The good doctor is up to his stethoscope in requests for recipes and methods for grilling or smoking turkeys. If you have a question on this subject, the doctor prescribes that you go to the www.texascooking.com archives and find John Raven's articles on the subject. "Turkey Time" November, 1999 and "Other things to do with leftover turkey" November, 2000. These two articles will tell you everything the doctor knows on the subject.
Okay, now it's time to clean out the waiting room.
David T. writes: Hi there, Doc. I can find all kind of recipes for chicken and beef enchiladas, but not for my favorite -- cheese. Can you help me out? I'm a stranded Texan up in Ohio. How did I ever end up here? Thanks in advance.
Hey Dave: Easy as Frito pie. Use your beef recipe. For the filling, instead of the beef mix, use shredded cheddar cheese and fine diced mild onion -- about a quarter cup of onion per cup of cheese. Top with more cheese and onion.
There is a trend now to use two cheeses. If you want to try that, use Monterrey Jack. Fill half your enchiladas with the Jack. Top one-half with the white cheese, the other half with the yeller cheese. Happy eating.
Rowdyranger writes: I was thinking about making haggis, Texas style, using my Cajun Smoker, for Burns Nicht in January. Aside from taking it someplace and burying it after it's cooked, do you have any suggestions?
Bob: I have suggestions that cannot be posted on the Internet. Menudo is as close to haggis as we have in the Southwest. It is tripe soup.
If I were to do a haggis, Southwest style, I would find something suitable for a container. I don't know where you could get a sheep stomach. You may know. Stuff the stomach with a cooked mixture of hominy, cheese and chili. Use a rather dry mix to hold shape. Then just cook until the stomach is done. Good luck and let me know what you come up with. Thanks for writing.
Wanda writes: What outdoor gas grills do you recommend?
Hey Wanda: I can't recommend a brand name. Do some shopping. This is an area where cheaper is not necessarily better.
Look for a grill that is constructed of sturdy material. Ask the salesperson about the availability of replacement parts and accessories. You don't want to have to wait six months to have parts for your grill shipped in from China.
Make sure it has a good thermometer for monitoring the cooking temperatures. I think a grill that uses lava rock will produce a better tasting product. Scan the instructions included. Make sure they are easy to understand. When you get the grill, read the instructions and follow them.
Clean the grill after each use, and keep it covered when not in use, and you will have years of happy cooking. Thanks for writing.
David writes: I have grilled a lot. I have used a water smoker a lot. But I just bought a Texas-style cooker with a firebox on the side. I have two questions: (1) Would you recommend I grill or barbecue steaks, and if barbecued, how long should they cook? And, (2) What will be the differences in smoking a turkey in this unit as opposed to using a water smoker? Thanks for your help.
Hey David: God intended for steaks to be grilled. The barbecuing is for the larger, tougher cuts. Some folks set a pan of water in the cooking chamber to get the same effect as a water smoker. I would rather you use a good, clear mop instead. Say, a cup of water, half-cup white vinegar, half-cup oil and a couple of lemons and an onion chopped coarse. Season the mop (sauce) with whatever spices you have handy -- black pepper, sage, thyme or whatever. Simmer it and then keep it warm on the cooker. Don't try to cook the bird with stuffing inside. It takes too long to get it up to temperature. Instead, put in an onion or a peeled apple or one of each. Will put moisture in from the inside. Good luck.
Thanks for writing.
Henretta writes: I would like to have a recipe for chopped barbecue using roast pork. I would like to know the difference between the North Carolina and Texas versions of sauce ingredients used. I've had a taste of it from North Carolina, where they also serve it with cole slaw and hush puppies. Each state seems to have a different sauce. Even Kentucky and Tennessee. Thank-you much!
Hey Henrettta: Chopped barbecue started off as a way to use the scraps that were left over. They were chopped and mixed with the house sauce. For your chopped pork, just chop it to your liking and add your favorite sauce. North Carolina sauce is mostly vinegar and hot pepper. Texas' is a sweet tomato base. Kraft Original Recipe is a favorite around here. I have too many requests to do individual recipes for everyone. In the near future, I'll do a column with regional sauces. And yes, anywhere you go, you get a different opinion as to what a good recipe is. Thanks for writing.
ROJOandHAHA writes: We are looking to buy a Oklahoma Joe smoker. I have found one that is several years old (at least seven), but it has never been used. The original cost was around $1,000. How much would be reasonable to pay for it now?
Hey Heather: I can't tell you what the smoker is worth. A deal like this is whatever the seller is willing to take and the buyer is willing to pay. Check the price on a new one so you have a reference to start with. I think the address for checking is www.nbsmoker.com. Good luck.