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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

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

Marbling, simply put, is the distribution of fat within a cut of beef.  The USDA measures this “Marbling” and assigns a grade to the beef.  Many recognize that without a degree of marbling, a steak or beef cut just doesn’t taste very flavorful, and may even be tough and dry after cooking. There is a commonly accepted relationship between the amount of marbling in a beef cut, and it’s inherent flavor.  There is also a direct corollary between marbling and price per pound of beef.   This chart explains why a “Select” grade Rib Eye steak will taste remarkably different than a “Prime” Rib Eye steak – and cost more too.

These are excerpts from the USDA marbling chart.  I wanted to post this as an example of the differences that exist between meat grades that we commonly see in the store.  The standard USDA grades are labeled, Kobe Beef falls between “Prime” and “Marble Score 4″.  The  “Marble Scores” come from Australian Wagu Beef, or other unique breeds of cattle.  Draw your own conclusions about the grade of beef and the fat content of each.

So, next time a “Select” New York steak steak goes on sale at you local market , realize that a “Prime” sirloin may be the more flavorful cut at a similar price. Keep in mind that all steaks or beef cuts are NOT created equal. One simply cannot cook the same steak at home as was had at a restaurant unless the grade is the same or similar…no matter how amazing your BBQ skills are.

I thought is was visually interesting to see all of the beef grades together for a quick comparison.  I hope this leads to a more well informed beef purchase and better quality BBQ.

I couldn’t resist posting this sauce – I got it from a friend some time ago, and have been fiddling with it a bit. This BBQ sauce is a really smooth peachy sauce that should be tried when the regular red sauces get boring. With peach season upon us here in California, maybe some fresh freestones could be substituted, make sure to add a bit of sugar to the peaches to encourage a syrup before puree process.

Black pepper can me an option if your base rub uses pepper.

Remember – different flavor layers MAKE a great BBQ.

Peach BBQ Sauce:

48 fluid ounces peach slices in light syrup
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ginger, ground
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

1. Puree peaches
2. Mix cornstarch with a little water
3. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and heat to low boil, stirring occasionally
4. Continue to simmer 30 minutes, stirring frequently
5. Sauce may be thin, so at the end of cooking time, if necessary, add sufficient water/cornstarch mixture to give sauce consistency of commercial barbecue sauce

Apply this one very lightly  – over the top of whatever dry rub that you used – adding thin coats until the desired “stickey factor” has been achieved.  Don’t burn it – reduce temps below 300 degrees during the application process.

* The ribs in my header picture received this glaze…

Best of Luck and feel free to tell me how I should improve this recipe!

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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