Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Steakhouse Mushroom Pork Loin Filet with Spinach Rice Pilaf

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  This post is sponsored by Smithfield but any opinions given are my own. The giveaway listed at the bottom is all theirs....I can't afford to send you on a trip to Napa Valley!

It's funny - as a bbq/grilling blogger, a lot of people think that every night we eat something that I cooked for hours.  The reality is much different!  

Our youngest son plays high school football, which means most days he leaves the house by 6am for his private trainer and after school workouts with the team can have him home anywhere from 5-7pm. Our evening meal schedule is best described as "controlled chaos" and there are plenty of nights when we just need something quick and easy.

This meal last week is a perfect example. Our son got home surprisingly early at 4 PM but threw a curve ball because he had to be back at school by 5 PM for a school function.  I needed real flavor and I needed it real fast. Luckily, I had a Smithfield Steakhouse Mushroom Pork Loin Filet.

They come premarinated so they are ready to grill as soon as you open the package. It is seasoned with portobello mushrooms, onion and spices, which sounds like the start of a great rice pilaf....so that's what I did

Steakhouse Mushroom Pork Loin Filet with Spinach Rice Pilaf

4 servings


  • Smithfield Steakhouse Mushroom Pork Loin Filet, cut into 4 portions & tied
  • 4 slices Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely diced shiitake mushroom
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups loosely packed spinach, rinsed and stems removed


  1. Preheat a grill to medium high heat and preheat a skillet with a thick bottom over a) medium-low heat if using a gas grill side burner or b) medium heat if using a stove top burner.
  2. Crisp the bacon.  Add the bacon to the skillet and cook until browned and crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.
  3. Saute the veggies.  Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots, cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and shallot.  Season with a pinch or two of salt and cook another 2 minutes.
  4. Cook the rice.  Stir in the rice into the veggies and toss to coat with any remaining oil.  Cook for about 1 minute until the rice starts to turn golden and you can smell a slightly nutty aroma.  Add the stock, remaining salt, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for 18-20 minutes.
  5. Grill the Steakhouse Mushroom Pork Loin Filet.  Grill the pork filets 7 minutes per side on the two cut/flat sides.  Halfway through each side (3 1/2 minutes), rotate each filet a quarter turn if you want cross hatch grill marks [optional but preferred].  Grill the edges of the filets for a total of 7 minutes, turning frequently to brown all of the edges.  So that is a total of 21 minutes of grilling (7 first side, 7 second side, 7 edges).  Check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. Your target is 145°f with a 3 minute rest.
  6. Finish the rice.  As soon as the rice is done, immediately fold in the spinach and cooked bacon. As always, taste for seasoning and adjust if desired.  Cover tightly and let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve.  You can serve the pork a few ways. The easiest is as a whole filet, just like filet mignon. You can slice it in half and serve as two medallions with the cut side down. You can also slice it into 3 or 4 slices and serve fanned out.  All of these ways work and taste great, it's just up to your preferences.


  • Shallot - I've used a 1/4 cup of finely diced sweet yellow onion (Vidalia, Walla Walla, etc) and it works just as well.  I prefer the shallot though.
  • Shiitake mushroom - You can use about any mushroom but shiitake is a flavor affiliate with spinach.  My next choice would be portobello or baby bella mushrooms since they supplement the portobello flavor in the pork.

Normally I'd fire up a kamado type grill but I had about 30 minutes to get dinner on the table so I fired up one of our gas grills.

#RealFlavorRealFast Smithfield's pork loin filet are a key to quick and easy dinners.
The key to cooking fast is having everything in its place. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Product Review: Pizza Porta

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]:  We received no compensation for this post and have no affiliation with the manufacturer.

At the 2015 Pensacola Eggfest (a "must do" Eggfest), Big Green Craig and I spotted a crazy contraption on a Big Green Egg that captured our attention immediately.  It looked like a mailbox and it was spitting pizzas out every few minutes.  We talked to the creators and found that it was a prototype of their invention - the Pizza Porta.  

Pizza Porta at the 2015 Pensacola Eggfest
Seeing the protoype in action at the 2015 Pensacola Eggfest had me intrigued.

I believe Craig's exact quote to them was, "Shut up and take my money now!"

They weren't in production yet but at the 2015 Pensacola Eggfest but at the 2016 event, I finally bought one from Escambia Electric Motor for my neighbor and BBQ teammate, John. It was a "thank you" for all the work he puts in on our BBQ team throughout the year. He makes pizzas every Saturday so I knew he'd like it (plus we borrow each other's grill accessories so it's a win-win).  

Pizza Porta fitted on a Large Big Green Egg. They also fit on a Kamado Joe.

After 6 months of heavy use, here is John's review of the Pizza Porta.

Pizza Pizza!!  Who Loves Pizza?  A Review of the Pizza-Porta

Friday, April 21, 2017

BBQ Event Coverage: Ooltewah BBQ Brawl 2017 - World Food Championship Qualifier

We had a great time at the Ooltewah BBQ Brawl last weekend. The weather was gorgeous, the aroma of 20 grills cooking filled the valley, and the crowds came out to experience it all.  What a fun food festival! 

Ooltewah BBQ Brawl 2017 World Food Championship Qualifier In Tennessee

This was a fun local food festival with a welcoming "home town" vibe, but it has implications much bigger than that.  As a qualifying round for the World Food Championships, this was like an opening round of the NCAA basketball tournament.  For the two winners, this event is the first step toward winning the lion's share of a $300,000 purse.  "All they have to do" is win 3 more times at the World Food Championships in Orange Beach, AL this November.
  • Opening Rounds - Place in the Top 10 for your category (1 of 9) for the Signature Dish and Structured Recipe entries.
  • Infursed Round - Create a winning dish based on the category's special ingredient (of course, topping the other Top 10 competitors from your category).
  • Final Table - the 9 category winners go head to head in a gloves off, no holds barred food fight with the winner taking home a world title and $110,000
Let's check out the fun!

Ooltewah BBQ Brawl 2017 World Food Championship Qualifier In Tennessee
Some members of the Ooltewah High School Choir came out to perform a patriotic medley and our National Anthem.
 You know the first thing that I like to do is go around and look at the gear people are using.  

Deep South Smokers BBQ pit at World Food Championship qualifying round at the Ooltewah BBQ Brawl 2017
Chef Nick Thiers, a World Food Championships veteran, was using this nice Deep South Smokers.  I told him he was super brave to have a white BBQ pit.  He laughed and said he cleans it more often then his car.  I know that feeling.

Choo Choo BBQ from Chattanooga/Red Bank competing at a World Food Championship qualifying round in Ooltewah TN
Just like the World Food Championships in Orange Beach, the competitors were a blend of local restaurants, amateur "back yard" teams, and professional competition teams.

Owls Nest BBQ set up at the Ooltewah BBQ Brawl
Owls Nest BBQ, a local professional competition team, set up and starting to cook.  They have a gravity feed cooker (right) and a Pit Barrel Cooker, set up for using a blower/controller (black drum on the left).  I really like the idea of a blower on a PBC. These are set it and forget type cookers meant for people new to BBQ and there aren't any settings other than the pre-set air fit at the bottom.  Doing this gives you full temperature control of the PBC and expands the possibilities. 

When one competitor sees something another competitor does and copies it - that's called "shigging".  As in "Chris saw Stevie Ray's Pit Barrel Cooker using a blower and he fully plans on shigging this idea when he gets back home."

Cute little pig faced offset BBQ pit, maybe a Lang 48? 

Friday, April 14, 2017

FREE GRILLING CLASS in Kansas City Thursday Evening, April 27th!!!!!!!!!!!!

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] Smithfield Foods is a sponsor of Nibble Me This; however, any opinions stated are my own.

How would you like to attend a FREE GRILLING CLASS in Kansas City AND participate in attempting to set a Guinness World Record?  Did I mention this free class is taught by multiple World Championship winning pitmaster, Chris Lilly?

Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson's BBQ has probably taught me more about BBQ than any other single person.  He will be teaching the class with Kevin Kolman of Weber Grills.

If you can get to Arrowhead Stadium on April 27th at 6pm, Smithfield is going to hook you up with that opportunity.  

Grilling classes Kansas City Smithfield

If you're in the area, start your summer grilling out in a big way and REGISTER NOW to learn from the masters!  If you know someone in the area, pass this on to them!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

BBQ Book Review: Texas BBQ - Platefuls of Legendary BBQ Flavor

Texas BBQ - Platefuls of Legendary BBQ Flavor
Publisher:  Oxmoor House
Suggested Retail:  $19.99
Release date:  TODAY - April 11, 2017

Review of Texas BBQ Platefuls of Legendary Lone Star Flavor

Texas BBQ - Platefuls of Legendary BBQ Flavor is from the Editors of Southern Living.  I have enjoyed their previous forays into BBQ Books including The Big Book of BBQ and Christopher Prieto's Ultimate Book of BBQ.  I received a free copy for review from the publisher and I have been very impressed with this book.

Growing up in the South, my idea of BBQ was the traditional Southern BBQ with lots of pork and chicken with sweet sauces or sharp vinegar sauces.  Hell, I didn't even HAVE BBQ brisket until I was over 30 years old!  Now smoked brisket is my favorite BBQ and a dream for me is to spend a few weeks crawling across Texas, sampling as many BBQ shacks and stands as I can.  Until then, Texas BBQ - Platefuls of Legendary Lone Star Flavor is a good substitute!  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Char-Broil Post: Honey BBQ Wings

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] Char-Broil is a sponsor of Nibble Me This and I receive compensation from them for developing recipes and other content.  However, any opinions offered are my own.

I am glad to have Char-Broil on board as a sponsor for 2017.  Most of my work with them will appear on their website but I want to link to it from here and give you a few behind the scenes shots.  Last month, I made these super easy and delicious Honey BBQ Wings.

Simple, easy, and quick recipe for grilled wings featuring the Char-Broil Kamander kamado grill

I cooked these wings on Char-Broil's new and first (to my knowledge) kamado style grill - The Kamander.  

The Kamander is a budget priced kamado (~$350 neighborhood).  I have to be honest and tell you that I was surprised at it's performance.  I expected it to be "not great" because of it's price point but after several grilling and smoking sessions, it actually performs well.  As I would expect from a good kamado grill, I was able to both grill at high temps and steady, low temps. Obviously, there are many factors to consider, so I'll post a full review later.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Pan Seared Ribeye Steak with Bourbon Sauce

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] We received no compensation for this post. Certified Angus Beef is a sponsor but this is not one of their sponsored posts.

Last weekend, we smoked 6 pork butts and 2 whole briskets for a friend's fundraiser dinner.  Doing all of that cooking makes one hungry, right?  So I made these steaks on one of our Big Green Eggs.

Pan seared Prime ribeye steaks recipe featuring Certified Angus Beef

Pan Seared Steaks vs Grilled Steaks

When I posted this on Instagram last weekend, someone asked "Why the pan?" for grilling steaks.  You know I love grilled steaks, that's obvious, but a pan seared steak can be just as amazing.  Both have their strong points but the advantages of cooking steaks in a pan include:

  • Pan searing steaks creates an even crust across the surface.
  • Pan searing steaks allows you to use the basting technique that a lot of chef's utilize to add flavor.
  • Pan searing steaks retains the brown bits (aka sucs) that are the foundation of great pan sauces.

Basting steaks is when you see a chef tilt a skillet and repeatedly spoon the butter and seasonings back over the steak.  This builds flavor and helps the formation of that great crust.  In this case, I had fresh tarragon growing in the front yard and tallow that we made from rendering down brisket trimmings, so that's what I used instead.  

Standard flambe warning - Fire is dangerous. Igniting alcohol can be dangerous. You should wear protective equipment, have extinguishing methods available nearby, and know what you are doing. Google "how to flambe safely" if you aren't experienced at this. 

Pan seared ribeye steaks with bourbon sauce recipe featuring Certified Angus Beef #bestbeef #gorare

Pan Seared Ribeye with Bourbon Sauce


  • 2 10-ounce ribeye steaks, left out at room temperature for 1 hour
  • NMT Beef Rub V.2
  • 2 tablespoons beef tallow or other high temp oil
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon roasted garlic paste
  • 1 ounce bourbon
  • 1/2 cup stock
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter