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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

All In The Name Of Research

Lest anyone think I've been avoiding any blogging duties (assuming anyone is reading this) I post these two items to show what I do in the name of "research" for you people.

An old high school friend of mine was in town last weekend and wanted to take in a deck for a couple drinks. "Where," he asked, "is the best deck in the city?" A number of places came to mind: Bridges, Monks, Ocean 617 ... but the one we ended up at was Nu.

I've been a fan of Nu since it opened. Not for the food, which in my experience was only okay, but for their bar programme and amazing deck. No place better in the city to sip a Negroni (or some fruity vodka drink like my friend had ... what's happened to you dude?) and watch the monster yacht-set sit in their floating toys and drink G&T's. The Negroni, saddly, was only average. What's happened to this place? Still, it's a great deck.

I've also been preparing for the Canadian BBQ Championships in Whistler this BC Day long weekend. I've been smoking my brains out trying to get the timing, spicing and saucing just right. This past weekend was practice time for ribs and chicken. I rock ribs, but have always had trouble with chicken. The meat of the bird is actually really good ... smokey and very tender. The skin however is like rubber.

The goal was to find a way to smoke chicken "low and slow" while still achieving a crispy skin. I tried 3 techniques: 1) Smoke the chicken, then grill it to crisp the skin, 2) Crisp first, then smoke, 3) Forego the smoking altogether and roast it at a higher temperature, using hardwood to add the smokey flavour. Off the three, method 2 achieved the best tasting results. The skin didn't look as nice as the other two, so that's something else to play with.

Back to the drawing board.

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