Husky Dogs

     Sic ’em Bears!!

In honor of my Baylor Bears going to the Alamo Bowl, I figured I should cook something up before hand and what better than some Husky Dogs (ok, they were just chili dogs) since we are playing Washington? Fired up the Egg. Nothing fancy here, just some plain ole dogs, some chili and some cheese. Since I already wasn’t eating healthy and New Year’s Resolutions are just around the corner, why not round it out with some chili cheese tots while we are at it? Pretty tasty meal, if I do say so myself.

Husky Dogs
Husky Dogs

 Sic ’em Bears!!

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Christmas Prime Rib and Leftovers

Jolly Santa

      Is it me, or did the Christmas Holidays seem to fly by this year? Haven’t posted anything new lately because we’ve been so busy and I really haven’t cooked anything. Mrs. G and I did cook a prime rib on Christmas Day at her parents’ house, but it was in the oven, not on the Egg (which just motivated us to want to do one on the Egg more)

Prime Rib (bad cellphone pic, sorry)

 It weighed in a little bit over 6 pounds and had 3 bones.

Prime Rib

 But that’s not the real reason I’m writing this post. I’m writing it about what to do with the leftover bones. Now, I don’t know what you do with them. Heck, I didn’t know what I was going to do with them considering this was my first prime rib. Maybe you eat gnaw on them right there at the dinner. Maybe you give them to your dogs (mine aren’t that lucky). I decided I wanted to get some smoke on them and maybe cook down a bit more of that fat.

I set up my Egg for an indirect cook at 250 and added some apple wood chips for some smoke. While the Egg was getting ready, I coated the portions of the ribs that had not been seasoned during the original cook and added some Dizzy Pig Cow Lick Rub.  When the smoker was ready, I placed the ribs on the Egg for about 2 hours so that they could absorb some smoke flavor and build up a nice crust.

Ready

 I should have taken some pre-smoked pictures so you could tell the difference. But as you can see, the meat pulled back from the edges of the rib and we developed a nice crust.

Plated

 Knowing that 3 ribs was not going to feed Mrs. G and me for dinner, I also smoked up some sausage and we had a side of pasta to go along with it. I think it turned out real well. This was my first time using the DP Cow Lick (as I got it for Christmas) and I can’t wait to try it on some steak or a nice flat-iron or flank steak. The only thing I regret is when I trimmed the ribs off the prime rib, I wish I would have left some more meat on the bones. Oh well, live and learn and I know next time I will.

Christmas Came Early

Christmas Came Early

I’ve been pretty lucky in that I’ve never had to spend time away from my family on Christmas. But with marriage comes change and compromise and new traditions. This year, we spent Thanksgiving with my parents so it is only fair that we go to her parents for Christmas, which I am really looking forward to (Maybe someday they will have to come to us for holidays). So last night, we celebrated an early Christmas with my parents. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful and caring parents.  And man did they outdo themselves this year.

Dizzy Pig Rubs

 First off we have two new to me rubs from Dizzy Pig, Cow Lick Steak Rub and Raising the Steaks (which would be like a Montreal steak seasoning). Pretty excited to get into these and try them out.

Coffee Grinder/Spice Grinder

 I also got a Coffee and Spice grinder so I can grind up my own spices for making fresh rubs.

Auber Pit Controller

 If you have even a bit of techno geek in you, you would probably be pretty stoked about getting an Auber Pit Controller. This device monitors the internal temperature of your smoker, in this case my Egg. You program it to maintain a certain temperature. When the device detects a drop in temperature, it turns on a fan that covers your intake, directing air into the pit which stokes the fire and raises the temperature. When smoker returns to the programmed temperature, the fan shuts off. Pretty nifty little device and it will allow me to cook brisket and butts overnight and allow me to get some worry free sleep. Can’t wait to try it out. A full review of it can be found on The Naked Whiz’s Website here http://www.nakedwhiz.com/productreviews/auber/auber1.htm

Meat Grinder/Sausage Stuffer

 My last big gift was a meat grinder/sausage stuffer. I’ve been wanting one of these for years. Mrs. G and I love sausage and this will allow us to experiment making our own and give us control over what is in the sausage. It will also allow us to buy our own meat and grind up for hamburger so we know what is in it and control the amount of fat.  So it’s not just a cool gadget to have, but allows us to eat healthier. If any of you have any good sausage recipes, I would love it if you could share them with us.

The one other gift that isn’t pictured is a copy of “Mastering the Craft of Making Sausage” by Warren R. Anderson which hadn’t come in yet. That should give us a good start in making some home-made sausage.

So all in all, I’m really excited about some of the upcoming cooks we will be having in the new year, but more importantly, we were glad to get to spend one more Christmas with my family and to celebrate the reason for the season. We are truly blessed to have such loving parents and my brother. Don’t forget while putting up with the masses at the mall, the stress over the perfect gifts and perfect dinner and all the giving and receiving of the presents, what the true meaning behind Christmas is all about.

Wishing all of you out there a Merry Christmas and may you all be blessed in the coming year.

Cherry Wood Smoke-Roasted Pork Tenderloin

After receiving my Secret Santa gifts on Wednesday, there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to try something out on Thursday (there was also no doubt in my wife’s mind. Lol) The question was what. Not enough time on a weeknight to smoke a brisket or a pork shoulder. I could probably squeeze in ribs if I tried the fast cook method, but I didn’t want to use one of my new rubs experimenting with technique. Then it hit me….pork tenderloin. It’s a nice, fast cook and better yet, its healthy….I think…I’m not sure why pork tenderloin doesn’t make it into our rotation more. Fast, cheap and healthy. What’s not to like?

You maybe asking what smoke-roasting is. When you smoke something, it generally involves temperatures around 250 and takes hours and hours. Pork tenderloins don’t need to cook for hours and hours as they do not have a lot of fat or connective tissue to break down. So we raise the temperature to 350 or higher (in this case I was cooking 400 dome temperature, which was about 375 grate level). But I still wanted a smoke flavor, so I used plenty of cherry wood chips and added more halfway through to achieve this.

Pork Tenderloin and Northern Style BBQ Seasoning

 On the way home from work, I stopped at the store and grabbed a pork tenderloin and some other fixin’s for the dinner. Now, I don’t know where you shop at, but down here, when you buy a pork tenderloin, they come in a package and there are usually two of them. I use my Foodsaver to seal and freeze one for later and the other one is enough for me and my wife….and then more for me for lunch the next day.

Representing Baylor

 Fall is a wonderful time of year. Love the color of the leaves in this picture, but took it more to honor my Baylor Bears. They’ve had a great year. Going to the Alamo Bowl (shoulda been the Sugar Bowl), RG3 wins the Heisman, Art Briles is nominated as a finalist for coach of the year and last night Quincy Acy became the 25th player to score 1000 career points in b-ball. Not to mention BU is 6th in nation and women are 1. But back to BBQ.

I set up the Egg for a direct cook at 400F using cherry wood chips for the smoke flavor. With this setup, the tenderloin should take about 20-25 minutes rolling it every 5 minutes or so. That should allow it to hit 140 IT and the resting period will allow it to carry over.

Pork on the Egg, rolled once

 You might notice some toothpicks in the above picture. Tenderloins taper off on one side, so to help even out the cook, I folded over the thin side and used toothpicks to hold it together so it would cook in a more uniformly fashion.

Sliced

 Look how moist and juicy that pork is. Yes folks…..a little pink in pork is now safe according to the FDA. It is safe to cook it to 145. Granted some of that pink is from the smoke. The right side of the picture was the thicker end and didn’t get quite as done as the thinner end, but that’s ok. We ate it and nothing bad happened. No need to be alarmed by pink pork anymore.

Plated Up

We served it up with some red beans and rice, broccoli that was sautéed up along with some roasted red peppers and a nice salad. To top it off was a nice Abita Amber.

I really need to thank my Elfster, Booking It. She really came through with the spices from The Spice House. The Northern Style BBQ Seasoning (I know, the name threw me too, what does the North know about bbq? lol) was phenomenal. Great bbq flavors, just  a hint of heat, it was great. Can’t wait to eat my leftovers for lunch. Thanks Kara.

Secret Santa Score

On a forum I belong to, www.greeneggers.com, every year they do a Secret Santa Gift Exchange. I saw it last year, but I was new to the forum and didn’t understand it. When I saw the pictures of the gifts people were giving and receiving, I was so jealous and I vowed that I would join in the fun in 2011.

Last night, I got home and found a large package on my doorstep. I was so excited. I quickly took the dogs out to take care of business and then rushed inside to rip open the package to see what awaited me.

Before I go into details, let me start off by saying my Secret Santa, aka Booking It on the forum, hails from a small town just north of Chicago. When I made out my wish list, the only thing I said was I would like rubs, spices or sauces from your neck of the woods, and that is exactly what she did. And it sounds like she had a great time collecting them from her letter. I wouldn’t be surprised if she got herself a few goodies in the process.

My Haul

 To start off with, she went to The Spice House, a store that hand grinds and mixes all their own spices. What she referred to as a spice lovers paradise. let me just say that the aromas coming from these bags made my mouth begin to water.

Rubs

 The first two rubs were a Back of the Yards Garlic Pepper Butcher’s Rub and a Northern Style BBQ Seasoning

More Rubs

 Then we have a Bronzeville Rib Rub and a Brisket of Love BBQ Rub.

Sauces

 Then we have Hecky’s BBQ Sauce, which if I’m not mistaken is a Cajun recipe, and Rick Bayless’ Roasted Chipotle Pineapple. You may remember him from Top Chef Master and he has/had? his own show for a while. He also has three restaurants in Chicago. I’ve tried some of his Frontera products before and they are really good.

More Sauces

 And finally we have SmoQue BBQ sauce, where Booking It says it’s the only place she will order brisket from in Chicago, and Lou Malnati’s Sweet Vinaigrette, which she says are good on salads, but she likes to use to marinade chicken before grilling it.

Booking It really did a great job. I can’t wait to try out all the new rubs and sauces. I just don’t know where to start….

I thought about including a photo of what I sent my person, but he/she hasn’t gotten it yet and I don’t want to ruin the surprise. That, and I forgot to take a picture. Hopefully they will post one up and I will share it with y’all. Hope he/she is as excited to receive their gift as I was mine.

Mrs. G and I would like to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.