Mission Viejo resident John Kurzet parlays his lifelong love of cooking into online fame and a contest win.
(Photo courtesy of Crock-Pot® brand)
By day, Mission Viejo resident John Kurzet is a computer networking engineer. By night, and any other time he’s got free, Kurzet usually is in the kitchen.
Kurzet has produced his own YouTube cooking show, “Big Meat Sunday,” for the past year and a half.
As the show’s name indicates, meat is often the focal point of his recipes, but Kurzet also has devoted several videos to vegetarian dishes and desserts.
One of Kurzet’s recipes, spicy citrus ginger ribs, recently won the Crock-Pot® Seasoning Mixes Slow Cookin’ Recipe Contest.
Kurzet expects the grand prize – $8,000 for a year’s worth of groceries and $500 worth of Crock-Pot® seasoning – to help him develop even more recipes to share with the world.
Q. How did you decide to produce your own cooking show?
A. I’ve been cooking since I was 6 or 7, and it’s something I really, really enjoy. I had noticed a lot of other cooking channels on YouTube, so I thought I’d throw my hat out there to do something different than what I’d seen.
It didn’t start off as something serious, but I found I really enjoy doing it. I love sharing recipes and ideas with people, and YouTube is a great forum to do so.
Q. Where did the show’s name, “Big Meat Sunday,” come from?
A. The way “Big Meat Sunday” came about was I went to my local butcher and bought two of the biggest steaks I could find: two rib-eyes, 3 pounds each. So it was Sunday and I had big meat, and that’s when the YouTube channel was born.
I can think of 100 different names that are far more appropriate, but this is what stuck.
Q. How did you develop your winning recipe?
A. What I do, not just for this contest but for any of my recipes, is that an idea will come to me, and I’ll start experimenting with base flavors.
One of my favorite flavor profiles is Asian. The ribs have an almost Thai-Korean barbecue flavor. It’s spicy and sweet, and I love doing things with those flavors.
Q. Now that you’ve won one competition, do you think you’ll participate in others?
A. A lot of people ask me why I don’t do “The Next Food Network Star” or competitions like that. I don’t know if I could actually stand in front of a camera on a set with 50 people staring at me waiting for me to do my job.
For now, I just want to keep doing what I’m doing and grow my subscriber base.
SPICY CITRUS GINGER RIBS
5 jalapeño peppers, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, diced
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
12-ounce jar of orange marmalade
1-3 full racks of baby back ribs
2 Anaheim chilies, sliced in 1-inch ribbons
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon black pepper
16 ounces chicken broth or stock
1/2 cup cool water
1 1/2 tablespoon corn starch
1 packet Crock-Pot® BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning Mix
Cut each rack of ribs in half, rub with the seasoning mix on both sides and set in a cool place for up to four hours.
In a large bowl, combine the jalapeños, Anaheim chilies, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, black pepper, sesame seeds, marmalade and chicken stock, and mix with a whisk or slotted spoon.
After grilling the ribs for 10 minutes per side, place them in the slow cooker, pour the mixture from the previous step over them and stir together. Cook on high heat for three to four hours, depending on how tender you want the meat. Remove the ribs from the slow cooker, set aside and cover with foil to keep warm.
Mix corn starch with cool water and add to the slow cooker, then purée with an immersion blender (or combine in a regular blender, then return to the slow cooker). Let this mixture reheat for 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve ribs with sauce on the side or over the ribs.