Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tango Verde!

Here is it is folks! 
The Latest Spice Blend From 
The Tango Test Kitchen!

I am very proud to introduce you to 
Tango Verde - Green Chili Powder!

Tango Verde is an excellent tasting blend of Garlic, Onion, Cumin, with Jalapeno & Habanero Chilies. With the heat you want from a premium chili powder, and a snappy flavor which is unrivaled by any other.

Stay tuned to Tango Spice for updates & recipes on this and all of our award winning spice blends!

Friday, August 26, 2011

HurriPocalypse 2011!

Thursday, August 25th I took off for Syracuse so I could go to the NY State Fair. I figured that it Tango Spice was going to be on the shelves in the Pride Of New York Market Place, it would be cool to check it out.

During the drive up to the northern reaches of the Great Empire State I was flipping the audio system of the Spice Box* from the well stocked iPod shuffle, any FM rock station I could tune into, and AM talk radio. Got to keep it varied on the long haul. I know that some folks would say that I need to get satellite radio, maybe some day. For now I make do with the stock system. 

The journey to upstate New York began in Port Jeff where I caught a ferry to Bridgeport, CT. This route makes it nice for a few reasons, not the least of which I can avoid taking the Cross Bronx Nightmare, I mean Expressway. Head on up through some nice areas of CT then on into the upper regions of New York. Makes for a pleasant trip.

Anyway, let's talk for a moment about the AM stations. During a road trip I like to tune into the local AM stations, see if there are local hosts rambling on about the happenings in their corner of the globe. Sometimes quite boring, but at times it can be very entertaining. Well, on this road trip, the talk shows were filled with HurriPocalypse 2011! Filled with 'forecasts' of the impending wind blown & rain soaked end of times, it was quite interesting to listen to. It was all in the same vein as the over reaction to the recent earthquake, a little out of hand. Now I know that these storms can be very dangerous, and at times very devastating, but it was a bit over dramatic on the local levels.

One thing about the talk I was hearing was about the fact that folks were flocking to the store to stock up on water & toilet paper. I get the water, ya need water for any emergency! But really, so you need to stock up on the TP? Sure, it is a necessity, but it is not like you will be needing 480 rolls to get you through the storm.  Once it gets wet, forget it. Beside, with all the trees that are gonna blown down, there will be plenty of leaves… How about stocking up on charcoal and beer?

This morning I decided to cut my trip short by two days and head back to Long Island tomorrow. I need to secure the tent over the Test Kitchen, check the charcoal stock and get ready to BBQ some Hurricane Ribs!

Let The Excitement Begin!

* Spice Box = The name of the black Ford Transit which has been enlisted to haul all the Tango Spice Goodness!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New York State Fair

It is that time of year again folks, State Fairs are going on all over the country! Here in the Empire State this means strange eats, free music and all the fun a big farm state like New York can provide!

Another cool thing about the state fair this year is that for the forth year in a row Tango Spice will be available to the public at the Pride Of New York market place!

On the way up to Syracuse I am also stopping by my bottler to pick up our latest blend, Tango Verde green chili powder.

More from the road this weekend, enjoy the hurricane!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Crab Stuffed Pork Loin

Sunday was a great day to be outside. The weather was perfect for an August day on Long Island. Gone was the oppressive humidity and high heat we had been 'enjoying' of late and since one never knows how things will change you have to get out and make the best of it.

Between the rainy weekdays and the weekends spent vending cook offs and competitions, the yard had begun to look a little neglected and it felt good to get back out there with the rakes and shovels. One project (of the many) out in the back is the removal of the concrete firepit. This is being replaced by a built up hearth which will be inlaid with stone or slate to make way for a sweet cast iron stove I found at a yard sale. Can't wait to get cooking on that!

While working on that and trimming back some of the stand of bamboo I did manage to get the new Weber Performer all set for some grilling. This is going to be the forth time using the performer and I have to say that I am liking this Weber very much. 

Sunday dinner was going to be a 5 pound pork loin trimmed off of an 11 pound full loin just picked up at restaurant depot. More on that prep later. I set the Weber up for indirect grilling, using the two small charcoal holders, one on each side of the kettle. In between the holders I had a disposable tin bread pan filled with water & oregano stalks. Into each holder I put 25 charcoal briquettes which then were topped with 6 lit coals. I have found that using the Minion Method with this grill works great for extended cooking times.

That week Restaurant Depot had a sale on pork loin so I picked up two 10 pounders. One was sliced up into some boneless chops, some extra cubed for chili. The second one was  here is what was for dinner!

Crab (Imitation) Stuffed Pork Loin!

4 lb Pork Loin / cleaned & trimmed
2 TBS Spicy Mustard

2 lb Imitation Crab Meat
2 Small Pears / diced
1 Granny Smith Apple / peeled & diced
1 tsp Carom Seed (optional)

Extra Chik N Rib Rub for coating pork loin

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients except for pork & mustard, blend well then set aside.

Butterfly the pork loin & coat the inside with the mustard. I had thought about pounding out the loin  a bit to maybe make a roll out of it but decided to leave it as is, nice and thick.

Added perhaps about half of the crab mixture to one side of the butterfly. Folded that over and secured it with some six inch bamboo skewers. The other half of the crab mixture made great tacos when heated up with some sharp cheddar!

Then, to the outside of the rolled loin went a nice coating of our Chik N Rib Rub. This is a very tangy rub with just a hint of heat. This spice blend will go great with the apples & pears. The loin was then covered in plastic wrap and set on the counter while a charcoal chimney was started with 10 briquettes. This is all I needed to get the other coals going and it takes no time to get this small amount of coals hot. When they were well ashes over I split them into the charcoal holders in the Weber.

Close the lid on the kettle, adjust the vents and let the temp get up to 300 degrees.

Then it was time to place the loin in the center of the grill, close the lid and get cooking. After about 15 minutes I added a samll chunk of hickory to each charcoal holder for some smokey flavor.

Getting used to adjusting the vents I was able to keep the temperature at around 300 degrees, less than the oven but higher than if I was using the smoker. After about an hour I checked the internal temperature and it was rising nice and slow. The outside was getting nice and crusty so I place a tent of foil over it and let it go for another 30 minutes. Taking off the foil and testing the temp with an instant read thermometer the loin was at 152 degrees. I took the loin off the grill, wrapped it in foil and let it sit for 10 minutes or so.

Once it was time to slice it, the aroma was amazing and the juices just flowed. This is one meal I will definitely be making again. The spicy crust on the outside with the sweet crab meat and fruit on the inside was a taste sensation!

Here are some photos to enjoy.
Stay Hungry My Friends.
Tango Spice Company.

Imitation Crab With The Pear, Apple & Spices

Mighty Meaty Butterfly

Dora's Mustard Tastes Great

Lay On The Crabby Goodness

Sealed & Ready For Rub

Chik N Rib Rub - So Good

Here Is The Charcoal Ready For The Minion Method 

Smokey Goodness

Looking Good So Far
Getting The Crust On 
The Aroma Was Amazing 
Time To Tent

Almost Ready

Oh Yeah

Look At That Crust

Time To Carve

This Is Going To Be Great

Dig In

Enjoy Your Meal!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Battle Of The BBQ Brethren 2011

The weekend of August 6th & 7th was one full of the wafting aroma of BBQ smoke, making great new friends and tasting some of the best BBQ on the planet.

Teams from all over set up and smoked up over at The Maples in Manorville, NY for what is going to end up being the Premier BBQ Event of the Northeast!

Tango Spice was on site on Friday, scouting out the huge yard at the Maples. This was a great spot for a BBQ event. Heck, this would be a great spot for just about anything. As we walked around the acreage teams started to arrive and set up for the weekend. We found a spot under a pair of trees, set up our tent and walked meeting some of the contestants. Already you could sense the excitement building as well as take in the aroma of the evening's bbq.

Saturday morning dawned bright and clear, with the promise of sunny skies & hot times. As the smoke started to fill the morning air, and the crowd started to amble in it looked to be the start of a great day. What a great day it was too, all the cooks were working their magic, the public just kept rolling in and everyone was having a great day. Everyone we met was out having a grand time on Long Island.

Sunday morning was a completely different story from the day before. Dark, grey clouds hung low in the sky, the fog was thick enough to chew on, and when it wasn't it was because the rain was washing it away. Checking the radar it looked like the rain would move out before noon, though at 8 AM it sure looked like Noah was going to be the champ at this Q! This is the way it always is here on Long Island, the ever changing weather. I overheard a more than a few cooks saying that it 'would not be a Brethren event without some rain'. Thought the entire place was soaked, there was not a damp spirit to be found. The fires were lit and then it was time to BBQ.

The weather forecast was actually correct and the rain slipped away, the sun came out and so did the crowds once again. It looked even more folks were lookin' for a smoke filled time than the day before. There is a hunger for great BBQ and this was the place to be! What a SUPER WEEKEND it was.

Tango Spice was very pleased to be able to be a part of this event. 

To all the competitors we met, you are all the best, easy going folks even in the heat of competition. When it was possible, you took the time to talk to the public, share your love and knowledge of BBQ and made everyone feel welcome. This is the spirit of BBQ.

To the folks who came out to see what all the smoke and fuss was about, I do hope that you had a great time, learned a few things about BBQ and thank you so much for stopping by our booth and we hope you enjoy Tango Spice at your next backyard BBQ.

Here is are some sights and sounds from a super weekend with The Brethren!

For more on The Brethren check out this link…

Battle of the BBQ Brethren 2011 Results
Grand Champion: IQUE 
Reserve Champion: Swamp Pit

2 Swamp Pit 
3 Fat Guys in a LittleSmok 
4 Jacked Up 
5 ZBQ 
6 TNT Dynamite BBQ 
7 Blazin Butts 
8 Yabba Dabba Que! 
9 McFrankenboo BBQ 
10 Chubby Hubby BBQ 
1 Early Mornin' Smokin' 
3 Swamp Pit 
4 Ma's Que Crew 
5 Gotham City Grillers 
6 Black Caddy BBQ 
7 The Smoke 'N Barrel 
8 Bogies Grill Hogs 
9 McFrankenboo BBQ 
10 ZBQ 
1 Grim Reaper Smokers 
2 Swamp Pit 
3 Smokin in Da Eye 
4 Yabba Dabba Que! 
5 RXcellentQ 
6 Cousins BBQ 
7 Smokin Aces 
8 Fat Guys in a LittleSmok 
9 Shake & Bake 
10 Babylon Grillbillies
1 TNT Dynamite BBQ 
2 Blazin Butts 
3 ZBQ 
4 Jacked Up 
6 Ribs Within 
7 Fat Guys in a LittleSmok 
8 Smokin in Da Eye 
9 Yabba Dabba Que! 
10 Cousins BBQ 
2 Fat Guys in a LittleSmok 
3 Jacked Up 
4 Ma's Que Crew 
5 Fire & Spice 
6 ZBQ 
7 TNT Dynamite BBQ 
8 McFrankenboo BBQ 
9 Swamp Pit 
10 Chubby Hubby BBQ 
 As Always, Thank You For Reading!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Smokes Wafts...

  Saturday August 6th dawns with a mist in the air, warm temps and not a breeze to be felt. WIth highs in the lower 80s and a few passing clouds, this is going to be a great day to be out at The Maples in Manorville, NY for the 5th Annual New York State BBQ ChampionshipThis year the Battle Of The BBQ Brethren is benefiting the Make A Wish Foundation.

  Tango Spice was on site last night getting our spot ready for the weekend. It is going to be a great event to be a part of. As the sun set and the cicadas started their symphony the trucks, car & motor homes streamed in, all pulling a well varied array of BBQ equipment.

  If you have a chance to head on out to the eastern part of Long Island this weekend, this will be the place to be!

  Here are a couple of shots of the venue, before the aroma of fine BBQ smoke starts to waft through the trees. See you at the BBQ Folks!