How We Make Chimichurri

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Our version of chimichurri. Hard to make sauces look appealing, but trust me. It’s good.

 

There are thousands of recipes for chimichurri out there. Many claiming to be “original” or “authentic” and then some that have been modernized with all kinds of extra ingredients. I don’t remember where I got our recipe. I really wish I did. I want to say it was on a barbecue forum. Somebody probably asked for a recipe. All I remember is one guy complaining about all the fancy recipes. I think he might have been Argentinian. I do remember he said it was supposed to be simple and he posted his recipe. I tried it later that week, and I’ve been using it ever since. And that has been for years.

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This is how I copied it from the good ole interwebs and how we have it in our cookbook.

I’m not going to bother typing up the ingredients. It’s all right there in the picture above. As for prepping it, we just use a food processor. Put all the ingredients in except for the olive oil. Start processing it and add the olive oil until you get the consistency you desire. Too thin? Add some more parsley. Too thick, add more olive oil. Want it more spicy? Add more red pepper flakes. Honestly, its good the way it is, but you can customize it to your liking however you want. I mainly just eyeball it these days and adjust the taste to how I’m feeling.

For the most part, we just serve it on beef. Usually flat-iron, flank steak or skirt steak grilled on our BGE, usually with a bit of mesquite for a touch of smoke until a medium rare. When using it for beef, use red wine vinegar if you have it.  It is also good on chicken with white wine vinegar or you can sub lemon juice for the vinegar.

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Served on flat iron steak with some roasted potatoes and corn. Sorry, not the most exciting plate. ūüėČ

Have you ever made chimichurri? What’s your recipe? What type of protein do you like to serve it on?

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Smoke by Thermoworks

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Smoke by Thermoworks

I’m a big fan or Thermoworks. Years ago (maybe 7 now?), I received the Classic Super-Fast Thermapen as a Christmas present. 2-3 second readings, accurate to 0.7F, water resistant. What’s not to like? In all that time, I think I’ve only changed the battery on it once.

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Classic Super-Fast Thermapen 

 

About a year ago, I purchased the Chef Alarm. Originally, I bought it to check on my mash temperatures and to keep an eye on my wort as it came to a boil when I was brewing beer. It does all that well, but also gets used as a timer when cooking and to monitor temperatures of food being cooked in the oven or on the BGE. The ability to set low and high temp alarms is very helpful as you don’t have to open the oven or Egg to check and let out heat. The Chef Alarm will let you know when its ready.

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Chef Alarm

I’ve been looking at Smoke ever since it was first announced, before they ever released it. Monitor meat temp? Check! Monitor Egg temp? Check!! 300 ft range? Awesome!! Way better than my old Maverick ET-73, which crapped out on me anyway and would no longer send a signal to the monitor, and ¬†which never did reach the¬†100 ft¬†it claimed.

 

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What comes in the box

When I opened the box, I found:

  • Base unit
  • Pro-Series¬ģ High Temp Cooking Probe
  • Pro-Series High-Temp Air Probe
  • Grate Clip
  • Wireless Smoke Receiver w/Lanyard
  • Operating Instructions
  • a small bag of jellybeans which I found was a nice personal touch. Duke will enjoy them I’m sure
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Up close view of the Base Unit

You might have noticed, in the first picture the “Open Box Item” sticker. If you keep an eye on their website, or are on their mailing list, you’ll see that frequently they have sales and special offers. While the Smoke is regularly $99, I was able to pick up this open box item last week for only $76!! I wasn’t overly concerned that it was an open box item, but when I did receive it, I took the time to look it overly carefully. The box appeared to me to have never been open. After opening it, I looked over the base unit and the receiver, and it looked in pristine condition. No scratches anywhere or signs of use. As far as I can tell,¬†it is¬†brand new and I saved $23. Score!!

So far I’ve only used it once…and not really in the way the creators probably envisioned. The other day I brewed my first lager. Lager being a beer using lager yeast versus and ale using ale yeast. I needed to cool my wort down to 50F before pitching my yeast. So I sanitized the probe, stuck it in the carboy and put the carboy in my fermentation fridge. I set the alarm to let me know when it had dropped down from 68F to 50F. Then, I stuck the receiver in my pocket and went out and mowed the yard and did some other chores around the house. Not once did it lose signal!! It was nice to know that it was reliable and I can’t wait to try it out on an overnight brisket. Having the alarm sitting right next to me on my nightstand to let me know if my fire went out or got to hot will definitely let me sleep better…not that I usually worry about the temp on my Egg

Buy once, cry once. Don’t buy those cheap¬†units that you might find at Home Depot or Target or Bed Bath and Beyond. Buy quality and you won’t regret it.

The only thing I do regret is that last night I saw an advertisement on FaceBook from Thermopen that it is now offered in 9 different colors. When I purchased this unit, grey was the only color it came in. Oh well, I think the grey looks pretty slick.

Disclaimer: This unit and the other thermometers from Thermoworks were not given to me by Thermoworks. They were purchased with my hard money or in the case of the Thermapen a Christmas present from my parents. I have no affiliation with Thermoworks, nor was I asked to give a review.

Flatout Flatbread Pizzas

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Flatout Flatbread Artisan Thin Pizza Crust

 

As a dual income family with a 3.5 year old, we’re always looking for quick ways to get dinner on the table that The Boy will eat. One thing we make pretty regularly is our New York style pizza. Mix the dough up a few days ahead of time, let it sit in the fridge, pull out a dough ball a few hours ahead of time and you are off to the races. Usually I make the dough on Sunday for later in the week, but I didn’t have time this week.

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This is what they look like

While at the grocery store, making my weekly run, I spotted these. Figured why not give it a shot. Quick and easy? Perfect!!

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Duke’s attempt. Cheese and pepperoni.

The directs on the back say to pre-bake the crust at 375 for 2 minutes. Pull out of the oven and top, bake for another 4 minutes or until cheese is melted. Since, it was our first attempt. That’s what we did. Except it took more like 5 1/2 minutes.

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Dad’s attempt. Pepperoni, salami, peppadew peppers and banana peppers

While this qualified as a fast cook and the The Boy ate more than half of his. I wasn’t completely satisfied. The “crust” was not crispy, nor was it chewy, it was more along the lines of soggy. I blame part of that on the directions and part of it on us. I feel the¬†“crust” either needs to be pre-cooked a bit longer or at a higher temperature to get crispy. Definitely needs a higher temp to “brown” the cheese, not just melt it. As for it being soggy, that could be on me. I realized after they were done cooking, that I was probably a little heavy handed on the toppings. This being a flatbread pizza and not a normal pizza, toppings probably should have been kept to a minimum.

So we ate two of the six flatbreads that came in the package. That leaves four more attempts to see if we can get this dialed in. We’ll try pre-baking the flatbreads a bit longer to get them crispier. We’ll also cook them at a higher temperature¬†and go lighter on the toppings. One other thing I’d like to do, and I have to check to see if they will fit, but I’d like to try and cook them on the Egg. Watch for updates to see if we can cook them better.

Dietz & Watson Polska Kielbasa

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Hotdog and Kielbasa on the Mini Egg

There are a some foods that I can count on that I know Duke will eat. I think most parents will agree on these foods. Hotdogs, corn dogs, chicken nuggets, pizza, hamburgers, mac n cheese. I think these foods are universally liked by all kids. Needing a quick Sunday cook, I decided on hot dogs for The Boy, but I didn’t really want a hot dog. I did find these Polska Kielbasa in the deli section of my grocery store. I think I might have had them before, but I can’t remember, so I decided to give them a shot.

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This is what they look like.

Dietz and Watson Polska Kielbasa, handcrafted, made in the USA, no MSG added and gluten-free if you care about those things. Not fancy food, but a little bit more sophisticated than a hotdog. I was surprised to find when I opened the package that all the links were still connected. Had I been using a larger grill, I would have kept them that way, but since I was using my Mini and space was limited, I used a knife to separate the links.

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Almost ready

To cook these, I fired up the Mini BGE to around 400 direct and turned them every 3 or 4 minutes for about as long as it took to drink a beer. The sausage was fully cooked, so all I was doing was reheating it and adding some char. Don’t let your grill get too hot. You don’t want the casings to burst as you will lose all the juices and your sausage will be dry.

 

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Dinner is served, nothing fancy here

 

After I had finished my beer, and they sausages were cooked to my liking, I served them up on some hot dog buns with some course ground mustard, a little salad and some collard greens my wife had cooked up for her dinner.

The sausage was pretty good. Way better than Hillshire Farms or some of the other mas produced kielbasa. The casing had a nice snap to it. They were pretty mild in my opinion. Not spicy, not really smokey that I could discern. Pretty mild. The texture of the meat kind of surprised me. They were pretty emulsified and reminded me of a hot dog. All in all, a pretty decent sausage and great for a quick dinner.

Amazing Ribs 2018 Pitmaster Awards

pitmaster-awardThe great folks at Amazing Ribs have released their Pitmaster Awards for 2018 for best charcoal grills, gas grills, backyard smokers, combo cooker and portable grills. If you are in the market for a new grill go check it out HERE. I know I wouldn’t mid replacing the old smoker at the ranch that just rusted out with the Pit Barrel Cooker.¬† Are you in the market for a new grill or smoker? What’s your dream grill or smoker?