Texas BBQ; Homemade Hot Sauce; The World's Hottest Pepper
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Everyone knows that Texans are serious about their barbecue, so we asked Texas Monthly BBQ editor Daniel Vaughn to explain the regional differences within the state's most famous delicacy. If flying to Texas isn't an option, Jonathan Gold recommends Bludso's Bar & Cue as a good spot for Texas-style brisket in Los Angeles. For those who plan to spend Father's Day over the grill, Bruce Aidells explains how to read the meat packaging in your local supermarket and hot dog enthusiast Bruce Kraig shares a history of wieners, franks and dogs. Need something to top that grilled meat? Jennifer Trainer Thompson has ideas for a variety of hot sauces. Plus, journalist Spencer Jakab details the race for the world's hottest pepper. At the market, Laura Avery talks to Xiong Pao Her about Asian vegetables and cocktail chef Matthew Biancaniello offers a how-to for making nocino, a green walnut liqueur. Also, Marion Nestle decodes the enormous and often confusing Farm Bill debate in Congress.
Banner image: Sign at Kasper's Meat Market in Weimar, Texas. Photo: Nicholas McWhirter
Market Report ()
Xiong Pao Her brings an enormous array of Asian vegetables to the Santa Monica Farmers' Market every other week. He grows in Fresno where a large community of Hmong farmers grow predominantly Asian produce.
Cocktail chef Matthew Biancaniello is excited to take advantage of the very short green walnut season. He is making nocino, a green walnut liqueur, with both wild green walnuts and those he purchased at local farmers markets. Find a nocino recipe on the Good Food blog and be sure to shop fast because the green walnut season lasts for just one or two weeks.
Understanding the 2013 Farm Bill Debate ()
Dr. Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health and Professor of Sociology at New York University. She's also the author of numerous books and publications and makes public appearances on the topics of nutrition and health. Her blog, Food Politics, is an indispensable resource on food politics.
Nestle explains how the Senate and House Farm Bills differ. Hear a longer, unedited conversation between Nestle and Evan Kleiman here.
The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey through Texas BBQ ()
East Texas - This is closest to Southern BBQ often serving tender ribs covered in sauce, chopped beef sandwiches and hot links. In the East, sauce takes more of a prominent roll.
Central Texas - This is almost the opposite of East Texas BBQ. In general sauce is served on side. Vaughn says there is "no need for the sauce" in Central Texas where meat is smoked over indirect heat.
South Texas - Traditionally Southern Texas serves whole-head barbacoa cooked in underground pits. Vera's in Brownsville is the only place left that does this style of barbecue.
West Texas - West Texas is the Hill Country. Meat is cooked with direct heat over wood coals.
Smoke and Brisket Infuse West Hollywood ()
Jonathan Gold goes gaga for the brisket at Bludso's Bar & Cue, the new West Hollywood outpost of the beloved BBQ joint from Compton. If you are going with a group, he recommends ordering the tray which includes a selection of meats. If you're ordering on your own he recommends the brisket, collards, mac & cheese, pickles and beans.
Bludso's Bar & Cue
609 N La Brea Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90036
All of Jonathan Gold's restaurant suggestions are on the Good Food restaurant map.
How to Understand a Meat Label in the Supermarket ()
Bruce Aidells is the man behind Aidells Sausage Company and the author of several great books on meat and sausage. His most recent cookbook is The Great Meat Cookbook. He explains how to decode meat labels in the grocery store. Learn about the difference between grass fed, natural and naturally raised.
He recommends buying beef at a local farmers market or at a reputable grocery store or butcher. If you do not have access to quality beef in your neighborhood you can order online from:
B&N Ranch in Northern California
White Oak Pastures in Georgia
Aidells suggests using the less popular cuts of beef like tri tip and top sirloin steaks to throw on the grill. He also suggests enhancing the flavor with a marinade or spice rub.
The History of the Hot Dog ()
The Race to the World's Hottest Pepper ()
Spencer Jakab is a journalist with the Wall Street Journal. Earlier this year he wrote about the race to create the world's hottest pepper.
Homemade Hot Sauce ()
Jennifer Trainer Thompson is the author of Hot Sauce: Techniques for Making Signature Hot Sauces, with 32 Recipes to Get You Started; Includes 60 Recipes for Using Your Hot Sauces.
Find a recipe for her hot sauce on the Good Food blog.
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