Wicked Good Barbecue Fearless Recipes from Two Damn Yankees Who Have Won the Biggest, Baddest BBQ Competition in the World

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-03-01
  • Publisher: Fair Winds Press

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Barbecue is distinctively Southern. So how did two guys from Boston win hundreds of barbecue ribbons, 30 Kansas City Barbecue Society championships, and the biggest prize of them all, the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue? By remaking classic BBQ favorites with new, audacious, and occasionally outrageous, twists, techniques, and ingredients. Award-winning chefs Andy Husbands and Chris Hart reveal their competition-winning techniques and recipes, from the ribs that won the Jack Daniels World Championship, to 25-Step Championship Chicken that melts in your mouth, to $100 Meatloaf that will redefine your definition of the word. Wicked Good Barbecueain’t your Daddy’s barbecue. It's your guide to fun, fearless, and fantastic cooking.


Fried Mac 'n Cheese Pops

Every year, at Harpoon’s Championship of New England Barbecue in Windsor, Vermont, we have the chance to be vendors as well as competitors. This dish is by far one of our most popular. It’s a little time-consuming, but it’s absolutely worth it. Before you begin, make sure you have space in your freezer, because these have to stay frozen until they are fried. If you don’t need the full batch for your gathering (or if you’d like to double the recipe to keep these on hand!), freeze the remaining pops in an airtight container for up to four weeks, and fry them as needed.


—1 pound (455 g) elbow macaroni

—1⁄2 cup (1 stick, 112 g) butter

—4 1⁄2 cups (562.5 g) flour, divided

—1 teaspoon (1.2 g) crushed red pepper flakes

—1 teaspoon (6 g) salt

—1⁄2 teaspoon (1 g) ground black pepper

—3 1⁄2 cups (870 ml) half-and-half

—4 cups (460 g) grated Monterey Jack cheese

—4 1⁄2 cups (520 g) bread crumbs, divided

—Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

—10 eggs, beaten

—6 cups (1.4 L) vegetable oil, for frying


Special Equipment:

—45 wooden popsicle sticks, deep fryer or deep saucepan (you will need to hold about 2 inches [5 cm] of oil)


In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain very well, place in a large mixing bowl, and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in 1⁄2 cup (62.5 g) of the flour, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, stirring constantly until well blended. Continue to cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add half-and-half gradually, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add cheese, 1⁄2 cup (57.5 g) at a time, stirring until cheese is melted before adding more. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni, add 1⁄2 cup (60 g) of the bread crumbs, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature.

Place a piece of waxed paper on a baking sheet. Make forty-five 2-ounce (60-g) balls (about the size of a golf ball) with the macaroni and cheese, and skewer each one with a Popsicle stick. Place in freezer for 20 minutes.

Set up a breading station, with a bowl of the remaining 4 cups (500 g) flour, a bowl of beaten eggs, and a bowl of the remaining 4 cups (460 g) bread crumbs.

Remove macaroni pops from the freezer and bread each one by coating lightly but completely in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs, tapping off excess after each step. Place back on waxed paper and freeze for 30 minutes more. Remove from the freezer and repeat the breading process; freeze again until serving time.

In a deep fryer or deep saucepan, heat the oil to 325°F (170°C). Working in batches of 4 to 6 mac ’n cheese pops, gently lower them one by one into the hot oil and fry until golden brown and heated through, 5 to 7 minutes per batch. The crumbs will brown very quickly, but don’t be fooled—it takes a few minutes for the centers to thaw and heat up. It’s a good idea to test at least one pop per batch with an instant-read thermometer. It will read 125 to 135°F (51.6 to 57.2°C) when they’re done.

Transfer the finished pops to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Serve immediately, warning guests that the pops are very hot.

Yield:45 pops

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