SLC Part 2

Sorry for the delay – things have been a wee bit busy!

So we (Saffron and I) cooked her second / my first Dutch Oven championship, and I have to say that I had an awesome time, and learned a number of things.

Lesson 1:  I really need more practice in Dutch Oven competition cooking!

For those of you unfamiliar with a Dutch Oven competition, the teams (not more than 2 people) are required to cook three courses: a bread, a main dish (primarily protein), and a dessert.  Our menu:

  • Herb Foccacia with Sundried Tomatoes and Garlic
  • Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Breast with Stuffed Potatoes
  • Chocolate Chipotle Cabernet Cake with Cherry Reduction

Oh, another little tidbit in the rules is that you’re supposed to be cooking with something close to “on the trail” authenticity.  Translation: No electric / battery-powered equipment.  Making bread?  You’re kneading and rising like great-grandma did!  Creaming butter?  You had better make sure it is well softened first.

As a team, we chose to take a minimalist approach for our presentations, the better to highlight the food.  Saffron’s chicken did well (third place in our round), but neither the focaccia or cake did as well (OK, last place for both).  While both the bread and dessert had judges who liked them, unfortunately the majority were on the “not so much” side.

The issues?  Well…

The focaccia’s third rise, after it was formed, didn’t go so well; it ended up a bit dense and a bit crunchy.  I attribute that to two things:  The elevation (SLC, anyone?), and the Dutch Oven I was rising in may have gotten too hot, and knocked off the yeasties.

The cake had its own issues.  We didn’t let it cool sufficiently before dropping it out of the oven, so part of it stuck.

Here’s another rule for you:  What you cook, you must serve.   If you have something burnt, you must turn it in.  The cake stuck in the bottom of the oven?  You must get it out and get it to the judges.

I am happy to say that after enough cooling, we were able to remove the remaining cake, and I got it assembled into something approaching the desired shape.  In the end, it wasn’t the extraction failure that hurt so much as the chipotle powder in the recipe.  Even after my test cooking, it turned out to be too much (while I liked the heat, I will admit it was hotter than expected).

Lesson 2:  Even though technically in the Southwest, Salt Lake City residents are heat wimps.

Even though the cooking portion of the day didn’t go as well as we would have liked, the event was tons of fun, and I’m happy to say that we met a lot of awesome people.  I’m looking forward to qualifying again so that I can give it another run.

Since we didn’t move on to the final round of the Dutch Oven competition, Saffron and I packed up and hurried ourselves 8 miles up the road to the BBQ competition, to do what we’re good at.  SLC Part 3 coming up…

To round things out, here are pictures of the turn-ins for your enjoyment:

Focaccia

Focaccia plated for turn-in

Main Dish Plated for Turn-in

Main Dish Plated for Turn-in

Cake after reassembling parts.

Cake after reassembling parts.

Cake after fixing - ready for turn-in.

Cake after fixing – ready for turn-in.

First Cook(s) of the Year

Saffron of Bush Kitchen and I are part way through our Salt Lake City Cooking Adventure.

After powering through a 19 hr SEA-SLC drive, we got to the Sportsman’s Show in plenty of time to check in, knock out some final bits of shopping, and see the turn-ins for the first round of the IDOS Dutch Oven Championship.

The turn-in were amazingly beautiful. After sticking around for the results, we headed off for food and sleep, thus to be ready for our turn in Friday’s round.

Stay tuned…

So we’ve landed….

We have landed in Vegas, unloaded our equipment into our cooking space. Relaxing, having a drink,calm before the storm…

Don’t want to reveal anything about the signature burger yet, on the off chance that a judge is one of my followers…you’ll just have to wait until afterwards…

I never thought I would say this…

But I am really a bit tired of cooking and eating hamburgers!

After plenty of practice, we have nailed down what we’ll be cooking in the first round of Friday’s Burger category at the World Food Championships.  Thanks to everyone who has tasted and suggested and tasted again – I do think we have a really tasty hamburger ready to go…now here’s hoping the judges like it!

If they do, then there will be even more cooking Friday night – and then a lot of celebrating!  If we’re not celebrating, I guess we’ll be in mourning.  Either way, there will be alcohol involved.  Just need to be able to get up to hassle encourage my BBQ homies cooking in the barbecue category – good luck to all y’all!

Stay tuned for notes from the road…

New Pork Rub

Sitting in the Shuttle Express van, so time for a quick post…

Premiering a couple of new secret ingredients in the pork and rib rib rub this weekend. More to come after we see how it goes!

Sorry for the absence…

Been a busy bit with lots of non-BBQ stuff going on. BUT!

We’re gearing up for the last two full competitions of the season. We’ll be cooking BBQ on the Bypass in Langley, BC, and the the BBQ Basin Bash in Moses Lake, WA.

Both should be fun events. Angie Quaale always puts on a great event with interesting extra categories, and the Basin Bash also has a full Dutch Oven cook the first day.

Wish us luck!

OK, so things have been busy for a bit…

First of all, we wrapped up our summer’s Bull’s-Eye BBQ Sauce sampling events. Along with a couple of awesome Fourth of July events – an airshow and a full on street festival in Tacoma on the Fourth – we also were able to have an event at the Cheney Jubilee. Sampling there allowed us to compete, which was a blast. It also showed us how out of practice we are.

Since we are out of practice, this upcoming weekend we will be down in Longview, Washington at the Thunder Mountain BBQ Championship working on getting back our mojo. While it is going to be a small event, there are going to be some excellent cooks there, so I’ll feel fortunate if we do well.

Along with all the sampling and competing, we’ve been able to work on our “branding” with a new logo, new gear on the way, and so on.

Wow! A bit of event shuffling…

But we’re all set for the last few weekends of Bull’s-Eye Sauce Sampling!

Here’s the breakdown of where you can find us while you still have a chance:
July 1st we’ll be at the Wings & Wheels event of the Tacoma Freedom Fest.
July 4th we’ll be at the Tacoma Freedom Fest Main Event. Barbecue and Fireworks! How can you get more American than that?
July 7th and 8th we’ll be at the Cascade Country Cook-Off in Chehalis. And we’ll finally get a chance to compete! Looking forward to that. This upcoming weekend we have Saturday off, which is good as I need to knock all the rust and dust off of my competition gear, and make sure everything is squared away for the following weekend. It is definitely going to be a busy week for barbecue, with 4 sampling events in 8 days.
Finally, for July 14th and 15th we’ll be at two different grocery stores to wrap everything up.

Remember to check out the calendar for all of the details!

Fremont Street Fair Next!

No sampling scheduled for the weekend of the ninth…that will give me a chance to mow, clean up the yard, and all that kind if good stuff. Best of all, we’ll be able to spend some time getting ready for the Street Faur.

Lake City Way Fred Meyer Rocks!

Sampled a “butt”-load (you know, like pork butt!) of Bull’s-Eye this last weekend, and left about 5 bottles of KC on the shelf. They loved themselves some BBQ at that store.

Christene and I both went home exhausted!