Ageists, step to the side - who says that an old banana can't be the sweetest thing you've ever put in your mouth? With a luxe combination of bananas, butter, brown sugar and booze, this recipe proves the naysayers wrong. Dead wrong.
A Dirty Interview with ManBQue and Coffee Rubbed Flat Iron Steak
Putting the Sizzle in Our Steak
Dirty Girls are voracious about all things in life – food, drink and yes, men. That’s what brought ManBQue to our attention. ManBQue is a more than a website, its a community with a barefaced appreciation for the BBQ. We appreciate their fucking awesomeness and we wanted to introduce you to the men of ManBQue because we knew you’d adore their shameless attention to beef too!
A Dirty Girl *ahem* Man Interview with ManBQue
Why are you passionate about the kitchen? How did you get started?
Food makes me passionate about the kitchen. Food is such an amazing thing, it brings people together, it gets people to open up; there are so many reasons.
Honestly, I first started making food to try to impress the ladies and possibly get laid. Haha. My friend Tom Rubeo always told me that women loved a guy that could cook, so I started experimenting with recipes. Does this mean I had nothing else to offer? Probably.
How do you define a “Dirty Kitchen”?
Dirty Kitchen is a direct result of a lot of kitchen sex. It’s like some bizarro R. Kelly album.
I kid, I kid. Nah, a Dirty Kitchen to me is a kitchen that has every tool and ingredient available. It’s a sexy ass kitchen that has endless possibilities. A place where you can spend days just creating anything you could possibly imagine. Add a sexy lady wearing nothing but an apron and you’ve got yourself a Dirty Kitchen. (I need a cold shower, ASAP. Sorry.)
What is your go to comfort food for some late night soaking up of alcohol?
Mexican food. After enough booze it’s hard for your tasted buds to really function properly so Mexican food is perfect because there are so many great, unique flavors all blending together kicking your drunken taste buds into high gear.
What food or ingredients have been getting your grill hot lately?
I have been making my own sausage lately. I have been messing with spices, but I’m going to start throwing more stuff in there; cheeses, other meats, pepper pieces. Ahhhhhh!!! I can’t wait!
What separates a ManBQuerer from the riff raff?
A Manbque Man actually gives a shit about what he makes and what he’s going to serve. He gets creative and isn’t afraid to try new things. A ManBQue Man doesn’t follow food trends; he just makes kick ass recipes.
Weirdest shit you’ve ever grilled? Was it a success?
I don’t really consider any of the food that has hit the grill at a Manbque MEATing to be weird, per se, but we’ve grilled some pretty exotic meat and done some pretty cool things. We’ve made peanut butter and jelly lion meat burgers, on the bone BBQ rattlesnake, whiskey kangaroo steaks, bear burgers, burger popsicles made with liquid nitrogen, we also made a meat stadium (a stadium made out of over 30lbs of meat) the list goes on.
Favorite feast to fuel a full night?
Homemade sausage and burgers with some kick-ass toppings
Cookbook or show that is straight up food porn for you guys?
I don’t watch food TV shows, I can’t really relate to any of them or their hosts. I actually have a ton of cookbooks that I love and I’m way into looking for recipes on the web. Currently I have a huge crush on The Perennial Plate. It’s a really well done website that explains food/food culture which I think is great and feel that more people should be doing.
Liquor that gets you sicker?
I prefer beer, especially the local, Midwest kind. My favorite brewery is Half Acre in Chicago. When I do booze it up, I HAVE to drink Maker’s Mark. It’s my absolute favorite. I love cooking with it, drinking it and they have genius marketing/branding which is important for a guy creating his own brand.
No reprieve from the governor – they are flipping the switch on the electric
chair in a matter of minutes. What is your last meal gonna be?
- Meal: Home Run Inn pizza(sausage/pepperoni with a side of giardinera), a thuringer from Hot Doug’s(grilled, all the toppings plus grilled onions) and my mom’s enchiladas
- Drink: Maker’s with a splash of coke and some great horchata
- Dessert: Chocolate cupcake with chocolate butter cream topping from the original Magnolia Bakery in NY
(What can I say? I require a large last meal)
Top three favorite chefs?
- Matt Troost: Three Aces, Chicago, IL (There are not enough words to describe how awesome this guy’s food creations are)
- Doug Sohn: Hot Doug’s, Chicago, IL (his encased meat creations are edible works of art)
- Paul Kahan of Publican & Stephanie Izard of Girl and the Goat, Chicago, IL (They have done some great things for the food scene in Chicago. They have really raised the bar and put us on the map without having to be media-whore, celeb-chefs. They excellently represent the Chicago food and they aren’t slowing down)
Food equivalent of a drunken hookup?
Tacos/burritos. When you’re sober you know better than to mess with such a sloppy mess, but after a few too many beers/shots, that’s the first thing I think of. I know it’s a terrible decision and my friends are gonna judge me, but I don’t care because I’m drunk, all I want is something easy and immediate! Plus, if my friends talk shit, I will remind them how many times they went home with White Castles.
Cooking trend that you think is totally douchey?
Bacon recipes. Hands down. So over-done. Bacon recipes are like having a Ferrari and adding after-market shit to it to make it “better.” It’s a Ferrari, it’s already damn amazing, I’d rather challenge myself and restore a 1957 Chevy Bel-Air I found in a barn? “Oh, wow, you added chocolate to bacon, how inventive!” Why not pick a different piece of meat and do something new and creative?
Technique in the kitchen that you think newbie chefs should master so as to impress the shit out of their guests?
I don’t feel as if any one technique is really both functional and impressive. I mean, unless you’re a chef at some Japanese steakhouse and you make one of those onion volcanoes with a meat cleaver. Good food impresses guests. Whatever technique you learn, make sure it helps you create great tasting food and you’re all set.
Recipe to share with the readers?
This coffee rub recipe is one of my absolute favorites. It’s super easy and way flavorful. I use a local coffee brewer, Dark Matter; unfortunately they are Chicago only. I highly recommend local coffee roasters because their beans are always the most fresh and tasty.
Coffee Rubbed Flat Iron Steak
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons finely ground dark coffee
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 pounds flat iron steaks, each 1 1/4 pounds
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling planks
Combine sugar, coffee, chili powder, cayenne and salt. Brush steak (I use my
hands because I’m too manly to use a brush) with 2 teaspoons oil; sprinkle all
over with coffee rub and press to adhere. Set aside.
Prepare a grill for indirect heat cooking. When very hot, bank coals on one side
of grill, leaving one side free of coals; if using a gas grill, turn burner off on one
Grill steaks on hot side of grill until just seared, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer
steaks to side with no charcoal, keep them as close to the charcoal side with
out being directly over; close grill cover and cook until steaks reach desired
doneness, 8 to 12 minutes for medium-rare. Rest steaks 10 minutes before
This steak tastes great paired with a coffee porter, it really brings out the coffee flavor in both.