Monday, November 12, 2018

Creamy Southwestern Chicken, Tomato, and Rice Soup

After an Indian Summer the temperatures, cold wet weather has rolled across Eastern Tennessee.  We made this velvety soup to warm the chill off of our bones.

It is a creamy chicken soup loaded with Southwestern seasoned tomatoes and wild rice.  Comfort food at its finest.

Creamy Southwestern Chicken Tomato and Rice Soup

This is more of an idea than a recipe, I wasn't writing things down.  But here's the nexus of it.
  1. Make a veloute sauce.  Make a roux with flour and butter, then whisk in chicken stock.  
  2. Add about 1/2 cup of dry wild rice, 1/2 cup of Southwestern dried tomatoes, and season with NMT BaCock! poultry seasoning.  You could use sun-dried tomatoes instead.  Cook on a low simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Fold in heavy cream.  Taste for seasoning and adjust with more NMT BaCock! poultry seasoning.
  4. Top off with dried parsley and Olde Virden's Super Fine Grind Red Hot.  

Creamy Southwestern Chicken Tomato and Rice Soup

We made some croutons out of extra dinner rolls.  We tossed them into butter in a skillet and sprinkled them with some Albukirky Seasonings Green Chile Rub.  

This was so rich, smooth, crazy good and had just the right kick of spicy heat.  It almost made me wish that I had a cold because this will be AWESOME when you have the sniffles.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Chicken Scratch and Whitebird Sauce Wings

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  This is not a sponsored post.

College basketball season is underway and we fire roasted these wings for last night's Carolina-Elon game.


I was craving these after having some made by Trace Scarborough, owner/operator of Thunderbird, just 2 weekends ago at the Scenic City Eggfest near Chattanooga.  They were the best thing I ate all day.


Trace slow smokes his wings with a healthy dose of pecan wood.  I was in a hurry, so I cooked mine hot and fast.  It's all good, I like cooking wings in several different ways.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Event: 2018 Scenic City Eggfest Recap

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] This is not a sponsored post, although we do have a sponsorship with the Certified Angus Beef® Brand.

Team Nibble Me This had fun cooking and teaching a grilling class at the 2018 Scenic City Eggfest two weekends back.  For the uninitiated, an Eggfest isn't a food festival serving omelets, scrambled eggs, and eggs Benny.  An Eggfest is a food festival that features all sorts of food cooked on Big Green Egg kamado-style grills.

Here are some pictures from our perspective as a cook team so you can see what it is like to cook at one of these events.  They are a lot of fun and you get to meet plenty of great folks.

This new home for the Eggfest is Founder's Hall at The Commons in Collegedale, TN.  This beautiful, brand new facility is probably one of the most excellent Eggfest venues that I have attended.  It is second only to the Pensacola Eggfest (THIS COMING WEEKEND) which is held in the Blue Wahoos stadium, right on the water. 

I was so impressed when we walked into the venue.  It is also great seeing local companies like First Tennessee Bank supporting the event.

This event was hosted by Elder's Ace Hardware Stores, and they had an event store set up. I think the reason they have the best selection of grills, accessories, seasonings, and sauces in East Tennessee is that their leadership loves grilling and actually uses the products that they sell.  

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Southwestern Dried Tomatoes

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  We received no compensation for this post; however, the link for our dehydrator is an Amazon Affiliate link.  

We had a good bit of leftover tomatoes from last weekend's Scenic City Eggfest.  We didn't want them to go bad so we broke out the handy-dandy dehydrator and created a batch of Southwestern Dried Tomatoes.

How to dehydrate tomatoes seasoned with Albukirky Seasoning's Green Chile Rub.

The possibilities for using these have my mind spinning.
  • Turbocharge your rice - Chop some of these up and throw them in with rice when you add the liquid.
  • Add color and pop to seasonings - Grind these up into a powder to add to your seasonings for a boost of red and a depth of flavor.
  • Reconstitute them by steeping them in hot water and toss with oil, black olives, cilantro, fire roasted corn, roasted poblanos, sliced grilled chicken and hot pasta.
  • Spectacular stone ground grits - Chop and mix in with your slow-cooked grits, add some Chihuahua cheese at the end for killer New Mexican Cheese Grits.

The process is simple and easy.  Not quick, but it's just 8-12 hours of ignoring it so still simple and easy.  

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Reverse Pan Seared T-bone Steak with Roasted Garlic Butter

[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.

One of the really cool things about partnering with the Certified Angus Beef® Brand (aside from already loving their great beef) is that every now and then I get surprises in the mail.  This Summer they sent me a copy of Perfectly Aged - 40 Years of Recipes and Stories from A Taste of Texas.   

A Taste of Texas is a Houston landmark steakhouse that has been serving only Certified Angus Beef® Brand for over three decades.  This book features everything that makes a good cookbook.
  • The history of this storied restaurant and Texas itself.
  • Mouthwatering recipes (over 100 of them!) from classics like Prime Rib to the inventive, such as; Seared Tuna "Nachos" with Chimichurri Sauce and Fried Capers.
  • Photos that make your taste buds dance.
  • Sections that focus on teaching technique like Steak School.
We used their garlic butter recipe as the perfect accent for this reverse pan-seared t-bone steak. 


Certified Angus Beef Brand T-Bone Steak with Roasted Garlic Butter featuring the #BestAngusBeef

 The one slight change we made to their recipe was a substantial one - we upgraded garlic to fire roasted garlic.  

How to Fire Roast Garlic on a kamado grill

Fire roasting garlic is easy.  Set your grill up for indirect heat at 350°f degrees.  For me, I used a small kamado grill so indirect meant using a plate setter or heat diffusing stone between the fire and your food.  For a regular grill just shift the coals to one side and cook, lid closed, with the food over the gap or void.  

Just cut off the top quarter of each bulb of garlic to expose the tops of the cloves.  Drizzle them with cooking oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast the garlic until browned and some of the cloves are starting to squeeze up out of the bulb - about 1 hour.  Take that off the grill and squeeze out the delicious pulp from the heads of garlic.  You can save that pulp, refrigerated, for 2 weeks and use it in anything instead of regular garlic.  The stuff is amazing.

Now about that steak.  It was labeled as a T-bone, but the filet portion was significant enough that it would qualify as a porterhouse steak.  I seasoned it with our NMT Umami Steak Seasoning and then let it rest on a rack for over an hour.  This enables the seasoning to be drawn back into the steak and lets the steak temper for even cooking.


To cook the steak, I used a reverse pan-sear method.  That just means I slow roasted it and then seared it in a scorching hot pan to finish it.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Competition-ish Style Ribeye Steak on a PKGrill

[FTC Disclaimer]  We have a professional relationship with Certified Angus Beef® Brand, but this is not a sponsored post.  We did receive a discount on the PK Grill, but the same discount was available to all SCA members.

I am so excited that Alexis bought me a PK Grill for my birthday.

Review of the PK Grill that I got for my birthday.

We have wanted a PK Grill for many years.  They are legendary for their durability, simplicity, and effectiveness.  But I already have so many other grills and smokers (had gotten down to 13 of them) that it was hard to justify getting one.  Several things changed my mind over the summer.
  • Alexis and I became certified judges for the Steak Cookoff Association, and the PK Grill is one of the most commonly used cookers on that circuit.  In fact, it is THE official grill of the SCA.
  • Our friend, Josh Tahan of True Craft BBQ got his this Summer, so I had "grill peer pressure" to get one.  I mean, all the cool kids are getting them...
  • Most importantly, members of the Steak Cookoff Association recently got a major discount on a PK Grill, which saved me about $180.


My first impressions are that the PK Grill is built like a tank but performs like a sports car!

PK Grills are tough and long lasting.

The PK Grill has a reputation for being tough and long-lasting.
  • The design is minimal with few moving parts, so there isn't a lot to go wrong.
  • The two cast aluminum shells are lightweight but robust.  If you hit it with a baseball bat, I think your bat will be damaged as much or more than the grill.
  • Because they are aluminum, they can't rust.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Honey Bacon BBQ Pork Chops

Matt Pittman of Meat Church is like a mad scientist playing with his seasonings.  Once again, he has proclaimed "It's ALIVE!" and rolled out a limited edition rub - Honey Bacon BBQ.


As the name would imply, this BBQ seasoning has the salty/sweet honey profile of Honey Hog and the smoky/bacon flavor of Bacon BBQ seasoning.  It comes out of the gates with a punch of flavor and finishes strong.

The day that I received my free sample from the Mad Scientist himself, I just happened to have a nice pair of Heritage Farms Cheshire Pork.  So I took the easy road and grilled these killer pork chops along with some grilled zucchini and couscous. 


I patted the chops dry, lightly rubbed them with oil and gave them a moderately heavy coat of Meat Church Honey Bacon BBQ.  Then I let them rest at room temperature for an hour so the rub could start acting as a dry brine - pulling the flavor into the meat.

I preheated a large Big Green Egg to 400°f.  The set up was direct heat with GrillGrates in place.  I grilled the chops for about 5 minutes per side (with a quarter turn halfway through each side) and brushed them with a glaze of stock, honey, and several pinches of the Meat Church Honey Bacon BBQ.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

It's Tailgate Time! Open Faced Meatball Sliders on a Kamado Grill

The college football season is just really getting rolling and the teams that I follow are pretty much all already out of contention for a National Championship.  That doesn't matter, it is still fun to watch the games with friends, share a few frosty adult beverages, and fire up the grill, right? 

I have just the recipe for you - Open Faced Meatball Sliders.  They are cheesy, easy, and over-the-top delicious.  Alexis got the idea from So Yummy and this was our spin on it.

Gameday food ideas for the tailgate - Open Faced Meatball Sliders

These are slammin' for any party, office function, or event.  I like to cook them on one of our kamado grills but you can easily do these in an oven.

We used store-bought dinner rolls, meatballs, and marinara sauce, that just makes it easy and it seems more like tailgate food that way.  But if you get the urge, you could certainly make everything from scratch.

Open faced meatball sliders or mini-subs

Here's what you'll need
  • 12 pack of dinner rolls (we used Sara Lee Artesano Bakery Rolls)
  • 12 premade meatballs (we used Carando Sicilian Style)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon roasted garlic or minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 12 slices Sargento Ultra Thin Provolone
  • 1.5 cups marinara sauce
  • 6 ounces shredded mozzarella (about 1.5 cups)
  • 1-2 ounces parmesan cheese, fresh shredded
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • basil or fresh parsley for garnish
  • a 9"x13" casserole dish or a half-sized steam pan, lightly greased

Monday, September 24, 2018

Fire Roasted Chicken Breast with Chipotle White Sauce

In November 2016, I was at a hog pickin' in Smithfield, Virginia.  Robyn Lindars, Clint Cantwell and I got to spend a good bit of time with Tuffy Stone.  


He excitedly talked with us about the book project on which he was working, both the ups and downs.  He spoke of creating delicious recipes that were memorable yet also approachable for the home cook.  

Tuffy Stone is renowned in the BBQ world for his achievements 
  • Two-time champion at the American Royal
  • Three-time champion at the Jack Daniels Invitational (only team to ever do that)
  • Judge on BBQ Pitmasters
But a lot of people don't realize that he's also a former U.S. Marine and a classically trained chef.  

At the time, it seemed like it would be FOREVER before the book came out but Cool Smoked - The Art of Great Barbecue finally came out late this Spring.  And a classic BBQ book, it is.


Book Review Tuffy Stone Cool Smoke the Art of Great Barbecue

Last week, I decided to make Tuffy's Chipotle White Sauce and use it on some fire-roasted, bone-in chicken breasts.

Fire roasted chicken with chipotle white sauce

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.