29 May 2011

Indirect Heat is moving to Massachusetts

Pride mountain

As Indirect Heat passes the two-year old mark, a recent opportunity is going to put Indirect Heat on the road. I've been offered a job at a synthetic biology startup in Boston, so off we go.

We leave behind a town that has an incredible array of ethnic grocers and 12 months-a-year smoking weather. We've roasted a whole pig, developed a tradition of 13-course New Year's dinners, consumed many, many quarts of homemade ice cream with our friends at work and acquainted ourselves with some pretty fabulous California wines.

We've made a lot of friends and had a lot of fun here over the last three years, both online and off. I confess, our departure is bittersweet. This is an incredible opportunity, and we have several dear friends in Boston. But leaving behind our California friends (and my baby lemon tree) was a hard choice.

And while there may be fewer posts the next few weeks while we move our household cross-country, stay tuned.  I foresee lobster and clams in our future.

Cooked clams for clam chowder

Soon to be dinner

Thanks, San Diego!  And see you soon, Boston!


15 May 2011

Two years of Indirect Heat

Two years ago, after I posted a few photos of bacon on my facebook page, Mrs. Dude suggested that I start a blog.  On a whim, I did.  And two years later, I've shared 250+ posts with friends, family and roughly 20,000 others who've stopped by.

The blog has inspired me to move past my regular rotation of brisket and ribs, and explore new cuts and new styles of cooking.


raw shank



Candied bacon seahorses.


And dessert out.

Rice pudding

New ways to do old favourites.

Serving burnt end

And old ways to do new favourites.

Homemade caramel

Thanks for stopping by.

Pomegranate panna cotta

Here's to another year of good eating.


10 May 2011

Ginger-garlic half chicken

A new grilling season is upon us, and it's about time. This time of year, I fire up my grill three to four times a week. Come home, fire up the grill, crack a beer and make dinner. Bbq Jr. playing in the backyard, Mrs. Dude lounging on the patio, it doesn't get any better than that. Particularly if you can find time to grill on a weekday.

Japanese grilling is particularly well-suited for a weeknight. The marinades are simple, the grilling is short and the flavours are really clean. Today, I feature a recipe from The Japanese Grill. It has the added benefit of being an excellent stress release. You get to rend a chicken. Yes.


We start with:
½ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
4 gloves grated garlic
2 tsp tobanjan
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 whole chicken

The only hard-to-find ingredient in here is tobanjan.


This is a Japanese sauce preparation made with Chinese hot peppers. Think Tabasco, thicker and sweeter. Really tasty, though. Available at your local Japanese grocer, (I got it at Nijiya in San Diego).

Chop and peel the ginger. Grate the fresh ginger, into a smelly, disgusting pudding of gingerness. Yum.

Grated ginger

Mix well with everything except the chicken.


Meanwhile, get out your cleaver, and rend the chicken down the length of the chicken. I found this tremendously satisfying, and very quickly accomplished.

Dismembered chicken

Slather the marinade into every crevice and every surface of the chicken. This may take a few moments, but you're only marinating long enough to get the grill hot, so don't skimp on the slathering step.

Dismembered marinated chicken

Fire up the grill. You want medium hot, not too hot. You don't want to start a chicken-fat-fire, so really. Medium hot. Lay the chicken over the grill skin-side down.

Grilling garlic ginger chicken

Leave for three-ish minutes.


Grilling garlic ginger chicken

Now you'll want to cook 7 minutes, flip, 7 minutes, flip, 7 minutes, flip... you get the point. For a total of about 35 minutes. Avoid flareups if you can. Baste frequently with the marinade (don't baste the last 7 minutes to avoid contaminating the chicken). Close the grill whenever you can to build up the extra heat, but be aware of flareups. You don't want flames putting soot on your beautiful chicken.

Meanwhile, enjoy your beer. And your family.

Grilled ginger garlic chicken

Grilled ginger garlic chicken

Remove from the grill. Let rest for five minutes. Cut up and serve.

Grilled ginger garlic chicken

This will produce the most sweet, moist chicken you've ever had. Beautiful. The marinade is slightly sweet and spicy (Bbq Jr. declared it "Spicy. But not too spicy."). And something you can get on the table in just over an hour. Serve with some rice and a salad, and you have a meal. Delicious.


08 May 2011

Happy Mother's Day


We celebrated with a batch of Québécois breakfast crêpes and some family time. Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there.