Tag Archives: bbq

Southern Food in NC

People with refined or discriminating taste may not realize or even enjoy the thought of eating what one may consider as “Southern Food”, they are missing out. In many fine restaurants, excessive refinement and deconstruction of well-known dishes leave’s you wondering what you just consumed.

Undeniably enjoying a meal with an elaborate presentation of balanced flavors and contrasting elements, rare ingredients harvested from remote locations melded together with obscure parts of an animal’s anatomy have proved quite unforgettable, even though the equivalent to a house payment exchanged hands, I enjoyed ever minute.

Fine meals come in all forms and recently several were enjoyed visiting Donna and her husband Brooks, some dear friends in NC. There is no elaborate presentation here however some of the finest meals come out of Chef Brook’s kitchen.

We start with breakfast of soft fried eggs, grits, non-nitrate bacon, homemade jelly, and strong coffee. Grits, for those who are not familiar with the item is ground up corn, simmered with some added butter salt, and pepper. The creamy texture of the grits mingled with the yellow yolk and the sweet, saltines of the bacon just complements each other, add a side of Donna’s organic homemade jelly, yum!!!!!

Brooks-3

For dinner, pork chops, collard greens, and lima beans. The pork chop is marinade with a secret BBQ sauces and charcoal over a hickory wood fire. Until this day my friend Brooks will not let go of the recipe for this wonderful BBQ sauce, it is a tomato-vinegar base (NC style), sweet, sour, and tangy. The hickory smoke from the fire and sweetness of the sauce make the chop one to remember for some time.

Brooks-5However, the star of the show, and always has been for myself, are the collard greens. Collards are a large deep green leafy vegetable with a texture similar to cabbage and a nutritional value equal to none. Chef Brooks simmer them with a little sugar (I think), salt, pepper, and a smoked ham hock. The ham flavor permeates the green and no words can describe how good this is.Brooks-8

Brooks

Combine this meal with a fine California Zinfandel and the companionship of good company and it is just an extraordinary Southern Meal! Oh, of course every NC home has a bottle of Texas Pete on the table, the local hot sauce.

Brooks-10

Back to Malaysia, i’m craving some curry fish head soup ;)

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Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur

BBQ means different cooking methods to different people. My favorite BBQ is Stamey’s in Greensboro, NC considered Eastern BBQ.
Or if you go West of Raleigh, NC they serve it with a richer tomato base sauce, Bibs in Winston Salem is not bad.
Either way it is the best in the USA. Uh Oh …. I shouldn’t have said that.
OK I have to give honorable mention to Kansas with their infamous Fiorella’s Jack Stack BBQ, been there, done that, got my T-shirt dirty, or Blacks BBQ in Texas which I have not been to but I hear it is very good.
All of these establishments have one ingredient in common they prepare their pork or beef using charcoal or wood.
This is my very good dear friend Brooks. He has become a connoisseur of the grill and all things “charcoaled” such as fish, pork shoulder, or ribs, yummmm!
He has this secret sauce he calls Mud-puppy sauce but won’t tell anyone what’s in it. It sure is good.
This was last weekend’s camping trip that I didn’t get to go on. Ole grizzly can cook it up anywhere. Notice the wood.
Chicken, pork shoulder, Brooks is the expert.
I also have to mention another very good friend of mine Stafford. A Julia Child convert, Stafford’s bohemian style of cooking is also top notch.
 What does all this charcoal, BBQ, cooking method have in common with Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia? Well they have their own form, method of preparation for BBQ.
First I need to explain street food or hawker alleys and food stalls. In some areas of the city they close the street down at night and bring out food stand or carts.  Jalan Alor is one such street in the middle of Kuala Lumpur. Families live in tiny buildings along the street and run some type of business during the day, but at night they are all chefs in their own right. This vendor runs a travel agency during the day.
Jalan Alor is huge with over a 100 vendors along its street. Plastic tables and chairs fill the street.

Every night the street is packed with patrons looking for a snack or a full course meal, either way it won’t cost more than $5. Be particular in what you eat here or there will be another price you pay if you choose unwisely.

Along this street is BBQ. Let me introduce you to what I call the terminator. This lady was busy twirling and roasting.

Another version. Chicken wings are roasted over charcole.

Stall owners are on the lookout for patrons to entice them with picture menus and promise of a great meal.

Next, our meal…