Posts tagged ‘Big Green Egg’

Elevate Your Burger This Summer

Umami Burgers

Summer time is all about grilling burgers and dogs.

Summer time is all about grilling burgers and dogs.

     We are deep into spring and summer time is almost upon us.For some, that means pulling out the grill, dusting it off and maybe doing a few repairs to it in order to get ready for the summer. And then there are others, like us, who grill all year round.  Regardless of which camp you fall into, we all need a good burger recipe that we can fall back on to “WOW” our family and friends.  On that note, I present to you…Fish Sauce!!

This is the brand of fish sauce we use

This is the brand of fish sauce we use

     Fish sauce? In a burger? What has this guy been smoking? Yeah, I don’t blame you for thinking those things, but hear me out. For years, I’ve been hearing on the Egghead Forum and on GreenEggers about people using fish sauce in their burgers and absolutely raving about it. Fish sauce brings that umami flavor to your burger. Not sure what umami is? It’s one of the five basic tastes…sweet, sour, bitter, salty and you guessed it umami. Translated, it means “pleasant, savory taste” and what it does to a burger? Trust me…you are going to want to try it and find out for yourself, but I will say that it elevates your burger to that next level and will make your friends think you are some kind of burger genius while at the same time wondering what you did to get your burgers to taste so good. I’ll let you decide if you feel like telling them. One word of caution, do NOT smell the stuff as you are adding it to your burger. It does NOT smell like flowers, but don’t worry. You won’t smell it in your burgers when they are done.

Burgers on the grill

Burgers on the grill

Ingredients

  • 1 lb 80/20 ground beef
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • optional – dash of Stubbs Beef Spice Rub or your favorite beef/bbq rub

 

Munster cheese added along with the buns

Munster cheese added along with the buns

Directions

  1. Mix together all ingredients together handling the meat as little as possible. Place meat in fridge to chill for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat your grill to 350-400F
  3. Grill burgers 3-4 minutes per side or until desired temperature is reached
  4. Build burgers using whatever condiments your heart desires
Burgers served up with corn on the cob and chips on our "best China"

Burgers served up with corn on the cob and chips on our “best China”

     So why did I wait so long to try fish sauce in our burgers if I had heard so many people raving about it? Honestly, it was because I couldn’t find it at my local grocery store. It wasn’t until a few months back when we went to an Asian market for some items for a stir fry that we found it. My wife got it for a recipe she was going to make, but I knew it would make it into some burgers in the very near future. I don’t think I will make burgers without it from now on.

     A few words of caution when using fish sauce. The stuff does smell. I mean it SMELLS. Trust me. You might not want to breathe it in. Fish sauce is also lo-ho-hoaded with sodium. Ours had 1800 mg per Tbsp!! Using 2 tsp per pound of meat and making four patties is going to add an extra 300 mg per burger. But it’s worth it. Trust me. Try it once, you won’t be disappointed.

Jalapeno Ranch Dip

J

Jalapeno Ranch Dip

     Looking for a dip to bring to your next party? Then look no further. Mrs. G whipped this up for a party we attended last weekend and it was a hit. I walked outside to say hello to some people and check out what was on the grill. By the time I got back, it was all gone! And there was already three salsas and dips on the table!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of mayonnaise (we prefer Duke’s if you can get it, just for Pete’s sake don’t use light mayo)
  • 1/2 cup Herdez Tomatillo Verde Mexican Cooking Sauce
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 4-6 jalapenos, deveined, seeded and roughly chopped (we used 5)
  • 2 one oz packets dry ranch dressing mix

Directions

  1. Add the first five ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. You may want to start with 4 jalapenos and adjust the heat level by adding more later if it’s not spicy enough.
  2. Stir in the ranch packets and whisk to incorporate.
  3. Serve chilled. The longer it sits, the hotter it will get.
4

Bet’cha can’t eat just one chip.

     Super simple dip recipe that will WOW your friends. Creamy with a little bit of tang from the buttermilk and tomatillo sauce and a bit of kick on the end from the jalapenos. Once you start eating it, you won’t be able to stop until it’s all gone. Or you run out of chips. Whichever comes first.

 

Disclaimer – I have no association with either Duke’s or Herdez and received no incentive or compensation from them. Just products we like, feel free to sub in your favorite brands.

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…

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