Grilled pears and ice cream!

Grilled up pears are tasty!When it comes to dessert, I am usually not a fan. I just like dinner too much, so when that’s over all I am so full all I really want is some some quiet and a glass of good bourbon on the deck… Which I guess is why I go for dessert that are easy to make. This one was super easy, but the feedback from my dinner guests was awesome, so here – you can have it too. This dessert is very little work if you prep the glaze beforehand, which is perfect, because spending your time by the grill while everyone else is chilling after dinner is never fun!

What you need for 4 people:
4-6 pears, nice and ripe, but still firm
A box of quality vanilla ice cream
0.5 cup of good bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)
A couple cinnamon sticks
1 tsp hot chili flakes, or more, depending
0.5 cup of 100% natural maple syrup
The juice from half a lemon
3-4 tbsp of brown sugar to taste

How to make the glaze (can be made ahead):

  • Put everything except the pears in a saucepan
  • Heat it slowly and let it simmer 10-15 minutes to reduce it
  • Optional but tasty: Caramelize the sugar. This can be hard without a candy thermometer, so you might need one. Just make sure you don’t burn the sugar, because that’s not tasty.
  • Remember, this stuff will thicken when cold. Try and get a thick syrupy consistency at room temp, that will make it easier when glazing time comes

How to grill the pears:

 

  • I grilled my pears whole. That was not the best idea. What you should do and I willDSC_2047 next time; peel the pears and cut off the stem, quarter them so you can easily slice out the core
  • Grill them over direct heat first to get some beautiful sear marks
  • Place in a grill pan over indirect, pour/brush the glaze on. Turn and scoop some glaze over them every 10 minutes. I had a dome temp of about 150-160C (300-320F)
  • Mine were done after about half an hour. You want them to be soft but not mushy
  • Serve with some quality vanilla ice cream and pour the glaze over as a sauce. Tasty!
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Sweet (and possibly spicy) pickle relish

picklerelishPickle relish is fantastic. Nothing beats a good smoked bratwurst in a homemade bun, slathered with homemade IPA mustard and some delicious relish. Now that’s a hot dog! A cool thing about this recipe, is that it’s the only way I know of to make something pickled in less than half an hour. This one is ready to eat right off the bat. That’s pretty cool. This recipe should make for about one large mason jar type container, so just double it if you need more.

Time: 30 minutes
Skill Level: Easy

You’re going to need:
4 pickling cucumbers (those smallish ones)
1/2 of a yellow onion
1 Large green pepper
1 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup of honey
Red chili flakes (if you want it spicy)
Celery seed
Yellow mustard seed

How to do it:

  • Grate the pepper, onion and pickling cucumber.
  • Put them in a sieve and drain some of the water out squeezing them gently with your hands or some kind of spoon implement. Put all the grated vegetables in a pot with DSC_1584the vinegar and the honey
  • Bring to a boil, and add a tablespoon or two of mustard seed, a pinch of celery seed, and as much chili flakes as you want. I use chili flakes that are quite hot, so for me about a teaspoon is enough for this one
  • Let it simmer until desired consistency is reached
  • Put in sterilized jars and enjoy delicious homemade relish for months to come
  • And hey – it’s great on burgers too!

 

Eastern North Carolina style vinegar sauce

Eastern North Carolina style vinegar sauce

This is one of the most basic, old-school barbecue sauces you can make. It comes from the Eastern parts of North Carolina, where they’re pretty adamant about how this sauce should be meady. Those Western North Carolinians put some ketchup in theirs, which I hear is a big no-no in the eastern parts. It is specifically designed with pulled pork in mind, and that’s really the only thing I use it for. Just whisk these ingredients together until the sugar is dissolved in the vinegar. You can always give it a quick boil if you want to, I normally don’t:

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp ground chili flakes
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

This should be enough for two pork butts. Just mix it in with the meat before serving. Enjoy!

All-round spice rub without sugar

Pork butt, rubbed and ready to go

I’ve decided to move away from rubs that contain sugar, largely because they’re not that all-round (sugar starts burning at higher temperatures) and also because the sugar makes them stick to my grate, which means more cleanup.

Also, I’m sure I get enough sugar in me during an average week, so if I can do without it in rubs – great!

So why not try this good all-round rub with some kick to it, which goes well with chicken, pork, beef, and even fish. Just mix all this together.

Use a mortar and pestle or your electric coffee grinder to get everything pretty finely ground:

  • 1 cup paprika powder
  • 0,5 cups hot, smoky paprika powder (Spanish or Hungarian variety)
  • 4 tbsp ground chili flakes
  • 4 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup celery salt
  • 4 tbsp smoked sea salt
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp marjoram
  • 2 tbsp onion flakes
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp dry mustard

Mix it all together and you’re ready to go! This recipe should make somewhere between 3-4 cups of rub, which should last you a couple of weeks or months, depending on how much you BBQ… Enjoy!