Monday, November 12, 2018

Creamy Southwestern Chicken, Tomato, and Rice Soup

After an Indian Summer the temperatures, cold wet weather has rolled across Eastern Tennessee.  We made this velvety soup to warm the chill off of our bones.

It is a creamy chicken soup loaded with Southwestern seasoned tomatoes and wild rice.  Comfort food at its finest.

Creamy Southwestern Chicken Tomato and Rice Soup

This is more of an idea than a recipe, I wasn't writing things down.  But here's the nexus of it.
  1. Make a veloute sauce.  Make a roux with flour and butter, then whisk in chicken stock.  
  2. Add about 1/2 cup of dry wild rice, 1/2 cup of Southwestern dried tomatoes, and season with NMT BaCock! poultry seasoning.  You could use sun-dried tomatoes instead.  Cook on a low simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Fold in heavy cream.  Taste for seasoning and adjust with more NMT BaCock! poultry seasoning.
  4. Top off with dried parsley and Olde Virden's Super Fine Grind Red Hot.  

Creamy Southwestern Chicken Tomato and Rice Soup

We made some croutons out of extra dinner rolls.  We tossed them into butter in a skillet and sprinkled them with some Albukirky Seasonings Green Chile Rub.  

This was so rich, smooth, crazy good and had just the right kick of spicy heat.  It almost made me wish that I had a cold because this will be AWESOME when you have the sniffles.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Chicken Scratch and Whitebird Sauce Wings

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  This is not a sponsored post.

College basketball season is underway and we fire roasted these wings for last night's Carolina-Elon game.

I was craving these after having some made by Trace Scarborough, owner/operator of Thunderbird, just 2 weekends ago at the Scenic City Eggfest near Chattanooga.  They were the best thing I ate all day.

Trace slow smokes his wings with a healthy dose of pecan wood.  I was in a hurry, so I cooked mine hot and fast.  It's all good, I like cooking wings in several different ways.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Event: 2018 Scenic City Eggfest Recap

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] This is not a sponsored post, although we do have a sponsorship with the Certified Angus Beef® Brand.

Team Nibble Me This had fun cooking and teaching a grilling class at the 2018 Scenic City Eggfest two weekends back.  For the uninitiated, an Eggfest isn't a food festival serving omelets, scrambled eggs, and eggs Benny.  An Eggfest is a food festival that features all sorts of food cooked on Big Green Egg kamado-style grills.

Here are some pictures from our perspective as a cook team so you can see what it is like to cook at one of these events.  They are a lot of fun and you get to meet plenty of great folks.

This new home for the Eggfest is Founder's Hall at The Commons in Collegedale, TN.  This beautiful, brand new facility is probably one of the most excellent Eggfest venues that I have attended.  It is second only to the Pensacola Eggfest (THIS COMING WEEKEND) which is held in the Blue Wahoos stadium, right on the water. 

I was so impressed when we walked into the venue.  It is also great seeing local companies like First Tennessee Bank supporting the event.

This event was hosted by Elder's Ace Hardware Stores, and they had an event store set up. I think the reason they have the best selection of grills, accessories, seasonings, and sauces in East Tennessee is that their leadership loves grilling and actually uses the products that they sell.  

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Southwestern Dried Tomatoes

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  We received no compensation for this post; however, the link for our dehydrator is an Amazon Affiliate link.  

We had a good bit of leftover tomatoes from last weekend's Scenic City Eggfest.  We didn't want them to go bad so we broke out the handy-dandy dehydrator and created a batch of Southwestern Dried Tomatoes.

How to dehydrate tomatoes seasoned with Albukirky Seasoning's Green Chile Rub.

The possibilities for using these have my mind spinning.
  • Turbocharge your rice - Chop some of these up and throw them in with rice when you add the liquid.
  • Add color and pop to seasonings - Grind these up into a powder to add to your seasonings for a boost of red and a depth of flavor.
  • Reconstitute them by steeping them in hot water and toss with oil, black olives, cilantro, fire roasted corn, roasted poblanos, sliced grilled chicken and hot pasta.
  • Spectacular stone ground grits - Chop and mix in with your slow-cooked grits, add some Chihuahua cheese at the end for killer New Mexican Cheese Grits.

The process is simple and easy.  Not quick, but it's just 8-12 hours of ignoring it so still simple and easy.  

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Reverse Pan Seared T-bone Steak with Roasted Garlic Butter

[FTC Disclaimer] This post is sponsored by the Certified Angus Beef® Brand in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC.  All opinions are my own.

One of the really cool things about partnering with the Certified Angus Beef® Brand (aside from already loving their great beef) is that every now and then I get surprises in the mail.  This Summer they sent me a copy of Perfectly Aged - 40 Years of Recipes and Stories from A Taste of Texas.   

A Taste of Texas is a Houston landmark steakhouse that has been serving only Certified Angus Beef® Brand for over three decades.  This book features everything that makes a good cookbook.
  • The history of this storied restaurant and Texas itself.
  • Mouthwatering recipes (over 100 of them!) from classics like Prime Rib to the inventive, such as; Seared Tuna "Nachos" with Chimichurri Sauce and Fried Capers.
  • Photos that make your taste buds dance.
  • Sections that focus on teaching technique like Steak School.
We used their garlic butter recipe as the perfect accent for this reverse pan-seared t-bone steak. 

Certified Angus Beef Brand T-Bone Steak with Roasted Garlic Butter featuring the #BestAngusBeef

 The one slight change we made to their recipe was a substantial one - we upgraded garlic to fire roasted garlic.  

How to Fire Roast Garlic on a kamado grill

Fire roasting garlic is easy.  Set your grill up for indirect heat at 350°f degrees.  For me, I used a small kamado grill so indirect meant using a plate setter or heat diffusing stone between the fire and your food.  For a regular grill just shift the coals to one side and cook, lid closed, with the food over the gap or void.  

Just cut off the top quarter of each bulb of garlic to expose the tops of the cloves.  Drizzle them with cooking oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast the garlic until browned and some of the cloves are starting to squeeze up out of the bulb - about 1 hour.  Take that off the grill and squeeze out the delicious pulp from the heads of garlic.  You can save that pulp, refrigerated, for 2 weeks and use it in anything instead of regular garlic.  The stuff is amazing.

Now about that steak.  It was labeled as a T-bone, but the filet portion was significant enough that it would qualify as a porterhouse steak.  I seasoned it with our NMT Umami Steak Seasoning and then let it rest on a rack for over an hour.  This enables the seasoning to be drawn back into the steak and lets the steak temper for even cooking.

To cook the steak, I used a reverse pan-sear method.  That just means I slow roasted it and then seared it in a scorching hot pan to finish it.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Competition-ish Style Ribeye Steak on a PKGrill

[FTC Disclaimer]  We have a professional relationship with Certified Angus Beef® Brand, but this is not a sponsored post.  We did receive a discount on the PK Grill, but the same discount was available to all SCA members.

I am so excited that Alexis bought me a PK Grill for my birthday.

Review of the PK Grill that I got for my birthday.

We have wanted a PK Grill for many years.  They are legendary for their durability, simplicity, and effectiveness.  But I already have so many other grills and smokers (had gotten down to 13 of them) that it was hard to justify getting one.  Several things changed my mind over the summer.
  • Alexis and I became certified judges for the Steak Cookoff Association, and the PK Grill is one of the most commonly used cookers on that circuit.  In fact, it is THE official grill of the SCA.
  • Our friend, Josh Tahan of True Craft BBQ got his this Summer, so I had "grill peer pressure" to get one.  I mean, all the cool kids are getting them...
  • Most importantly, members of the Steak Cookoff Association recently got a major discount on a PK Grill, which saved me about $180.

My first impressions are that the PK Grill is built like a tank but performs like a sports car!

PK Grills are tough and long lasting.

The PK Grill has a reputation for being tough and long-lasting.
  • The design is minimal with few moving parts, so there isn't a lot to go wrong.
  • The two cast aluminum shells are lightweight but robust.  If you hit it with a baseball bat, I think your bat will be damaged as much or more than the grill.
  • Because they are aluminum, they can't rust.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Honey Bacon BBQ Pork Chops

Matt Pittman of Meat Church is like a mad scientist playing with his seasonings.  Once again, he has proclaimed "It's ALIVE!" and rolled out a limited edition rub - Honey Bacon BBQ.

As the name would imply, this BBQ seasoning has the salty/sweet honey profile of Honey Hog and the smoky/bacon flavor of Bacon BBQ seasoning.  It comes out of the gates with a punch of flavor and finishes strong.

The day that I received my free sample from the Mad Scientist himself, I just happened to have a nice pair of Heritage Farms Cheshire Pork.  So I took the easy road and grilled these killer pork chops along with some grilled zucchini and couscous. 

I patted the chops dry, lightly rubbed them with oil and gave them a moderately heavy coat of Meat Church Honey Bacon BBQ.  Then I let them rest at room temperature for an hour so the rub could start acting as a dry brine - pulling the flavor into the meat.

I preheated a large Big Green Egg to 400°f.  The set up was direct heat with GrillGrates in place.  I grilled the chops for about 5 minutes per side (with a quarter turn halfway through each side) and brushed them with a glaze of stock, honey, and several pinches of the Meat Church Honey Bacon BBQ.