My mama, as you may know by now, recently moved to the convenient location between the shoppe and my house. The Forth of July, 2015, was the first holiday having all four generations together. It was magical… but add in the meal my mama made and HOLY MOLY! I am drooling as I am thinking back on it. Pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, coleslaw (also know as ‘slaw’ if you are in the south 😉 ) watermelon, and “Grandma Bette Cookies” for dessert (a.k.a. small chocolate chip cookies (her specialty 😉 )). The following interview tells the story of how my mama came about making the best BBQ I have ever had.
Me: What inspires a new recipe? Mama: For me, inspiration comes from books, not necessarily cookbooks, where the dialogue includes regional dishes. For example, reading Sweetwater Creek, by Anne Rivers Siddons, created an interest in a dish called Cheesy Shrimp and Grits. I grew up in New Orleans, but had never heard of this combination. Researching led me to many pages of recipes with each one being just a little bit different than the last. I combined a few recipes and the results were complements and no leftovers. Me: I can attest to that meal, it was deeeelicious! I couldn’t let there be any left overs 🙂 (See below after the interview for mama’s recipe)
Me: Do you always follow the recipes? Mama: Yes, but I also make changes by adding a little more or a little less than what is specified. The results are usually great, but I have some failures, too. You can’t be afraid to try though.
Me: When did you first discover you wanted to learn the art of BBQ? Mama: Probably when I read Michael Pollan’s book, Cooked.
Me: How did you end up cooking your first BBQ pork meal? Mama: Well, learning how to smoke meat was on my list of things to learn. When I moved to South Carolina, I was ambitious and wanted to start out with a whole hog and smoke it in the ground. A wise neighbor advised me to start with a roast on my gas grill. I read about the different methods, and the one I selected worked out well:
Takes approximately 6 hours.
- about 4 cups of wood chips, soak overnight
- smoker box or aluminum foil packs with holes (I like the smoker box)
- 8 lb butt pork roast
- 1/4 c paprika
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp Cumin
- 2 tbsp chili powder
Take the pork roast out of the refrigerator and let stand ½ hour. Apply the rub and get it on all sides. Let stand ½ hour.
You will be using one side of the grill for cooking and the other for the heat.
Heat the grill to 250 degrees. Add the smoker box to the heat side of the grill wait 10 minutes.
Add the roast on the unlit side of the grill
You will need to keep checking the temperature of the grill. The chips will need to be replaced about every 1 ½ hours.
Three hours later turn pork butt over.
After 3 more hours remove the roast and cover tightly with foil and let set ½ hour or you can put in the oven at 250 to hold until ready to serve. The roasts interior temperature should be 190.
Pull apart and Enjoy!
Cheesy Shrimp & Grits
- 1 cup of coarsely ground grits
- 3 cups of water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese
Bring water to a boil and whisk in the grits. Cook 10 minutes and remove from heat. Stir in the cheese and put the grits in an oven safe casserole dish. Keep warm @ 200 degrees.
- 2 lbs raw shrimp cleaned, coat them in a mixture of flour, salt and pepper, and a dash of cayenne
- 5 slices bacon
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup red and green pepper
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 1 cup of chicken broth
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (add more if you like it hot!)
Cook bacon in a skillet until crispy. Remove leaving drippings. Add onion, peppers and garlic to the drippings and cook until translucent.
In a small saucepan melt the butter on lowest setting and stir in the flour. Be careful, it can still burn. Stir until light brown and add the chicken broth. Blend this together. Pour over the vegetable mixture and add the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp are just pink. Sprinkle in the cayenne pepper. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the grits with the shrimp mixture on top. Garnish with crumbled bacon. YUM!
What inspires you to cook, and what amazing recipes have you come across or created? Please share, we are always looking for new food ideas! Thanks!