Monday, May 21, 2018

Green Chile Steak Seasoning

[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.

I'm a believer in that good steaks only need a little salt, pepper, and garlic.  But sometimes you want to shake your seasonings up a bit.  That's why I came up with this Green Chile Steak Seasoning this weekend for a pair of Certified Angus Beef® Brand ribeye steaks.  

Green Chile Steak Seasoning recipe for ribeyes, strip steaks, flank steaks and more.

I tweaked the usual salt, pepper, garlic base with cumin, coriander, and poblano chile for something that is more "Summer-ish" to me.  Poblano is very mild, it is more fruity than spicy to me. Hatch chiles are another great chile to use for this.  If you want to elevate the heat, switch it out for jalapeno or even serrano chiles.

Green Chile Steak Seasoning

Ingredients


  • 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons coarse black pepper (16 mesh, Malabar preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon ground dried poblano chile
  • 1.5 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground dried shallot or onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Candied Bacon French Toast Casserole with Mixed Berry Syrup

We served Candied Bacon French Toast Casserole with Mixed Berry Syrup at the Sunshine State Eggfest.  

Candied Bacon French Toast Casserole with Mixed Berry Syrup

This dish was Alexis' idea, and it was a huge hit.  There is a lot of sweet in this dish, with the homemade syrup and whipped topping but the candied bacon has just enough saltiness to balance out the sweet.

With 4,700 people attending, our sample sizes were a wee bit smaller.

This dish is suitable for serving at an Eggfest because about 90% of is can be made ahead of time.  That also makes it great to serve the family on a weekend morning.

Breakfast on a Big Green Egg

Candied Bacon French Toast Casserole with Mixed Berry Syrup

Ingredients

For the Candied Bacon


Friday, May 4, 2018

Event Recap: 2018 Sunshine State Eggfest - Vero Beach Florida

Last weekend, thousands of hungry tasters descended on the 2018 Sunshine State Eggfest hosted by Wassi's Meat Market like a horde of ravenous locusts.  They were there to do 4 things:
  1. Taste samples of foods cooked on Big Green Egg kamado grills by some of the best backyard chefs in the country.
  2. Raise money for a good cause, Candlelighters of Brevard.
  3. Take advantage of fantastic deals on Big Green Eggs, grilling supplies, and accessories.
  4. Chew bubblegum.
They were all out of bubblegum.



In addition to cooking at the event, I was part of a Big Green Egg Dream Team cooking the dinner for 400+ people at the Friday night Meet and Greet.  Here are some behind the scenes pictures from this fantastic Eggfest.

We added branded aprons to our cook team's uniform this year.  We were having problems with getting these done but Alexis' friend, KS Customs in Knoxville was able to embroider them for us on short notice.
Being a successful cook team is like an iceberg.  The effort that you see on Saturday is just 10% of the work that goes into it.  The other 90% is a ton of preparation, planning, and sweat equity from cook teams, vendors, and the sponsoring Egg dealer.

All of our Eggfest gear loaded in our Nissan Titan XD
Doing a successful and food safe cook at a big Eggfest like this one requires a good bit of equipment. Here are 4 Cambro hot boxes for keeping food warm, a large Igloo cooler, a Yeti 75, prep table, my grilling gear box, a griddle, tent, adjustable rigs, chairs, and cases of foil steam pans.
It's a 700+ mile trip to Vero Beach so everything has to be neatly stacked, waterproofed, and tied down.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Leftover Brisket: Brisket, Egg, and Cheese Biscuits.

[FTC Disclaimer]  We have no affiliation with Deep South Smokers.  Flame Boss has given us samples but we have also bought units from them at full price too, they are worth it.  We are proud to be sponsored by Certified Angus Beef Brand but this is not a sponsored post.

We smoked a couple of briskets a couple of weekends ago to practice for upcoming BBQ competitions.  The next morning I woke up at 5am with this idea in mind.  It's a brisket, egg, and cheese biscuit, complete with a cheese skirt.


  • The brisket was shredded from the point, the best part of the brisket IMO.
  • I seasoned the egg with a little of our beef rub recipe and fried it sunny side up.
  • I made a "cheese skirt" using Bojangle's concept for the Cheddar Bo biscuit that they used to sell.  I took the bottom half of a biscuit, topped it with fresh shredded Colby-jack cheese, and put it on a sheet pan in a 425f oven for 3-4 minutes.  This melts the cheese in a "skirt" around the biscuit.
  • Alexis made the lemon pepper sour cream biskets.  


I could have done the briskets on our kamado grills but since it was for competition practice, I used the Deep South Smokers GC36.  This is a gravity fed, insulated box smoker.  

The Flame Boss is an electronic controller that maintains a specific temperature in your cooker and monitors the cooking temperature of up to 3 meats.  It is wireless via wi-fi so it lets me keep an eye on things on my smart phone.  These work with a pit like my Deep South or something smaller like Big Green Eggs.
 I use several factors for selecting my briskets.
  • Source - When possible, I like to get Certified Angus Beef Brand briskets because I find their 10 quality standards provides a consistent brisket.  My second choice is prime briskets, usually from Costco because they are about the only store that routinely carries prime brisket in my area.  I'll do wagyu from time to time but I've scored better without it.  
  • Size - It depends. For competition I look for 17-18 pounds.  If I'm cooking it whole on a large Big Green Egg, the length limits it, usually around 13 pounds. 
  • Shape - For competition I buy 2 briskets. One with a very nice flat and the other with a big point. I get two because on one, I trim the point short so part of the point protects the flat. I'll take my slices from that flat and the burnt ends from the other point.  The flat should be well marbled, flexible, and have "mostly even" thickness. It should also have color to it, I don't like pale briskets.  If I am just buying one for home, I look for the one that has the nicest flat with a decent point.
We separate the brisket flat from the point for competition.  It makes the cook time faster and it gets more bark on my point for burnt ends. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Unboxing a Humphrey's BBQ Smoker - Battle Box

[FTC Disclaimer]  We have no affiliation with Humphrey's BBQ, and John paid advertised pricing.

My neighbor and BBQ teammate, John, took delivery of his new Humphrey's BBQ Battle Box this morning. It is the Wounded Warrior Project version of the Battle Box which means 10% is donated to the Wounded Warrior Project and it comes in this cool dessert camo color scheme.

Humphrey's BBQ Battle Box Wounded Warrior Project
The Humphrey's BBQ Battle Box is an insulated box-style cooker.

The smoker made its way from Limerick, Maine, where Humphrey's BBQ is located, to Knoxville, Tennessee packed well in a crate.

You can see that the unit was well protected.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

BBQ Class: Georgia BBQ Championship Champions Cooking Class

The Georgia BBQ Championship organization has put together a Champions Cooking Class in Atlanta on June 30th this Summer.



The three category winners from last year will be teaching the class, sharing the BBQ expertise that put them on top.  
  • Chicken and Pork - Yes Dear BBQ
  • Ribs - Angry Jack BBQ
  • Brisket - Bald Hawg BBQ


Plus, one lucky class attendee is going to win a bad ass Primo Oval XL400.  How cool is that?! 

The class cost is just $200.  If you have ever priced BBQ classes, then you know this is a bargain price.  For more information or to register, go to the Georgia BBQ Championship website.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Brown Sugar and Honey Bacon Smoked on a Pellet Cooker

[FTC Disclaimer] I have no affiliation with Thermoworks or Beswood.  I genuinely my Grilla a few years ago as a thank you for cooking on their Memphis In May team.

I love bacon but who doesn't?  I recently cured, smoked, and sliced a batch of Brown Sugar and Honey Bacon.  


How to smoke bacon on a pellet cooker smoker

Curing and smoking your own bacon takes a little time and refrigerator space, but it is well worth the effort. 
  • You get truly smoked bacon, not something that was sprayed with aerosolized liquid smoke and cooked in a big oven.
  • You get to make choices about the seasonings.
  • You get control of the thickness of your slices.
  • You save a good bit.  I pay less than $3 a pound for pork belly, but bacon at the stores is running $5 to $7 per pound depending on the type.


Bacon smoked on a Grilla pellet smoker

One tip, wear gloves when handling the bacon cure.  First, it's just a good idea any time handling curing salts.  Second, if you don't, you will find that minuscule paper cut that you forgot existed.

Brown Sugar and Honey Bacon

adapted from Chris Lilly's Fire and Smoke: A Pitmaster's Secrets

Ingredients

  • 8 pound pork belly, skinless
  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons pink curing salt (Prague powder #1)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup black pepper, coarse ground/16 mesh
  • 1/2 cup local honey

Instructions