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Santa Maria BBQ Rub

Santa Maria BBQ Rub - Fine Grind

We recently wrote an article for Barbecue Mag Online that featured several Santa Maria BBQ recipes. This dry rub recipe is featured in that article.  We find that it brings out much of the natural flavors of meats and vegetables while maintaining simplicity.  This recipe can easily be made into a larger batch and stored in your pantry or spice cabinet.

Santa Maria Dry Rub:

5 Tsp. Kosher or Sea salt

2 Tsp. Black Pepper

2 Tsp. White Pepper

1 Tsp. Onion Powder

3 Tsp. Granulated Garlic

* To add more heat, add 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper flakes.

Suggestions: When making a dry rub, try to keep the ingredient “grinds” similar.  They will be much easier to apply in an even manner.  One more suggestion, smaller grind will melt into the meats faster and bond better during the cook. Rub a good olive oil onto the meat surface prior to seasoning, doing this will allow the dry rub to adhere better and dissolve even more quickly.

Check out the entire article in Barbecue Mag Online: www.bbqmagonline.com

We’re excited to welcome a celebrity guest to Green Leaf BBQ …Tom Porter of Big Butz BBQ fame!

by Tom Porter of Big Butz BBQ

SHIGEN!  What? You’ve never heard of it? I can’t believe it. For those that have, I can imagine how excited you must be at just hearing the name. For those that haven’t, Shigen are a combination of Shrimp, Chicken, and Bacon. Now two thoughts are probably going through your head; how do you put all that together? And, what is so special about that? Both excellent questions! The first is rather easy to explain but, the second is what is discovered through the experience of creating and consuming them.

To make these delicious little beauties you are going to need to acquire some peeled and deveined “16-20″ Shrimp. (16-20 refers to the size of the shrimp and in this case means you will get 16-20 per pound.) You will then need to get some chicken meat, it can be breast meat or thigh meat, doesn’t matter but it needs to be cut up into 1 inch cubes. After that there is the bacon! I myself prefer a nice thick cut bacon but you can use whichever you like the best. Also you will want a box of tooth picks, your favorite seasonings and some BBQ Sauce or Cocktail Sauce. That’s all you need to make your Shigen!

Now, you are on the way to making some of your very own! But, “what’s next?” you ask. Simple!

Take the chicken, dump it in a bowl along with your favorite seasonings this could be a rub or marinade or just about anything you can dream up, and set the chicken off to the side. Next, take out your shrimp and cut almost all the way through along the vein. If you see blood, you have cut through too far and may want to go get a Bandaid. Once all your shrimp are ready, place a piece of chicken in the deeply cut vein, take a piece of bacon and wrap it all the way around the shrimp and the chicken, then skewer it with a toothpick to hold the whole works in place. Cut off any excess bacon, take the scrap piece, lay it next to the remaining bacon and cut that much off from the rest so now you won’t have to do anymore trimming. Repeat the process until you either run out of shrimp or chicken, whichever comes first. (I have usually found that about 3 chicken breasts will make it through a package of shrimp.)

Now, all that is left to cook them, “but how?” you ask. “Shrimp are one of the most delicate things to cook in the world!” you say. First, take a deep breath! It’s going to be okay. If you have a smoker, that is great, just fire it up to about 250. If you don’t, no problem! Fire up your grill whether it be charcoal or gas. But, if it’s charcoal, have your coals on only one side, and if it’s gas, only have one of the burners going. Now that we have everything warmed up and ready to go.

You’re going to place your Shigen on the side without the flame directly under it. For those who have never done this before, it’s what they call in-direct cooking and it is one of the best ways to cook up stuff without charring it to a crisp. Your Shigen will take anywhere from 30-40 minutes to cook. In general you want to see that the shrimp has turned pink and the chicken is white, bacon crispness is going to be to your preference but, I’ve found that when it’s just got a little crisp on the edge is when they are the best. All that is left now is to take them off your grill or smoker, plate them up with some sauce and serve! If you happened to leave the tails on, you can pull the toothpicks out and serve them that way. This is great when you don’t want to find a hundred toothpicks all over your yard the next morning.

Now, there are some of you that are seasoned outdoor cooking pros or may just have a lot of cooking experience and are wondering if this can really be for real, after all, shrimp is very delicate, chicken cooks slower than shrimp, and bacon will never be crispy before the shrimp turns into something resembling an eraser. These my friends are all vital concerns and understandable, so, let me try to explain why it all works. We put the seasonings on the chicken instead of the shrimp because if you salt shrimp it dries up even faster than it normally would because of salt causing it to give off water but, because we put it on the chicken, the shrimp gets extra moisture from the chicken, keeping it from drying out. Also, salt has a tendency to work as a heat conductor so the chicken draws in heat faster and cooks faster because of it.  The bacon works as an insulator for the shrimp by giving it a fat barrier from the heat so the bacon is allowed to get a crisp on it while protecting the delicate flavors of the shrimp. Not to mention, everything just tastes better with bacon. And that, my friends is the magic behind how the Shigen works.

Get outside fire up that grill or smoker and cook up a mess of Shigen not only will you wow your friends but their taste buds as well!

You can find Tom & Big Butz BBQ on most social media outlets like Twitter (@bigbutzbbq) & Facebook.  He’s got a great blog at: http://bigbutzbbqsauce.net Big Butz BBQ sauce is also widely available and highly prized by those who try it – find Tom and get some for yourself!

Thanks Tom!

Green Leaf BBQ is officially open for business in Livermore California. Our new shop is part of Livermore’s historic “Blacksmith Square”.  The Brick building offers a great courtyard for our BBQ classes and events.  Our neighbors offer local botique wine tasting, olive oil tasting and a tapas style restaurant for anybody visiting the Square.  The weather here is great for a backyard BBQ – offering true wine country climate with warm days and cool evenings.

Our shop is open Thursday, Friday and Saturdays from 10:30 am to 7:00 pm.

As always we feature and specialize in The Big Green Egg line of BBQ Smokers.  We also carry Green Mountain Grills, Traeger Grills, Weber Grills, and other products from Lodge, OXO, Victorinox/Foschner, Wicked Good and many custom BBQ Spices, Rubs and Sauces from the professional competition circuit that simply are not available in other stores.

Check back for our BBQ Class and event schedule.

Consider this a hearty welcome to our shop – oh, and we’re pet friendly too

Come in for a visit!

Green Leaf BBQ Shop

21 South Livermore Ave.

Livermore CA 94550

(925) 449-2135

www.greenleafbbq.com

BBQ HotelI first met Chris Minnes, the GM of the stylish and hip 968 Park Hotel during a stay at the hotel several months ago.  Chris and his staff are on the cutting edge of the hospitality market.  If you’re tired of typical “Hotel Speak” and policies – this crew has the market cornered.  Don’t get me wrong – they are true professionals and take their jobs seriously – they are just really creative and fun in the process.

Carrie and I shared coffee with Chris one morning in the lobby bar, made chiefly with recycled lumber and decor,  hatching a plan to link up one day for an event.  We were both Eco-aware businesses that were doing right by the environment in our individual pursuits…why wouldn’t we put something fun together and create an event for locals and guests to enjoy…it just made sense.

October 17th began with the Traeger Pellet BBQ’s slow smoking Tri-Tip, French Cut St. Louis Spare Ribs and Chicken Thighs on a skewer.  Zucchini, Mushrooms and Pineapples were prepared or stuffed with a secret blend of goodness – all of the food was cooked outdoors on the BBQ.

The 968 Park Hotel wine bar, stocked with a nice selection of wines from the local region was set up and managed by Mike, the always affable member of the 968 Park Hotel crew. He poured all evening without a break – I think he was having more fun than the guests.  People were checking in from all over the county and sharing in the festivities, excited to see what was going on. Many couples that were headed out for a dinner reservation, canceled their plans and stayed to sample the BBQ and sip the wine.

Each of the BBQ foods was designed to eat while holding a glass of wine – and either complimented what was being poured or cleanse the pallet so other wines could be tasted subjectively.

Green Leaf BBQ is proud to have helped 968 Park Hotel create this event.  I’m sure that you’ll see us working together in the future. Please visit the hotel website at www.968parkhotel.com to book your next stay in the Tahoe area.  They offer a wonderful array of massages in an Eco-friendly environment that will please the most discerning client.

Carrie & I were shopping the other day – grocery shopping – our favorite pastime.  We were trying to decide what to have for dinners in the week ahead. Understanding that we are in the BBQ industry, we typically choose an assortment of meats that might either provide a learning experience, or perhaps fresh material to share.  Cornish Game Hens came up last night, and indeed – produced something to share.

Most folks LOVE BBQ Chicken, in one or more of it’s many forms. We serve lots of BBQ Chicken to clients and make many of recommendations to customers  looking  for a new way to prepare it.  One complaint we’ve heard often,” The chicken breasts are just too big” or “We cooked a whole chicken and now we have to store the leftovers – that never get eaten.”

Cornish Game Hens don’t have any of those problems.  One hen, split in Half will comfortably feed two people with no leftovers. Even better “SpatchCock” (or a hen with the back cut out and butterflied), but straight hen halves are wonderful.

Here are the Basics of what we did:

Frozen Game Hens – cut in half just like a chicken. One half per person is the appropriate portion.

  • I tossed (3) Halves in a 2 gallon Zip Lock bag & poured a “Mojo Criollo” Marinade – this is a wonderful citrus based marinade that is traditional in Cuban or Mexican cooking.
  • Let the hens soak in the marinade for (4)  hours – that’s all the time I had in order to get them cooked on time. Let them soak longer if you can.
  • Get a BBQ or Smoker set up with some BBQ Smoke Wood and plan for “Indirect” heat; adjusting  your temps to the 250 Degree range.  When the temperature stabilizes, put the hens on the BBQ.  I add a water pan to the grill if I am worried about moisture – this is just a metal bread pan filled 2/3 with water & set on the same side as the hens.  The pan will steam and add humidity to the cooking chamber.  This can be done on ANY BBQ.
  • I lay the hens on the BBQ grate –  setting the thickest (breast) side of the hen towards the fire – I don’t like burnt wing and leg tips.
  • Let the hens cook for 20 minutes – shake on a mellow BBQ rub once the skin has started to sweat a bit. I used D-Dog’s Maple Rub – very complimentary to poultry.
  • An hour later, baste on some olive or canola oil, balsamic vinegar & honey mixture that you’ve prepared in the house…this will dilute & emulsify the dry rub that was applied earlier. The color will really come out and begin to look glossy.
  • Another hour into the cook, your hens should have been on the BBQ for about 2 1/2 hours now – baste with a final BBQ sauce or glaze.  Mine was simple sugar, mint, sage & a touch of brown mustard – all mixed together nicely prior to painting the hens…you can use a bottled sauce at this point too…
  • Things should be VERY close to done – ensure now that the BBQ doesn’t get much hotter than the 250 degrees we’ve talked about – that sugar will burn if it does.
  • The hens will be done now – and can be pulled off the BBQ.  I like to put mine under a foil tent on a platter or other type of “steamer” – this allows the hens to rest while other parts of the meal are finished off.
  • Enjoy those nice Cornish Game Hens – they should be super juicy & tangy sweet.

We used a Traeger Pellet Grill for this recipe, you can easily replicate this on a Charcoal or Gas grill.  The Traeger Pellet Grill is easy & low maintenance – we recommend them.

Thanks for checking out our BBQ blog – I try to come up with stuff that anybody can try with success – We have many of the items mentioned in our online BBQ shop at: www.greenleafbbq.com

Best of luck,

Tim

So we all know that steaks like to be cooked HOT.  I’ve cooked plenty of steaks this way & as long as they have good marbling, they come out great.  This usually means steaks like a Rib Eye in the USDA Choice category at a minimum.

Carrie and I stoked the Egg one eve and whipped out this amazing steak cooked at over 700 degrees in the Egg.  Keep in mind that as long as the internal temps in a steak stay around 120 -125 degrees – the meat stays red and juicy inside.  When the temps get higher than that, the steak begins to cook through.  Your job as a BBQ master is to cook that steak in as little time as it takes to lightly char the exterior & leave a tender pink interior with as little grey around the edges of the pink as possible.  Of course if the preference is more of a medium or we done steak -LOWER the temps at which you cook it.

For what is’s worth, many steak afficionados love the Medium Rare steak & that is my taste as well…

We used some of the Rub Co. “Santa Maria” product as our base & added butter, garlic & rosemary near the end.   I like to add the herbal ingredients late in the cook so that the flame doesn’t just burn them off – you can see the coarse garlic & rosemary in the photos.

If you haven’t tried this style of steak cooking – it will probably take some practice – everything happens pretty fast.  Don’t give up, as the reward is all the equal of a Morton’s, Ruth’s Chris etc. type of steak -except the price!  So go fire that BBQ, get your self a great cut of meat and go to work!

I saw this video and thought I’d pass it along. In case you haven’t noticed, I like to focus on techniques that create sound fundamentals.  I’m aware that in order to get great BBQ, many additional techniques are advised that can only be applied when the fundamentals have been established.  We’ll be adding a few of those expert tricks along the way to truly make great Q.

Notice that this guy uses a Weber WSM to cook these ribs.  If a person is using a different style of BBQ, Like a Traeger, Big Green Egg, Horizon Offset or a Gasser etc…keep in mind that the attainable temps may be different and should be accounted for in overall cook time.

Oh yeah, don’t depend on your charcoals flavor – add wood chunks or chips to your BBQ to give it a unique flavor & use a fire starter chimney or paper to light that BBQ — Please no lighter fluid.

Ok, so this is a dead simple post about a great BBQ Rub, but it can be used as a regular flavor boost for about everything imaginable.  This “Original Recipe” was invented by Mike Mills, and he called it “Magic Dust”.  This recipe isn’t mine, and has been relentlessly copied and modified. This is a pretty basic rendition that anyone cam make simply at home and have around.

  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt, finely ground
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne

Make it this way first, but it you prefer a bit more heat, add slight amounts of both Black Pepper and perhaps the mustard powder.  Easy on the additions, as in most spices – a little either way can completely change how you mouth tastes the rub.

Enjoy!

Here at Green Leaf BBQ, we’re always looking for someone doing something extraordinary.  We’ve found that in Blue Star Seasoning as they continue to surprise with their seasoning’s unwavering versatility. Our friends Julie Bussemer and Nanette Fisher who own Blue Star, carry on the tradition that began when the recipe was created in the 1950’s.  Made in Stockton California, Julie & Nanette’s operation produces high quality and fresh seasonings, that are truly “a great replacement for salt and pepper”, as Julie says.  If salt and pepper aren’t the hallmarks for culinary versatility, I don’t know what are.

“Everyone claims that their seasoning is all purpose, that isn’t just a claim, they actually do it”,  says Mark Brunello in Rocklin Ca. “We use it on potatoes, chicken, ribs…everything”, he says. We agree, and because of this versatility, Blue Star Seasoning is one that we continually recommend to our customers.  This seasoning combines the traditional garlic, salt, pepper base with some secret ingredients. “The difference between this rub and other similar rubs, is that the Blue Star ingredients are in nice balance…not too salty.

BBQ Rub

BBQ Rub

Mark is the guy who introduced us to Blue Star several years ago.  We just had to add it to the store after tasting Mark’s rib eye steak with Blue Star.

Consider Blue Star Seasonings next time you need something different. Visit our store or website for purchasing options: greenleafbbq.com

Cooking Tips: One of our favorite pairings with Blue Star is on a Tri-tip.  We season liberally, and let stand (covered) in the refrigerator prior to cooking for at least 30 min.  We like to smoke our Tri-Tip using a Traeger Pellet Grill w/mesquite pellets at about 25o Degrees for almost 2 hours then turn up the heat to finish. When internal temps reach 145 Degrees, pull it off the grill and rest the meat prior to slicing.  We make a consious effort to slice the roast AGAINST the grain – it makes a huge difference.

Visit us: www.greenleafbbq.com

We are a small business that wanted to take a fresh approach to the old ways of backyard cooking. You won’t find gas grills, paper plates, plastic forks or lighter fluid in our store. We carry specialty barbecues and smokers that are friendly for our mother earth. Our selection of gourmet sauces, spices and rubs come from award winning locals all over the country.

We are constantly on the lookout for new recipes, products, techniques and new experiences. Monthly events will take place at our store to teach the basic skills in barbecue preparation, cooking, and to just meet new friends. Check out our calendar of events for current demos and classes.

Ask us about our drop-off barbecue catering services….coming soon.

WSM - BBQ Smoker

WSM - BBQ Smoker

Green Leaf BBQ strives to take a fresh approach to the old ways of backyard cooking. Barbecue has brought families and friends together for years and we believe that fresh air and great food will always be some of the best things in life. We are a unique retail store that carries specialty barbecues and smokers as well as a large selection of gourmet sauces, rubs and spices that come from award winning locals all over the country. At Green Leaf BBQ, you won’t find gas grills, disposable products or lighter fluid. Instead, you can find a lineup of efficient barbecues and smokers, high quality cookware and accessories, charcoals that come from companies with sustainable practices and gourmet food products that are all natural. We offer cooking classes, first fire techniques, new product demos and private instruction. Our goal is to fuel the creative spirit of cooking outdoors by providing the tools to make anyone feel like a gourmet chef.

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