Monthly Archives: May 2010

The Cole Slaw Chronicles: Creamy or Vinegary?

Tough decision.  Creamy or Vinegary.

I made an executive decision to go with the clean, crisp, tart taste of a vinegar-based cole slaw to accompany a fish fry (walleye).  No mayo.  

It was outstanding!  

I used the following recipe as the base with a few adjustments.  

This coleslaw is made with a tangy vinegar dressing, with sugar, cider vinegar, celery seed, and other seasonings.


  • 1 large head of cabbage, finely shredded (I used two heads of cabbage, one purple)
  • 1 medium bell pepper, finely chopped (I omitted the bell pepper)
  • 1 medium sweet onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, grated


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 cup cider vinegar


Combine coleslaw vegetable ingredients; chopped cabbage, chopped bell pepper, chopped onions, and grated carrots in a large serving bowl. 

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring, until sugar is dissolved; pour over vegetables and toss well. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. 

I doubled the recipe (hence the two heads of cabbage) and it served well over 16 people!  

Certified Grilladelic.

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In the (Rib) Eye of the Beholder

Thick cut, rib eye steaks.  $6.99/lb

If it is too good to be true, it probably isn't.

I visited the new D&W Fresh Market last weekend and immediately worked my way to the meat counter.  What caught my eye was a big "SPECIAL".   Ribeye steaks.  $6.99/lb.  One of my favorite steaks for the grill!  I had to return.  Which I did the next day.

The "too-good-to-be-true" anecdote: I selected four steaks and the price rang up to $14.99/lb.  I said "excuse me".  The clerk said "ooops. not sure why it is priced like that.  Let me check".

After reviewing with his manager (not a butcher) it turns out that the sale price referred to "non-prime" steaks. I am not convinced this young man even knew there was a difference between prime, choice, select and standard but at that point, I wasn't prepared to spend the $14.99/lb so I said I wanted the "special".  He went back, grabbed some other steaks and wrapped them up.  There was no grading listed- so I am not sure if it was select or standard. 

That night I seasoned (olive oil, Worcestershire, Lawry's Salt) and grilled over hot mesquite lump.

The results were OK but grading certainly makes a difference in taste.  And I realized I've been spoiled.  I  buy the majority of my steaks and chops from several neighborhood butchers who I trust. They know the cuts I like and ask for feedback when I return. They certainly use pricing and "specials" as marketing tools but IMHO,  the credibility gap between a supermarket meat counter and a neighborhood butcher is as vast as a Nebraskan prairie!

In my book, local butchers are certified grilladelic.

Quality Grades:

  • Prime grade  is produced from young, well-fed beef cattle. It has abundant marbling and is generally sold in restaurants and hotels. Prime roasts and steaks are excellent for dry-heat cooking (broiling, roasting, or grilling).

  • Choice grade  is high quality, but has less marbling than Prime. Choice roasts and steaks from the loin and rib will be very tender, juicy, and flavorful and are, like Prime, suited to dry-heat cooking. Many of the less tender cuts, such as those from the rump, round, and blade chuck, can also be cooked with dry heat if not overcooked. Such cuts will be most tender if "braised" — roasted, or simmered with a small amount of liquid in a tightly covered pan.

  • Select grade  is very uniform in quality and normally leaner than the higher grades. It is fairly tender, but, because it has less marbling, it may lack some of the juiciness and flavor of the higher grades. Only the tender cuts (loin, rib, sirloin) should be cooked with dry heat. Other cuts should be marinated before cooking or braised to obtain maximum tenderness and flavor.

  • Standard and Commercial grades – are frequently sold as ungraded or as "store brand" meat.

  • Utility, Cutter, and Canner grades are seldom, if ever, sold at retail but are used instead to make ground beef and processed products.

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Broke out the chicken last night.  Six legs, six thighs and 18 wings.  Simple stuff.

Chose your weapon; dry season or marinade.  I used Penzey's BBQ of America's on the thighs/legs and Uncle Dougie's Wing Marinade for the wings.

Indirect heat, with a healthy safe zone (no heat)

I sear the chicken for the first 15-20 minutes.  Turning very frequently.  Do not flinch from duty.  I went inside the house for 45 seconds and a few pieces were charred upon return.  My bad.  

After I crisp up the chicken, I "pile up" in the safe zone, close the grill top and relax for 45 minutes.  Thighs, legs and wings are very forgiving.  You won't dry them out.

(Full disclosure: for the thighs/wings, I also placed them in a foil pan and added  Blues Hog Barbecue Sauce)  

No worries about burning, this is away from the heat.

After a total of about an hour, I begin selectively grilling pieces of the chicken again. Primping and crisping. Needs to look good.  I paint on a little BBQ sauce too at this point- like an artist. Back to being on-point also…no monkeying around.

All in all, about 90 minutes of cooking time.  

The chicken was tasty and this information is Certified Grilladelic. 

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Holy Smoke! Michigan is Barbecuing!

It was only a few years ago that if you competed on the Kansas City Barbecue Society's competitive circuit, and you were from Michigan, you had to the leave the state.  There was the Grand Rapids tournament, and that was it.  

But that was then, and this is now.  

With the addition of the Michigan State Barbecue Championship in Jackson, MI, we now have eight competitions, all sanctioned by the KCBS.  

Team Grilladelic is hoping to compete in at least three events this year.  Maybe more.  

If you have any interest in putting a team together, or hanging out at an event to learn more, let me know.  More than happy to help spread the insanity! 

06/25/10 to 06/26/10
Auburn Hills Barbecue Cook-Off Auburn Hills, MI
Contact: Shawn Keenan, 1827 N Squirrel Road, Auburn Hills, MI 48326
Phone: 248-364-6926. Fax: 248-364-6939. 

07/09/10 – 07/10/10
Riverwalk Brew-B-Q Lowell, MI
Contact: Liz Baker, 113 Riverwalk Plaza, PO Box 224, Lowell, MI 49331
Phone: 616-897-9161. Fax: 616-897-9101. i

07/16/10 to 07/17/10
6th  Annual U.P. Hog Wild Kingsford, MI
Contact: John Bertoldi, PO Box 323, Iron Mountain, MI 49801
Phone: 906-774-1707. Fax: 906-774-0217. 

07/23/10 to 07/24/10
Taste of Grand Rapids & Barbecue Competition Grand Rapids (John Ball Park), MI
Contact: Rich Berry, 77 Monroe Center, Suite 1000, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: 616-776-5471. Fax: 616-242-9373.
CBJ Percentage: 58%

08/20/10 to    


Midwest BBQ Throwdown Mt. Morris, MI
Contact: Christian Miller, 2188 W. Mt. Morris, Mt. Morris, MI 48458
Phone: 810-687-0953. 

09/10/10 to 09/11/10
Silver Lake Apple & BBQ Festival Mears, MI
Contact: Jeff Clark, 9642 W Silver Lake Rd, Mears, MI 49436
Phone: 231-873-5980. Fax: (Cell) 231-578-2940. j

09/24/10 to 09/25/10
Harvest on the Ridge Sparta, MI
Contact: Roger Gren, PO Box 268, Cedar Springs, MI 49319
Phone: 616-263-6063. 

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