Thursday, December 31, 2009

LET IT BE DONE - Goodbye 2009 HELLO 2010

So I know it has been quite some time since I bothered to sit down and write anything for this blog. Beleive it or not the 4th quarter of any year is a very very busy time for the business that I am in. I am a sales manager in the employee benefits consulting field, so I have been overwhelmed with work and January 1 effective dates. I am a bit burned out on work at the moment and I am looking very much forward to getting back to regular cooking.

So what did "Santa" bring me that I will be blogging about? Christmas was really good in this home. THe BBQ Gods came and left me all kinds of good things and I will soon be posting pictures of all the great resources and tools (and food items) that I received over the past several weeks. Some of what you will be seeing and hearing about include:

New BBQ tools from William Sonoma
Sausage from Kreuz Market in Lockhart TX
New two probe thermomitor
MANY great new cookbooks, several specifically for BBQ and grilling
Indoor Turkey Fryer

I plan for 2010 to be a great year for my pit.

I am also planing several new projects and will be updating you as I complete them.

GOD Bless, Good Luck and have a very Happy and Prosperous Smoke FIlled new Year

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Loaf Pan Chicken




Today was a very special day for my family. We are in the middle of IVF and we had our embryonic transfer today. We had a very successful transfer day and I decided we should do somthing to celebrate, so I decided to do what I do best..... COOK on my Big Green Egg.


Loaf Pan Chicken
Chris Lilly who is the pitt master at one of my favorite local BBQ Joints (Big Bob Gibsons in Decatur AL) has a new cookbook out which i strongly recomend to every one. Bob Gibson was the man that invented White BBQ sauce back in the 1920s. One of the recipes in his cookbook is a recipe for loaf pan chicken. Since the dip and flip chicken turned out so awesome I thought I would give this one a try.
Ingredients


  • 1 Roasting Chicken
  • 2 cups apple sauce (I used my wifes homeade apple sauce)
  • bbq rub
  • a loaf pan
Process
  • Rinse chicken well
  • seperate skin from chicken and spoon some of the apple sauce between skin and breast meat
  • apply rest of apple sauce all over bird, really slather it on good
  • cover the entire chicken in your favorite bbq rub. I used some fromt he smokin guitar player
  • stuff bird into a loaf pan (i put the bird breast side down)
Grilling

using hardwood charcoal and hickory and oak chips get your smoker (or in my case BGE) up to temperature on indirect heat. I got the egg up to about 275 and got it smoking. I put the bird on for about 1 hour. I turned the bird right side up at 100 degrees internal temperature. I took the bird off the grill at 170 and let rest a few minutes before carving.

Result
This turned out really great. Chris Lilly certainly knows his stuff.... Kelly (my wife) now likes this even better than the dip and flip. I will definately try this again !













Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cheese Paradise



Count them..... 500 different types of wonderful Amish made Cheese. My wifes family is from Medina County Ohio, which is very close to one of the largest Amish communities in the world. Every trip we make up there we always pack an extra cooler so we can bring back some of the wonderful Ohio Amish cheese. I will have a blast cooking with the selections from this years trip.
From this years trip we picked up severl vairiations of chedder - even raw milk chedder, farmers cheese, lacy and baby swiss (the creamery that invented the baby swiss is just up the road) I strongly reccomend visiting if you ever have the time.... Heinies cheese chalet in Berlin, OH

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rubbed and Smoked Bulk Sausage FATTIE




Okay so I woke up this morning and decided to do somthing a bit different for breakfast. NOTHING and I MEAN NOTHING beats a good plate of sausage biscuits for breakfast. As fall is approching (THANK GOD !) it just seemed right that I should add smoke to my sausage.






I have always preferred sausage patties for breakfast as opposed to links, which my wife likes. I just got to thinking how good it would be if I smoked the sausage instead of just frying it up.






So here is what I did:


First : I chose a good BBQ rub, Master Que, which is a rub that is put on the market by the same people that put out the Jack Daniels sauces. I applied the rub completely to the sausage log once it was removed from the package.

Second: I cranked up the Big Green Egg and also chose to smoke with the Jack Daniels Oak Chips. I got the egg up to temperature of about 300 degrees





THIRD: Place the "FATTIE" on the grill and turn about ever 20 minutes. With each turn add another dusting of rub. You will have your "FATTIE" on the grill for about 3 hours. I removed it at about 175 internal temp and let it rest about 20 minutes before slicing into patties.


FINAL NOTES: I will definately do this again. Next time however I will select a rub that has less of a sugar base to it. I think the sweetness runs counter to the bite of the hot sausage. I prefer a good hot sausage. I have to say that a slice of this with its smokyness and its spicyness was wonderful on a hot biscuit with a dlice of good sharp chedder cheese.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Brick Oven Pizza on the egg




One of the reasons that I convinced myself I needed (THATS RIGHT NEEDED) to get a Big Green Egg was the ability to no only grill at high temperatures but also smoke and even more importantly I was told that you could turn your BGE into a virtual Pizza oven. Sounds good to me because i am not a stone mason and the only other way to get a real pizza oven in our back yard is to lay the bricks and stonework and build one.



Recently we decided to give the "pizza Oven" a try. I have had some really great pizza in different cities. The really good authentic stuff is cooked in a coal fired oven at temperatures over 800 degrees. I got the egg up to 850 and placed the plate-setter in the proper position for baking pizza and began.


First the dough. Any good pizza dough recipe will do, I used the following:


Pizza Dough


makes 3 - 12 inch pizzas


* 1 tablespoon active dry yeast, or 1 oz (25 gr) brewer’s yeast


*1 1/2 cups (350 cc) warm water


* 3 1/2 cups (500 gr) flour


* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


* pinch of salt



Toppings


Any will do. My favorite on this day were


Pepporoni


Sausage


Mushroom


Onions



Bake on the egg for about 7 minutes at about 800 for a great crispy crust

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Little Foodie


When you become a father you always hope that your child will one day follow in your footsteps in some way. Time will tell if Spencer becomes yet another in a long line of insurance agents (komisar Obama's desire to kill the industry aside) But as you can see from the picture he is already following in my footsteps by asserting his young foodie tendencies. This afternoon my

little guy did somthing that I have already admitted on this blog that i do not have the ability to do. This afternoon with the assistance of his mother, Spencer made apple turn-overs. Let me tell you they were better than anything I have ever attempted to turn out. I am sure it will not be too much longer before he is asking me for his own grill and just like his father he will want a set of grill tools as well.
You just have to love the happieness on his face knowing that he is creating somthing that will be eaten and enjoyed. And like his dad he has a nice blue apron .... how does the saying go... like Father like son.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pepper and Rub Crusted Roast Beast







Got a wild hair this afternoon and needed to use up a small roast beef. Here we go:


Ingredients:

1 roast

Olive Oil

Course Ground Pepper

BBQ Rub of Choice

Bully's Steak and Rib Dust

Jack Daniels oak Chips




Process:



Light the egg and get the heat up to about 250
Soak the chips
Apply Olive Oil Liberly to all sides

Apply Rub, Steak Dust, and Pepper (too much is just enough)


Place on your BGE for 4 - 5 hours





Get a good internal Med Rare Temp. and serve with a Horshradish cream sauce. YUMMO

White BBQ Sauce - not just for chicken anymore


This traditional Alabama Barbecue Sauce uses Mayonnaise as its base rather than tomato sauce, vinegar, or any of the other traditional barbecue sauce bases. Many people suggest that like many barbecue sauces you want to apply this only at the very end of your grilling or smoking. However, I have recently started applying this during a long smoking process every 30 minutes or so by completely submerging the piece of beast to the sauce, you get a very moist product by this method. Use this sauce on chicken and turkey. It is also good on pork. Alabama White Barbecue Sauce has a tangy flavor that is a great addition to grilled foods.
Prep Time: 20 minutes


Ingredients:
2 cups REAL (not the fake stuff) mayonnaise
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 Cup Apple Juice
2 teaspoons prepared Horshradish
2 tablespoon lemon juice
5 tablespoons Coarse black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne



Preparation:
Mix ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before using. Brush lightly over chicken, turkey or pork during the last few minutes of grilling , OR even better use the Dip and FLip method during a smoke session with your meat. You will be amazed at the result. (see earlier blog entry)This barbecue sauce is also great as a dipping sauce so set some aside before you start grilling to serve on the table.

25 Culinary Things About Me

Ok so another blog that I follow laid down the challenge to do this... so here I go:

1. My set of knives is from Germany, Wuesthoff to be exact;

2. We own exactly 112 cookbooks on all different subjects, most are Williams Sonoma that I picked up from E-Bay at an average cost of $3.00 per book;

3. I cook the ENTIRE thanksgiving meal as a gift of love to my wife who I am thankful to have in my life;

4. I can grill, smoke, and deep fry a whole chicken, but try as I might I can not pan fry chicken, the attempts are ghastly;

5 Our cookware is actually 2 different sets of emerilware made by All-Clad;

6. On any given week I cook at least 4 - 5 meals on my Big Green Egg, the wife LOVES this in the summer;

7. I learned to cook in the Boy-Scouts, but really got going by watching Alton Brown and Emeril Laggasi and any other number of shows on Food Network;

8. My favorite food now that I hated as a child is Spinich.... NOT THE BOILED TO DEATH CRAP that i was force fed as a child but sauteed young spinich YUMMY;

9. I own 7 cutting boards;

10 Fall is my favorite season of the year, not only for football season but for all the fall food and eating opportunities (think Thanksgiving and Tailgating) it provides;

11 Liver, Gizzards and any other organ meat no matter what form, not even drenched in Bacon and Onions is ever GOOD EATS - Dont try, you will be shot on site in this home for even suggesting it;

12 The smell of hickory burning instantly puts me in a good mood;

13 When we got married, I actually handled the Kitchen on the wedding registry, Kelly trusted me to select the gadgets;

14 I recognize that i trully and a Gadget guy. We need a whole new wing of our home just for kitchen gadgets

15 In the past we have had and extra fridge just for the over-flow

16 I think I get my love of cooking the big meals from my mom. She will actually call everyone before thanksgiving to make sure she has a special dish for all who might be present. Now keep in mind this may very well mean as many as 20 dishes. I have also seen as many as 10 pies at a gathering. Like my mom, i do LOVE the week long prep time this takes;

17 No matter how much i try i simply can not bake. NOPE cant do it it is usually a disaster, I leave the holiday baking to my wife, which she is amazing at;

18 You have not had apple cider, in fact you have not lived until you have tried fresh-pressed apple cider in the fall from a cider mill. My inlaws live just up the street from one in Ohio. We even served apple cider at our wedding.

19 Pumpkin Pancakes with apple cider syrup. NOW THAT IS FALL

20 To say I love cheese is an understatement. When we go to visit my wifes family in Ohio, it is manditory that we visit Amish COuntry and go to Heini's Chalet. THis is a cheese emporium, and when I say emporium Im not kidding they have no less than 300 different types of cheese available. Most of what is on display is made right on site. Just about 5 miles from Heini's is the creamery that baby swiss was invented. YUMMO

21 The best BBQ, heck the best food period is usually found in little out of the way places that you actually want to check your shot records before you go in. You can find most of these places on another Blog I follow - roadfood.com Im convinced that Alton Brown follows it also

22 I once drove 200 miles round trip with some friends at the drop of the hat just to eat some Ribs, White BRead and drink beer. NO SIDES Just Ribs Bread and BEER

23 Cooking, Grilling, Smoking Meat is theraputic to me. I love to releive stress this way. One day I will build a smokehouse and Proper Outdoor kitchen, and might even run cable out there. Honey when this happens, especially in football season you may not see me for months at a time;

24 I taught myself to make my own bacon FROM SCRATCH. It really is so much better.

25. I started getting into BBQ because of a salmon fishing trip. I brough back some salmon and decided i needed a deep freeze and a smoker... and thus the adventure began.

A Better way to light a grill




Ok I have read and seen alot of different suggestions about how to light your Big Green Egg. Lets look at a few;

Lighter Fluid - Give me a break, do you really want that chemical taste on your ribeye?
Electric Starter - I dont know, there is just somthing basically wrong with plugging your charcoal in;

Chimney Starter - This is a pretty good method, and was actually my prefered method until I found a better way
BGE Fire Starters - Again, not a bad way to go. This certainly does the trick


But..... the best way to staart your Egg for my money is...


A BLOW TORCH - This provides a Fast, Hot, Consistent flame that you can control. I am looking at the golfclub from BBQ Guru, which you can get from Freds Music and BBQ (see link). When I get that I will certainly let you know

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dip and Flip Chicken


So I was sitting around this week wanting to try a new variation on Chicken. Lord knows I have done chicken about every way you can. I was reading Chris Lillys new book - "Big Bob Gibsons BBQ Book" and having eaten there and visited with Chris Lilly a few times I decided I would try to do the chicken his way... with WHITE BBQ sauce. Now i have to tell you that I do not like white bbq sauce at the resturant when it is applied to the product at the table. I have even seen several people put the stuff on their BBQ potato I just did not like it. Chris told me that the secret to really knock em dead smoked chicken is to do this dip and flip thing. So the end result is probably the best chicken I have ever eaten. My wife forbids me from ever grilling chicken any other way (keep in mind she HATES mayonase)


So here goes....

First I did not do this one from scratch. I felt that for a first attempt I would just use the bottled stuff but i would doctor it up a bit. I got (Thanks Kelly) 2 bottles of Big Bob Gibsons white sauce and mixed in some of the Big Bob Gibsons rub, I set that aside in the fridge to work the flavors together. Then I cut up a whole chicken into 6 pieces (wings, breasts, leg/thigh) and rubbed with oil and then applied a liberal amount of the run mix to the birds and put into the fridge overnight.

When I was ready to begin I started by soaking some Jack Daniels Oak Chips in some water and went out to Light the Egg. I got the temp up to about 250 and set the place setter in for indirect cooking and decided to use the porcelin rack instead of the cast iron grate that i actually prefer.
I put the chicken on and allowed to smoke for about 20 minutes before applying the first dip

And since the recipe says to DIP and FLip... that is exactly what it means. You have to take the whole piece of chicken and dunk it into the whitesauce and place back on the grill. I must admit i was curious to see whether or not this would actually end up looking like a real piece of BBQ chicken or not, i mean COME ON White BBQ sauce. Bob Gibson must have been drubnk or somthing when he first came up with this. MAYONAISE is not somthing i would ever think of to BBQ with.


So the first 30 minutes came and went and it was time to flip













And so on....
And so forth
for about 3.5 hours


And then finally it is done. Let me just say that this is by far the most succulent chicken I have ever eaten. I will NEVER do BBQ chicken any other way..... Ok i may fidge on that... but yes this is that good.