Saturday, September 3, 2011

COFaQue 2011

The team recently participated in its 4th consecutive COFaQue event in Aldie, Virginia. One part BBQ competition, one part music fest, and one part bacchanalia, COFaQue is fun on a stick, and we do whatever we can to engineer our summer schedules around this incredible event.

Although we didn't pick up any hardware this time around (slight disappointment), this year's competition was very special because it marked the first time that all six members of the team were together at the same time. This was made possible because Tim arrived home from Afghanistan the morning of the event so that he could begin a three-week break stateside.

It was a delight having Tim back in the mix, especially given that it was the first time in months that he was able to prep some killer 'que.  We screwed up, however, by being so busy within our cook site as to forget that we should have taken a picture of us all together (bummer).

Speaking of busy, we had some turn-ins that were absolutely insane. Although COFaQue has 60 minutes between turn-ins vs. the 30 minutes between categories at at KCBS event, we competed in eight categories spread across three turn-in times, which meant that there were some simultaneous turn-ins:

  • Appetizers – Mini Donut Bacon Burger Bites (3:00pm)
  • Other Grilled (non-meat) – Roasted Veggie Mélange (3:00pm)
  • Non-Grilled Sides – Sweet and Tangy Red Slaw (3:00pm)
  • Chicken – Amazin' Chicken (3:00pm)
  • Beef (except brisket) – Cosmic Flank Steak (4:00pm)
  • Beef Brisket – All-American Brisket (5:00pm)
  • Pork (except ribs) – Bitchin' Pork Butt (5:00pm)
  • Dessert – Cantaloupe Pie (5:00pm)

Mise en place for the Roasted Veggie Mélange
The most hectic turn-in was the one at 3:00pm because we had four separate things going on. Luke was in charge of a very colorful veggie dish, Eric stepped in to help dish up the cole slaw, and Dwayne assisted Kirk with the final saucing of the chicken. Michael took on his usual assignment of prepping some gorgeous boxes, and just about everybody helped get the appetizers ready.

The Mini Bacon Donut Burger Bites were decadently delicious. They were a lot of work, but well worth the effort as the fourth item for the 3pm turn-in. We started by making little bacon weaves which we fried up on the camp stove griddle. The Krispy Kreme donuts (which took the place of the buns) were then sliced, and the original idea was to butter them before toasting them on the grill, but we decided to use bacon grease instead (yum!).

Bacon Donut Burger - The 8th Deadly Sin
We hand-formed some 7-oz. patties of 85/15 ground beef, grilled them to perfection, and then melted on some high-quality American cheese. We turned these burgers into appetizers by inserting skewers and dividing them into quarters.

After being toasted the donuts took on a cotton candy-like flavor, which when paired with the bacon, cheese, and chargrilled burger created a sumptuous mouthfeel and a glorious taste. They were outrageous!

The team would like to give a special shout out to Leigh Anne, a good friend of Smoke Dreams BBQ. Not only did she bring the cantaloupe pie for the dessert entry, but also she fetched us ice and expertly filled in with some impromptu sous chef duties when the rest of us had our hands full. What's more, she didn't mind one bit when the ol' Goofus barked orders like a drill sergeant as we all scrambled to get everything finished up to meet our 3:00pm turn-in time. Thanks a ton, Leigh Anne... you are a helluva trooper!!

We were thrilled to have so many friends come out to cheer us on, including some who camped out for the weekend.  Unlike prior years, we only stayed over on Friday night, preferring to pack up our gear and head outta Dodge on Saturday night in advance of some looming storms.  All in all we had a great time, cooked a lot of awesome food, hung out with some really fun folks, slaked our thirst on a sufficient supply of ice cold cereal malt beverages, took a few pictures, and enjoyed the camaraderie that has become the hallmark of the Smoke Dreams BBQ team.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog! will definitely help with the menu ideas at home.