Thursday, September 20, 2018

Brand The Barn #33 - Catering at Wincrest Angus

FTC Standard Disclosure: 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.

The Certified Angus Beef® Brand is celebrating their 40th Anniversary this year.  One of the things they are doing is a Brand The Barn campaign in which, they are painting their logo on 40 barns in 25 states across the country.  

Last week, Alexis and I were honored to cater the lunch for 100 people at the 33rd barn painting of the year at Wincrest Angus up in Johnson City, Tennessee.



Wincrest Angus' barn is the 33rd of 40 barns in the Certified Angus Beef's #BrandTheBarn campaign.





We arrived at dawn on a lightly foggy morning.  Owner, Sam Widener was already there working.  He welcomed us and got us set up so we could get cooking early.  It was only Alexis and me cooking, so we had a lot to get done.


The Nissan Titan XD makes hauling our BBQ equipment over the East Tennessee hills easy. #NissanTitan

We would have liked to have just brought the truck; however, there was a high percentage chance for rain, so we brought the trailer along to be on the safe side.  It didn't rain, but it was nice to have the air conditioning.



Set up and ready to roll.  We brought one of our offset smokers to use as a grill and our big gravity fed Deep South.

Here is the menu that we put together with the people at Certified Angus Beef® Brand. It was centered around our Green Chile Crusted Flank Steak Tacos.


Certified Angus Beef #BrandTheBarn

Sunday, September 16, 2018

NY Strip Steaks with Sweet Potato Fries

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] The Certified Angus Beef® Brand is one of our favorite sponsors; however, this is not a sponsored post.

On weekends, Alexis and I will often do a single mid-afternoon meal instead of lunch and dinner.  

I searched Google and saw terms like lupper, linner, and dunch but none of those really have the catchiness of brunch, do they?  Maybe it's because they don't come with Bloody Marys or mimosas?  Regardless, we like that single meal.  Fewer calories, fewer dirty dishes, and the timing just works for an activity-filled weekend day.  

We made these straightforward steaks and frites for halftime of yesterday's Florida State and Tennessee football games. 

Grilled Garlic and Herb NY Strip Steaks and Sweet Potato Fries. #BestAngusBeef #Steakholder


The Prep

Alexis picked up a nice pair of Certified Angus Beef® Brand NY Strip steaks from our Food City.  Before the game, we:
  • Patted the steaks dry.  Water is the enemy of the Maillard reaction (browning).
  • Lightly coated the steaks with a high temperature cooking oil.  Olive oil isn't good for grilling, it's smoke point is too low.  Go with something like beef tallow, canola oil, peanut oil, or avocado oil.
  • Seasoned it all over with a moderate to heavy coat of Meat Church Garlic and Herb Seasoning.  I didn't measure but I would guess about 1 to 1.5 teaspoons.
  • Placed the seasoned steaks on a resting rack at room temperature for an hour or so.  
    • The resting rack helps minimize the seasoning from sticking to a plate.  
    • Leaving it out of the fridge lets the steak temper.
    • The hour gives the process enough time so that the salt in the seasoning stops wicking out moisture from the steak and begins pulling back into the steak.  A very brief dry brine.

The Cook

My weapon of choice for this cook was my Big Green Egg Mini-Max set up with GrillGrates. A small kamado grill like this is aces for a pair of steaks.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Cajun Seasoned T-Bone Steaks with Black Beans

[FTC Standard Disclosure] 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.

This past weekend I picked up a pair of excellent T-bone steaks when we were out brisket shopping and used one of them to make this Cajun Seasoned T-Bone Steak with Black Beans.

Cajun Seasoned T-Bone Steaks with Black Beans

Actually, these were labeled as T-bones but they were actually porterhouse steaks.  T-bone and porterhouse steaks both come from the short loin and both have the distinctive T-shaped bone in the middle.  Both contain an NY Strip steak on the longer side and a filet of tenderloin on the shorter side.  The difference is...
  • T-bone steaks have a tenderloin filet that is 1/2" to 1 1/4" across, as measured at the widest point.
  • Porterhouse steaks have a tenderloin filet that exceeds 1 1/4" across, as measured at the widest point.
It doesn't make that much of a difference, but I love getting the bigger portion of filet with a porterhouse.  Speaking of portions, this steak weighed in right about 30 ounces, so it was ideal for Alexis and me to share - a beautiful steak for two.

Courtesy of Certified Angus Beef® Brand.

Dry Brine

When possible, I like to give my steaks a dry brine to retain moisture and bolster flavor.
  • I wiped this dry and then lightly oiled it with avocado oil.  Canola oil or peanut oil would also work well.  
  • Then I seasoned it lightly with sea salt and a moderate coat of my NMT Cajun Beef Rub.  
  • I let that rest on a resting rack for about 75 minutes before grilling.  Resting on a rack keeps the seasoning on the bottom from sticking to a plate when you go to grill it.
  • The rest period at room temperature also lets the steak temper at the same time it is dry brining.
NMT Cajun Beef Rub recipe

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Tomahawk Ribeye Steak with Spinach and Goat Cheese Orzo

FTC Standard Disclosure: 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 was excited as a kid at Christmas when my Food City  (Morrell Road) started selling Certified Angus Beef® Brand tomahawk ribeye steaks this past Summer.  

How to grill a tomahawk ribeye steak on a kamado grill, such as; big green egg, kamado joe, primo, or vision grills.

Tomahawk ribeyes are those fancy steaks with a brontosaurus-sized Fred Flintstone bone sticking out of them.  They usually show up on the menu as a "steak for two" because they are often 40-50 ounces each.  They also typically sport a price tag of over $100 at a steakhouse. But I bought this 3+ pound tomahawk for under $40 at Food City.

What is a tomahawk steak and how does it relate to a regular ribeye?  
  • It's the same meat, just presented differently. 
  • If you cut the rib bone down to where the steak meat ends, it would be a "bone-in" ribeye.  
  • If you "french" that bone so it is exposed, it's a cowboy ribeye steak.  
  • Cut the bone off altogether and it's the classic ribeye steak.  
  • Typically, the cowboy and tomahawks are much thicker than your typical ribeye steak.

Because they are so thick, tomahawk steaks are a prime candidate for either a sear/roast, sous-vide, or reverse sear methods.  I chose to use the reverse sear method on a kamado grill.  Shocker, right?

Tomahawk Ribeye Steak with Spinach Orzo

Ingredients


  • 40-50 ounce Certified Angus Beef® Brand tomahawk ribeye
  • 1/4 cup NMT Beef Rub v.2 or other beef seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons peanut, avocado, or other type of high temperature cooking oil

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Chorizo and Poblano-Pimento Cheese Fritters

This is a recipe that we shared at our griddle class at Mannix Pools and Grills last month and it was a big hit. It is a crispy golden fritter that has homemade poblano-pimento cheese and minced chorizo with red pepper jelly sauce.


We got the idea from K Town Tavern here in Knoxville.  See, who says Happy Hour can't be productive?  We were there having drinks and appetizers and tried out their Big Orange Ham and Jam Fritters.  They have chopped country ham, pimento cheese, and panko breadcrumbs.

Big Orange Ham and Jam Fritters at K Town Tavern in Knoxville.
They were the best thing we ate that night and before we left, we were already scheming about how we would make ours.
  • We use cured chorizo to boost the flavor of the pork.
  • For our homemade pimento cheese, we use fire roasted poblano, not just pimento.
  • Instead of deep frying, we flatten our fritters into medallions so that they cook better on a griddle or skillet.
  • To take our red pepper jelly sauce to the next level, we use Albukirky's Red Pepper Jelly.


Chorizo and Poblano Pimento Cheese Fritters

Yield: 18-20 fritters

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Hand Shaken Grilled Lemonade

Is there anything better than fresh lemonade on a warm Summer day? 


Steamboat Sandwiches, a local place that we go for lunch, makes THE BEST lemonade. They make it fresh.  I don't mean that they make it fresh each day.  They make it to order and shake it by hand.  

Steamboat Sandwiches decorated the exposed brick wall with ancient black and white pictures of buildings in Knoxville from years gone by.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Skillet Mac and Cheese on a Big Green Egg

This is just a quick post because several people asked for Alexis' Skillet Mac and Cheese recipe for kamado grills, such as; Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, or Primo.  Any good grill would really work but the ceramic kamado grills are like a coal-fired oven, gracing the creamy mac and cheese with a golden crisp crust.  

Skillet mac and cheese recipe for big green egg kamado grills

This is one dish where I absolutely don't have a problem using Velveeta. We use other cheeses too.  But for my baked mac and cheese, something about it's "processed cheesefoodishness" is just fitting. For the other cheeses, you can use whatever you like.  We find that mozzarella or Oaxaca cheese make for a great gooey cheese.  A sharp cheddar gives a bold taste of cheese.  

For baking, it is important to have a clean burning fire.  The cheese sauce will soak up off tastes from the smoldering of poorly burning coals and you don't want that....no one wants that.  You need good airflow so remember to use your Kick Ash Basket to shake off that ash from any coals you are reusing.  We've bought them for every kamado grill that we have.

Alexis' Skillet Mac and Cheese

servings:  8-10

Monday, July 23, 2018

Budget Grilling: Chuck Eye Steaks

FTC Standard Disclosure: 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.

Chuck eye steaks are easy on the wallet and fantastic on the grill.

Chuck eye steak with red pepper sauce filled jalapeno


We learned a bit about chuck eye steaks when we attended the Chef Summit at the Certified Angus Beef® Brand's Culinary Center.  The main part of the chuck eye steak is a muscle called the longissimus dorsi.  That probably doesn't sound familiar unless you're a meat geek like me.  But the longissimus is the muscle that puts the "eye" in ribeye steak.  

As the name implies blatantly screams, the chuck eye comes from the chuck primal and is immediately next to the ribeye at the 5th and 6th rib bones.  Sharing the same muscle groups and coming from the "same neighborhood," it shouldn't be surprising that the chuck eye steaks have similar marbling, taste, and texture as a ribeye steak.  

What the chuck eye steak doesn't share with ribeye steaks is the price tag.  I bought these Certified Angus Beef® Brand chuck eye steaks at our Food City in Knoxville and they were $2 less per pound than the ribeye steaks.

I seasoned them with Obie-Cue's Steakmaker Seasoning and let them rest for an hour to dry-brine.  It is your basic steak seasoning profile with the usual suspects - salt, pepper, garlic, and onion but it has a moderately strong Worcestershire flavor to it.  You could also use the Classic Steak Rub from this chuck eye steak recipe.

chuck eye steaks on a SABER Elite SSE 1500 grill
Next, I grilled them over high heat for 4 minutes per side. As you can see, the eyes aren't as defined

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Product Review: NEW Big Green Egg Modular Nest Systems

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  I received no compensation for this review.

I have needed a new table for my oldest Egg for a while.  My old table was 10 years old.  It was so worn out and wobbly that it was practically unsafe to move by myself. 

As soon as I read about the new Big Green Egg Modular Nest Systems, The features and design of this new expandable modular table had me sold instantly.  I called Mannix Pools and Grills in Winter Haven, FL and ordered a set.  



I finally got to pick my table up this weekend when we were at Mannix Pools and Grills to teach a grilling glass.  

Assembly

Putting the nest together was relatively easy.  On a "swearing scale" I would give it a 1 out of 5 swear words (an excellent rating, the fewer swear words, the better).

Since this is modular, the individual packages were manageable to move by oneself.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Product Review: Humphrey's Battle Box - Wounded Warrior version

Disclaimer- I/we are not affiliated with Humphrey’s in any way, we received no compensation for this review and I paid full retail price for this unit.

This is a follow up to our unboxing post about the Humphrey's Battle Box - Wounded Warrior version.  My neighbor and BBQ teammate, John Makela, shares his thoughts on his smoker after using it for several weeks.


Fresh out of the crate, now we need to cook something


This whole story starts last year right after Chris took delivery of his new smoker, the Deep South CG36 (aka Big Red). As he says in that review we were just hoping that it would put out food equal to our kamado grills.  It was better than the kamados, it blew me away.  I knew right then I was going to step up with the big boys and get me a very high-end smoker.  I wanted something smaller, something I wouldn’t feel guilty if I just thew one pork butt on but could cook for a decent sized party if needed.  My search was on.

I looked at a lot of brands, read a lot of forum pages and made my spreadsheets to analyze everything.  The other finalist last year in Chris’ search was Humphrey’s, that didn’t automatically make them my choice, the spreadsheet had a lot to say about it too.  Well, Humphrey's came out on top and they had just created the wounded warrior color scheme of their Battle Box where they give 10% of all sales to the Wounded Warrior organization and I loved the color scheme; two birds, one stone.

Humphrey’s BBQ Inc. is based out of Limerick Maine and owned by Chad and Nicole Humphrey, two of the nicest folks you will ever deal with.  They started years ago repairing all brands of smokers from backyard to commercial until they finally said let’s make our own.  So they took all the lessons they learned working on other smokers and applied it to their line.  Customer service is top notch.

Chris posted the unboxing of this smoker back in his April posts so be sure to check that out for a lot more pictures.

Features:

  • Insulated, reverse flow box smoker.
  • Welded Tubular sub-frame (think roll cage of race car)
  • 1200 degree nonflammable insulation.  Moisture resistant, fungi resistant, high K value and military certified
  • 3 slide out cooking racks, Stainless Steel.  14.75” x 22”  Holds full-size hotel pan
  • Stainless Steel 4” water pan (mine is the slide-out version, $100 option)
  • Commercial grade style latches, they call them slam latches, they work great.
  • Tel-Tru thermometer
  • 2 probe Ports (standard on my unit optional on most)
  • 8” No Flat wheels (standard on my unit optional on most)
  • Outer Dimensions 24”w x29”d x 43”h, 325 lbs, its heavy
  • Cooking Chamber dimensions 15.25”w x 22.5d x 18”h
  • 10-12 lbs charcoal capacity with run times up to 12 hours, I’m finding longer.

Charcoal box, which is located behind the lower door.  This was after a 5-hour cook at 290, I think I’d be good for 10 more hours or so.  Shown with optional snake T dividers which makes the fire burn in a snake pattern.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Bourbon and Sorghum Ribeye Steaks

[FTC Disclaimer]  I have an informal relationship with Knob Creek and received a care package from them, including the pictured bourbon.  We are sponsored by Certified Angus Beef® Brand. However, this post is not a sponsored post. 

If you have been around Nibble Me This for long, you know that I love pairing bourbon with beef and pork.  The sweet caramel notes complement pork.  For beef, the smoky and peppery flavors in bourbon enhance a grilled steak like nobody's business.

As a general rule, I don't pair sweet with beef.  My photography instructor once told me that it is essential to know the rules, not so you follow them blindly, but so you know WHEN and WHY to break them.  This Ribeye with Bourbon and Sorghum Butter is my exception to the "no sweet with beef" rule.  The smoky sweet steak just works.

Grilled ribeye with bourbon and sorghum butter on a Big Green Egg recipe

Sorghum syrup comes from a grain crop that was grown heavily in the South.  It has a sweet flavor that then turns dark and sultry, sort of like molasses but not exactly.  Ronni Lundy refers to the taste as "Appalachian Umami."  I decided to tie that flavor tantalizer with a good bourbon in a compound butter for steak.  

I chose the Single Barrel Reserve because Breaking Bourbon's review said it has a "rich and creamy sweetness" and "packs a good amount of spice".

I knew the butter tasted great, but I was curious about how it would match up with the steak.  It turned out fantastic, sweet and smoky but it didn't overpower the steak.  Alexis particularly enjoyed this one.
How to grill a ribeye steak on a kamado grill, such as Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg or Grilla Kong


Bourbon and Sorghum Ribeye Steaks


Ingredients


  • 2 Certified Angus Beef® Brand ribeye steaks
  • 2 teaspoons peanut, avocado, canola, or other high-temperature cooking oil
  • 4 teaspoons NMT Umami Steak Seasoning

For the Bourbon and Sorghum Compound Butter

  • 5 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sorghum syrup
  • 1.5 teaspoons Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • kosher salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Prepare your steaks.  Pat the steaks dry.  Apply a light amount of peanut oil to the steaks and season with the NMT Umami Steak Seasoning.  Allow the steaks to rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
  2. Make the compound butter.  Mix the butter, sorghum syrup, bourbon, and black pepper together.  Taste and add salt as needed. 
  3. Grill your steaks.  Preheat your grill to 450-500°f.  Grill the steaks until they reach an internal temperature of 125°f, about 4 minutes per side, for medium rare.
  4. Rest the steaks.  Remove the steaks to a resting rack and immediately top with some of the butter.


The butter will be a bit loose at first until the liquid is fully mixed in.  Just keep whipping it with a fork until it is all combined.

Grill Grates on a Big Green Egg Mini-Max
I grilled the steaks on a Big Green Egg Mini-Max kamado grill set up with GrillGrates.  The ribeyes are in the back.  The two steaks up front are chuck eye steaks. 


I've been doing something a little different with my GrillGrates for steaks lately.  I do 3 minutes a side to get the classic grill marks...



Using GrillGrates upside down as a griddle
...Then I flip the GrillGrates and sear them for about 30 seconds a side to fill in the color between the grill marks just a touch. 


Having the butter left out at room temperature for an hour helps ensure that it melts and gets it's flavoring all over the steak.
grilling asparagus on a big green egg using grillgrates.
For the asparagus, I cooked it without any seasoning.

But as soon as the asparagus came off, I put them on a tray with a room temp compound butter made of garlic salt, black pepper, and dried shallot. 

Grilled steak and asparagus is a classic for a reason - it's just damn delicious.


Tender as you can imagine.  The best part is dragging each bite through the sweet and smoky butter.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Event: 2018 Big Kahuna Wing Festival Knoxville, TN

[FTC Disclosure] This post is not sponsored by anyone.  However in the spirit of full disclosure, we have been sponsored by CharBroil® and SABER® grills, in the past.

A few weekends ago, my youngest son, Trevor, cooked in his first cooking competition at the 6th annual Big Kahuna Wing Festival in World's Fair Park in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Photo Credit Big Kahuna Wing Festival Facebook Page.

  • The Big Kahuna Wing Festival is the brainchild of BKW Wings founder, Matt Beeler. 
  • The event pits 35 teams to serve over 8 tons of chicken wings to 8,000 festival attendees.  
  • Last year the event raised $80,000 for several area charities.
  • This year, the event is a qualifier for the World Food Championships in Orange Beach, Alabama.  So the winner takes their first step towards $110,000.
His cook team was composed entirely of 2018 graduates from his high school - 4 football teammates and his girlfriend Ally.  Alexis and I said we would go along as advisors and to make sure they didn't "kill anyone" with raw chicken.  But we let this be his gig and let him make all of the decisions.


Deep South Smokers gravity fed smoker
Trevor firing up the Deep South Smokers GC36 for practice at the house.

He did a couple of test batches.  Part of it was to test flavor profiles but it was mostly figuring out the timing for production.  We had to figure out how long it took to process wings, how much the cooker could hold at once, how long it took to cook them, what equipment was needed, etc.


Albukirky's Seasonings are fantastic for the grill or kitchen.
After taste testing with his friends, they decided on using Albukirky's Anchonero Hot Rub which is fantastic on wings.  One call to Kirk at Albukirky Seasonings took care of everything we needed.  They have customer service that rivals the quality of their amazing rubs, sauces, and jellies.

KS Customs in Knoxville made these shirts for his team.  Aren't they awesome?  They were printed on Nike Dry-Fit shirts which would be needed since it was going to be a HOT day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Chef Summit 2018

FTC Disclaimer:  This trip was sponsored by Certified Angus Beef® Brand in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC.  All opinions are my own.

Earlier this month Alexis and I were thrilled to attend Chef Summit 2018 at the Certified Angus Beef® Brand's Culinary Center.  Chefs from all over North America came to

  • get hands-on butchery lessons and break down a side of beef,
  • see the level of dedication and care that goes into producing the Best Angus Beef, and
  • gain a better appreciation of under-utilized cuts to use for delicious and profitable menu items.

Here is some of the fun that David Dial (Spiced...One Dash At A Time), Cindy Kerschner (Cindy's Recipes and Writings), Alexis and I had while getting to learn side-by-side with the chefs. 

Day 1

The first day was a reception followed by a dinner prepared by the talented chefs of the Culinary Center. 

Because the event started in the early evening, Alexis and I drove up instead of flying.  This allowed us to enjoy a casual drive through the slightly mountainous Kentucky/Tennessee border, rolling horse country of Kentucky, and the bucolic countryside of Ohio.

Tara opened the event with a session about the history of the brand.  Fun Fact: The Certified Angus Beef® Brand all started because a rancher got a flavorless, tough steak at a restaurant.
The brand began as a desire to foster quality beef.  This program was built on a foundation of quality specifications formulated by a meat scientist.  To this day, quality is the key to their pull-through marketing strategy.

Waste not, want not.  The chefs use trimmings from the Meat Lab to create tasty beef sausages. The tasso is a beefy spin on a spicy Cajun ham that we have made at home, and it was my favorite of the bunch.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Competition Style Brisket on a Kamado Grill

[FTC Disclosure]  This is NOT a sponsored post.  However, we are sponsored by the Certified Angus Beef® Brand.  We have personal relationships with the owners/operators of Flame Boss, Kick Ash Basket, and Albukirky Seasonings.

Brisket is my strongest category at KCBS BBQ competitions.  We aren't a team competing at 20+ events a year, but we almost always get a Top 10 "call" in the brisket category. This isn't the only way to cook a competition brisket, but it is what works for us.

How to make competition style smoked brisket on a kamado grill, such as kamado joe, Big Green Eg,

We now use a Deep South Smoker GC36 for competitions and large cooks, but this is how we do the brisket on kamados using the same process.

Selecting A Brisket

Timing is critical because I like to wet age my briskets for 28 to 32 days before smoking them.  The average time that beef wet ages before selling in retail is 12.7 days, so I typically need to wet age my briskets for about another 15 to 19 days.  I always ask my butcher for the harvest date to be sure.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Green Egg Tuesday at Elder Ace Hardware - Chattanooga

I will be talking grilling with our friends at Elder Ace Hardware's East Brainerd location in Chattanooga.  It is Tuesday, June 12th from 5pm to 7pm.


We will be talking about the Flame Boss, beef tenderloin, and maybe a few secrets that I learn at the Certified Angus Beef® Brand's Chef Summit next week.  If you are in the area, come on out!

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.