Sunday, April 18, 2010

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs

We took a short drive down to St. Petersburg yesterday to visit the Saturday Market in the parking lot of Al Lang Stadium.

We purchased some fresh organic green peppers, oinions, and tomatoes and taste tested food from several of the vendors.  Fresh is always better, so we added some chicken to the mix and I fired up the grill.

The fine folks at McCormick and Lawry's sent me some Lawry's Szechwan Sweet & Sour bbq marinade and Tuscan Sun Dried Tomato marinade last week. I decided to try the Szechwan on the kabobs. 

I marinated the chicken in the Lawry's bbq sauce for about 4 hours and grilled everything using lump charcoal.  The marinade added a slight Szechwan heat to go along with the sweet and sour flavor.  I don't know the chemistry behind it, but the chicken breasts were very moist and tender. 

If I do this again I will sear the kabobs over direct heat and then move them into an aluminum foil pan or wrap. I think this will prevent the charring that occurs when the marinade begins to burn over the direct flame.

I can't wait to try out Lawry's Tuscan Sun Dried Tomato marinade on some pork chops next.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Simple Grilled Chicken Wings and Drums

--Marinade in Newman's Own "Olive Oil and Vinegar" for 5 - 6 hours (in the refrigerator)
--Start your charcoal and let it grey over a little, before adding chicken to grill
--Cook chicken slowly (around the edges of the grate) to reduce flare ups
--When it's done, brush with your favorite bbq sauce to finish
The marinade will add moisture and internal flavor, while the bbq sauce adds a little kick.  No matter how you grill your chicken, I would not eat chicken that is not marinated in Newman's Own "Olive Oil and Vinegar". It really makes a difference.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Jimbo's Pit Bar B Q - Tampa Florida

I've lived in Tampa for three years. During that time I've been searching for "real" bbq ribs with little luck. Linda and I finally found them Saturday at Jimbo's Pit Bar B Q.

Lots of restaurants serve bbq pork ribs, but many are overcooked, over tender, and candied.  Jimbo's ribs are just the way I like them.  They still taste like pork and the meat doesn't fall off the bone. It tears off  and leaves bite marks.

Located in Tampa on West Kennedy near the Fox 13 studios, Jimbo's is a barbecue location. It's not some fancy upscale foo foo restaurant masquerading as a wannabe bbq joint. It's the real deal. After 33 years in Tampa, Jimbo's is still going strong.  The atmosphere is casual. The tables and chairs are rustic. Even the exterior is painted a plain, flat, brown color.  There's no stucco or fancy brick work at Jimbo's.  It's a "bbq joint" - plain and simple.  

The smoker is located out back and they cook with real wood.  I think it's an Oyler, but I haven't been able to verify that for sure.  I know Jimbo's in Lakeland definitely uses an Oyler Pit manufactured by J & R Manufacturing.  If you're not familar with an Oyler Pit here's a quick run down.  The pit is wood fired, NSF and UL listed.

Linda had the chopped pork sandwich and I had the combo platter with pork ribs and sliced beef.  The sauce is served warm. I hadn't seen that before, but I liked it. 

Both pork entrees were very good. The sliced beef, made from Beef Round according to the menu, wasn't the brisket I had expected and it needed a little more sauce than I usually like, but I enjoyed trying something different.