Friday, July 21, 2017

Wood Fired Pizza

I wrote a post about How to Make Wood Fired Pizza at Home for my partnership with Char-Broil™.  They came out with a kamado grill this year, the Kamander, and I wanted to show the new kamado owners how to make pizza on their new grill.  

How to make pizza on a kamado grill
We made this one with fire roasted onions and peppers, pepperoni, salami, and more.

The recipe is at the link above, here are a bunch of extra footage from that post.

We'll buy pizza sauce in a pinch, but I'd much rather make my own. We do a modification of this sauce recipe.

Picked up a Char-Broil pizza stone and pizza peel for just $20 at Lowes. It's pretty thin compared to a BGE branded one that I have but about the same as a Pampered Chef one that we own. People complain about the Pampered Chef one breaking on the grill but I've used mine for 8 years without a problem.  For $20 for this one, I figured I'd take the risk and so far, it's done fine.

Kick Ash Basket in a Kamander kamado grill #shakethatash
Like all my other kamados, I use a Kick Ash Basket in my Kamander.  I think it makes the air flow a bit more fool proof and certainly makes reusing the leftover coal easier.

Well, that's the last time that pizza stone will be THAT clean.

Char-Broil Kamander kamado grill review
Several of my kamado friends have asked what I think about the Kamander compared to the ceramic kamado grills that I use.  I need to write a full post about that.  But long story short, I have been surprised at how good it works. Truthfully, I expected to not be thrilled with it since it's only in the $300-350 range.  It is just as easy to use, holds temperature evenly, burns coal about the same rate (haven't done any quantative tests, just observation), and cooks well.  I have heard some "yeah buts" about a metal kamado but those are merely speculative at this point although I would like to see them extend the warranty.

Seasoned peppers and onions going on to roast a bit before putting them on the pizza. 

To fit parchment paper to the pizza stone, I fold it in quarters...

Then cut an arc from one side to the other at the distance of the radius.  What? You're right, this isn't math class.  Cut it like a circle, half the width of the pizza stone.

How to make pizza on a kamado grill
Can't remember where we got this docking tool but going "stabby stabby" with a fork works just fine.  This keeps the pizza from having one of those big bulging bubbles swelling up while cooking.

How to make pizza on a kamado grill
This is making me hungry for pizza tonight.

How to make pizza on a kamander kamado grill
Alexis sliding the pie onto the stone. The peel isn't necessary but it sure makes it easier.

How to make pizza on a kamado grill
Ready to roll!

I like our pizzas between 500 and 550°f. 

How to make pizza on a kamado grill
Just grab the edge of the parchment paper and slide the peel right under there.  I need to get a metal peel for taking them off, I think they are easier.

How to make pizza on a kamado grill
You're [bleepity bleep] right that this isn't "delivery"!

Writing this post has been excruciating because I'm hungry.  I'm definitely making pizza this weekend.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Strip Loin Grilling Class at Mannix Pools and Grills

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] Certified Angus Beef is one of our favorite sponsors ever and we are proud to be on their influencer team

Earlier this month, I taught a strip class.

No! Not a stripping class - but a grilling class on how to use a whole beef strip loin like the dish below.   

Reverse pan seared NY Strip Steak with roasted garlic and bourbon sauce recipe

The class was at Mannix Pools and Grills in Winter Haven, FL. When BJ asked me to do a class I thought I would talk about how to break down a Certified Angus Beef whole beef strip loin into 4 delicious recipes including:

Pepper Crusted Strip Loin Roast
NY Steak and Cheese Mini Subs with Smoked Chile Mayo
Umami Manhattan Filet with Shiitake Stir Fry
Reverse Pan Seared NY Strip Steak with Roasted Garlic and Bourbon Sauce

It was a whirlwind 48 hour trip that included a lot of fun and 20 hours of driving (not a lot of fun). Here are some pictures from our weekend trip and class.

Certified Angus Beef whole beef strip loins
The class was in Florida. Since it was the same week as July 4th, I was worried I might have a hard time finding enough strip loins for the class down there.   So before we left Knoxville, Jeremy at Food City #674 helped us get 3 Certified Angus Beef whole beef strip loins.

Does Certified Angus Beef really matter so much to go to that effort?  I mean, Walmart carries Angus now, why not just buy it at the Walmart down there? 

Because not all Angus is Certified Angus Beef.  It's not just a label that sets C.A.B. apart from other Angus programs, it's what is behind that label.  I am a big believer in their 10 quality specifications.  

What makes Certified Angus Beef the #bestbeef
These standards are on top of USDA grading and are why only 1 in 4 Angus qualify for the Certified Angus Beef program.  That's why I go out of my way for C.A.B. beef.

Friggin' Atlanta any time of the day.  This was 10:30 or 11am.  Exciting trip so far....

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Roasted Garlic and Herb Pork Chops Stuffed with Boursin Cheese

[Standard FTC Disclaimer]  I am proud to be a sponsored contributor for Smithfield and their premarinated fresh pork selections.  

This is probably the easiest recipe that I will ever post here. It is just two ingredients, I almost feel bad for calling it a recipe. But easy is nice to have during the sometimes chaotic schedules of summer, right?

Roasted garlic and herb pork chops #realflavorrealfast

This recipe was so easy because I used one of the items from Smithfield's selection of preseasoned fresh pork - Roasted Garlic and Herb Center Cut Pork Chops.  These come already seasoned with herbs, roasted garlic, onion, and red bell pepper so all you have to do is take them out and throw them on the grill.

The garlic and herbs on the pork made me think of garlic and herb Boursin cheese so I thought I would stuff the chops with the herbed cheese.  How easy is that?  It literally took me longer to preheat my grill than it did to make and grill these delicious pork chops.  

That's what Smithfield's Marinated Fresh Pork is all about - easy and tasty.  They start with quality, fresh pork cuts like chops, roasts, tenderloins, sirloins, and loin filets and then perfectly season them. Sure I like custom making my own recipes but it's wonderful to have a go-to 30 minute or less short cut on nights when I just don't feel up to it.  

Roasted Garlic and Herb Pork Chops #realflavorrealfast

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Chattanooga BBQ Contest at Bass Pro Shops

The Chattanooga chapter of the American Culinary Federation is hosting a BBQ Competition.

When:  Saturday, August 5th   12-6 PM 
Where:  Bass Pro Shop in East Ridge TN
Prize:  $500 grand prize, $250 for first place in each category

Photo credit:  From ACF-Chat Facebook page about the contest
This is a bit different than the usual KCBS contest that we normally do.  
  • The entries are chicken, ribs, and pulled pork.  No brisket is required.
  • The judges will be local professional chefs (instead of BBQ judges).
  • It is a single day event with teams setting up at 6am and turn in times at 3:30 to 4:30pm.
  • Entry fees are $75 per category or $200 for the whole event.
So it's a bit smaller prize but it's also a smaller contest so you have better chances to win.  This is the type of contest that's especially well suited for newer teams or people that don't want to do a full blown,  2 day sanctioned BBQ contest. We'd consider going except we'll be in Florida on a scalloping expedition that week.

More information, rules, and contest entry form can be found at the ACF-Chattanooga's Facebook page.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken - A Grilling Classic

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] This is not a sponsored post; however, some Char-Broil products are shown and they are a sponsor. 

There are certain grilling recipes that everyone has done, right?  Several come to mind.

  • Chicken parts marinated in Italian dressing
  • Burgers stuffed with more add ins than meatloaf
  • Steaks marinated in a red wine, olive oil, and soy sauce concoction
Grilled teriyaki chicken is one of those, I think.  Who hasn't marinated chicken with a bottled teriyaki sauce? Here's how we do ours.

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken recipe

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken 

Servings: 4 servings

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Craycort Cast Iron Grate for Large Big Green Egg, Grill Dome, and Primo

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  We are proud to have had Craycort as an equipment sponsor of our blog since 2009.

Craycort has redesigned their modular cast iron grate system for large Big Green Eggs for 2017.  I received one in January and have put it through 6 months of heavy use on our kamado grills, including Big Green Egg, Primo, and Grill Dome.

I've had my original Craycort for 8 years and it still works just fine. Why did they want to redesign it?

Albukirky pork chops grilling on my older Craycort cast iron grates.

That was the first thing I asked Rolf and he told me that originally these grates were designed for any 18.5" grill. The new models are designed specifically for the Large Big Green Egg for a more exacting fit when used with a plate setter.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Bacon Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Summer Squash Succotash

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  This post is sponsored by Smithfield's line of Marinated Fresh Pork products.  Any stated opinions are my own.

Summer time is here and that means time for some of the best vegetables of the year.  Summer can also mean chaotic schedules but that doesn't mean you don't have time to make a quick dinner like this Bacon Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Summer Squash Succotash.

Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork #RealFlavorRealFast

I was able to get this done in about 30 minutes because I used Smithfield's Hardwood Smoked Bacon and Cracked Black Pepper Marinated Fresh Pork Tenderloin for the main course.  They already did the prep work for me, including that bacon crust.  I didn't have to do anything other than take it out of the package and roast it.

Since Smithfield uses only 100% fresh pork in these products, we wanted to use the freshest vegetables.  So we headed to the Farmers Market in Maryville, Tennessee to see what the local farms had to offer.

We ended up buying corn (not all of it!), yellow squash, yellow and green zucchini, bell pepper, sweet onion, and some small variety tomatoes.

Normally I lean towards contrasting flavors but Alexis had the idea to echo the tastes of hardwood smoked bacon and cracked black pepper in our succotash.  She was absolutely right because this was perfect together. The roasted tomatoes brought it all together with their sweet, slightly acidic flavor brightening the entire dish. 

Bacon Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Summer Squash Succotash #RealFlavorRealFast

Bacon Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Summer Squash Succotash