Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Get Yer Grill On - With the Kansas City Barbecue Society Cookbook

The Kansas City Barebeque Society Cookbook
25th Anniversary Edition
Barebeque.. It's Not Just for Breakfast Anymore
Kansas City Barebeque Society
Ardie A. Davis, PhB
Chef Paul Kirk, PhB
and Carolyn Wells, PhB

This book is, in a word, a hoot. Over the top porktacular, the recipes are by all different members of The Kansas City Barbeque Society, some 11,000 members strong.
You are not going to find a lot in the way of health-food in this book, indeed it is meat-heavy and proud of it. You will find that some of the recipes call for pre-packaged ingredients and some even call for MSG! You don't see that everyday - but in fact I do own a bottle of MSG - I picked it up at a local Indian market, labeled as Chinese Salt. Actually it said Cinease Salt, but I was intrigued and bought it anyway. It was only when I looked it up online that I realized that Chinese Salt is actually MSG.
Back to the book - living nowhere near the Southern US, I was tickled by the characters and the names of the dishes in the book - they seem right out of a movie. Smashed Potato Pig Butt Bake anyone? Flying Pig BLT Salad, Butt-Kick'n Beans, Buffalost, Elk for Dummies, and Redneck Mother Chicken Livers with Bacon, Spicy Cheese Grits, and Crispy Onion Rings are but a few of the colourful offerings.
Who could resist that?
Vegans, avert your eyes..

The first dish we tried was Big Billy's Southern-Style Fried Chicken, by Billy Rodgers. He was inspired by a New Orleans chef and includes some very interesting spices along with the ones you would expect in fried chicken. I loved the addition of cardamom and cloves, and got a chance to use my MSG! (optional). They were intensely flavoured and crunchy. I ate the leftovers for breakfast.

Getting our pork on, we tried Anne Rehnstrohm's Grilled Pork Roast with Pepper Jelly Glaze. This was incredibly simple and flavourful - also, I finally had a reason to use the pepper jelly sitting in my cupboard.

In the Seasonings chapter, I used Ginger's Sweet Glaze Rib Rub by Don Przybyla. We loved the low and slow method of cooking the ribs, but found the glaze way too mild. I ended up brushing on some BBQ sauce later.

With the ribs we had Duane Daugherty's Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes. I loved the idea of this dish. It is pretty traditional, spuds, onion, bacon, cheese.. but has you marinate the sliced spuds in a tomato-base BBQ sauce and sprinkle with a little cumin. Nice and smokey to pair with your BBQ meats. And who doesn't love pork with their pork? Actually, this is a bit of a meal in itself - I packed the leftovers up as lunches.

Cheesy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes action shot.

And, to prove that man cannot live on pork alone, we tried Paul Kirk's Grilled Greek-Style Zucchini. This is very handy as the ingredients are assembled, wrapped up in a foil packet and thrown onto the grill with the rest of your dinner.

And my all-time favourite - a Grilled Banana Split! Kell Phelps offers this delicious take on the classic banana split - grilling the banana, stuffed with chocolate, until they are both tender and melty. Dress it up with ice cream and chopped peanuts and you are in dessert heaven. I am spoiled for banana splits now - I will always make them grilled. I ate all of mine and half of hubby's.

The Kansas City Barbeque Society Cookbook will appeal to a certain type of person. It is rustic and unsophisticated and proud of it. With the 200 all-new recipes, you will discover facts and trivia about the Society's 25 year history as well as BBQ tips and even tips on competitive BBQ.

Put on you faded blue jeans and grab a beer, it's time to get your grill on.