Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Weekend BBQ Fest while watching the Pacquiao-Cotto fight

I woke up quite early on a misty sunday morning. I tried to sleep again but my eyes were so wide awake so I decided to go to the wet market driving a motorcycle at 4 o'clock in the morning! Since I subscribed for the cable viewing of the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto "Firepower" slugfest, I might as well have my very own bbq fest. Ahhh... nothing beats good food while watching boxing on TV with family and friends. It is a given fact that whenever Manny Pacquiao fights, the whole country is on a standstill, everyone inside their houses glued to their TV, no henious crimes for the day, and definitely an official ceasefire in Southern Mindanao.

I took a fancy on a fresh 2 kilo "talakitok" (jack fish) for P 110/kilo, a very cheap price comparing it to the prices of seafood in Metro Manila. A whole chicken, some fresh veggies, a kilo of brisket point, a kilo of pork ribs and a kilo of ground pork.... that's it!! Good enough for a sunday lunch in front of the TV.

Once I got back home after a 30 minute buying spree from the market, I started trimming the fats of the pork ribs and the brisket point, slathered them with mustard and sprinkled them generously with my leftover Big Time BBQ Rub that I made last week. I washed and cleaned the fish, made 3 slits per side, sprinkled the cavity with salt and pepper and inserted bits of lemongrass, garlic, onions and ginger. I sprinkled the fish with my own concoction of a fish wet rub that includes grated lemon rind, toasted cardamon seeds, coriander seeds, ginger, lemongrass, paprika, a touch of cayenne pepper, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper.

In one of the threads in the bbq-brethren forum, I read a post about beer can chicken so I decided to make my own version and add a little naughty twist to it by inserting a pair of slice lemons in the breast of the chicken to make what they call "beer can breast chicken". But instead of putting a beer can in the cavity of the chicken, I opted for a can half full of 7up with some fresh minced lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, garlic, onions, salt and pepper. I experimented on my own version of an Asian Rub by mixing fresh minced lemon grass, minced kaffir lime leaves, turmeric powder, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander seeds, sugar, salt and pepper. I applied the rub generously against the skin of the chicken, inside the cavity and underneath the skin for better flavor. I'm going to name this version the DOLLY PARTON CHICKEN.

I'm craving for breakfast sausage again but this time I won't add some stuffing. A plain savory sausage is all I need to perk up my sunday lunch which I sprinkled with the Big Time BBQ Rub.

I revved up my drum once again and it hit 400 degrees F in no less than 15 minutes. This drum is really a work horse. It maintained its hot temperature for about 30 minutes then I brought it down to 250 degrees F and dumped the brisket point, pork ribs, Dolly Parton chicken and sausages. with a couple of apple wood chunks with the burning charcoal.
After an hour and a half the sausages were done. I took them out of the drum, had it rested for 30 minutes before I sliced them. They were so juicy and savory, I can eat one whole sausage in one sitting!
My meat probe thermometer, which I inserted in the thickest part of the thigh of the chicken, sounded its alarm an hour after, reminding me that the internal temperature of my Dolly Parton Chicken has reached the level of doneness that I'm after, around 165 degrees F. I took it out of the drum and dumped slices of carrots, brocolli, cauliflower, green bell pepper and sliced onion rings for some good smoke which I will be using for a sumptuous Smoked Vegetable, Chicken and Penne Pasta Hot Salad.
The pork ribs were next in line. They were cooked about 30 minutes right after I placed the vegetables in the drum. I let them rest for about an hour before I sliced them. And just right before the time I was about to slice the ribs, I took out the brisket point as well.
I wasn't about to forget the fish!! My drum is just about empty so it's a perfect time for me to cook the 2 kilo jack fish. I adjusted the air intake so that my drum would run smoothly at 225 degrees F, just a tad perfect for a bbq fish smoked with mesquite wood chunks. I also took out the vegetables as they were heavenly smoked.

While waiting for the fish, I prepared the smoked chicken, vegetable penne pasta. I drizzled a pan with extra virgin olive oil and sauteed minced garlic and onion on medium heat. I then added some red pepper flakes for some heat. The smoked vegetables went in next and I sauteed them lightly, just enough for them to be coated with the flavored EVOO. I mixed in the diced smoked chicken next, and finally the cooked penne pasta. I added a couple of tablespoons of hot water where the pasta was cooked, seasoned with salt and pepper, added torn fresh basil leaves and a little juice of lemon. I shaked and tossed everything and finally placed them in a big white oval plate. I drizzled more olive oil on top to create a little glaze and more texture to the food.
I made a mayonnaise, dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, grated lemon rind, salt and pepper combination dip which is PERFECT for the fish that I've been waiting to be cooked. And here it is finally (sorry, not a good photo for the fish)...
Did I say a sumptuous BBQ Fest? Oh yes it was indeed. And for every power punch Manny Pacquiao gives off to his foe, a big bite of sausage for me, and for every punch MP gets, a big bite of the savory pork ribs I get. Win or lose, my stomach gets full. Since Manny Pacquiao won his unprecedented 7th title, making him the only boxer to accomplish such feat, it is but fitting for me, my family and friends to be part of history by celebrating with him thru our stomach bursting sunday bbq feast. I can't wait for him to fight again against whomever.. I don't care who... just as long as my drum smoker is up and about, my charcoals ready to burn, and my wood chunks ready to smoke.


  1. hello ej...wow that was a great bbq fest u had there! wish i were in cdo watching the 'Firepower' with u so i could be part of the party and be able to taste that sumptuous, mouth-watering bbq'd feast u prepared!..hhhmmm they really looked delicious!!!!

    ..congratulations my friend and thank you for sharing this very nice blog!
    ..more power!!

  2. Compadre!

    You really are a great cook! The only thing missing there was the atlantic frozen beer or the cavernet sauvignon! Looking forward to taste those mouth watering masterpieces of Master Chef Erwin John!


  3. Thanks for sharring importent information in this blog.
    It was very nice.

  4. Sir I hope you're still active with you blog,is there any way I could contact you regarding much detailed info about the rub your using or the recipes?

  5. Hi Francis Joel,
    Thank you for the email. I emailed you back already. I'll be more than glad to answer your other queries. I'm just an email away.