Sunday, November 18, 2012

BTPC's Smoked Turkey recipe

I. Brine Preparation:
 -2 cups Brown Sugar
 -1 cup Maple Syrup
 -3/4 cup coarse salt
 -3 whole heads of garlic (separate them, but don’t peel
 -6 large Bay leaves
 -1.5 cups of coarsely chopped unpeeled fresh Ginger
 -2 teaspoons of Dried Chili Flakes
 -1.5 cups of soy sauce
 -3 quarts of water
 -handful of fresh thyme sprigs
 -place turkey in brine solution for 1 to 2 days prior and refrigerate. I use a trashbag in the plastic shell from one of those shoulder coolers.

II. Spice Rub**
 -3 tablespoons of Brown Sugar
 -1 tablespoon of Kosher Salt
 -2 teaspoons of Ground Cumin
 -2 teaspoons of Dried Oregano
 -2 teaspoons of Dried Rubbed Sage
 -2 teaspoons of Dry Mustard
 -1 teaspoon of Dried Thyme
 -1 teaspoon of Ground Coriander

**I’ve started doubling this spice rub recipe and adding a little more salt and some crushed red pepper. I like a lot of rub and I like it a little saltier and with some kick.

 -Take turkey from brine solution, then drain and rinse in sink. Rub spice rub all over the turkey and in cavity. The more rub you can get under the skin, the better. Put turkey in a fresh container back in the fridge for 24 more hours. (Often, there’s still some of the peeled garlic and chopped ginger root still in the cavity, which I don’t sweat…just adds to the flavor).

 It’s a good idea to go ahead and soak your smoking chips/chunks now. I usually use chips, although there’s a local place that has some apple tree chunks that I plan on trying soon. To cut down on having to open the grill (and lose smoke and heat), I try to have enough chips to load up good to start, then re-load about halfway through.

 III. Smoking
 -Get your BGE fired up. You want plenty of coals, but if you’re gonna use chunks instead of chips, make sure to leave room for them (you’re gonna use your indirect grilling plate, face DOWN). The goal is to keep the temp 250-275 degrees. In that range, you’re looking at 15-20 minutes per pound. I generally get the fire going and let my BGE hit the 600-700 degree range.

-Drain the wood chips/chunks and have them ready.

 -Once the BGE hits the 600-700 degree range, it’s time to start cooking. Ideally, you would use a v-rack roaster. I don’t have one, so I use the apparatus for a turkey fryer (just a round plate with a vertical rod through it). I place the turkey on that vertically, then set it in an aluminum drip pan.

 I like to put a mixture of chicken broth and water in the pan after I get in set in the grill (about 2 cups worth), and use that mixture (with the dripping coming from the Turkey as it cooks) to baste the turkey with during cooking. So make sure you get a pan deep enough to catch the drippings and have some basting liquid. (I just buy a disposable one from the grocery store).

 -Once you’ve got everything ready at the grill, open it up and evenly distribute your smoking chips/chunks (remember to save some to reload at least once). Place your indirect grilling plate in the grill, FACE DOWN (that means the “legs” are pointing up). After getting the indirect plate in, place your pan with the turkey on top of the indirect plate. Then add your basting liquid into your pan and shut the grill.

 -Get your vents right and get the temp leveled off. Obviously, the lower you cook it, the longer it takes. The last few I’ve done, I’ve kept it between 225 & 250 more than 250 & 275 and it’s taken about 4 hours on turkeys about 14 lbs. Usually an hour to an hour and a half in, I reload the chips and baste it good. After that I play it by ear. The hotter you’re going, the more basting you’ll need. After about 2.5 hours, after another basting, I’ll insert a remote digital thermometer probe so I can check the temp without opening the grill.

 The done temp for turkey is 165, so once my readings hit 150, I’ll go ahead and shut the vents on the grill and let it sit.

 Once the turkey temp hits 160, you can take it off, put it on a serving tray and cover in foil (if traveling with it, I’ll also wrap it with towels after the foil to insulate it). -Enjoy.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Week 9 NFL picks

Last week with our NFL picks version 2.0, we went 3-0.

This week, we like:

Miami (-2) over COLTS

Bears (-5) over TITANS

FALCONS (-4) v. Cowboys

Last week 3-0

Sunday, October 28, 2012

NFL Week 8 picks: Changing it up...

You might have noticed we failed to post picks last week. To tell the truth, we were pretty disappointed in our Gamecocks effort against Florida and spent the subsequent 24 hours in a hellacious funk. Missing last week also led us to reevaluate our prognostication experiment going forward. Going on 3 years now, we've posted our picks for each game every NFL week. We think it's safe to say, given a fairly large sample size (866 total games), when picking all the games, we are your official "coin flip" (posting an even-steven-ish 49.65%). It's time to change things up. From now on, we're just gonna pick the games we feel strongest about. Why? Because we said so, that's why.

So what do we like this week?

Here goes:

Raiders (+1.5) over CHIEFS.  Did you know Brady Quinn was starting?  Repeat: Brady Quinn is starting.

Dolphins (+2.5) over JETS.  Our BTH (BET THE HOUSE) pick.  Miami should've beaten the Jets their first game.  Miami and Tannehill have gotten better and they've had a bye week to prepare.  The Jets will be without their defensive leader (Scott) and best player (Revis).

Giants (-2.5) over COWBOYS.  Giants on the road = money.

Finally, here's the final tally from our previous picks.  Next week, we'll start a new tally, call in "Picks 2.0"

Through Week 6 record: 6-8 Upset Special: 0-1
Season to Date: 44-45-2 Upset Specials: 3-3
Career to Date: 430-405-31

Thursday, October 11, 2012

NFL Week 6 picks: We got fracked last week...

Ahhh....Number Six from Battlestar Galactica.  We almost wouldn't mind the human race being destroyed if it was done by cylons such as this.  Much more advanced than the iPhone 5.  Speaking of, did we stink it up last wee.  After blowing out in week 4, we blew up last week, going 5-9.  Once again, what did we learn?  We. Are. Even. Steven.  Mr. .500.  Don't you forget it.

Anyway, we've got to get the picks in once again in an abbreviated fashion.  We're headed out to N'awlins tomorrow to watch the Gamecocks take on the LSU Tigers.  So without further ado, on with the picks.  Enjoy...

TITANS (+6) over Steelers

Cincy (-2) over BROWNS

Colts (+3.5) over JETS

BUCS (-4.5) over Chiefs

FALCONS (-9) over Raiders

Cowboys (+3.5) over RAVENS

Lions (+3.5) over EAGLES

MIAMI (-4) over Rams

Pats (-3.5) over SEATTLE

CARDS (-4.5) over Bills

Vikings (+2) over SKINS (UPSET SPECIAL)

Giants (+6.5) over 49ERS

TITANS (-3.5) over Packers

CHARGERS (-1.5) over Broncos

Week 5 record: 5-9 Upset Special: 0-0
Season to Date: 38-37-2 Upset Specials: 3-2
Career to Date: 424-397-31

Thursday, October 4, 2012

NFL Week 5 Picks: Ba Da Boom!

BA DA BOOM! 10-5 record last week, mofos. Leeloo will tell ya, that's a good as a Multi-Pass.  We're so pumped for Saturday's Gamecocks game versus the Dawgs, we can't stand it. So before our head gets clouded with delusions of grandeur, we better at least start picking the Week 5 games by putting in our pick for the Thursday night game.

Cardinals (-2) v. RAMS

The Cards BARELY escaped the Dolphins last week.  Rookie Ryan Tannehill came in to a raucous University of Phoenix stadium (or whatever the hell the Bidwells call that place) and played damn near lights out. (More on that later on when we pick the Miami game).  But don't let that game fool you...Miami played GOOD.  Then again, the Rams were our upset special getting 3 points with the Seahawks coming in off the Replacement Ref Granted Hail Mary play from the week before.  The Rams didn't even need the points, winning outright by 6.  Can they make it happen tonight?  Can the newest Rams hero, placekicker Greg "Legatron" Zuerlein lead the Rams to victory?  What about the Cardinals...they might be 4-0, but 3 of those games were decided by less than a touchdown.  We think it's possible the Rams pull off the upset, but with Stephen Jackson being injured, we're too scared to pick the Rams.

BTPC pick: Cards laying the 2.

Little worn out after last night's DOMINATION of the Georgia Bulldogs by the Gamecocks, so excuse of if we simply do a quick pick on the rest of this week's line up.

SKINS (+3) over Falcons

STEELERS (-3.5) over Eagles

Packers (-6) over COLTS

Browns (+8) over GIANTS

VIKINGS (-5.5) over Titans

Dolphins (+3) over BENGALS

Ravens (-6.5) over CHEIFS

PANTHERS (-2.5) over Seahawks

JAGS (+6) over Bears

Pats (-6.5) over BRONCOS

49ERS (-10) over Bills

SAINTS (-3.5) over Chargers

Texans (-8) over JETS

Week 4 record: 10-5 Upset Special: 1-0
Season to Date: 33-28-2 Upset Specials: 3-2
Career to Date: 419-389-31

Round One in the Presidential Debates...

Last night was the first of three Presidential debates for the 2012 cycle.  The debate was hosted by the corpse of PBS' Jim  Lehrer and focused on domestic policy.  We felt one of two things could happen last night.  One, Romney could have a strong night and turn around what has been a predominantly very bad few months; or Two, he could falter and the attacks from his own side would likely grow exponentially and the next month would be a very ugly.

It's clear option one went down.  Romney did very well.  America got a taste of why the guy was able to amass a fortune going in to board rooms and convincing smart people they should give him millions of money to manage their companies while crippling them with debt.  Romney went through a lot of debates in the primary and his best moments were always when he could focus on one opponent (ask Newt and Rick Perry about that).  Here, it was just him and the President and he was ready.

President Obama on the other hand, came off flat.  We wondered how he was gonna handle this debate.  When going against McCain, who simply could not for the life of him keep his vitriolic hatred for Obama from seeping out of every pore during the debates, all Obama had to do was play it cool.  Come off Presidential.  It seemed he took the same approach last night.  The problem is, Romney isn't McCain.  Romney falters, but you've got to knock him off track to make it happen.  And Romney showed the President his chin several times last night, but like a fighter up on the scorecard, the President was reluctant to go in and mix it up.

The biggest held punch last night to us was not pouncing all over Mitt's triumphant "trickle down government" remark. He was so pleased with that and it opened his ass so up.  All Obama had to do was come back like:

"Trickle down government. That's a cute, phrase, Governor.  Reminds me another phrase: trickle down economics.  Governor Romney ought to know that phrase, because it's been the underlying economic philosophy of his party for the last half century.  It also happens to be the economic philosophy at the heart of Governor Romney's economic plans.  Give more money to the wealthy and it will trickle down to everyone else.  Unfortunately for Governor Romney and the Republican Party, the American people know that phrase well.  More importantly they remember how poorly that economic theory worked when put in to practice by the last three Republican administrations.  Trickle down economics didn't work for the American people under Ronald Reagan.  Trickle down economics didn't work for the American people under George H.W. Bush.  Trickle down economics didn't work for the American people under George W. Bush.  The American people don't need me to tell them trickle down economics isn't going to work under Mitt Romney. The American people have already heard this song and dance and they're not buying."

But alas, the President seemed to be playing prevent last night and he held more than a few haymakers he could have thrown.

Carry that boxing analogy over, if we were scoring on points and rounds, Romney is the clear winner.  If we had to guess who had the hardest blows, we'd take the President.  How is that?  Simple, we thought despite his poor overall showing, the President had two of the biggest moments likely to resonate outside of the debate.

The first and most damning for Romney, was the exchange the two had about Medicare, ironically when the question was about Social Security.  That was one time where Obama seemed to get really engaged.  Remember, he came back hitting Romney for turning SS in to a voucher system.  Romney responded by saying he wasn't changing SS for those already in it or about to be.  Obama's response of something akin to "Well...if you're 54 or 55 you may want to listen up because this effects you" was great.  Romney walked out of that exchange and this debate with a big VOUCHERS sign around his neck.  We bet you might see that exchange on some Medicare-centered ads running in FL and OH soon.  For all the shots he missed throwing last night, he finally threw that one and it hit.

The second was when the President finally took a shot at Romney for his vagueness. After talking about how Romney won't explain how the math for his tax cuts works, or how pre-existing conditions are covered, he stated:

 “At some point, I think the American people have to ask themselves, is the reason that Governor Romney is keeping all these plans to replace secret because they’re too good?,” Obama said as the debate turned to the 2010 health care law. “Is it because that somehow, middle-class families are going to benefit too much from them?”

The most succinct analysis we saw last night was that Romney won the debate, but Obama got more material for ads going forward.  That's about right.  Hell...Mitt abandoned his own tax plan last night, along with completely making up shit about pre-existing conditions being covered under his plans for health care.  The biggest problem for the President after last night is not so much the actual debates, but how they will be covered.  Let's face it, the people who watch debates are political diehards.  Their minds have been made up.  Anyone who is truly "undecided" doesn't follow politics enough to waste time sitting through a debate.  But they will catch the media coverage.  And right now, that's not good for the President.  Romney will get a bump.

However, keep things in perspective and someone please calm Chris Matthews down.  Lest we forget, John Kerry thumped W pretty hard in that first debate.  How'd that work out?  And yes...Republicans will grasp on the memory of the Gipper whupping up on that peanut farmer from Georgia.  But, as we have said since Romney got the GOP nod, this election is the reverse '04 election.  Mitt Romney is way more John Kerry then he is Ronald Reagan.  And as Mitt himself told those folks in the 47% video...Obama has that George W. Bush quality of people simply liking him.

We've got 2 more Presidential debates coming.  Oct. 16th on Foreign and Domestic issues and Oct. 22 on Foreign policy.  The next debate is actually the VP debate Oct. 11th, covering Foreign and Domestic issues. There will now be some pressure on Biden to pull a little more weight to stop momentum from continuing to shift over to the right.

What do we think?  We still think the math simply doesn't work for Romney-Ryan.  But it certainly has gotten more interesting for the media and the right going forward.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

NFL Week 4: It's an art to pick games this perfectly...

Last week, we hit the sweet spot.  That's right, a perfect "Even Steven" of 8-8.  Can we continue this kind of perfection?  God willing...

On to the games...

Browns (+12) v. RAVENS

Ahh...the Art Modell Memorial Game. If the football Gods have any sense of karmic justice, they would let the Browns shock the world.  However, your gods won't save you this game, Browns fans.

BTPC pick: Ravens laying the 12.

Pats (-4) v. BILLS

Pats have lost 2 in a row.  Bills have lost two RBs in a row. We'll take UGG's model, Tom Brady...

BTPC pick: Pats laying the 4.

Lions (-4) v. VIKINGS

Vikings are game.  Detroit may have finally found a RB.  But they still have no defense.

BTPC pick: Vikings getting 4.

Panthers (+7) v. FALCONS

Not sure the Panthers will beat the Falcons, but 7 is a big cover for a team that can't run the ball worth a damn.

BTPC pick: Panther's getting 7.

49ers (-4.5) v. JETS

Here's the deal, the Jets stunk WITH Revis on the field Sunday.  Miami should have won that game in regulation, then should have definitely won it in OT.  Rex Ryan is such a joke.  He made Clyde Gates (former Dolphin) one of his captains for OT, to try to tweak Miami.  Problem is, Gates ran a HORRIBLE route to start the game, resulting in a INT.  Way to send a message to your team, Coach.  And Sparano looked like a moron beating his chest when the Jets took the lead in regulation.  The fact they should have lost, leaving Sparano with Egg on his face would have been no surprise at karma for Miami fans.  Meanwhile, Harbaugh's boys laid a stinker last week in a game they should have dominated.  In this one, I'll take the team with the better coach who didn't suffer a season-ending injury to their superman player.

BTPC pick: 49ers laying the 4.5

Chargers (-1.5) v. CHIEFS

Crennel v. Turner! Two fan bases who know they're never winning anything with these two retreads as Head Coach.  At some point, Matt Cassel's receivers are simply gonna walk out and refuse to run routes over the middle with the way he has laid them out.  Or one of them will die.  One of these two things will happen.

BTPC pick: Chargers laying 1.5

Titans (+12) v. TEXANS

The team with the QB who lost part of his ear last week is giving almost 2 TDs?  Really?

BTPC pick: Titans getting 12

RAMS (+3) v. Seahawks

Seattle is not at home and the football gods will have to right the scales.  Look for St. Louis to get every call in this one.

BTPC pick: UPSET SPECIAL: Rams getting 3

Dolphins (+5) v. CARDS

Miami should be 2-1 with rookie QB Ryan Tannehill.  The Sportsguy has just been killing THill, saying how we know he's not good.  We think that's crazy.  While not looking like RGIII or Luck, THill has had his moments and has yet to look overwhelmed.  Hell, Sportsguy keeps wondering why Miami isn't playing Matt Moore.  Uh...b/c they aren't winning a SuperBowl with Moore as the starter.  Any wins are gravy for Joe Philbin this year.  He just needs to see his young'ns progress.  Meanwhile, Arizona's defense is real.

BTPC pick: Cards laying the 5.

Raiders (+7) v. BRONCOS

Man...Peyton Manning's arm is a noodle now.  Seriously, he cannot go deep or throw the 10, 15 yard outs with velocity.  Teams are starting to notice and scheme accordingly.

BTPC pick: Raiders getting 7.

Bengals (-1) v. JAGS

We just traded Vincent Jackson for BenJarvis Green Ellis in our fantasy league.  We look forward to the LawFirm giving us an instant return on our investment.

BTPC pick: Bengals laying the 1

Saints (+7.5) v. PACK

Two explosive football teams, who we thought would be contenders, who have both disappointed.  Difference is, the Saints fall from grace has been their own doing (Bountygate costing them their head coach for this season), while the Packers got jobbed by a dude who couldn't qualify to ref Division I football.  Football gods set things right this weekend...

BTPC pick: Pack laying 7.5

Redskins (+2) v. BUCS

Really no feel on this one. We'll take the points.

BTPC pick: Skins getting two.

Giants (+2.5) v. EAGLES

Uh...lemme get this straight, the Giants are GETTING points on the road and you want to know who we're taking?  Seriously?

BTPC pick: Giants getting the points.

Bears (+3.5) v. COWBOYS

A Monday night bears game?  We can't wait to see the cutaways to Cutler chewing out someone on the sidelines and looking disgusted versus the cutaways to Jerry Jones looking up at his own horrendous plastic surgery job on his big HD screen.  We'll go with Jay getting the points...

BTPC pick: Bears getting 3.5

Week 3 record: 8-8 Upset Special: 1-0
Season to Date: 23-23-2 Upset Specials: 2-2
Career to Date: 409-384-31