Happy Monday, Noshers! How was your weekend? It was absolutely gorgeous in NYC, and I’m so glad that I got to spend a lot of time outdoors! Today I’m super excited to share my experience at the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party with you all. I dropped by the event last weekend, and as in previous years, it didn’t disappoint! By the end of the day, I was absolutely stuffed from good BBQ, used a grill for the first time, and gobbled down more oysters than a girl knew what to do with. Intrigued? Read on….
The first event that I checked out at the Block Party was the my class with the Weber Grilling School – it was pretty easy to find the class location; the huge red oversized grill and shiny new regular-sized grills kinda gave it away!
The tools and ingredients were all set up for us – we were making grilled steak tacos with fresh guacamole. Absolutely gorgeous pieces of skirt steak were calling my name.
Our instructor for the afternoon was Weber Grill Master Kevin Kolman. Kevin was a great instructor – funny, patient and informative. And, um, he gets to go around teaching people how to grill/cook for his full-time job?? How do I do that? 🙂
With our skirt steak marinating in beer, we were ready to move onto guacamole.
Yum – I absolutely LOVE avocados, especially in guacamole form! Heavy on the lime juice and salt, that’s my MO!
We then prepared a dry rub for the skirt steak, featuring such spices as paprika, garlic powder, pepper, and other fragrant goodies:
With a thorough soak in beer and lovely dry-rub massage, the skirt steak was ready to go on the grill. We were divided into groups of three for our class, and despite my eagerness to get up close and person with the grill, I was happy to take a bit of a back seat and let my groupmates do the actual grilling! You can see that we had built up a bit of an audience at this point:
After a quick three minutes on each side, the skirt steak was done! Fragrant, juicy and super tender, I couldn’t wait to give it a try:
But first! One small but important step – grilling the tortillas! Thirty seconds on each side and they were hot and crispy. Mmmm.
Instructor Kevin then shared a seemingly obvious yet never-thought-of (to me, at least) tip – when cutting meat for fajitas, tacos or any other dish, cut against the grain. (See first photo). This makes the meat easy to pull apart and helps eaters avoid the dreaded pull-the-whole-piece-of-meat-out-with-your-teeth syndrome. Why didn’t I think of that??
YUM. Grilled skirt steak taco perfection.
I next checked out the Hospitality tent, which I had access to as a VIP pig. No, I’m serious – see?
As both a turf and surf fan, I also checked out the Alabama Gulf Seafood No Bone Zone, featuring Alabama Gulf oysters!
There were oysters, oysters and more oysters – I was especially excited because I had never tried Alabama Gulf oysters before. I stuffed myself silly!
My first visit (of many) to the seafood spread yielded champagne, oysters and a seafood “martini” – deelish.
Lest I single-handedly deplete the oyster spread, there were expert shuckers hard at work. It was so fun talking to these gentlemen about the oysters as well as their visit to NYC – for a few of them, this was their first trip to the city! I was happy to share some must-do’s and restaurant recommendations. 🙂
In addition to the events and areas I highlighted, there were more than 15 pitmasters from all over the country lining the perimeter of Madison Square Park – the aroma of ribs, brisket and smoked whole hog was tantalizing! As in previous years, I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. If you didn’t make it out there this time, I hope to see your lovely face there next year!
Are you a BBQ fan? What is your favorite BBQ dish?