Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Holy Voodoo Chicken Wings on the Big Green Egg

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

With the Safer at Home guidelines in place, Alexis and I have missed dining at Knoxville's local restaurants.  I particularly miss our weekly happy hour at Big Kahuna Wings.  BKW does their wings similar to Memphis dry-style ribs, they serve them deep-fried and seasoned with their BKW Original or BKW Fire seasonings.  Your choice of sauce is on the side, so the wings stay extra crispy.

Instead of deep-frying mine, I fire-roasted them and then finished them over direct heat to make them crispy like BKW wings.

Meat Church Holy Voodoo seasoning rocks on crispy fire roasted wings.
Crispy fire-roasted wings seasoned with Meat Church Holy Voodoo and served with an Alabama-style white BBQ sauce on the side.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Bacon Gouda Cheeseburger

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I received no compensation for this post from anyone, including, but not limited to: Sargento, Food City, Kingsford, PK Grill, or JJ George.  I'm just linking the stuff I paid for and used.

If you follow any burger threads on social media, you know that the trendy thing is towering stacks of half a dozen smash burgers, dripping with cheese.  They look amazing, but for me, they are over-the-top.  I'm not a snake with a jaw that I can un-hinge at will.  

This burger is simple and doesn't look like much.  It doesn't even have a shred of lettuce.  But this was the best burger that I have had in the past couple of years.  It's a straightforward ground chuck patty, a seasoned slice of tomato, grilled onions, aged Gouda, mayo, toasted bun, and sorghum-bourbon bacon.

Bacon Gouda Cheeseburger featuring Sargento's Aged Gouda

Bacon Gouda Cheeseburger
Published 3/24/2020


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Grilled Ribeye Steak with Rosemary Garlic Butter

It's no secret that ribeye is one of my favorite steaks.  Then again, so are porterhouse, NY Strip, flank, a good sirloin, and tenderloin.

This is just a quicky and not really a recipe post per se.  Steaks are so easy and delicious that they are often a weeknight meal for us.  This was one of those times. 

I am a daily or almost daily shopper.  My dinner process often starts on the meat aisle at Food City where I see what looks good.  Then I build my meal around that.  On this particular day, they had a beautiful pair of USDA Prime, Certified Angus Beef® Brand ribeye steaks.

USDA Prime, Certified Angus Beef® Brand ribeye steak from Food City
My appetite isn't as voracious as when I was young, so Alexis and I usually split a ribeye.  That also lets us have steaks 2 nights in a row, so that's good.  The trick is making sure that you split both the eye (longisimus muscle) and cap (the spinalis) evenly because the two pieces have different textures to me.  I want some of both!

I seasoned the ribeye steak with the Santa Maria Rub posted online at Certified Angus Beef Brand's website.
My prep process for quick ribeyes is simple.  I wipe it with high-temperature cooking oil (canola, peanut, or avocado), season it, and let it rest at room temperature for at least an hour.  This day I used the Santa Maria Rub recipe from the Certified Angus Beef® website.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Grilled Chicken Piccata

I love the intense flavor of chicken piccata - the briny taste of capers and the bright pop of citrus makes my taste buds dance.

Grilled chicken piccata with fire grilled tomatoes

Alexis and I went to dinner with our neighbors at Cappucino's here in Knoxville a few weeks ago.  I got Chef Frank Aloise's piccata, and it inspired me to fire up a batch at home.

The problem with grilled chicken piccata is that grilling doesn't give you the sucs (brown bits left if the pan) to make a good pan sauce, which is the base of piccata.  Here are a few workarounds for that.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Event Coverage: 2020 Chain of Lakes Eggfest Winter Haven, FL

The Nibble Me This grilling team kicked off our year by having fun and serving mouth-watering food at the 2020 Chain of Lakes Eggfest in Winter Haven, FL, on Presidents Day weekend.  This Eggfest is hosted by Mannix Pools and Grills, and the proceeds go to Girls Inc. and the Boys and Girls Club of Polk County.

What's an Eggfest?

For the uninitiated, an "Eggfest" is a local food festival where grilling teams cook on Big Green Eggs and serve samples of food to crowds of "tasters." 
  • A local Big Green Egg dealer supplies the Big Green Eggs used.
  • Those Big Green Eggs are sold as demo units at a steep discount.
  • The profits from the "taster" ticket sales typically go to support a local charity.
  • There is usually entertainment, such as; live music, local celebrities, bounce houses, games, and live TV/radio broadcasts
  • Some Eggfests have a competition aspect to them, but they are more about socializing, sharing grilling tips, and having a good time.
  • You can find regional Eggfests here.
Here's a look back at our fun weekend through the eyes of my team's mobile phones. 

What a difference 24 hours and 670 miles make!  Knoxville has been rainy, snowy, and cold lately, so Alexis and I were excited to head South for a warmer climate.

Our team always books a large house for Eggfests.  It is just as cheap as hotels and gives us a kitchen to do our event prep the night before. [Photo credit:  Carson W.]

Certified Angus Beef® Brand beef tenderloin
Carson surprised us and brought a beef tenderloin for our Friday night team meal, along with mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, and broccoli.  We didn't have a grill, so we cooked this in an oven and seared it in the cheapest skillet ever.  The skillet was as about as thin as a soda can, so we were actually impressed with how this turned out.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Szechuan Pepper Steak

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I am proud to have Certified Angus Beef® Brand as our beef sponsor.

Have you ever used Szechuan peppercorns?  They are interesting in that contrary to what you might think, they aren't spicy black pepper or chiles.  Even more twisted, they contain a chemical named hydroxy-alpha-sanshool, which creates a slight numbing effect.  You can take advantage of this anesthetic effect by pairing it with spicy heat. 

That's what we did with this Asian inspired Szechuan Pepper Steak that Alexis and I cooked this weekend. The Szechuan peppercorns bring a flowery, almost citrus flavor, and Garlic Chile Butter adds luscious spiciness.  Of course, we cooked it on a grill, but you could absolutely do this on a stovetop.

Szechuan Pepper Steak featuring Certified Angus Beef® Brand NY Strip Steaks from Food City

Szechuan Pepper Steak


  • 2 12-ounce Certified Angus Beef® Brand NY Strip Steaks
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 green onions, sliced on a bias for garnish

For the Dry Rub

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Reverse Seared Tri-Tip and Tri-Tip Cobb Salad

Three proteins?  That's my kind of salad!

Alexis and I made this Tri-Tip Cobb Salad for dinner this week.  It's not really an authentic Cobb salad...maybe Cobb-ish?  Whatever you want to call it, it's delicious.  It features:
  • Reverse-seared beef tri-tip.
  • Home-cured & smoked sorghum bacon (a recipe from our second book)
  • Homemade yeast roll croutons
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Sliced tomato
  • French fried onions
  • Spring mix
  • Homemade blue cheese dressing  

Tri-tip Cobb Salad or Steakhouse Salad

I had been craving beef tri-tip recently because Dan Phelps posted one that he cooked on his Kamado Joe at Learning To Smoke.  I mentioned to him that I hadn't seen tri-tip in the Knoxville area in quite a while and then BAM!  The very next week, I stumbled across a tri-tip!  The Baader-Meinhof effect for meat, perhaps? 

Santa Maria tri-tip rub recipe from Certified Angus Beef® Brand
I have had a jar of Santa Maria tri-tip rub that I made at the Certified Angus Beef® Brand Culinary Center last year.

Beef tri-tip seasoned with Santa Maria rub recipe from Certified Angus Beef Brand
I lightly coated the tri-tip with avocado oil and then liberally applied the Santa Maria rub all over. A lot of people ask me about avocado oil.  It is a high-temperature cooking oil that's excellent for grilling.  It has a neutral flavor, much like olive oil doesn't taste like olives, and peanut oil doesn't taste like peanuts.