Bacon Wrapped Deep Fried Hot Dogs

Posted 26 Jun 2011 — by admin
Category Pork Related Items, Recipes

Let me start by saying I do not have a heart condition and I cannot recommend this as a low calorie meal! They are just too good to not eat every now and then. I had not broken out the deep fryer at the new apartment yet and this seemed like a perfect way to start.

bacon wrapped hot dogs

photo by Cliff Hawkins

Since I could not find my silicone rubber bands I used toothpicks to secure the bacon in place around the dogs. Bring your deep fryer to temperature and fry for about 5 minutes or until bacon is crispy.

bacon wrapped deep fried hot dogs

photo by Cliff Hawkins

These got dressed with mustard, relish and some El Yucateco habanero sauce! I think I could feel my heart slow a little bit after these. Two each is more than enough for one sitting!

Nougatine at Jean Georges… It’s not pork but wow!

Posted 26 Jun 2011 — by admin
Category Restaurants

Every now and then everyone needs to treat themselves to an amazing meal in New York. I recently visited Nougatine at Jean Georges after a recommendation from my friend Diane, and I cannot thank her enough! For those who do not know about this restaurant, I have one thing to say – GO!

Nougatine allows diners to experience Jean Georges’ creative meals in a more relaxed environment, they even have an outdoor terrace.

When I go to places like this I love to get the tasting menu. One slight problem was that it did not include the Niman Ranch pork chop(?!)… I did ask if the would substitute it for the dry aged sirloin, but no dice. (I had to ask!)

That being said the meal was flawless. It started with an amuse bouche of toast topped with goat cheese, cherry tomato and balsamic vinegar. I honestly thought that the goat cheese was a little bland, the tomato was really sweet which offset the tang of the balsamic. On the side was a cucumber soda – so fresh it was a terrific way to cleanse my palette for the meal to come. I really want to make a cocktail with that as a base perhaps with gin…. I need to add a juicer to my growing list of kitchen tools.

tuna tartar

Next came a tuna tartare on a base of avocado topped with radish surrounded by a ginger marinade. Each element complimented the other, the creaminess of the avocado and the crispy radish slices. The spiciness of the ginger marinade brought it all together.

foie gras brulee

Then the foie gras brulee with strawberry jam and aged balsamic vinegar. I had read about this before I went, and I have to say it was nothing short of amazing. The richness of the foie paired with strawberry and cut by aged balsamic vinegar all contrasted with a layer of hard caramel on top.

skate wing

The fish dish was skate served over avocado, black beans surrounded by a pesto sauce. It was of course cooked to perfection, so fresh and light. After the skate we were served a grilled dry aged sirloin served with mash potatoes and crispy onions. Served rare with a nice char. The only thing I wish was that it had come with more of the crispy onions! For dessert we had a sampling that included a warm chocolate cake with vanilla bean ice cream, a filo pastry with fresh strawberries and a rosemary ice cream.

We washed down this amazing tasting menu with a bottle of white Alsace Pinot Grigio which was a little sweeter than what I normally drink but it went with the meal very well. If you have not been to one of Jean Georges restaurants, I highly recommend it and Nougatine is a great way to do so. They have a lunch prix fixe which looks amazing as well. One day I will have to return for the pork chop!

Big Apple Barbecue Bloc Party

Posted 12 Jun 2011 — by admin
Category Restaurants, Street Food

Once a year Madison Square park gets taken over by big name BBQ Pit Masters from across the country. It is a beautiful thing to get off the train and smell the smoke from two blocks away. This year the rain did not come down on Sunday which made things a little more bearable. To see Madison Avenue packed with smoke and people eating all kinds of BBQ is amazing! There are some good BBQ restaurants in the city but having the real deal smoked southern BBQ is something I look forward to every year.

Madison Avenue at its finest!

First stop was Martin’s for a whole hog sandwich. Martin’s represented Nolensville, TN. Slow smoked whole hogs are then chopped and mixed together for this amazing sandwich. The pork was so smoky and tender, topped with a crunchy slaw and spicy sauce. There were also a few spicy pickles as well that I really liked instead of the more traditional bread and butter pickles that you sometimes get. Check out their website here.

Martin's Whole Hog Sandwich

Next up – Baker’s ribs…. I think I waited 20 minutes for these – believe me when I say it was worth the wait! The line snaked an entire block and then back while you watched them finishing the ribs on the grill. Baker’s is from Texas and have been cooking up amazing ribs and brisket for years. The ribs were St Louis style and smoked over hickory low and slow. Served with their red BBQ sauce that had just the right amount of spice without being overly sweet. (I really do not like overly sweet sauces) Served with a side of vinegary and very peppered slaw. The slaw was spicier than the ribs, which surprised me, but I liked the contrast. I spoke to one of the team that told me they sold over 3000 lbs of ribs on Saturday alone! Check out their site here where you can get rubs and sauces delivered to your door. 

Baker's ribs getting finished on the grill

Baker's Ribs!

The Bloc Party is one of my favorite events in New York. If you missed it this year, put it on your calendar for next year and check out the site for more information.

Friends Thanksgiving aka Porduckey Feast!

Posted 15 Dec 2010 — by admin
Category Recipes

So first I have to apologize about the long time period with no posts from me. I have been busy with new job – that does not mean I have not cooked or eaten some amazing pork in the past few months! More to come after this….

It has become a tradition to share not only Thanksgiving with family but with friends as well, and this year was no exception. A few of us were hiking and camping in the Adirondacks a few weeks prior and decided that it should be called ‘porduckey feast’ as we wanted to have pork, duck and turkey as part of the feast. We decided on a potluck meal at our friends Will and Emily’s. I of course set out to overwhelm with pork and I think I succeeded. I can honestly say that I am not a huge fan of turkey – even though that seems to be a centerpiece of many meals.

For my turkey dish I took a turkey breast (@ 6lbs) and stuffed it with a mixture of 2 sweet Italian sausages, 3/4 bulb of chopped fennel and heaping handful of raisins salt and pepper. I used twine to tie this mound of meat together before cooking it at 375 for about an hour and a half…

In addition I always like ribs so we made four racks of ribs with my famous spicy rub and BBQ sauce to compliment. I started these the night before by rubbing them with my own rub mixture and letting them sit in the fridge overnight. Ultimately I like to smoke ribs (either in a smoker or makeshift on a grill) but as I do not have access to those things living in Park Slope I cooked them low and slow in the oven.

photo by Cliff Hawkins

photo by Cliff Hawkins

pork stuffed turkey breast

photo by Cliff Hawkins

pork ribs, Reid's Rub

photo by Cliff Hawkins

photo by Cliff Hawkins

friends ready to feast

photo by Cliff Hawkins

plate shot of thanksgiving feast

photo by Cliff Hawkins

pecan pie and cheery pie!

photo by Cliff Hawkins

These are just a few pics from the epic meal that was shared among great friends… Everyone brought something to the table including indian spiced mashed potatoes, wild rice, a roasted duck, brussels sprouts with bacon and raisins (these were amazing and I will blog about another version of these later), corn, stuffing, applesauce. (I hope I am not leaving anything out!) We all dug in and I think we all ate at least one plate before we took a break to enjoy some great cocktails by Cliff – Mmmm Dark and Stormy before some of us made second and third runs!

Of course there was dessert too – two amazing pies; one cherry and the other pecan. Served with vanilla ice cream of course! Needless to say everyone left VERY full and took to go containers as well… I think we ate and drank from about 2 until sundown.

I stand by my opinion that pork is a necessary part of every holiday meal including Thanksgiving!

The Smoke Joint

Posted 20 Aug 2010 — by admin
Category Restaurants

The Smoke Joint is a local little BBQ spot in Fort Greene Brooklyn. This place has great food and a nice drink selection. I went with a friend for dinner the other day and I had the Black Angus Hot Dog topped with pulled pork… They have their own dogs made with a special blend and claim it is the best in Brooklyn. With quite a few other places popping up claiming the same thing it makes for a tough decision but like the menu says – “if you’re gonna have a hot dog, you might as well have the best hot dog in Brooklyn and then you might as well top it with pulled pork, beef or chicken” I can definitely recommend the pulled pork with pickles topped with their spicy BBQ sauce! I am also a big fan of their fries dusted with their house rub.

Check out their site: here.

RIP Jimmy Dean

Posted 14 Jun 2010 — by admin
Category Pork Related Items

Singer, Songwriter and Businessman Jimmy Dean died yesterday at the age of 81. He is known by most for brand of sausages that many of us have probably had at least once. They were not a centerpiece of my breakfast growing up but it is some tasty sausage.

He was also a country performer who recorded several national hits including “Bummin’ Around” and “Big Bad John” in the 1960’s which lead to his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010. He was also a television personality and even had a supporting role in the 1971 James Bond Movie Diamonds Are Forever!

So eat some sausage today in tribute to the king of sausage and country music!

Big Apple Barbeque Block Party 2010!

Posted 07 Jun 2010 — by admin
Category Pork Related Items, Restaurants, Street Food, Uncategorized

Big Apple Barbeque Block Party

Its that time of year people! Some of the best Pitmasters from across the U.S. will be in Madison Square Park smoking their meats for your eating pleasure. If you have not been to this, then you have to go (unless you are a vegetarian and there will be nothing there for you…save a little slaw) This is not just local BBQ spots including Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Blue Smoke, Hill Country, Wildwood Barbeque, and Rack and Soul. Line up and taste flavors from Tennessee, Kentucky, Virgina, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Illinois and Missouri.

Over the weekend there will be a sea of people and lots of smoke floating around the park. I have been to this several years now and remember when I went last year with a friend… We got off the train from Brooklyn at Union Square and walked up to Madison Square Park – several blocks away my mouth started watering from the smell of smoke and pork, it was amazing! So check it out, at $8 a plate this is some of the best BBQ that you will eat anywhere and it is for two days only in Madison Square Park, NY!

Seriously though, here is a list of the pitmasters and what they will be serving up. Visit the event page here.

Ken Callaghan
Blue Smoke
New York, NY
Texas Salt & Pepper Beef Ribs

Charles Grund Jr.
Beef Brisket
New York, NY
Beef Brisket

Joe Duncan
Baker’s Ribs
Dallas, TX
St. Louis-Style Ribs

Jimmy Hagood
BlackJack BBQ
Charleston, SC
Pulled Pork Shoulder

Chris Lilly
Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q
Decatur, AL
Pulled Pork Shoulder

Tommy Houston
Checkered Pig
Martinsville, VA
St. Louis-Style Ribs

Patrick Martin
Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint
Nashville, TN
Western Tennessee-Style Whole Hog

Mike Mills
17th Street Bar & Grill
Murphysboro, IL
Memphis Championship Barbecue
Las Vegas, NV 
Baby Back Ribs

Ed Mitchell
The Pit
Raleigh, NC
Whole Hog

Garry Roark
Ubon’s Barbecue of Yazoo
Yazoo City, MS
Pulled Pork Shoulder

Big Lou Elrose
Wildwood Barbeque
New York, NY

Drew Robinson
Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q
Birmingham, AL
Homemade Smoked Sausage

Michael Rodriguez
The Salt Lick BBQ
Driftwood, TX
Beef Brisket, Sausage

John Stage
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
New York, NY
Pulled Pork Shoulder

Skip Steele
Pappy’s Smokehouse
St. Louis, MO
St. Louis-Style Ribs

John Wheeler
Rack & Soul
New York, NY
Baby Back Ribs

Ken Bosley
Moonlite Bar-B-Q
Owensboro, KY
BBQ Mutton & Burgoo

Myron Mixon
Jack’s Old South
Unadilla, GA
Beef Brisket

18th Annual Big Apple BBQ, Madison Square Park New York

101 Best Sandwiches in New York

Posted 02 Jun 2010 — by admin
Category Pork Related Items, Restaurants, Street Food

BBQ Sanwich, Momofuku Ssäm Bar (photo from Grub Street)

Who does not love a good sandwich? New York has a ton of them and Grub Street has ranked the top 100. Sadly I have only had 9 of them, but am happy to report that almost half of them involve pork! I was actually really excited to see Catene made the list. This old school Italian deli on 9th Street and 4th Avenue is a gem I found when I worked in the area. I have made a short list of sammmy’s on the list that I need to eat soon! I want to eat them all but I have to start somewhere!

100. Tuna Melt, Eisenberg’s
99. The Elvis, Peanut Butter & Co.
81. Crispy Pork Sandwich, Bark
78. Chicken Sandwich, Chick-fil-A
52. BBQ Rib Sandwich, Momofucku Ssäm Bar
37. Eggplant Parmigiana, Catene Italian Deli
26. Country Ham Biscuit, Egg
14. Pastrami, Katz’s Delicatessen
10. Porchetta Sandwich, Porchetta

44. Tête de Cochon Sandwich, Resto
38. Pork ‘Burger,’ Xi’an Famous Foods
20. Sloppy Bao, Baoguette
17. Smoked Pork Shoulder Bánh Mì, Fatty ’Cue
4. Pâté Thit Nguôi, Ba Xuyen
3. Cubano Sandwich, the Spotted Pig
1. Smoked Brisket, Fatty ’Cue

For more details and pictures check out the list here.

Baconmarmalade Cheeseburger

Posted 30 May 2010 — by admin
Category Recipes

on the griddle

burger with pork rinds

Since it is Memorial Day weekend and I do not have a grill I chose to grill in my apartment. If you do not have a stove top griddle, you should. I have a cast iron one with a grooved grill side as well as a flat surface – I can make pancakes or grill burgers, pork chops, fish, etc. I had mentioned earlier this week Mark Bittman’s burger recipes on and found one of his for ‘The Real Burger’.  I really like the idea of simple foods, you should not have to put so many spices in something to make it taste great. As with almost any recipe that I read I modify to my taste…

1 pound not-too-lean sirloin, in chunks
1/4 white onion, peeled chunked
Salt and pepper to taste.
I added
1 garlic clove
a few splashes of worchestershire sauce
two slices of cheddar cheese

Put meat, onion and garlic in a food processor, and pulse until coarsely ground: finer than chopped, mascerated. Add a few splashes of worchestershire and salt & pepper to taste. Form loose patties; you do not want to pack the meat together. (I made three medium burgers)

Now I think it goes without saying that burgers just taste better when grilled over charcoal… BUT if you do not have that opportunity you could use a griddle or just a skillet. I preheated my skillet until it was hot and starting to smoke a little; then grilled my burger for about 3 minutes per side. When I flipped it the first time I added the cheese so it would melt, just in time to put it on the bun.

Add whatever condiments you want. I had some baconmarmalade in fridge so added that, mayo, mustard and ketchup. In lieu of fries I had some spicy pork rinds and a Budweiser.

Hope you all are having a great weekend, it’s not over yet!

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted 27 May 2010 — by admin
Category Recipes
closeup of bacon chocolate chip cookies


Two of my good friends birthdays were yesterday and I had just gotten the hankering for some cookies. So I looked online and combined/modified them to come up with this one. I have made bacon cookies before but they were more of a breakfast style with corn flakes and raisins. I decided I wanted smokey, sweet, salty and chocolate this time around, and there is nothing wrong with having more than one bacon cookie recipe!

stacked bacon chocolate chip cookies


As I was meeting a group of friends for grilling in the park I made a pretty big batch but you could easily cut this in half. The below recipe makes about 40 cookies.

1 lb of thick cut smoked bacon
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 egg yolk2
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

bacon and chocolate into the cookie dough

bacon and chocolate into the dough

1. Cook your bacon until crispy and set aside on paper towels to drain excess grease. Yes it is a lot of bacon but we are making a lot of cookies!
2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper. I used a little bacon grease.
3. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together and set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter and all sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and chopped bacon by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1 tablespoon at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
5. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

all ready to go into the oven

into the oven

out of the oven

out of the oven