This could be a book review…or an endorsement…or, well… how I do things! Take this any way you will! And Justin…if you’re reading this, come to Toronto, I’ll cook for you…and you can do the dishes! 😉

Though I’ve only browsed the book so far, I have to say… I agree! As someone who has cooked cakes on a BBQ, unconventional is my middle name!

Hell…I’ve MAPLE SMOKED GIN to make a Maple Smoked Martini!
Full Smoke

While I haven’t had a chance to read the entire book, I gotta say he hasn’t been NEAR as umm…expansive in breaking some rules as I have! Or maybe I’m just more insane! 🙂
(Edit: I’ve read more…yeah…he outpaces me! But he’s a chef, and I’m not…so he has a lot more time in the kitchen!)
His gear section lists many things…all of which I have! (well, not exactly HAVE…I just bought a creamer which is coming this week…) But I use them differently as well. Like the dutch oven. He uses one for deep frying… GREAT idea, but I have a great deep fryer bigger than that, it was more expensive, about $90 on sale… my dutch oven is used mainly IN the oven to control heat (cold spots) for SMOKING things indoors! The lid keeps the smoke in and keeps the Fire Department away! I REALLY need to make a post on how I do that!

I use my rice cooker for MUCH more than rice! I also use it for cooking chicken, beef and fish for tacos! The “keep warm” function is also great for things like mulled apple cider!

While I don’t have the capacity to dry age for a long time… I DO have a rig to do it at home! I made it for about $6. MUCH cheaper than buying dry aged beef…but only good for about 5 days versus the 30 – 90 days that commercial places can do… but the flavour change is still VERY notable! I think I got the idea from one of his mentors, Alton Brown… Hell, I get a lot of my ideas from Alton…and adapt for my own use! He’s…in word… AMAZING! Combining science with cooking and humour is awesome! It’s posted here… https://dunkinsdelights.com/2014/08/27/dry-age-diy/ There’s no wonder why he’s Justin’s mentor and friend! Different foods…same insanity!

*Note, I’m also friends with Kevin Brauch, the floor reporter for Iron Chef America. We’ve had quite a few drinks together… 🙂 *

Sorry Justin…I don’t like Gin and Tonic…I use straight up Soda Water! Sure I don’t get the protection from Malaria, but I don’t need it, and I like the botanical flavours more pure from the gin! Vodka and soda is the same, though I often add orange blossom water since I don’t garnish my drinks… I actually kinda think it’s a tacky thing to do… if it should be in the drink…PUT IT IN THE DRINK! I asked for a slice of orange once with a drink…and the bartender actually said “I think that’d be good”… I said…”I wouldn’t order that unless it WAS!” They now make an offer of slice… lemon, lime or orange!

While cooking…sometimes I ‘cheat’. For example the photo of this post… I didn’t entirely make the wings. I bought them cooked! but I did make the sauce… A little A1, horseradish, piri piri, mustard powder, and chili powder, cut with apple cider vinegar to thin the sauce…then heated them! 🙂 There are so many rules to break! 🙂

Having browsed (but not made) more of the recipes… I gotta say, the substitutions to make gluten free or vegan are a great idea! While he hasn’t gone as far as I would have with some of the gluten free options (using things like Ultra-tex instead of flour), it’s a damn fine list!

It’s a GREAT book with so many great ideas! I usually buy ‘cook books’ for a sense of flavour profiles and ideas, not the actual recipes… I work in the entertainment business and did a cooking demo for Vikram Vij this year…he did a curried chicken dish. That night, I took the idea home and did the same thing with a steak! It was great! THIS book however… I’m just gonna take his recipes and use them flat out! He’s done what I might do…take flavours in a whole different way! His ‘fish tacos’ uses mango as the taco shell! Drop one ingredient (the pretty flavourless taco shell) and use something that is IN a fish taco (the mango) is genius! More flavour, less cost… I knew there was a reason why I liked this guy!

I mentioned this…so I should add a photo or two… BBQ CAKE! (Also note, that two are gluten free and vegan friendly!)

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