The co-hosts of A&E TV’s hit show LivePD dish on summer’s favorite pastimes, grilling and barbecuing.
By Christine Chagaris
Cooking Out, PD-Style
Fans (I count myself among the many) tune in each Friday and Saturday night to A&E Television’s very popular LivePD, which follows various police departments around the country as they make their rounds. Its two co-hosts, Sgt. Sean “Sticks” Larkin of the Tulsa, Oklahoma Police Department and longtime crime reporter Tom Morris, Jr. are not only the show’s mainstays, but grilling and barbecuing aficionados on the side. Both sat down with Food and Travel to offer their grilling go-to’s and barbecue best bets.
“Oklahoma is big on barbecue,” said Larkin. “We’re kind of stuck in the middle, because we have a little bit of everything, yet (Oklahoma has) its own style.” One such dish unique to the state’s barbecue tradition is smoked bologna, which Larkin admits he’s never ordered but said, “If it’s there, I’ll eat some.” He is a self-admitted “connoisseur of good grilling and barbecue” and has some specialties of his own. Larkin counts burgers, chicken and salmon among his favorites to make, especially the latter. He prepares the fish with simple ingredients that yield flavorful results.
“It turns out fantastic,” he said. “I don’t have to wrap it in foil. I just put it on the grill, and literally put a bit of olive oil and sea salt on it.” Tuna is Morris’s seafood of choice when it comes to cooking outdoors. “If I can get some good tuna steaks, I will grill them because it’s the one fish that I grill the most,” he said.
Larkin pointed out that his fellow officers engage in grilling and barbecuing pursuits, often for a good cause. “One of the guys in my squad is doing a cook off competition this weekend,” he said. “Also, there’s an organization that raises money for underprivileged kids and they have the gang unit (Larkin’s division) come out and be judges for their barbecue competition in the summer.”
Morris’s grilling skills get a workout no matter what time of year. “I grill all year round,” he said. “I’ll be out there in wintertime, especially during football season, because on Sundays I usually have a lot of guys I play basketball with come over and watch games. So, I am usually just grilling from football season right into spring and into summer.” Morris added that he has taken over the majority of cooking duties from his wife, due to her busy schedule with her home staging business.
“My favorite food to grill, which is something I kind of concocted myself, is a lamb, bison, and beef burger,” he said. “All free range and grass fed. I don’t eat a lot of red meat, but when I decide I want something good, this is what I make. I put the ingredients in a big bowl; add a dice of garlic, some Badia Complete Seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce. Then, form it into patties. I grill it, and then I’ll usually put some smoked Gouda cheese on it.” Morris also uses his smoker to make ribs. “I will typically slow smoke them all day long. I also like to grill chicken and brisket.”
As for sides with their barbecue, Larkin and Morris each have their preferences. “I like a beer for a side with my barbecue,” laughed Larkin. “I don’t eat barbecue at work because you have to have a beer with it, so I need to be off duty.”
“I like potato salad, which I just recently learned to make,” said Morris. “My wife would always make it, and because of her busy schedule, about a month ago I decided when I was barbecuing that I’d make it. I called her, though I had a pretty good idea of how it was done. It came out pretty well. I also like to make regular cookout pork and beans for a side, as well as macaroni salad and greens.”
Larkin and Morris, not just fellow co-hosts but one, a cookout connoisseur; the other, a chef in his own right, “We both love food, and I love to cook!” Morris aptly summed up.