Beyond Meat Sausages Are Great!

I had been reading about the new plant based burgers and sausages from Beyond Meat and The Impossible Burger and decided to see what all of the fuss was about.  I finally found some sausages from Beyond Meat at one of the stores in town and decided to give them a try.

Beyond Meat Italian Sausage

One thing that had me excited about the sausage was that it wasn’t another attempt at making soybeans edible.  In fact, there is absolutely no soy products in these things.

Straight out of the package they didn’t look too impressive but I didn’t hold that against them as a lot of folks say that about me 🙂

Plant Based Sausage

I got these guys on my grill and let them cook at around 325F.  After a few minutes I opened the lid (I love to peek!) and was greeted with a wonderful surprise….the sausages were dripping grease and sizzling away just like a sausage should!

The Sizzle

Once the sausages hit 165F I took them out and put them on a bun with a little mustard.

Me and a buddy tore into these at the same time and looked at each other with a little bit of amazement.  The sausages did not taste exactly like a traditional pork based Hot Italian Sausage but they were extremely tasty!

Great Sausage

These plant based sausages get a big thumbs up from me!  They made me happy!

Yeah, Yeah….I know a lot of hard core carnivores are going to thumb their noses at this.  That’s okay…I know what their arteries look like.

Here’s to keeping your mind open to new ideas and trying things outside of your normal routine!



Pork Belly Tacos (Soy, Honey, Ginger)

I was going through my phone and found some pictures of a cook that I did a while back.  I never posted it because I didn’t get any great pictures but I figured I needed to write the general idea down somewhere before it got washed away by Gin and Tonics.

I started with some strips of pork belly that I got from Costco.  Cut them into 1 inch cubes and let them marinate (4 hours, refrigerated) in the following:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup 7 Up
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger

Soy Honey and Ginger

I got the belly onto the pit and smoked the cubes until they hit an internal temperature of around 190F.  They took on some good color…too bad it was too dark to get a decent picture!

Smoked pork belly bites

I waited until the bites were cool enough to touch, sliced them up and made a big pile of tacos using corn tortillas, sour cream, lettuce and Sriracha.

Might fine eating! Might poor photography 🙂

Pork Belly Tacos

These were little bombs of flavor going off with the sour cream and sriracha really playing nice together.

Made me happy.

I will be tweaking this recipe and trying again pretty soon!

Here are a few other Pork Belly Links for more ideas!

Banh Mi Pork Belly 

Where to Buy Pork Belly

Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Crispy Pork Belly Tacos


Cajun Style Surf and Turf

Howdy, WordPress Community!

A month or so ago I made a pretty awesome dinner and loved the final picture so much that I felt compelled to share 🙂

I am pleased to present, for my general gratification, Ribeye Steak and Crawfish!


There wasn’t anything particularly special or interesting about the cook itself…started with some ribeye steak and hit them with some Montreal Steak Seasoning.


I smoked the steaks on my pellet grill at 250F until they reached an internal temperature of 125F.

Once the steaks reached 125F I took them off the pit and seared them in a cast iron skillet with a touch of peanut oil for 90 seconds per side.


The crawfish were even easier.  My son brought them home as leftovers from a big crawfish boil he had gone to earlier in the day 🙂

Served everything up with baked potatoes and we were eating like Cajun Kings.

Made me happy!

Hope all you cool cats are having a great week!

FYI…If you want to boil your own crawfish then here are a few links to check out.

How to Boil Crawfish

First Timer’s Guide to Crawfish

Jerk Chicken Festival: Marley Gras!

A few weekends ago I found myself in New Orleans with some time to kill.  I saw an ad for a Jerk Chicken Jamaican Heritage festival and thought it sounded pretty cool!


We checked the map and the festival was less than a mile from the Superdome so we decided to walk there.  We ended up strolling through a homeless camp and past a few places that looked to be on the rough side.  Decided that we would take an Uber when we wanted to leave.

The festival was being held at Central City BBQ and I was excited to see the place.


There were some MASSIVE bbq pits in the back but no indication that they are ever used.  The pits were covered in dust and there wasn’t a single piece of wood to be seen.


The festival itself  was frustrating at first but made sense in the end.

In addition to being hard to get to the festival was expensive with an entry fee of $25 per person.  Once you bought your ticket you got to enter the festival where there was a typical reggae band playing and about 30 vendors selling typical festival trinkets.

The food was also expensive and the jerk chicken plate I had was uninspiring and definitely not worth a picture.

When I first envisioned the festival I imagined folks grilling over open metal drums and being able to visit with them and maybe talk a little shop.  Nope.

The highlight of the festival was the cool motorcycle that was parked outside the gate.  There was some seriously cool customization and detail on the bike…every time I looked at it I saw cool stuff that I had missed before.


In the end the festival made sense when my daughter pointed out that it was exactly like our family vacation to Jamaica a few years ago.  Hard to get to, over priced, limited services and full of people whose only goal in life was to get our money.

Yep, they nailed it!!


Simple Smoked Chicken Thighs

It’s been a while since I posted over hear but I wanted to let folks know that I am still thinking about them and hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.

Figured that as long as I was here I would share a few photos from a super simple batch of smoked chicken thighs I did a while back.  A lot of times we make barbecue so overly complicated that it just isn’t fun any more….that is one thing I love about simple recipes.  They bring back the ease, fun and beauty of cooking and that makes me happy.

Smoked Chicken Thighs

I was in a hurry the other night but wanted to have some smoked chicken thighs.

I hadn’t planned ahead so these didn’t get brined.  I felt like relaxing so I didn’t take the time to scrape the fat from underneath the skin.  I am also trying to be more calorie conscious so I skipped the whole “butter bath” routine.

Instead I just hit these thighs with some Plowboy’s chicken rub and threw them on my pit running at around 275F.

Chicken Thighs on Smoking Pit

After about 45 minutes the skin started crisping up a little.  I knew that I wasn’t going to get the skin as crispy as I get when I fry it but I was hoping to avoid that big old piece of rubber texture that I sometimes get when I take a lazy approach like this.

Chicken Skin Getting Done

Once the chicken hit 160F it was basted with a sweet heat barbecue sauce and put back on the smoker.  After a total cook time of about 90 minutes the thighs were done and we were eating 🙂

The skin never got really crisp or tender so I went ahead and sliced it prior to eating so every bite would have some skin.  It was an odd looking presentation to be sure but nobody complained loud enough for me to hear 🙂

Sliced Chicken Thigh

These thighs wouldn’t have won any barbecue competition but they were perfect for a weeknight supper.  That is probably the more important event for most families.

Keep being awesome, folks! Peace.

Related Links

Smoked Butter Bath Chicken Thighs

Honey Lime Chicken Thighs

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon