Thai Pork Ribs

 2014-04-13 18.17.42The first smoke of the season is always special but this one was a little more meaningful. We were using our new Mountain Weber Smoker for the first time. As you have seen from past posts we were doing just fine with the regular Weber grill using indirect heat but this summer we are taking it to the next level. These ribs were inspired by a Thai pepper pickle recipe we created using fish sauce, vinegar, lemon grass and Thai chilies. This recipe is hot like most Thai food is so if you can’t handle the heat cut down on the chilies.

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Skirt Steak Pistachio Pesto Sandwiches



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Bacon Chili Mac and Cheese


Who doesn’t love crispy creamy mac and cheese? We wanted to put our own twist on this comfort food by adding homemade chili powder and crispy bacon. The better quality cheddar you use in this recipe the better tasting the mac will be.

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Chicken Pakora Meatballs in Mulligatawny Soup


One of our favorite appetizers at an Indian restaurant is Chicken Pakora bites. They are light and crispy but very different than your average chicken tenders. As you know from our Chinese Chicken Meatball Soup Danny loves Chickarina soup so we decided to make an Indian version. It turned out great! This soup is the perfect way to enjoy a Fall evening.

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Red Velvet Chili

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This chili is not to be confused with our Arrogant Bastard Chili. This is a whole new thing. We made a roux and cooked our fresh veggies in this to make this dish rich and flavorful. The roux gives the chili its red velvet color. Like any FullBellyBlog dish this is no ordinary dish. This chili is made without beans, hamburger meat, and tomatoes. We used our pressure cooker to speed up the cooking time but if you don’t have a pressure cooker (get one) you can cook this on the stove until the meat is tender. Enjoy!

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Pasta Lessons

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I recently started reading the book, Heat and became obsessed with the idea of making homemade pasta. I really was tempted to quit my job and move to Italy and learn how to make pasta. In the book he talks about how the only way to really learn is to learn from someone in Italy who has been doing it their whole life. Although I studied in Rome my Italian is not strong enough to pack up my life and move there. So for now I will practice making it in my kitchen. I just went out and bought a pasta roller, (I know it’s not authentic), and am loving this machine. This post will be updated as I learn to make new pasta shapes, new dough recipes and new sauces for my homemade pasta. Hope you enjoy!

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Garganelli with Barolo Short Rib Ragu

Short Rib 2

Short Ribs cooked in Barolo wine is a delicious version of a ragu. You can make the Short Rib a few days before you serve. This recipe serves 4 with room for leftovers!

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Braised Short Ribs in Mushroom Anise Soy

2013-03-04 19.40.42Danny and I have started playing a new game when we make dinner. It is very similar to the Food Network show “Chopped”. Danny picked out ingredients, presented them, and I had to cook a dish with them. These ingredients weren’t as difficult as you see on the show but this is a great way to challenge yourself to be creative.

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Mussels with Duck Sausage and Roasted Fennel

Mussels Mussels are a great meal because they are cheap, easy to cook, and can be paired with almost anything. Duck and fennel go perfectly with mussels. We cooked our own duck stock then paired it with white wine and vegetable stock. In went the homemade duck sausage and fennel. This was the perfect way to break in our brand new kitchen.

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Ragu Bolognese

done 1Full Belly Blog cannot take credit for this recipe. We found this in one of our favorite cookbooks, Mozza. We usually don’t post about recipes we haven’t created but this was just too delicious to not share. This recipe is for slow cooking. Don’t rush any of the steps because in the end you will have the perfect bowl of pasta.

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Hanger Steak with Chimichurri

Chimichurri close upWe are huge fans of skirt steak, mostly because it is a cheaper cut of beef. Other people must be catching on to how great skirt steak is because it’s hard to find cheap skirt steak anymore. After cooking this dish our new cheap cut is hangar steak. We cooked it pretty rare here but it was flavorful and delicious. In this Chimichurri sauce we used our homegrown Greek oregano along with a hint of orange.

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Chinese Chicken Meatball Soup

David Chang has a show on PBS called, “The Mind of a Chef”, which we recently discovered. This show inspired us to make chicken soup. Danny’s favorite soup is Progresso’s Chickarina soup which is where we came up with the idea for the chicken meatballs. After collecting and drying all of our herbs we grew this summer we used some of the fresh fennel seed and lemon thyme in these meatballs. Hope you enjoy this on a cold winter day!

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Enchiladas De Dos Gringos

Most Gringos, ourselves included, don’t know much about Mexican food.  The elaborate preparations and regional intricacies are usually lost in the typical, one-size-fits-all “joints” one finds north of the border.  It’s a shame.  Mexican food: the soulful child of European and Mayan parents, rivals any cuisine in assertive style and compelling flavor.  Lizzie and I are two certified “Gringos” from the tri-state area and have begun the journey into our southern neighbor’s cuisine with Rick Bayless, author of Everyday Mexican, as our guide.  We have customized one of his recipes for Enchiladas from Mexico City, for our Enchiladas De Dos Gringos.

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Sunday Slices – Homemade Pizza

On this beautiful Sunday we made some pizzas to celebrate the end of a great summer. We came up with two completely different toppings. The first one being a ricotta, lemon, basil pizza, which was light but really flavorful. The second being a guanciale mozzarella pizza which was savory and rich. Both are delicious and both are easy to make.

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Smokey Mary’s

Smokey Mary's 026While Bloody Mary’s are generally thought to best compliment a cold morning, we used the power of fire and smoke to transform the winter classic into a delicious summer cocktail that pairs well with any backyard BBQ.  Oak smoked tomatoes, pulla pepper infused vodka and canned chipotle juice are some of the original elements we used to make our spicy, Smokey Marys.

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Sugar Cane Smoked Lobster Tail in Red Curry

Danny and I were thinking about how we should cook something other than just BBQ this past weekend. We couldn’t part totally without that grilled flavor so we decided to grill some lobster tails paired with homemade red curry. Red curry is not something that we usually eat so when we set out to make our own we made sure to buy some canned pastes at the store to get an idea of the flavors. Luckily we have a great Asian market around us and found mostly all of the ingredients that are in an authentic red curry sauce. It was spicy but the coconut rice we made to go along with it really cooled the dish off. You gotta try this dish!

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Tequilla Citrus Pork Shoulder

Real pulled pork takes a long time. That’s what makes it good. I suppose you could save time: dice up some pork loin and pour on liquid smoke after you pressure cook it. You could also buy a Honda, slap a stripe on it and call it a race car. But its not. And it never will be.
This is how we made out pulled pork…..

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Spit Roasted Root Beer Duck

Fullbellyblog’s newest toy is a motor operated rotisserie attachment for a Weber charcoal grill.  We wanted to christen the spit with something new, original and delicious: Duck!  The bird marinaded in a mixture of expected Asian ingredients with one unusual addition: Root Beer.  The sweet taste and complex flavorings of the soda complimented the Chinese 5 spice powder and molasses.

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Smoked Guacamole with Watermelon

This idea was completely made up by yours truly. A couple days ago I heard about someone grilling avocados so my mind went straight to smoke. I thought about how good the creamy avocado flavor would taste with some hickory smoke. Danny and I went to the store to get ingredients. As we were walking out there was a huge bin of watermelons. It occurred to me that instead of the tomatoes used in the guacamole we could use watermelon. This dish was really flavorful. We ended up pairing it with some grilled pork tacos. The only thing I might change and Danny does not agree with this is that I would use one fresh avocado not smoked to keep some of the original flavors. He thought it was perfect this way. Try both!

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Exploding Ribs


We are calling these exploding ribs because we actually almost blew up the back yard while cooking these. We’re still hoping the Landlord does not realize what we did. Apparently if concrete gets too hot it explodes. Halfway through cooking these we heard a huge explosion and a boy down the street yell “fireworks!”. We ran back and saw that there were chunks of charcoal everywhere. Thankfully the ribs were fine. Oh yeah and the house too. Note to self- don’t overheat concrete.
We came up with this recipe from two small idea’s the first being dehydrating lemon zest in our food dehydrator and the second being a red wine cured sausage we had. Realizing these ideas would be perfect for some slow cooked ribs. These took around 4 and a half hours. They were so moist on the inside and crisp on the outside that I think they were our best ribs yet.

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Skirt Steak with Three Sauces

Danny is always creating different sauces and spice mixtures. We decided to create some colorful sauces with our Negev Nectars olive oil for Cinco de Mayo. Negev Nectars olive oil is fruity which makes it a great pairing with peppers and spicy flavors. For all three sauces we used different peppers as the base and paired each with corresponding colors.

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Beer Can Chicken Recipe

While we can’t claim that we invented this clever technique, we can vouch for the remarkably juicy, tender chicken it produces.  Beer can chicken is simple, tasty and has an extra dash of showmanship that will appeal to all serious grill jockeys.

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Duck Wonton Soup

I think I had been craving wonton soup for at least week before making this. I wanted good wonton soup, not the bland crap you get at a Chinese restaurant. Danny and I came up with the idea of making duck wonton soup. This is totally different than what they serve in China but who cares. It was awesome! We made our broth from duck stock and the wontons are filled with duck. We used our pressure cooker to speed up the process of making duck stock. The results? DELICIOUS.

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East Village Food Tour

Our friend Dave who is also very into food like us, is starting his own East Village Food Tour. The idea all started when we were eating Porchetta sandwiches one afternoon. We saw a group of tourists on a food tour and decided that this would be a great idea. Dave doesn’t have every detail figured out yet so this past Sunday we did a test drive. We did the Italian tour. If you’re interested in going on a tour email

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Grilled Sausage & Peppers

Sausage Peppers is one of the greatest combinations. To put a little twist on this classic we grilled the onions and peppers directly over the coals. Afterwords we put a pan on the coals with oil to get that super smokey flavor. Our one mistake while making this dish was we forgot to pick up some bread to soak up the delicious oil. Guess that’s why we call ourselves knuckleheads.

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The Tale of Two Grilled Pizzas

On the first day of Spring we decided we needed to start the BBQ season out right. Grilled pizza is great and so fun to make. You can choose whatever toppings you like. We made one pizza a spicy oil margherita and another a ricotta sausage and sun dried tomato oil. Both were great! One tip is to roll the dough out as thin as you can.

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Braised Short Rib Sandwiches


We love short ribs and wanted to try braising them in a red wine sauce.This is very simple and easy. It took us no time to braise in the pressure cooker. The key to this great sandwich is fresh Italian bread and Danny’s special salt and pepper mix. Crush up fresh peppercorns, 1 chilie de arbol, and kosher salt for the perfect touch. We used a piece of swiss cheese on top of the sandwich but decided sharp cheddar would go well on this too.

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How to Make Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pulled Pork SandwichThis our take on the American classic: Pork shoulder smoked so long it shreds off, doused in a vinegary sauce  and topped with homemade slaw all on a soft, warm bun.  To get the pork right, you will want to be able to dedicate 6-8 hours on this meal.  We think it’s worth it. Continue reading

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Danny’s BBQ Rub Recipe

Danny's BBQ Rub

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Spicy Meatballs With Fusilli Pasta

After studying in Rome for a few months I have been looking for classic Italian dishes that I can put my spin on. Since Danny and I both love spicy food I decided to add a Fresno chili to my sauce to add a kick to my sauce. This is my take on meatballs in a spicy white wine tomato sauce. Mangiare!

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Pad Krapow Moo Sandwich (Pork with Thai Basil Sandwich)

A friend of ours is currently living in Thailand. Since we are obsessed with different types of food we started wondering what great stuff she had been eating out there. Asian food is something that Danny and I have barely explored. When our friend said she loved Pad Krapow Moo we decided lets make this into one of our favorite things. A sandwich! Danny loves using the pressure cooker I got him for Christmas, so we decided to cook the pork with this. We got our ingredients at an Asian market in town. If you don’t have any near you, you can always substitute any thing you cant find. Be creative! Continue reading

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Smokey Guajillo Chilie Tacos

We tried this recipe the other night and thought it was delicious. Go to your local Spanish market to find dried Guajillo Chilies. They are smoky with the perfect amount of spice. We sliced up flank steak fried it in short rib fat for the tacos and topped them with pickled red onions and jalapenos.We were inspired by recipes from “Sauces, Rubs and Marinades” and “Cooks Illustrated”.

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Arrogant Bastard Chili Recipe

Arrogant Bastard Chilli Bottle and StewIf you think mediocrity is sexy and you want a sweet, tomatoey sludge with beans and hamburger meat, may this blog’s bounce rate be damned: GET OUT NOW!  Click that back button on your browser ’till your trigger finger aches.  If you want some ill, helter-skelter stew that AIN’T FOR THE MASSES, well then you’ve come to the right place.

We think chili is best enjoyed on a cold day.  It should be invigorating and comforting, but also sting.  Beer makes for a fantastic chili base and Stone Brewing Company’s Arrogant Bastard Ale is only fitting for such an arrogant bowl of red.  This is how we make ours:

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