Link Love

A roundup of sites I’ve recently found useful and interesting:

Just in time for thanksgiving, Fred the SmokinGuitarPlayer shows us how to roast your turkey to perfection on the Big Green Egg. Part 1 of 2.

Casual Kitchen’s discussion on the  The Pros and Cons of Restaurant Calorie Labeling Laws

Tasty-looking  Chickamauga Chicken from Chris at Nibble Me This who is guest blogging over at OuR KrAzy kItChEn.

Gluten-Free Tuesday: Gomasio from our gluten-free girl Shauna James

100th Post

I’m not big on introspection (I’m the absolute last guy you’ll find staring at his navel, trust me on this one), but sometimes it’s nice to observe mileposts and take a look around at where we’ve been and what we’d still like to do.

So, we’ve hit 100 posts with the Food & Fire blog. I say “we,” because while I do most of the writing, photography, and cooking;  my dear wife does the shopping, editing, and food styling (you have to have an odd number of things on your plate and everything looks better with a little parsley). She gave me the Big Green Egg for our anniversary. Without that gift, her love, understanding, and tolerance for my geeky foodiness, this blog never would have happened.

I’ve been blogging for just over a year. In that time we’ve covered all manner of meat, a bit of veggies and fruits, more than a little seafood, and a few book and product reviews. I’ve made some new friends in the food blogger community and enjoy reading their posts. I’ve been interviewed by the Charlotte Observer and by a researcher for NYT food writer Molly O’Neil.

I’ve been gluten-free for a year and as trans fat and high-fructose corn syrup free as is humanly possible. It hasn’t always been easy, but I feel a lot better and that makes it all worth it. I will continue to make sure all of the recipes here can be easily made gluten free.

Looking down the road, there are some changes I’d like to make to the site. This has never been a commercial venture. It’s always been just me writing about what I enjoy doing, and that isn’t going to change. I’d like to post more often, but some weeks it doesn’t feel like I can run any more food through the Big Green Egg, so I’ll probably start adding posts with links to food news and other recipes that have caught my eye. I’d like to do more product reviews, since god knows I don’t own nearly enough cook books or barbecue sauces ;).

I’m taking some steps to improve my photography (hello early Christmas present) and will post about the changes I’ve made. I want to tweak the look and feel of this site a little. I’m looking into taking a WordPress development course.  Right now I just know just enough to be dangerous.

So, happy 100th post and thanks to my wife and all of the folks who read and support this site!

Book Review – Commander’s Wild Side

Commander’s Palace has been a fine dining institution in New Orleans since 1880. Executive Chef Tory McPhail and managing partner Ti Adelaide Martin have mined this restaurant’s extensive collection of recipes to coauthor the Commander’s Wild Side: Bold Flavors for Fresh Ingredients from the Great Outdoors.

As the title suggests, the book focuses on wild game dishes – crayfish, rabbit, elk, boar, etc., prepared in ways that enhance the natural flavors, not cover them up.

The book is organized into nine sections: Sea, Stream, Air, Land, Not-So-Wild Game, Campfire Cooking, Showstopping Dishes to Impress Your Friends, Sensational Sides, and The Sweet Finish.

While the focus is on the entrees, care has been taken to ensure that all of the side dishes and desserts are designed to “fit with what you’re fixing.”

Now, there are lots of great game recipes out there, but this book is more than that. There’s a strong theme that runs through every recipe of doing the best with what is fresh. I’ve always thought that the best way to test a cookbook is to make a full meal from it, so I (and my dear wife) put together five recipes to create a feast for some of our foodie friends. Continue reading “Book Review – Commander’s Wild Side”

Earth Day – Eat Locally

Eat Locally

In celebration of Earth Day, I’d like to take a break from talking about grilling meat to talk about, well… grilling local meat.

Becoming a localvore – a person dedicated to eating food grown and produced locally – is one of the best ways you can contribute to a healthier environment. Eating locally:

  • Creates less pollution – fewer fossil fuels are burned getting the food to you.
  • Benefits the local economy – a dollar spent with a local farmer generates twice as much income for the immediate economy.
  • Is more sustainable and self-sufficient – when our community can grow its own food, we are less vulnerable to being manipulated by the big guys who don’t always have our best interests at heart.
  • Is healthier – locally grown food is fresher and requires fewer preservatives.

Continue reading “Earth Day – Eat Locally”

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