How to Cook Southern Cuisine
Ask Hongkongers about America's Deep South and the response could be anything from "Argentina?" to "where Disney World is". Granted, there are some who are familiar with the rich culture of the former Confederate States, but the rest of us remain woefully ignorant, particularly when it comes to smoky, slow-roasted southern cuisine.
"Deep South cuisine is fresh to Hongkongers," says the New Orleans born-and-bred chef de cuisine at Blue Smoke Bar-B-Que restaurant. "Southern food is known as comfort food, and is usually served in an informal gathering," Carson says. "Friends and family – that's where this food came from."
The best thing about barbecued food is that it is easy to cook and can be prepared beforehand, then kept at room temperature until it's time to eat. "Amateur cooks should have no problem with the barbecue as long as they stick to the 'slow and low' principle," Carson says. "Cook it at a low temperature for a long time until it's tender and juicy... then reheat when it's time." While you're at it, bring on the six-packs. As the chef says: "Drinking a beer while grilling with guests nearby is what BBQ is all about!" Also, if you plan on serving whiskey, make sure that you have American whiskey, not Scotch, which is an entirely different kettle of fish.
For side dishes, fried nibbles – such as the pork belly nuggets and bacon basket pictured – are always crowd-pleasers. Alternatively, prepare a few cold dishes ahead of time that can be brought out when the guests arrive, or opt for a quick salad. Blue Smoke's Southwest Salad, which includes chopped greens, salsa, black beans, corn, bacon, tortilla strips and avocado, can be thrown together at a moment's notice.
Blue Smoke Bar-B-Que's USDA Baby Back Ribs
1 rack US baby back ribs
5oz marinate dry rub
Choose a rack of US baby back ribs and strip the back membrane off the convex side of the ribs. Sprinkle and massage the dry rub into the meat until totally covered. Using hickory wood chips, smoke ribs for 6 hours (or until tender) at 60°C. Brush ribs front and back with BBQ sauce 10min before serving. Reheat on grill until sauce is caramelised, and serve.
Photography by Edgar Tapan.
For the full article, please pick up a copy of Home Journal's July issue.