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Friday, March 30, 2007

Letters, We get yout Letters.....

Slowly but surely I'm starting to get some email responses and this one in particular I thought would make for a good daily post..

Hi Hip,

do you grill with charcoal or propane? which is best?

any good tilapia or any fish recipes for bbq?

is it always best to marinate your food at least 1hr?

I Love Wine one of my favorites is a cabernet/merlot blend.


Mashi in Montclair

Good Questions Mashi! Starting from the top-

I prefer Propane myself for 2 main reasons.

1)I BBQ so often that if I used charcoal I would be going through Costco sized bags on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

2)Consistency in heat/temperature. I know exactly at which setting works best for which foods and can crank up one side to sear and the other to finish/finalize etc etc. I used to be an old school charcoal guy but with propane its so much easier to crank up the heat when needed and turn it off when you're done. Simply a convenience factor. I will be doing a future post all about my BBQ and some of the tools I use.

As for the Fish Question-Ive never done a tilapia but will put that on my list of things to do for sure which leads to the next question about marinade.

In my opinion, the longer the marinade the better the flavor. I'll generally try and do overnight if not at least 5 or 6 hours. Get the large Ziploc bags for this. Put in the marinade , Put in the meat take out the excess air-works like a charm! Don't do this for seafood though as any vinegar/citrus juice will cook the fish. When it comes to seafood an hour tops is fine and try not to use too much juice or too much vinegar. If you really want to do an overnight marinade for seafood make your own marinade using only herbs and oils and it will work like a charm. Ill be doing some features about marination in future posts.

As for the Cab/Merlot blends....I'm in a Cab/Zinfandel phase right now but I'm sure with time that will change. With the warm summer months approaching I may try sampling some Whites-and of course will post my thoughts here for all to see.

Once again great questions Mashi. I will be posting some recipes here in a week or so for "Dustin Brown Baby Backs and "Kopitar's Kalbi Korean Flank Steak."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Coming Soon-Bevmo's Wine Special

Just an FYI-Bevmo will be having their buy 1 get one for a nickel wine special this weekend. Here is a cool little trick to even get a better deal. Go their website at and place an order for pickup. When you order online they simply have all of the selected wines 1/2 off. Not sure which ones I'm going to pick up as of yet...I'll cut and paste this post on LGK and see if I can get some recommendations or feel free to post them as a comment.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday BBQ-Filet Mignon, Rib Eye, Chicken & Pillar Box Red

Quick writeup of Sundays BBQ. I prepared a roma tomato salad with balsamic drizzle topped with herb sprinkled slices of avocado and some slices of English Cheddar. The Main Course was a couple of filets. One was done with a Jerk Spice while the other was done with a combination of Mignonette Pepper and Montreal Steal crushed a bit with a mortar and pestle. The Veggies were done on the BBQ as well and consisted of Asparagus, Red Pepper, Maui Onion and Cauliflower...yes Cauliflower. I told the Mrs over dinner that I may very well be the first guy on the planet who voluntarily BBQ's Cauliflower. IThe veggie dish is pretty simply really, slice some assorted veggies into medium/large pieces, add some type of oil(Italian Dressing works good but in last nights case I used Sundried Tomato Infused Olive Oil) and cook until tender over medium heat. If you want to make that a main course you can add shrimp or scallops or any kind of sliced meat really. I do that occasionally and its always been a hit. The other entrees pictured above was a BBQ Spice Marinated Chicken Breast and a Peppercorn Grass Fed Ribeye. For the chicken I took some standard store bought BBQ Sauce, Chef Pauls BBQ Seasoning, Grapeseed Oil, and a clove of minced garlic. Mix all of that in a Ziploc and marinate the chicken for a couple of hours. Great Flavor and nice Golden Color. I almost cut the uncooked breast into strips and throw in with the veggies but opted not to. The Rib Eye was encrusted with a Peppercorn Mix as well as stuffed with garlic. That parts pretty easy-simply take a pairing knife and cut a slice into some of the fatty portions of the meat and insert 1/2 a clove of garlic. Truth be told I am now sure how much garlic flavor actually infuses with meat but you can never go wrong adding garlic to anything-sans maybe cinnamon rolls or Capn Crunch.

As for the Wine-That's a bottle of Australian Pillar Box Red. Its a very affordable wine as I picked up this bottle at the Local Wine Club for 9 or 10 bucks. Its been described as a Premium Everyday Drinking Wine and I think that really fits the bill well. There was nothing extraordinary about the wine but very solid across the board in all areas. The wife found it a bit dry for her liking but I found it well balanced. There's no question its not the fruitiest wine you will ever drink but once again it does have a very nice balance. From the decanter it actually smelled almost identical to Welch's Grape Juice. It paired well with the dinner though and with an alcohol content over 14 we still had 1/4 bottle left. Overall a nice value....I am not sure I will start posting wine scores here or anything like. If that's something someone wants me to do leave some feedback in the comments field or email me.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Review-Lucille's BBQ in Lake Forest

Went to Lucille’s BBQ the other night and thought Id post a quick review.

First off we started with a couple of Lucille’s Microbrews….I had the Lucille’s Amber while the wife had the Lucille’s Blond. Both good beers. I think theyre made for Lucille’s by some mysterious beer making company. My wife ordered the Black Tiger Shrimp while I order one of the combo samplers.

The think I will say about Lucille’s is it is pricey for BBQ. The price I paid for the my dinner Im sure I could have ordered a real kick ass Fish dish at Kings Fish House so I’m proud to say the food didn’t disappoint.

The Wife’s shrimp had a nice flavor. The Menu described it as Shrimp sautéed in BBQ sauce. I think they must have lightened up the sauce a bit or maybe the sauce simply diluted with whatever oil or butter they sautéed it in. However they did it, it worked wonderfully. Her plate also came with some type of Spinach as well as some Cheese Grits. Its been a long time since Ive eaten spinach and it certainly harked back to the days when eating spinach meant my Mom opening a can of Green Giant. The grits were very good as well although Ive nothing to compare them to as growing up in Orange County grits were hardly the staple they are in the South. As a matter of fact-this may very well be the first time Ive had grits entirely.

My plate has ½ a chicken, some pulled pork, and ½ rack of Baby Back Ribs. The Chicken was good although I questioned why I chose it in the first place as Ive become quite adept at BBQ Chicken and as a rule of thumb will never order anything at a restaurant that I feel I could make better at home. It was good though and had a strong dose of white pepper. The Pulled Pork was good as well but for the price I paid for the plate expected a little bit more generous of portion. The Baby Backs were a real treat though. If I ever make it back to Lucille’s rest assured I will get the full serving of Baby Backs and nothing else. They were very tender and very lean yet every morsel of rib was covered with some sauce/dry rub/smoke. Great Rib. I also had the shoestring potatoes(standard shoestring fare), the BBQ Beans(very good with hearty bacon/onion flavor), and the Garlic Mashed Potatoes(not horrible-but some of the other things were so much better they didn’t stand out.) Friends also raved about the biscuits and the apple butter but quite frankly it wasn’t amazingly good. Sure they were good….just not amazingly good.

To me Lucille’s stands out as a place that curtails for people who want BBQ but don’t want to go to the hole if the wall places to find it and don’t mind paying extra for “premium” BBQ if there is such a think. The Location in Lake Forest was packed and while we got there semi-early and had no problem getting a table by the time we left there was a long wait. Also a bit disappointed in that the bar had no happy hour-this really sets it apart from Kings Fish House that has a great Happy Hour. Both places are very similar in setup and approach and price for that matter. If you want premium BBQ and not afraid to pay for it Lucille’s is a great bet. If you want the most bang for your buck Im sure there are tons of other BBQ places that will meet your needs and once again for the price I paid on the bill Im sure I could have had an amazing meal at Kings Fish House. If you do visit-skip the chicken and go straight for the Baby Backs. They were perfectly done and even though the table had 3 different kinds of sauces you didn’t need it at all.

I give Lucilles a solid B, maybe a B+. If the prices were a bit more reasonable no reason it wouldn’t have gotten an A though and Im sure for real BBQ purist the overtly sanitized enviroment will probably be a bit different from your normal barbecuery.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Another Night of BBQ Bliss

Had a wondeful BBQ last night. I had 2 Filet Mignons. One I marinated in a Korean BBQ Sauce the other I Encrusted the Outside edge with some Penzeys Spices. I also did a quick bbq stir fry in the veggie basket with mushrooms asparagus and onions coated with a sundried tomato olive oil enfusuion. I really should have taken a picture but I there. I also opened up a bottle of Cameron Hughes Cabernet Lot 15 if Im not mistaken. Its a very good mid priced wine with nice oak overtones. I know there is something about the finish as well but I had a glass of scotch before I started BBQing as well as a cheap glass of Syrah and by the time dinner was ready my pallette was how we should say....compromised.

Anyhow the dinner looked a little something like this.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Not sure if this or funny or not but Ill post it anyhow....Some people on a forum I hang were discussing how attractive Sarah Silverman is and that got me thinking;

On average, do you think Jewish Women named Goldman are hotter then Jewish Women named Silverman? And why are there no Jewish women named Bronzeman?

Sorry for turning this into a Seinfeld Routine.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ok for my 2nd entry I thought Id post some cool clips via You Tube of some very rare music stuff from one of my favorite bands.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

welcome to my blog

After some thought and 1/2 a bottle of Yellowtail Cab/Shiraz Ive finally got around to creating my very own personal blog for all to enjoy. I figure Ill use this space to review movies, wines, music, and mainly post pictures of all my wonderful BBQ creations. Feel free to throw out any ideas you may have for my blog and by all means donate any extra money you have lying around. I will try to keep it short, fun, sometime off the wall, but always that special once in a lifetime experience my 4 readers have come to love and expect from me.

First fun fact-I was originally going to name this blog Koo Koo Ka Joob after the Beatles I am the Walrus but couldnt decide if it was spelt as listed above or the way its spelled in most online lyrics searches as Goo Goo G'Joob. After that I thought maybe I would go with Ka Koo Ka Choo which is an imaginary japanese phrase I say to my son every once in a while or maybe go with "henry the 8th I am I am." Finally just decided on this unoriginal schfilkus name just to get the registration process over with.

I wish I would have taken pictures of tonights dinner for you but didnt but promise to do so in the future. It was....

Artesian Kalamata Olive Bread with Avocado Creme Cheese Spread topped with Sundried Tomatoes.

BBQd Chicken Breast marinated in Charo Chickens Roasted Garlic Salsa.

Herb Encrusted Medallions of Filet Mignon. One was done with Celtic Sea Salt and Telicherry Black Pepper(the wifes favorite) and I decided to do mine with the seasons mentioned above with a combo of Jamaican Jerk Spice and Cajun. Very Very Tasty!

As time goes on I will reveal some of my favorite places to get meat, wine, spices, and other stuff I use daily as well as maybe some hot coupon or specials that may be going on at that time.

I will try to update at least once or twice a week as well depending on the work schedule and what not. The most important thing is just have fun, be yourself, set up straight, and dont chew with your mouth open.....its disgusting and no one wants to see that. In the meantime heres a random picture for you-Goodnight.

If you are wondering about the picture....well thats Bob Finkbohner AKA Sloppy Joe. I dont know him and never met him. I also have no interest in remote control planes either. All that said....this first blog posting goes out to you Bob Finkbohner wherever you and your remote control plane may be.