One Last Cookout –
Happy Labor Day! This holiday in the U.S. is often seen as the last weekend of summer – people begin to close their pools for the season, kids get ready to go back to school, and families and friends have one last big cookout. One of Jake’s many hobbies is smoking meat. For this Labor Day weekend, he decided to cook up some of his ol’ faithful recipes and try some new ones. He made a smoked haddock dip, smoked ribs, and a smoked beef chuck.
See? Even the pups couldn’t resist waiting by the smoker for the scrumptious food!
Smoked Haddock Dip
Last Easter, Jake had tried his very first smoked fish (salmon). We had his family over that day and we conducted our own little research test. We put out store-bought cold-smoked salmon and Jake’s smoked salmon. Jake’s salmon won by a landslide.
Last weekend, Jake had ventured out on a day of fishing with his friend. He came back with a few pounds of fresh haddock. Here was the perfect opportunity to make another smoked fish. He let the haddock fillets sit in a homemade brine overnight. The brine was seasoned as if he were going to use it for a baked haddock (sans the Ritz cracker).
Next day, he smoked the fish for a few hours, regularly basting it with butter and lemon. After a taste test, Jake decided last minute to make a smoked haddock dip. The dip ingredients included cream cheese, sour cream, cayenne, pepper, and green onion. It was absolutely delicious and balanced the perfect amount of smokiness with that classic creamy dip taste.
Jake has made smoked ribs a handful of times now. This time, he decided on two different batches:
- A homemade Memphis dry rub
- Aloha Spice Company’s Organic Aloha Chicken & Pork rub
There are a couple schools of thought on how ribs should be. Some love it fall-off-the-bone and others (Jake) like it with a little resistance and structure. As for me? As long as it’s good, I’ll eat it! Close to when the ribs are done, Jake likes to brush a bit of BBQ sauce on top. These were great and I can definitely tell he’s begun to perfect his rib smoking! Tangy outside with a little bit of that crust; tender on the inside.
Smoked Beef Chuck
We stopped by BJ’s Wholesale Club on the way home the other day and picked up a 3 lb beef chuck. We really like the meat they have there and they were nice enough to cut us the size chuck we wanted. In fact, we had gotten the ribs there, as well. The beef chuck was simply seasoned with salt, pepper, brown sugar, and a basting mixture to keep the chuck moist while cooking. Jake has an extra secret technique with his chucks that he won’t allow me to disclose! I’ll try to sneak it into one of my future posts. 😉
The chuck is one of my favorite thing that Jake smokes. (My absolute favorite is his smoked citrus turkey breast.) Look at those smoke rings on the slices. So good!
We invited our friends, Rob and Lindsay, over to enjoy the meal with us. We whipped up a couple of sides, including a quinoa salad and pasta salad. Lindsay brought homemade lavender lemon squares and her fail-safe brownies for dessert.
(Side note – Every once in a while, Lindsay and I plan out full cooking days where we try out a bunch of new recipes. I can’t wait until our next one so I can post the mouth-watering photos.)
We ended the night with some drinks and conversation around the fire pit. It was a wonderful day and I hope you enjoy your weekend, as well.