Andrew Andrew Armstrong

All articles by Andrew

 

Spatchcock chicken

I’m not an overly organized person and my shopping list reflects that. I rarely go to the market with a recipe in mind. I simply throw cuts in the basket I know my family will enjoy. Figuring out what to do with the ingredients I bring home is a problem for future me. My family...
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Homemade Harissa

When I think of my favorite flavors for cooking, spicy and peppery are the first things that come to mind. My pantry is full of hot sauces, pepper pastes, and kicked-up condiments. Despite this, I don’t consider myself a chili-head. In my experience chili-heads keep track of scoville units like the Forbes top 100 keep...
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Grilled Tuna Steaks

My family has always eaten plenty of tuna. As a kid, I, however, did not. My discerning palate didn’t much care for anything outside of plain cheeseburgers, French fries, and pepperoni pizza. To me, tuna was something that came out of a small aluminum can and was then mixed with diced pickles and mayo. Under...
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Mussels in white wine

Many moons ago I was a college student, and like most college students I was lazy, broke, and inept in the kitchen. I relied heavily on a steady diet of pizza, instant noodles, and cheap beer. Fixing a fancy dinner for my girlfriend meant deep-frying a frozen puck of “chicken,” and placing it on top...
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Smoked Turkey

­­As a kid, I hated the holidays. I was a picky eater, and my family members weren’t the best cooks when it came to meat. Most proteins were tortured to the consistency of well-worn shoe leather and were devoid of any flavor. Turkeys prepared around Thanksgiving and Christmas were no exception. These birds were usually...
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Cajun crawfish boil

For me, there is nothing better than cooking a big communal meal for friends and family. My favorite foods to cook often involve large crowds and parties. And it’s icing on the cake if I get to cook outdoors on a warm summer day.  So when my good friend threw his annual pool party, I...
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Jamaican oxtail stew

Oxtails, like many other “scraps” synonymous with peasant food because of its toughness, require lots of patience. These cuts found their way into the pots of the poor the world over because they have been historically very cheap. Eventually, gourmands discovered the deliciousness of these “inferior” bits.  People who would normally have turned their nose...
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Pork rinds. Cracklins. Grattons. Chicharrones.

Whatever the name, each is synonymous with crispy, crunchy, fried pig skin. While there may be slight variances between each, they all have a rich and regional culinary history. I like to use every bit of an animal when I can. Bones for stock, bits of extra fat for sausage, and, when it comes to...
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Homemade Bacon : Part 2 The Smoke

At the end of Part 1 we made sure we had our salt levels where we want them and our belly had dried uncovered in the fridge over night.  Now it’s time to add one more layer of flavor. Infusing the belly with smoke is the pièce de résistance.   In my opinion bacon just isn’t...
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Homemade Bacon : Part 1 The Cure

If bacon had it’s own Twitter account it would have more followers than Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and Barack Obama combined. Everyone loves those slabs of salty goodness. Even those forbidden to eat it have been known to long for it. I cured more than 20 pounds to get the photos below, and all of...
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Grilled oysters with habanero butter

A group of friends and I have started an annual tradition of traveling to Austin, TX for the United States Grand Prix. This four-day weekend is one of the highlights of my year. The race is always exciting and the city of Austin is amazing. The food and gluttony of the weekend are almost as...
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Beef Jerky

When it’s time for a road trip, the one thing that must accompany me is a bag of beef jerky.  The problem with being a jerky junky is the cost.  Granted, it’s not cutting-copper-pipes-out-of-construction-sites or forays-into-amateur-chemistry expensive, but it does add up over time.  Other than BBQ, jerky was one of my first true culinary...
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Sweet molasses BBQ sauce

“Hello, my name is Andrew, and I’m a sauceaholic and condiment hoarder.” At least that’s what my wife would lead you to believe. Sure, I did have to buy a second refrigerator for all the extra condiments I’d purchased (when I started this project?), but that’s beside the point. I admit to having a weakness...
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Classic BBQ rub

Having a good dry rub is essential if you are going to master the grilled arts.  This recipe compliments chicken, beef, or pork.  It also makes a perfect starting point to add or subtract ingredients to sculpt a flavor profile that suits your tastes.  If you are from Texas you’ve probably grown up with the...
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St. Louis spare ribs

For the first entry on ilovemeat.com I knew I wanted a real softball of a dish. Loft it up and hit it out of the park. Something barbecued was the obvious choice. In my spare time I travel around the region and compete in BBQ competitions with my team Bourbon Barrel BBQ. I think those...
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Classic Buffalo wings

When I get cravings it’s usually for something salty, savory, and spicy.  I’ve never been much of a sweets person.  I suppose that’s why this website isn’t “I Love Sweets.”  I’ll leave those to my wife.  She’s the confectionary queen around our house.    No, I want some meat, preferably something with a bone.  A bone...
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Grilled whole red snapper

One theme you will start to become fairly familiar with in my posts is I love to grill.   I’m convinced you can make anything taste better by grilling it.  One of my favorite things to grill is fish.  Moist and flaky, grilled fish is an awesome way to eat healthy and satiate those carnivorous desires....
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