Posts tagged ‘Big Green Egg’

Summer Beer

 

Summer Beer

Summer Beer. A refreshing cocktail for the hot months coming up.

     When Mrs. G and I first started dating, we would go to this pub close to her place called The Old Monk. Great pub feeling and atmosphere. Phenomenal beer and whiskey list. And the fish and chips? Out of this world. If you are ever in Dallas, I would highly recommend getting them. But that’s a topic for another time. What I want to talk to you about is a drink they have on their menu called Summer Beer. I ordered this drink one hot summer day, not really knowing what to expect. It was  recommended by our waitress and I was told it was a cool, refreshing drink which sounded perfect for if my memory can be trusted, it was approaching 100+ degrees outside. The menu simply described it as vodka, Blue Moon and lemonade over ice.

Summer Beer

Summer Beer

     I recently decided I wanted to try and recreate that drink at home as we no longer live 5 minutes away from that bar. It was a lot of hard work, and much alcohol was consumed, but I think I found a recipe that you the reader will enjoy and will get plenty of compliments for at your next barbecue or party. The things I do for you guys.  The following recipe is perfect for two good sized drinks.

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz Shiner White Wing
  • 1.5 oz of Dripping Springs Vodka
  • 8 oz of lemonade
  • orange slices
  • ice

Directions

  1. Mix together first 3 ingredients
  2. Pour over an ice filled glass
  3. Add a slice of orange
  4. Squeeze orange into glass, sip and enjoy

     I suggested Shiner White Wing and Drippings Springs Vodka because I like to support Texas whenever I can, but feel free to use your favorite brand of vodka or Belgian White. Blue Moon is pretty common and easy to find in most areas as it is brewed by MillersCoors.

Doesn't that look good?

Doesn’t that look good?

     This just might be my choice of cocktails this summer as the heat bears down on us and becomes oppressive. Cool, crisp and refreshing. Just be careful. It does pack a punch and it will sneak up on you.

Bacon Wrapped Dove Breast

     I was rooting around in the freezer the other day, looking for something to cook when I came across some dove that I had shot last year. I had totally forgotten about these little beauties. How that happened, I have no clue, but I was super excited.

     If you are a hunter, or live with somebody who hunts, this method of preparation is probably familiar to you. I thought I would share it with you, my readers, anyway. If you ever get ahold of any dove, I highly recommend it. Or you could use chicken instead. I think chicken breasts would work well, but chicken tenders would be even better.

Bqacon Wrapped Dove Breast and Jalapeno Cheese Venison Sausage

Bacon Wrapped Dove Breast and Jalapeno Cheese Venison Sausage

          Prep is really easy. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of that process to share with you, but I’m sure you can figure it out. All you need is your protein (be it dove or chicken), a few jalapenos, some cheddar cheese (or Monterrey jack or whatever cheese you feel like) and bacon. Home made bacon if you got it, but store bought will work just as well. Get the thinly sliced bacon, not the thick stuff. That takes longer to cook and your protein will end up drying out, which is no bueno.

     Slice your jalapenos in half and de-vein and de-seed them. Then, slice the jalapenos into strips. Lay one strip of jalapeno on your protein.

     Next, slice your cheese into sticks about the same size as your jalapenos. Lay the cheese next to the jalapeno on top of your protein.

     Take a slice of bacon and cut it in half and then wrap your dove, jalapeno and cheese with the bacon. Use toothpicks if needed to hold the bacon in place. Try to make sure that the cheese is covered on both ends to prevent it from leaking out as it cook. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, some cheese will end up leaking out no matter how well you wrap it. 

     Finally, sprinkle on some of your favorite rub on the bacon wrapped dove.

Finished with a little asparagus

Finished with a little asparagus

               To cook, grill the bacon wrapped dove indirectly at 350-400F until the bacon is crispy. On the BGE, I used the Adjustable Rig with the ceramic stone on the bottom level and the grate at the top level. If you do not have an AR, use the plate setter, legs up, with the grate on top. For a gas grill, light half the burners and then place the dove on the unlit site. For a charcoal grill, bank your charcoal on one side of the grill and place the dove on the other side. Cooking times will vary depending on your grill and temperatures, but for me it took about 30 minutes.

All plated up and ready to eat!

All plated up and ready to eat!

     This turned out to be a pretty tasty meal. Even tastier knowing that I had shot the dove. And the venison in the sausage. And made the bacon myself. I didn’t grow the asparagus, but then who grows their own asparagus?

      If you happen to have a bunch of dove and don’t know what to do with it, or you are looking for something else to do with chicken, try out this method. Highly recommended at our house and ranch.

Some Food Porn Pictures

We’ve been busy lately. No excuse for it. Haven’t had much time to work on recipes or post up new stuff and we’ve just been doing old things around here, but I thought I’d share some pictures anyway today. One thing we have been doing is homebrewing. This picture was a few weeks ago when we brewed up an Irish Red. Due to rain and cold weather, we had to brew in the garage.  

Brewing an Irish Red

Brewing an Irish Red

While we were working on the brew, we also had two rack of spare ribs going.

Spare ribs on the Egg

Spare ribs on the Egg

Sometimes you just get a craving for a good burger. These ones were 80/20 ground rib eye. If you can get ground rib eye rather than chuck, I’d suggest trying it.

Ground rib eye burger and ABTs

Ground rib eye burger and ABTs

We recently found thinly sliced brisket at a nearby Asian store. Picked it up not being sure what we were going to do with it. How about using it for ABTs instead of bacon?

Brisket wrapped ABTs

Brisket wrapped ABTs

In an effort to eat better, we pulled the wok out and did some stir fry on the Egg.

Shrimp stir fry

Shrimp stir fry

And how can you resist some leg quarters? Half rubbed with John Henry’s Texas Chicken Tickler and half with Salt Lick Rub.

Chicken leg quarters cooking indirect.

Chicken leg quarters cooking indirect.

Brush ‘em with a little Lauren’s Spicy Sauce from Salt Lick and add some home made venison jalapeno cheese sausage.

Almost done.

Almost done.

Served up with some sautéed ‘shrooms and some kale. Um, Um good.

Dinner is served

Dinner is served

I’ll try and work on and finish up some new recipes this weekend to share with you this week. Unless March Madness ends up taking too much of my time. Sorry for the lack of new recipes lately. Hope this food porn will hold you over till then. Thanks for benig patient with us.

Blackened Red Snapper

Blackened Red Snapper

Blackened Red Snapper

Dizzy Pig is back at it again adding to  their “-ish” rubs with the new release Bayouish. Once again, they’ve sent me a sample before they release it to try out. I honestly don’t know why they choose to include me on their little list of people who get to sample it first, but I am glad they did.

Dizzy Pig's new Bayouish

Dizzy Pig’s new Bayouish

Along with a small sample, they sent a little note.

Note

Note

Enough of all that. Time to get cooking.

Ingredients

  • about a pound of fish fillets, red snapper, red fish, catfish or trout (or even chicken or steak)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
  • Dizzy Pig’s Bayouish Seasoning (or other blackened seasoning)
  • lemon wedges for garnish (optional)
Snapper going into a screaming hot cast iron skillet on the grill

Snapper going into a screaming hot cast iron skillet on the grill

Directions

  1. Preheat your grill to hot. We had the Big Green Egg going steady at 650F. Allow your cast iron skillet to come up to heat with your grill.
  2. Brush both sides of your fish with melted butter and apply Bayouish liberally. Reserve remaining butter.
  3. After allowing your skillet to get “screaming” hot, carefully pour in a tbsp or so of butter and put the fish flesh side down.
  4. After two minutes, flip the fish and pour in another tbsp of butter and drizzle some on top of the fish. Cook for another two minutes or until fish is about 130F.
  5. Remove fish from skillet, squeeze lemon juice on top and enjoy.
Look at all that smoke!!

Look at all that smoke!!

Now why would you want to blacken your fish outside? Couldn’t you just do it inside? Check that above pic. See all that smoke? Can you imagine how smoky your house would be after that? This dish is better prepared outside so you don’t smoke out all your family, friends and/or pets.

Fresh off the gril...er...I mean cast iron skillet.

Fresh off the grill…er…I mean cast iron skillet.

     Sometimes, I don’t know what I would do without Mrs. G. She found a recipe somewhere and whipped up some dirty rice to go along with the fish. Not sure what all went into it except hot breakfast sausage, chicken livers (we had some left over from the risotto), celery and rice. Whatever it was, it was tasty.

Plated up and ready to eat.

Plated up and ready to eat.

     The red snapper was pretty darn tasty and I can see us using Dizzy Pig’s Bayouish often once they officially release it. It had a nice flavor and didn’t overpower the fish at all. If anything, Mrs. G and I both wish it had a bit more spice to it. I understand when marketing to the masses, you have to please a wide range of palettes, but the heat was just lacking in our humble opinions. Nothing a little hot sauce won’t fix. Or mixing in a little cayenne to the rub. Otherwise, the flavors were pretty well balanced. If you like really spicy food, this might not be the rub for you, but if you are addicted to blackened fish, you should give it a try.

Herb and Garlic Lamb Loin Chops

     

Lamb Chops with a Winter Mushroom Risotto

Lamb Chops with a Winter Mushroom Risotto

     The other week a member on the Egghead Forum who goes by the handle R2Egg2Q posted up a picture of some lamb chops that he had cooked and they looked amazing. I don’t have much experience cooking lamb. I suppose it might be partly that I did not grow up eating it. And partly because of the price tag, I’ve been afraid of messing it up. R2Egg2Q’s lamb looked so good, though, and everybody said it cooks up just like a small steak, so I figured I’d give it a shot using his recipe.

Lamb loin chops marinating.

Lamb loin chops marinating.

     Don’t those look pretty? I picked them up at Central Market and they were about 2 -2.5″ thick. Not being a lamb expert, I wasn’t sure how many to get and erred on the safe side by getting six (which turns out to be way too many for 2 people BTW). Total cost came out to about $33. Gee…I hope I don’t screw this one up.

Herb and Garlic Lamb Loin Chops

Ingredients

  • 6 lamb loin chops
  • 1 Tbsp thyme , chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp oregano, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • optional – Dizzy Pig Red Eye Express or other coffee flavored bbq rub
Onto the Mini Big Green Egg at 450F

Onto the Mini Big Green Egg at 450F, just barely fit.

Directions

  1. Mix the herbs, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper and EVOO together in a small bowl.
  2. Place the lamb chops in a dish just large enough to hold them. Brush the marinade on both sides and allow to sit for at least 2 hours.
  3. Set up your grill for a direct cook and preheat to 450F.
  4. Lightly dust the lamb chops with Red Eye Express (or other coffee flavored BBQ rub) on one side. Place dusted side face down on grill and lightly dust the other side.
  5. Grill 4-5 minutes per side or until internal temp reaches 130-135.
  6. Remove from grill, loosely tent with foil and allow 10 minutes to rest before serving.
Getting happy on the grill

Getting happy on the grill

     I really don’t know why I was worried. If you think about it, they are just like really, really tiny t-bones or porterhouse steaks. Or even pork loin chops. Same part of the animal, just smaller.

Finished

Finished

     Mrs. G whipped up the Winter Mushroom Risotto that can be found in the February 20014 issue of Southern Living. Not a real hard recipe, but it is time consuming as it takes constant stirring for 30-35 minutes.

All plated up.

All plated up.

     The lamb loin chops were divine. Herbaceous, if you will with just the right notes of citrus in the background and a hint of the coffee flavored rub. This will be my go-to recipe for lamb chops from now on. The lamb really paired well with the risotto, too. It was a perfect Valentine’s Dinner. Oh? Did I not mention that? Yes, this was how we celebrated Valentine’s Day rather than face the mad hordes that descended on all the restaurants last Friday. Who needs that hassle? We just took it easy, had a nice meal at home and then…

Enjoying quality time around the fire.

Enjoyed some quality time around the fire.

     What I would do differently? Not much. I think the only thing I would change would be to cook them on a bigger grill. Cooking them on the Mini was just pushing it. Really crowded grate and they were hard to flip and maneuver. That much meat really drops the temp of the grill as well. Yeah, I’d definitely do them on the Large next time and that’s about the only change I would make.

     I think I have conquered my fear of lamb. It’s just another hunk o’ meat, although a little more expensive than beef. But if you treat it just like any other steak and monitor the internal temp, you will be fine.  No need to worry at all. Next, I want to tackle a rack of lamb…

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Adapted from Bon Appetit’s Classic Caesar Salad

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

     I like to think that I am in the camp of cook once, eat twice. Or three times. Sometimes four. Quite often, we’ll cook a big batch of food on Sundays and use it to make weeknight dinner prep a little quicker. The other night, I was really wanting some chicken thighs. I figured if I was going to fire up the Egg to cook a few chicken thighs, why not use up all the available real estate and fill it up? I figured I could find something to do with the extra chicken, even if it just became lunches during the week. It does make prep easier, but it is also cheaper to buy the larger packs of meat. Cook it all and save it for later, or vacuum seal it and freeze it for later.

Using all the available real estate. I could have fir a few more on there, but the package only contained nine.

Using all the available real estate. I could have fit a few more on there, but the package only contained nine.

     I decided that my first use of leftover chicken would be Grilled Chicken Caesar Salads. A quick, easy and healthy weeknight dinner for sure. We’ve done these in the past and really enjoyed them, but I realized I hadn’t shared them with you guys. You can take the easy route and opt to use bottled Caesar dressing, but you really should try to make the dressing by yourself just once. It’s really worth it. I guarantee. And you probably have all the ingredients on hand. Well…probably not the anchovies, but they are like $3 a tin and there is enough to make two batches.

If you are going through all the trouble, make some home-made croutons as well. It only takes 10-15 minutes.

If you are going through all the trouble, make some home-made croutons as well. It only takes 10-15 minutes.

     I’m not sure what recipe Mrs. G has used for the dressing in the past and when I asked her about it, she couldn’t remember either. So I asked around on a few forums and took Kristi’s advice from Necessary Indulgences to use the one from Bon Appetit. Well…as much as I can follow directions anyway. It got a few tweaks.

Ingredients

  • 6 anchovy fillets packed in oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 2 egg yolks *
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about one large lemon)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 4 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups of fresh bread cut into 1″ pieces (we used French bread)
  • Romaine lettuce (if serving as a side, figure 1 head pre 2 people, if as a main dish 1 head per person)
  • Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and cayenne
  • 2 cups of precooked chicken, breast or thigh meat (about two chicken thighs); shrimp would also make a great substitution
Romaine lettuce grilled direct at about 450F.

Romaine lettuce grilled direct at about 450F.

Directions

For the croutons

  1. Preh-heat your oven to 375F
  2. Tear your bread into 1″ cubes. Toss the bread with about 3 Tbsp of olive oil on a baking sheet. Season with Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and a touch of cayenne.
  3. Bake for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally, until golden brown.

For the dressing

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Gently lower in two eggs and allow to cook for 1 minute. Remove eggs from boiling water, rinse with cold water and  allow to cool (this is called coddling an egg)
  2. Chop together 6 anchovies and one clove of garlic.
  3. Add a pinch of Kosher salt and using the side of a knife blade mash into a paste. Scrape into a medium bowl.
  4. Whisk in two egg yolks, 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice and 1 tsp of Dijon mustard.
  5. Slowly whisk in 2 Tbsp of olive oil, then 1/2 cup of canola or vegetable oil. Whisk until dressing is thick and glossy.
  6. Whisk in 4 Tbsp of freshly, finely grated Parmesan cheese.
  7. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper if needed.
  8. Pour the dressing into a mason jar so that you can easily shake it up right before serving. Can be stored in the fridge up to one week.

For the Lettuce

  1. Set up your grill for a direct cook and preheat to 450F.
  2. Slice the romaine lettuce in half. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Cook the lettuce cut side down for about 2 minutes or until lightly charred.
  4. Roll the lettuce 1/3 and cook for an additional minute, then roll another 1/3 and cook for one more minute (since the outside is kind of rounded, it will need to be rolled to get all sides)
  5. Remove the lettuce from the grill and either prepare your salad immediately, allow to cool at room temperatures or even chill slightly.
Romain cooling off at room temperature

Romain cooling off at room temperature

     You can either prepare your salad immediately after it comes off the grill, allow it to cool a bit or even chill it slightly in the fridge. We like to let ours cool a bit on the counter before building our salads. Take the romaine lettuce and slice off the bottom (sediment collects here as the lettuce grows and is hard to clean off while it is whole). Arrange the lettuce on a plate and top with chicken and croutons. Drizzle on the dressing and then shave Parmesan cheese on top.

Who knew a salad could look so good?

Who knew a salad could look so good?

     What a quick and tasty weeknight meal this was. You may scoff at the idea of grilling lettuce, but have you ever done it? The smoky flavor adds another level of depth to the romaine lettuce. Topping it off with home made croutons and grilled chicken elevates it even more. Bottled Caesar dressing? Please. One taste of this simple and easy to prepare dressing and you will never buy it again. The citrus flavor from the lemon. The hint of brine from the anchovies. Like taking in a breath of ocean air. I’m not afraid to admit that I took a hunk of bread and wiped the bowl clean after transferring the dressing to a mason jar. Yes, it was that good. I think this will be going into our rotation much more often now.

** The Center for Disease Control says “Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs should be avoided, especially by young children, elderly persons, and persons with weakened immune systems or debilitating illness.” Pregnant women are also advised not to eat raw eggs or foods containing raw eggs. If you choose to use raw eggs, make sure to buy pasteurized eggs and coddle them for one minute. You may also use 1 Tbsp of mayonnaise to replace one egg yolk in most recipes. In the case of this recipe, use 2 Tbsp. This is a recommended substitution, but I have not tried it. **

Italian Meatloaf

Italian Meatloaf cooked on the BGE

Italian Meatloaf cooked on the BGE

     Mrs. G has been off in Atlanta doing her work thing for the past 8 days. On one of our last conversations, she asked if I would cook up some home cooked food for her return and who could blame her? I like eating out now and again just like everybody else. But 8 days in a row, three meals a day? That can get a little old quick. The only question was what to cook for her?

     When I think of home cooked meals, one of the first things that pops into my head is meatloaf. I’ve been wanting to take ordinary meatloaf and put a little bit of a spin on it for a while now and I figured this would be the perfect time to try my hand at making an Italian Meatloaf. I scoured the ole interweb looking for ideas, took a few from here and a few from there and came up with our own version.

All the palyers into the bowl to be mixed up.

All the players into the bowl to be mixed up.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of ground beef (80/20. You don’t want to go leaner unless you like dry meatloaf. 20% fat is key.)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup of parsley, chopped fine
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup of Italian breadcrumbs
  • about 15 oz of marinara sauce, 1/2 cup for the meatloaf + 1/4 cup to glaze the top*
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano (drained)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp each of Italian seasoning, oregano, basil, salt and fresh ground black pepper

* You can use your own home made marinara if you have the time and/or inclination. For this recipe, we used Giovanni Rana Marinara sauce. Generally, we would use Buitoni if we weren’t making it from scratch, but the store was out. *

Directions

  1. Set up your grill for an indirect cook and preheat to 400. For how to set up your grill, see the section on Setting Up Your Grill at the bottom. If using an oven, preheat to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix until uniform. Don’t overmix as it will make the meatloaf dry.
  3. Measure out two sheets of aluminum foil about the size of a cookie sheet and lay on a cookie sheet. Take a knife and poke small holes in the aluminum foil to allow the grease to drip out. (The purpose of the aluminum foil is to allow easy transfer onto and off of the grill. You can skip this step if so desired.)
  4. Remove the meatloaf mixture from the bowl and handform into a loaf shape on the aluminum foil. Refrigerate for 30 minutes prior to cooking to help the loaf hold its shape.
  5. Place the meatloaf on the grill and cook until the internal temperature reaches 150 . If desired, add wood chips at this time per your grills instructions (We opted for orange wood just because I happened to find them at the store for the first time and wanted to give them a shot). Go easy on the wood, however, as ground beef will absorb the smoke like a sponge.
  6. Once the meatloaf has reached 150, glaze the top with about 1/4 cup of the reserved marinara sauce and continue to cook.
  7. Once the meatloaf has reached 160, remove from the grill and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
Italian Meatloaf on the Big Green Egg

Italian Meatloaf on the Big Green Egg

Total cooking time should be around an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes, but remember, you want to cook to temp not time. Use the time as a rough guideline, but going by temp will ensure that you don’t end up with a dry, overcooked hunk o’ beef.

Finished

Finished

Resting your meatloaf is just as important as resting a steak or brisket. Let it sit and cool off a bit and allow the aromas to perfume your house. Take a load off and enjoy a nice, refreshing glass of your beverage of choice or use this time to put the finishing touches on your side dishes.

Plated up with a side of pasta.

Plated up with a side of pasta.

     I was torn on whether to serve this meatloaf with the traditional side of mashed potatoes or go with pasta. I really wanted mashed potatoes, but offered the choice, Mrs. G choose pasta. No big shocker there, and since she had been out of town for over a week, we cooked some linguini we had laying around and used the last of the marinara sauce to top it off. I’ll just have to get my mashed potato fix later this week.

     For some reason, it never dawned on me until Mrs. G took a bite and said, “This tastes like one giant meatball! In meatloaf form!” I mulled over her statement for a few seconds and had to agree with her. It has all the ingredients you would typically find in a meatball, but in a loaf instead. I was really pleased with how it turned out. The flavor was phenomenal and the meatloaf was juicy, tender and moist.

     If I had the time and inclination, next time I might make my own marinara sauce to add into the meatloaf and to glaze the top at the end, but you will be pleased using a store bought version that you enjoy. Sometimes, you just have to take those short cuts in life.

Setting Up Your Grill

My set up on the Egg for this cook was to use the Adjustable Rig from The Ceramic Grill Store with the oval ceramic stone (wrapped in foil for easy cleanup) on the bottom level and the oval grid on the third level. If you do not have the AR, I recommend using the plate setter legs up (wrapped in foil for easy cleanup) and the original grate resting on top of that. For a charcoal grill, bank the coals on one side and cook the meat loaf indirectly on the other side with no coals. For a two burner gas grill, light the grill on one side and cook on the other unlit side. For three burner or more, light the outer burners and leave the center off. Cook the meatloaf in the center above the unlit burners.

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