schedule.

It was an interesting week trying this experiment. Makes you think a lot more on what is going in your body when you have to write it up later.

Friday, November 24, 2006

How did you fare??

I traveled up to Ohio for the Thanksgiving holiday to visit my Mom. Thus you will know that I didn't go hungry!!

I was curious how everyone else fared. It was an experimental and successful time here with our Cornish Hen and mashed potatoes amongst other things. I still can't believe I ate the whole thing!!!

Happiness and safe travel to you during the rest of your weekend and let me know how things were on your end!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

For your visitors

Here's a low calorie welcome to all of your guests that will be arriving soon for the holidays. I made a batch up Sunday and it didn't last. Adults and children were scooping it up!

Butternut Squash - Leek Soup

1 whole garlic head
4 teaspoons olive oil
6 cups thinly sliced leek (about 4 large)
4 cups (3/4 inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about
1 medium)
2 cups water
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Step 2: Remove white papery skin from garlic heat (do
not peel or separate cloves).
Wrap head in foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour,
cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract
garlic pulp. Discard skins.

Step 3: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high
heat. Add leek; saute 5 minutes or until tender. Stir
in garlic, squash, 2 cups water, broth, salt and black
pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and summer 10
minutes or until squash is tender. Place half of
squash mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of
blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender
lid on blender. Place a clean towel over the opening
in the blender lid. (to avoid splatters). Blend until
smooth. Pour pureed soup into a bowl. Repeat procedure
with remaining squash mixture.

Yield: 6 servings.

Calories: 167 Fat 3.5g Protein: 4.1g Carb: 33.5g
Fiber 5.3g Chol: 0mg Iron: 3.3mg Sodium 351mg
Calc: 144mg

As in any recipe, I threw in a few curves. I cooked the garlic bulb out on the grill and added some smoke to the cooking process. When I make it again, I'll use fresh ground white pepper. It's an appearance thing. Clean presentation.

Special thanks to Cooking Light magazine for such a healthy dish!

BBQ, What is your Thanksgiving Faire?

The Iowa Sullivan household is having the traditional Thanksgiving turkey stuffed with Linda's special stuffing (I'll watch and see if I can get the recipe). The Dr. is smoking a ham using the Maple Bourbon Ham recipe posted on the Saucy Joe's blog spot in March 2006, and he is considering smoking a beer can turkey (any excuse to drink some Foster's).

We'll have 8 at the table, though our granson and his parents will remain in Dayton, Ohio for this holiday.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Birthday Roundup

Happiness is when your birthday lands on the weekend. Mine hit Saturday ... perfect day for a party. Or should I say, perfect excuse for a party.

Great food, great wine, great fire and great company. All the things that make for a successful party were in attendence.

Highlights for me of my birthday were the pile of chopped vegetables and meat that my Sis Connie and niece Sami tag teamed on (we'd be eating at midnight if I was cutting those); the tasty Malbec suggested by my local wine merchant (see Borzo, I listen) and how much fun it is to share time with my friends and family.

Here's some of the things consumed during the evening.

2003 Terra Noble Gran Reserva Carmenere - Maule Vally, Chile

2003 The Lackey Shiraz - South Australia

2004 Tamari Malbec Reserva - Mendoza Region, Argentina The favorite of the night!

2005 Marquis Philips Cabernet Sauvignon - South Eastern, Australia

Beef Ribeye and Vegetable Stew
I did a twist on this recipe as I used Bison Ribeyes that had been on the smoker for a half hour and a lot more of each ingredient as I had a bunch of people to feed. There wasn't a spoonful left. I'll give you the original recipe and let you play.

Total: 25 minutes
4 Servings

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds boneless beef rib eye, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1 inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 garlic cloves, coarsley chopped
1 large Yukon Gold potato, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 large onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups beef stock or canned low-sodium broth
4 thyme sprigs, plus thyme leave for garnish
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen peas

1. Heat a large skillet. Add the oil and heat until wisps of smoke appear. Add the meat, season generously with salt and pepper and brown on all sides over moderately high heat. About 4 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon transfer the meat to a plate.

2. Melt the butter in the skillet. Add the carrots, garlic, potato and onion and cook until lightly colored, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the wine and simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, thyme sprigs and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat until the carrots and potato are fork-tender, about 6 minutes.

3. Add the peas and the meat along with any accumulated juices, cover and simmer until the meat is heated through and medium rare, about 3 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with thyme leaves and serve.

Wine Pick: Rich, smoky-plummy Shiraz.

Thanks to all that came - especially our long distance guests from Austin - Connie and Sami Miller!!

Let me know your stew results!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Everything you always wanted to know about selecting the right wine……….*

Resident wine expert David Borzo steers us in the right direction for finding the right wine for any occasion. I find that I'm guilty of not following these guidelines, but am changing my ways!! Just have to get past the pretty labels.

Number One Rule: Don’t let anyone tell you what you like. There is no “right” bottle of wine that works for everyone; we all have different tastes and needs. Your tastes are as unique as you are, and if you like a wine, you like it.. Even if someone tells you not to.

Patronize a shop where you can sample wines. Reading reviews and reading the label information just won’t tell you enough. You need to try different varietals, different styles, different regions, and different producers. There are different countries, different vintages, (and non vintage wines), different methods of productions, and different wine-makers. Tasting wine is the only way to develop your tastes.

Tell your wine merchant what the occasion is for the wine; formal or informal, the wine experience of the guests, and the type of event. These items all can have a great deal to do with the right selection, and the wine merchant will help strike a balance.

Don’t buy wines based on the label. This may seem like an obvious point to some, but deserves a special note. It has become a huge segment in the wine industry today - Mass marketing of wine with fun labels featuring cute furry animals, ironic humorous quotes or provocative sayings. Don’t let the label fool you in to buying a bad wine.

Be careful of age. Many wines are not “built to age” and may start to decline after just a few years. I f you want a fresh and vibrant wine, ready to drink now, let your merchant know. If you are looking for a wine that is built to be “age-worthy”, let your merchant know that. (A great wine, properly stored, can develop in the bottle for many years. Flavors and nuances come forth over time, tannins soften, and the wine develops gracefully).

A “Great Wine” does not mean an expensive wine. Don’t be fooled by price tags. They can’t tell you that you’ll like the wine or not, and price often does not speak to quality as much as to scarcity or name recognition.

Patronize a shop where they provide personal attention to assist you. We all can use some guidance to help understand the multitude of varietals and styles of wines available. Personal attention to your tastes and needs will help decide what work best for you.

Tell your wine merchant how much you are willing to spend. Let them tailor their recommendations to your taste and budget. There are hundreds of great wines out there that are very reasonably priced.

Matching Food with Wine is of course of paramount importance. A basic rule: There are not many hard fast rules. Don’t get stuck in the old cliché of “White wine for chicken, red wine for beef“. (And Champagne is not only for dessert!) Again, your wine merchant can help pair up the right wine for your menu, and provide many options.

People often start with a lighter, sweeter wine, and that’s fine. A medium German Riesling for instance is a great departure point for beginners. You may continue to gravitate towards fruitier wines as you continue to develop tasting experience. Or you may start to develop a taste for a more robust and heartier wine. It’s all good.

Learning what wines are best for you is a continuous journey, not a means to an end. Work your way along the path as you live life. You may experience a few clunkers along the way, but you will also come across many sublime moments of appreciation of the noble grape!

* ….but were afraid to ask

Friday, November 10, 2006

Linda's Broccoli Lemon Chicken

Well, it's started to snow outside, and comfort food comes to mind. So here's my wife, Linda's Lemon Broccoli Chicken recipe

Lemon Broccoli Chicken


Chicken, skinless, boneless 1 Lb (4 half breasts)
Lemon 1 Each
Cream of Broccoli Soup 1 Can (small)
Milk ¼ Cup
Onion (chopped) ½ Medium
Mushroom (sliced) 4 oz
Vegetable Oil 1 Tbsp
Black Pepper (ground) 2 tsp


• Cut 4 slices of the lemon, set aside
• Juice the rest of the lemon. Reserve
• Chop the onion, set aside
• Slice the mushrooms, set aside
• Place the vegetable oil in a skillet on medium high heat
• Cook the chicken breasts until browned on both sides
• Place the chicken on a plate and set aside
• In the same skillet, combine the mushrooms and onions
• Sautee’ for 2 minutes
• Add the soup to the skillet. Stir
• Add the milk to the skillet. Stir
• Add the lemon juice. Stir
• Place the chicken in the mixture
• Put the lemon slices on top of the chicken
• Reduce the heat to Low
• Cover the skillet
• Cook for 20-30 minutes

Serve with rice.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Yahoo! ... Food

I read an article on Yahoo! touting a new section to their world come next spring ... food. I'm always excited to find a fresh source of cooking references and ideas, but this looks like a Food Tsunami with all of the groups involved:

Media partners include Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. , Wolfgang Puck, Everyday with Rachael Ray, Food & Wine, Epicurious,, Cook's Illustrated, Eating Well, Taste of Home, and Reader's Digest.

This just baffles me. Here we have some serious food dynasties in their own right and they are breaking ranks and joining with Yahoo! in this venture. The pull must be too much to resist. I guess if Yahoo! were to email me tomorrow and ask me to be a partner, I'd find that hard to resist.

I think a big part of the big names in the Yahoo! lineup are due to the person they hired to head up the Food division. Deanna Brown. She founded Epicurious and launched AOL Food. Not bad credentials.

I think this will be something to keep an eye on. Just one question ... where's the grilling people??