Monday, February 25, 2019

2019 Chain of Lakes Eggfest - Winter Haven FL

We had a fantastic time at the 2019 Chain of Lakes Eggfest this past weekend in sunny and warm, Winter Haven, FL.  An "Eggfest" is a BBQ and grilling food festival featuring teams of Big Green Egg enthusiasts serving their most creative and tasty dishes cooked on the chromatically named kamado grill.  It is all for a good cause, the proceeds from this event benefit the Citrus Center Boys and Girls Club.

Nibble Me This was on hand to serve as a cook team and to perform a cooking demonstration at the event tent.  Here are the behind the scenes pictures of the fantastic time that we had with friends new and old this weekend.


It was an 11+ hour drive for us, so Alexis and I left Knoxville under cover of darkness.  We loaded the truck the night before with everything we would need so we could just get up and go.  Preplanning is the most significant factor in enjoying yourself when cooking at an Eggfest.

2019 Chain of Lakes Eggfest
While we were on I-75, our teammate, Sean, showed up early and helped with the assembly of dozens of Big Green Eggs of all shapes and sizes.  The Eggs used at these events are brand new and used only this one time.  They are sold as "demo Eggs," limited lifetime warranty intact, for the lowest prices that you will find.
Friday was prep day.  Another key to having a blast at an Eggfest as a cook team is to prepare any and everything that you can BEFORE the event.  Ideally, at the festival, you should only be grilling and serving.  

Rolled Flank Steak with Bacon Jam and Smoked Gouda
Prepping Rolled Flank Steak with Bacon Jam and Smoked Gouda for our grilling demo and for sampling. 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Fire Roasted King Ranch Chicken Casserole

[FTC Disclaimer] We received no compensation for this post.  Two of the links are Amazon Affiliate links.

Alexis and I have been on a leftovers purge for the week because our freezers have gotten too full.  Last night, our freezer dive resulted in enough treasures to make Eating Well's Quick King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Fire Roasted King Ranch Chicken Casserole cooked on a Big Green Egg kamado grill

Of course, we changed it up a little bit, mainly because of what we had on hand or what we didn't.  And of course, we did ours on a kamado grill - a large Big Green Egg.  I think the fire roasting absolutely adds to the dish.

Easy skillet dinner recipe for the Big Green Egg kamado grill

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Steak and Eggs

[FTC Disclaimer]  Technically, this is not a sponsored post, as I have taken a break from sponsorships this year.  However, in the spirit of transparency, we still have a close working relationship with the folks at Certified Angus Beef® Brand and Thunderbird Wings.

I love breakfast for dinner.  Chicken and waffles.  Huevos rancheros.  And of course, steak and eggs.

Steak and eggs featuring Certified Angus Beef Brand ribeye steaks from Food City
Prime ribeye, Yukon gold hash browns, fried eggs, and some of our home cured and smoked bacon. 
Alexis and I shared this for dinner the other night when she found a USDA Prime, Certified Angus Beef® Brand ribeye steak at our Food City.  I'm so glad that Food City carries the Prime grade. I don't get Prime every time but it is a treat when we do. Being less than an inch thick, it was perfect for steak and eggs for dinner. 

USDA Prime Certified Angus Beef Ribeye at Food City

Alexis and I were sous chefs for Trace Scarborough of Thunderbird Wings at an event last year.  He gave me this new beef rub that he had in development - Bravo.  It is based on the Mexican mole sauce profile - earthy, deep, rich chile, smoky, and with the most subtle hints of chocolate.  I love that unique approach to a beef rub.  I've had to be quiet about it until now because it is finally out for sale.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Fire Roasted Buffalo Chicken Sausage Mac and Cheese

[FTC Disclaimer]  This is not a sponsored post; however, the Amazon links that I give are Amazon Affiliate links.  

We were shopping for supplies for a project and found some Buffalo Chicken Sausages at Fresh Market.  We didn't need the sausages for the project, but I couldn't just pass them up once I saw them, right?  

When we were brainstorming how to use the sausage, I thought of the Buffalo Mac and Cheese that we used to get at Rafferty's (before they closed our local one....boooo).   So we made mac and cheese with the Buffalo chicken sausage instead of fried Buffalo chicken.


Fire Roasted Buffalo Chicken Sausage Mac and Cheese

Of course, we made ours over live fire on a kamado grill - a Big Green Egg to be specific.  But you could do this inside as well.  Make the sausage and sauce on the stove top and then roast the mac and cheese in the oven. 

Browning sausage in a Lodge cast iron Pro-Logic skillet on a kamado grill, such as Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe.
I love this small Lodge cast iron skillet because it is grill safe and the wok-like sloped walls make it easy to toss and flip food while cooking.  I bought one for my mom a few Christmases ago and was so envious I purchased one for myself!


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Porterhouse Steaks with Twice Baked Potatoes

Wow, it is hard to believe that Nibble Me This is 10 years old as of today. 

Back then, I never imagined that creating a BBQ and grilling blog would lead to the opportunities that it has.  
  • I have gotten to work with great food brands and grilling companies.
  • I have been lucky enough to work side by side with World Champions.
  • I have gotten to take educational trips to learn more about grilling, butchery, and food production.
  • I have traveled to farms and ranches to gain a better understanding of where my food comes from and sustainable practices.
  • I have received hands-on training to do things like break down half of a steer and artificially inseminate a sow.
  • I got contracts to write two BBQ/grilling books.
But the absolute best part of Nibble Me This has been the friendships that have grown out of it. I have met so many wonderful people across the country that I am proud to call my friends.  Well....most of y'all, anyway ;) 

New Year's Eve was unseasonably warm, which are two words a griller loves to hear.  So Alexis and I grabbed a few porterhouse steaks for a quick dinner before our youngest and his friends headed out for a Dirty Guv'nahs concert. 

How to grill a porterhouse steak on a kamado grill like a kamado joe, big green egg, or primo grill.

Twice Baked Potatoes

These are a reliable side dish - they are easy and almost everyone loves them.  We washed, lightly oiled, seasoned with salt, and wrapped russet potatoes with foil.  We put them in a 400°f Big Green Egg on indirect heat (using a plate setter) until they were tender - about 45 minutes because these were smallish.

We sliced off the top 1/3rd of the potatoes and scooped out the pulp from inside.  We then mix in finely chopped bacon, butter, sour cream, finely chopped green onion, and shredded Sweetwater Farms smoked yellow cheddar.  You are basically just making loaded mashed potatoes so throw in whatever you want.  Finally, we seasoned it with some of our NMT Beef Rub v.2 to taste, about 1.5 teaspoons.  

Stuff all of that mix back into the hollowed out potato shells.  You can make these ahead and have them ready to cook.  Then heat them through for about 20 minutes at 350°f. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Smoky Mountain Chicken Sandwich

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  No compensation was received for this post. 

Fired up one of the Big Green Eggs tonight to grill these Smoky Mountain Chicken Sandwiches.


Typically, a Smoky Mountain chicken sandwich or burger is topped with bacon, BBQ sauce, and cheddar.  I'm not sure how, when, or where this divine trinity became associated with the name "Smoky Mountain".  I have just seen it that way on countless menus.

I went in a bit different direction, but I used the same smoky-sweet-cheesy profile for this game day sandwich.  My secret ingredients were two local Tennessee products, fitting since they live in the shadows of the Smoky Mountains. 

Alexis found this rub at Elder's Ace Hardware. It has a very balanced BBQ rub flavor, featuring things like sea salt, turbinado sugar, powdered molasses, dried onions, dried garlic, and chiles. 

Blackberry Farm Smoked Onion Jam
Yes, THAT Blackberry Farm!  This sweet smoky jam is made with sweet onions, smoked onions, cane sugar, and a few other ingredients.  The flavor is otherworldly. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Smoked Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

Thanksgiving isn't over until we've made our Smoked Turkey and Wild Rice Soup.  This is a recipe that I got from my mother years ago, and we've made it our own.  It takes your leftover turkey and surrounds it in this velvety and hearty soup.


I know that you've probably already used up your Thanksgiving leftovers but tuck this one away for Christmas leftovers or use a rotisserie chicken instead. This also freezes well, so if you are tired of turkey, you can save it for later.  This soup rocks on a cold, dreary Winter's day.

Smoked Turkey and Wild Rice Soup
Servings:  8 cups or 4 bowls

Ingredients
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely diced carrot, about 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 7 cups turkey stock
  • 6.2-ounce package Uncle Ben's Wild Rice 
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flake
  • 2 cups diced smoked turkey
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion, about 3 onions
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 teaspoons NMT BaCock! Poultry Rub recipe or another poultry seasoning
Instructions
  1. Saute the carrot. Preheat a stock pot over medium-high heat.  Melt the butter and saute the carrot for three minutes.
  2. Make a volute.    Sprinkle in flour while whisking to combine.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, whisking continuously.  Slowly add the stock while whisking.  It seems like a lot of work, but it's worth the whisk (sorry, couldn't help myself).   
  3. Add the rice, seasoning packet, black pepper, and red pepper flake.  Bring to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Stir in the smoked turkey and green onions.  Cook until heated through, about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the half-and-half.  
  6. Season to taste.  Add the poultry seasoning, starting with 1 teaspoon and add until you reach the taste you like.  For us, that was 2 teaspoons of NMT BaCock! Poultry Rub but your mileage may vary.