Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Cheddar Burger with Candied Bacon and Brisket Jus Mayo

 [Standard Disclaimer] I receive no compensation for this post.

This burger that we made for dinner last night was amazing. It boasted a big half-pound beef patty laced with mild cheddar, topped with candied bacon, sliced fresh Grainger County tomato, greenery, and a ridiculously good brisket jus mayo. 

Cheddar Burger with Candied Bacon and Brisket Jus Mayo

Brisket jus is the delicious, gelatinous nectar that is left in the foil after wrapping a brisket. It comes from the magic of breaking down the connective tissues during the long cook and turns it into something intensely flavored and velvety in texture. Adding it to mayonnaise creates a killer condiment or dipping sauce.

Gelatin formed by smoked beef brisket jus
This is the gelatin formed by the beef jus when I left the whole brisket in the fridge overnight. It's a cheat code for beefilicious flavor.

I realize most folks aren't going to have brisket jus sitting in their fridge. I haven't tried it yet, but I think you could probably substitute one of those concentrated Knorr Beef Stock gel packs. Mix it with some mayo and adjust the flavor with some finely ground beef rub if necessary.

Pig Candy aka candied bacon, is a fun topper for burgers.
I used some of my home-cured and home-smoked Sorghum and Bourbon Bacon for the candied bacon.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Reverse Seared Porterhouse Steak with Skillet Potatoes Au Gratin

[FTC Standard Disclosure] We received no compensation for this post.

Last night, Alexis and I grilled a thick porterhouse steak and improvised a skillet potatoes au gratin. This isn't a recipe post exactly but it is the details of what we did.

Reverse seared porterhouse steak on the Big Green Egg kamado grill

We found the beefy 24-ounce porterhouse at Butler & Bailey Market, an unassuming, single-establishment grocer in Knoxville. The store is dated and small, it's like stepping back in time to a grocery store in the late 80's. That's part of their charm, they are the opposite of the chain mega-stores these days.  You can't buy tires or mattresses there, Butler & Bailey excels with their customer service and specialty departments. They also sell Parker's Lump Charcoal, which is made with Tennessee hardwoods.

Searing a porterhouse steak on a Big Green Egg Mini-Max kamado grill

Steak Preparation

Monday, July 20, 2020

Grilled Chicken Sausage Pasta

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] We received no compensation for this post.

This was a quick and easy dish that we whipped up this weekend after Alexis bought some chicken sausage from Costco that had artichoke, garlic, and mozzarella. The sausages looked and sounded delicious, so I wanted to use them some way other than just grilled and thrown in a bun. 

Grilled chicken sausage pasta recipe

In the Summer, I like to keep my pasta dishes simple and on the light side in terms of sauces. The only sauce in this dish is the butter and juices from the sauteed vegetables, which totally works. The Sabatino's sausages were boldly flavored and juicy, but you could probably swap out any fully-cooked chicken sausages, and it would work in this recipe.

Grilled chicken sausage pasta on the Big Green Egg

Grilled Chicken Sausage Pasta

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Grilled Sirloin Steak with Sweet and Sour Vegetables

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  I received a free sample of Dizzy Pig Spicy Pineapple Head in the mail. The approximate value is $0.62, so I think we're safe from undue influence on this one. 😋

Sirloin steaks are my red-headed stepchild. There's nothing wrong with them, but I have a hard time turning down the well-marbled ribeye steaks and NY strips that my grocery store routinely offers. But with COVID-19 affecting things, I need to shed some quarantine pounds, and beef prices have been a bit more expensive. Sirloin steak is a delicious, lean, tender, and less-costly alternative. 

These Grilled Sirloin Steaks with Sweet and Sour Vegetables are an excellent example of that. 

Grilled Sirloin Steak with Sweet and Sour Vegetables recipe on the Big Green Egg

I thought that the sweet and spicy flavor of the Spicy Pineapple Head would pair well with sweet and sour stir fry. My prep for the steak was simple - I marinated it in ponzu sauce, then seasoned it with Spicy Pineapple Head and grilled it.  

Friday, July 3, 2020

Chorizo Chili Burgers with Cilantro Avocado Slaw

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] I receive no compensation for this post.
I have been burning the candle at both ends lately and I wanted something easy but delicious last night. I had some ground chuck and came up with these tasty burgers. The chorizo chili sauce is just a spin on my favorite hot dog chili sauce. The slaw is cheating because I use a store-bought salad dressing for the base but it is so good, you'd never know it.

Chorizo chili burger recipe grilled on the Big Green Egg kamado grill
The spicy chorizo chili and creamy avocado slaw play well together.

I'm going to be a little vague with the measurements because I was just making this up as I went. Vague but accurate, if that's a thing. 

Chorizo Chili Burgers with Cilantro Avocado Slaw

Published 07/03/2020


Monday, June 29, 2020

The Perfect Grilled Lobster at Home

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

I haven't done enough seafood on my blog so today, I'm sharing a guest post from Lobster Anywhere on how to grill killer lobster at home.

The Perfect Grilled Lobster at Home

Lobster on the grill might not be the first cooking method that comes to your mind but trust us. It is absolutely amazing when prepared with the right recipe. Like other types of seafood, timing is critical. It suffers a similar fate like shrimp if you overcook it. Our guide will give you everything you need to know to master its delicious and decadent preparation.

Fire up the grill! Let’s get cooking!

How to grill perfect lobster by Lobster Anywhere

Choosing the Right Lobster

As with any BBQ dish, it begins with quality ingredients. You’ll typically find lobster sold frozen as tails or live in a tank. If you’re squeamish about the prep for the whole animal, you’ll get the bulk of the meat with the tail with less work to get it to the grill. You’ll see either warm or cold-water varieties. The distinction is where the seafood is sourced.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Fried Pork Chop Sliders on the Big Green Egg

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

These Fried Pork Chop Sliders that we cooked on the Big Green Egg this week are crispy, delicious, and are a cheap way to feed a crowd quickly. 

Fried pork chop sliders with Olde Vidern's spicy pickles

If your stores are like ours, the meat selection is hit and miss during the impact of COVID-19. This pack of extra-thin pork chops looked good and was under $10, so I thought I'd try frying them for sliders. I pounded the chops into thin cutlets and shallow fried them on the grill.

Shallow Frying

Everyone knows what deep-frying is, but what is shallow frying? Per Rouxbe Online Culinary School, shallow frying is a cross between deep-frying and pan-frying. It is frying in a pan with the oil deep enough that it comes to halfway up on the food. Here are some tips for shallow frying on a grill.

  • Any time you cook with oil over a live flame, there is an enhanced fire risk. Make sure you have a tight-fitting lid for your skillet and long-sleeved heat-resistant gloves on the ready.
  • Use a cast-iron skillet or other grill-safe, heavy-bottomed pan with steep walls that are at least as twice as tall as your oil depth when food is loaded. If the oil spills over the skillet and into your flames, you're gonna have a bad time.
  • Know your oil temperature throughout the cook. I use a Thermapen and a non-contact thermometer for keeping tabs on how hot my oil is.
  • Generally, I like to fry in oil that is 350f to 375f.
  • If the oil is too hot, you can burn your oil or burn the crust of the food before it is done cooking. Both of those options taste foul. 
  • If the oil is too low, the food will be greasy and/or undercooked. That's not pleasant.
  • Add food in small batches to avoid temperature swings.
  • Season your food with fine salt as soon as the food comes out of the frying oil.
Fried pork cutlets frying in a cast iron skillet
You can easily make these on your stovetop or on the side burner of a gas grill. Here I'm cooking a test batch on our Saber Elite 3-burner gas grill. We have natural gas in our kitchen but I hate the lingering fried-food smell after frying inside.

If Things Go Wrong

If something does go astray and your oil catches fire, don't panic but move quickly. Don't try moving the skillet. Cover the skillet with the lid, if you can do so safely. If the fire is outside of the skillet, close the grill lid and shut down all the vents. If you are using a gas or pellet grill, turn off the fuel supply. Wait long enough for the grill and skillet to cool off before opening the grill.

Fried Pork Chop Sliders on the Big Green Egg
I have tried several configurations, but my favorite comes back to a non-toasted sweet bun, Buffalo sauce, and spicy pickles.