This post is a second installment in my review of Chris Lilly's new BBQ/Grilling/Smoking book...
A few days ago I did a review where I took one of his recipes from the book and recreated it in my back yard with a simple but versatile Weber Kettle Grill. His recipe for a Smoked Pork Tenderloin and Spinach Salad came off perfectly... Spectacularly beautiful presentation along with a total recipe for a fresh made spice rub, fresh made flavoring sauce and even a fresh made salad dressing. Here's a portion of the review...
Today's post is a bit different for me. I am writing a review of one of my most recent purchases... Fire & Smoke, a Pitmaster's Secrets by Chris Lilly (of Big Bob Gibson's fame).
First... Here's the "About The Author" blurb on his Amazon.com page...
CHRIS LILLY is vice president, executive chef, and partner of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q. The Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q Competition Cooking Team has won ten World BBQ Championships, six world titles at “Memphis in May,” and the American Royal International Cook-off and BBQ Sauce Competition. Lilly is married to the great-granddaughter of BBQ legend Big Bob Gibson and is the author of Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book.
Yeap, Mr. Lilly does indeed have his BBQ chops! If you have ever had or heard of Baptized Chicken using an Alabama White Sauce... That's from Chris Lilly and his restaurant, Big Bob Gibson!
In that book, we are taken on an historical tour of how one of the most famous BBQ joints came to be and has thrived among the competition in an area while dozens and dozens of pop up want to be pitmasters have come and gone. The restaurant has certainly evolved in it;s 90 plus year history, as have the recipes. But Chris shares his memories of the last half of the history along with the family legends that create the mythical shrine to Southern BBQ.
This original book did a great job of what it intended to do. Introduce the restaurant, share stories and legends, entertain and give home Que-ers an opportunity to try out the Big Bob Gibson magic themselves.
The only possible complaint people had was that the book relied too much on the seasonings, rubs and sauces that are available for purchase at the restaurant (or by mail order).
Fire and Smoke, his new book is the perfect companion to his original as the history section of the book goes into much more detail about the types of cooking grills and smokers used throughout the south and less specific to the restaurant. In other words... The way we cook!
The book is simply beautiful. Almost every recipe includes a full page photo of the finished dish or suggestions on serving or cooking techniques for that dish. The little extras are always appreciated. From references on a dozen or more different types of grills and smokers (complete with cost and each cooker's "ideal" use) to chapters on making your own rubs and sauces (this time giving the recipes instead of suggesting mail order). There is even a detailed chapter on making Grilled Pizzas (a personal favorite use of the grill for me)!!!
Whole chapters on GRILLED Drinks (yeap... Grilled) that will make all of your guests Ooh and Aah at your skills, to appetizers to salads and sandwiches, main dishes, side dishes and a lot of fantastic desserts... There is even a first ever chapter for me... I had never seen a chapter on what to do with leftovers in a major BBQ book before. If you are like me,if I am going to fire up my smoker, I am going to load it up. So, what to do with that gallon of extra pulled pork... How about an Overstuffed Pulled Pork Potato (you will have to buy the book to see that recipe)... Or a delicious looking Brisket Eggs Benedict. Now I need a new smoker just so I can make EXTRA EXTRA leftovers!
Yeap... Indeed, I loved this book. One of the most complete I have ever seen.
Chris does go into great detail on the methods of cooking with photo tips and ideas to recreate his recipes. Terms like "Indirect Grilling" and "Internal Temperatures" are explained so that even a novice can carefully read the details and succeed. But a more seasoned Que-er will also come up with more than a few ideas that make the price of the book more than worth it.
So these grilled peaches are indeed inspired by a recipe in Chris's new book.
I just made a few tweeks.
Such as, Chris advertises these as pickled. But honestly, the amount of time that the peaches sit in the pickling sauce is only about 4 minutes (in Chris's recipe). Sounds to me more like Peaches coated in a pickling sauce than pickled peaches.
But the idea of pickled peaches intrigued me. So I decided to let them stew in the juices for awhile before grilling them. I made my sauce, set at a low simmer, added the peaches, covered the pot, removed the pot from the heat and let them sit for an hour before I grilled them. It probably is a subtle taste difference, but it worked just fine. Indeed the sweet vinegar taste came through just fine. Besides, I could do this prep work ahead of time, add the peaches to the sauce just as my guests arrived. Then an hour later (of course they could have sat longer if the BBQ is going well conversationally). Then since they have a quick cook time it was easy to transition to grilling the dessert. Always a popular event for non-experienced grillers to watch.
My final change is forced on me seasonally. I love peaches and especially grilled peaches. But it's early spring and there are no fresh local peaches available. Which means fresh from the can. Don't be afraid of the can, that's where the freshest ones are.
By far, these are the best Grilled peaches I have ever had. A delicious sweet slightly pickled taste shines through the fruit. I just love the idea of ending a BBQ party with a grilled dessert and this is at the top of my list. A great unexpected presentation, a great opportunity to show off your skills... and oh yeah...
The recipe is meant as an example of my positive review of the book, the recipe is indeed inspired by and includes much of Chris's suggested recipe. Just made enough changes to call this my own, but indeed without Chris's book I would not have found a new favorite!
The book comes highly recommended and I am sure I will get inspired to try something new again!
OK... to the recipe...
Grilled PICKLED Peaches
- 2 tsp Pickling Spices
- 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
- 1/2 Cup Maple Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 2 Cans (14.5 Ounces) Peache halves in heavy syrup
- Garnish with a Scoop of Ice Cream
- An hour before your BBQ, in a medium cooking pot, combine the Orange Juice, Maple Sugar, Cider Vinegar and Sugar. Bring to a slow boil.
- While the pot is heating, put the pickling spices into the center of a large square of cheesecloth. Gather the corners and tie them together to form a small bag. Add this to the simmering liquid. Reduce heat to maintain low simmer for 5 more minutes so the spices mingle.
- Turn off heat, add the peaches, gently stir to mingle new juices with simmer pot.
- Remove from stove, cover and allow to rest for an hour.
- Move to the grill, preheated to high. Add the peaches, direct grilling over the HOT coals. Grill until the sweet syrup begins to caramelize, about 5 minutes per side, when grill marks appear and the peaches lift from the grate easily. If you try to move them too soon and they stick, just be patient and wait until they life easily.
- Serve quickly while they are still hot, add a scoop of ice cream (so eat quickly as the HOT fruit will melt the ice cream).
- And... ENJOY!
Well over 52 recipes actually as I just can't stop... Over 100 in one grilling season (I love to grill!). But not just leat... Drinks, Condiments (LOTS of different BBQ sauces), Drinks, Desserts... even specialty items like GRILLED Pizza, and fun shaped Watermelons. Easy and these ideas will make you the MASTER of your Backyard Domain!
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