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When you're not eating barbecue

Do you have burning questions that need to be answered? A live-fire dilemma that needs to be solved? There are no secrets between grill masters. So I give you “Ask Steven,” a new forum, where you can ask me anything about food and flame. Post your questions here, and I’ll respond as quickly as I can, though at times, because I’m traveling around Planet Barbecue (and you can ask me about these adventures too), it might take me a couple of days to reply.
Post Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:56 pm
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7601
Location: Stoughton, WI
Steven, given your classic training is French your favorite non-barbecue cuisine? And when your travels take you to a city or region without much of a live-fire cooking tradition do you look for anything particular or just sort of go with the flow and try the regional specialties? I've noticed that you've never mentioned lutefisk... :wink:

Post Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:57 am
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5376
Location: Damascus, Maryland
In Roger Welsch's book "Diggin' In and Piggin' Out: The Truth About Men and Food" he tells about tossing some leftover lutefisk out in the yard for his two Labs, Lucky and Thud. He says "I thought they might like it. They eat cow poop, for Pete's sake. I tossed the fish into the yard. The dogs sniffed it, circled it, sniffed again, and then...then I got a new assessment of exactly where lutefisk stands on the gastronomic scale: they rolled in it."

:)
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Post Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:38 am
Steven Grilling Guru
Grilling Guru

Posts: 298

Excellent question. Because the truth is, I DON'T eat barbecue every waking minute--especially when I travel. What I do look for is authentic local cuisine and cutting edge restaurants and food trends . My first question on arriving in a new city is "what can I eat here that I can't find anywhere else." That is unique local specialties, whether baked, fried, steamed, sautéed, or grilled. There might be an absolutely terrific new Italian restaurant in Tokyo, but I came to Japan to eat Japanese food, not Italian.

It can be fancy or absolutely barebones, but I want it to be authentic. I just got back from a week in Los Angeles. For my "work" eating, I visited the spectacular new Chi Spacca (an Italian grill parlor that serves the thickest Tuscan steak I've ever seen). And Tar & Roses, which uses a screaming hot oak-fired wood oven to wondrous effect with vegetables. But I also had a terrific raw foods vegan meal at M.A.K.E. in Santa Monica (highlighted by kimchi dumplings) and electrifying Calabrian sausage cockscomb pasta at Tasting Kitchen in Venice.

In terms of general tastes, I gravitate to Asian food--from sushi to Southeast Asian noodles and stir-fries. I love fiery food. For my last meal, I'd request the Maryland steamed crabs of my native Baltimore.

I can't say I have much firsthand experience with lutefisk. To judge from Yardburner's comments, it definitely has an image problem. The Portuguese do something very interesting with another salted fried fish: bacalao (salt cod). They soak it first, then char it over a hot fire with olive oil, garlic, and pepper. (Recipe on page 343 in The Barbecue Bible.) Maybe you could use the same technique for lutefisk.

Thanks for asking and wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and barbecue-filled 2014!

Post Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:39 pm
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7601
Location: Stoughton, WI
Steven wrote:
The Portuguese do something very interesting with another salted fried fish: bacalao (salt cod). They soak it first, then char it over a hot fire with olive oil, garlic, and pepper. (Recipe on page 343 in The Barbecue Bible.) Maybe you could use the same technique for lutefisk.
This is actually pretty interesting. I don't recall having read this recipe in detail so I'll have to check it out - thanks!


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