Monday, October 30, 2017

Scenic City Eggfest 2017 - Ooltewah TN

[FTC Disclaimer]  We are proud to be sponsored by Certified Angus Beef®.

This weekend was the inaugural Scenic City Eggfest in Ooltewah, TN hosted by Elder's Ace Hardware and the Nibble Me This BBQ Team was there to cook.  

Photo credit:  Elder's Ace Hardware

Here are a handful of pictures from the event.  I apologize for the quality and quantity in advance, I didn't have my camera (we just used our phones) and I didn't have time to get out and get shots of the other great teams like I normally do.

Big Green Egg Eggfest
It's a Big Green Egg invasion!  Photo credit:  Elder's Ace Hardware

Monday, October 23, 2017

Fusion Mini Tacos - Teriyaki Pork with Thai Peanut Slaw

[FTC Disclaimer] We are proud to be sponsored by Smithfield's extensive line of Fresh Marinated Pork.  This is our 6th and final sponsored post for the year featuring these time saving products.

There is a fine line between fusion and confusion when blending cuisines.  These Fusion Mini Tacos tip-toe right up to that line and do a little dance. Fusion Mini Tacos take the tastes of Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand and serves them in a Mexican style.  

The light and crispy shell crumbles when you bite into it and contrasts against the tender pork.  Smithfield's Sweet Teriyaki Fresh Marinated Pork pairs exceptionally with the rich and nutty slaw, spicy chile paste, and aromatic cilantro.   These mini-tacos are fun, bursting with flavor, and will brighten up any tailgate or party menu. 

Asian Fusion Mini Tacos featuring Smithfield Sweet Teriyaki Fresh Marinated Pork Tenderloin recipe

The Smithfield Fresh Marinated Pork products are a smart foundation for a quick 30-minute meal and you can find plenty of inspiration at their Real Flavor Real Fast website. Smithfield uses only 100% fresh pork, packed with protein, for these and I've only gotten quality pork from them.

This recipe for Teriyaki Pork Mini-Tacos with Thai Peanut Slaw is crispy and delicious.
The 2 inch sized tacos were the perfect bite.

Teriyaki Pork Tacos with Thai Peanut Slaw


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Shredded Chuck Roast, White Beans and Rice

[FTC Disclaimer]  Certified Angus Beef® is a sponsor of Nibble Me This for 2017; however, this is not a sponsored post. 

I've been hung up on comfort food for the past week and things have been very hectic at home this week.  That means one thing:  Comfort food + hectic schedule = slow cooker (aka Crock-Pot®)  

Yeah, I used a crock pot.  In a perfect world, where I have nothing to do but cook:
  • I would have done a smoke/braise of the chuck roast on a kamado grill.
  • I would have done white beans in a pressure cooker. 
  • I would put some pretty garnish on top.
But life happens and you still need to eat.  We cook this kind of stuff on those days and this is what I cooked for dinner last night.

Lucky for me, I had an extra Certified Angus Beef® chuck roast, from my Food City, sitting in my refrigerator.   

Shredded Chuck Roast, White Beans, and Rice


  • 3.5 pound Certified Angus Beef® chuck roast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper, coarse ground, dustless
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • tallow or other high temperature oil for searing
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 15.8 ounce can great northern beans
  • 1/3 cup finely diced carrot
  • 3 strips bacon, cooked and finely chopped
  • 3 cups cooked rice


  1. Prepare the chuck roast.  Pat the roast dry and then apply oil to the surface.  Mix together the salt, pepper, and garlic and season the roast with this mix.
  2. Sear the chuck roast.  Preheat a skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat.  When heated, add oil to the pan and sear the roast for 5 minutes per side.
  3. Braise the roast.  Place the roast in a slow cooker.  Add the onion, beef stock, and allow to cook until fork tender, about 8-10 hours.
  4. Make the white beans.  Saute the carrot in a small pot until tender, 3-5 minutes.  Add the beans and bacon.  Bring to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Shred the beef.  Move the beef to a cutting board, break into shreds using forks and remove any visible fat/connective tissue. Taste the beef and season with more salt/pepper to taste. Return this to the sauce in the crock pot.
  6. Serve.  Place rice in a bowl, top with the beef and the white beans.
Of course, as soon as the picture was taken, I stirred it all together and dove right in.  It was just what we needed for dinner last night.  

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fire Roasted Meatloaf with Honey Whiskey Glaze

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  We are proud to have Certified Angus Beef® as a sponsor of Nibble Me This. 

What is your favorite comfort food?

When Fall turns the Smoky Mountains red, yellow, and orange each year, I find myself craving one of my favorite comfort foods - meatloaf.  If you have never tried your favorite meatloaf recipe on a grill, you are missing out, friend.  Fire roasting meatloaf gives it a crisp, tasty exterior and another level of flavor.

To Pan or Not To Pan

I like to cook my meatloaf without a loaf pan, on a raised rack over a small sheet pan.  I do this for a few reasons.  
  • Better Texture - Cooking meatloaf without a pan lets the rendered beef fat drip away from the meatloaf.  Cooking it with a loaf pan leaves the meatloaf languishing in the grease.
  • More Flavor - Cooking meatloaf on a raised rack lets the entire exterior get the benefit of fire roasting.  A pan shields 5 of the 6 sides of a meatloaf and only lets the top get fire roasted.  

Here is a meatloaf that we cooked this weekend.  The recipe isn't anything radically different, but I do a few things to elevate the meatloaf.  
  • I start with a fresh ground Certified Angus Beef® chuck roast from our Food City.  
  • I add fire roasted red bell pepper and poblano chile to amplify the flavor.  
  • Of course, I grill it as already mentioned.
  • I use a delicious honey whiskey bbq sauce as the glaze instead of the typical ketchup glaze.

Recipe for fire roasted meatloaf with honey whiskey glaze

Fire Roasted Meat Loaf with Honey Whiskey Glaze


Friday, October 13, 2017

Grilled Thick Pork Chops with Apple and Apricot Sauce

One of the friends I have made through online BBQ contacts is Lee, over on the West coast.  He sent us a generous package of his homemade sauces, jams, and jellies a while back.  But I have been saving Lee's stuff for special recipes like these pork chops that I made earlier this week.

recipe for Thick Grilled Pork Chops with Apple and Apricot Sauce

I steal the technique and recipe idea from Chef Adam Perry Lang's BBQ 25 (great grilling resource for intermediate grillers wanting to up their game).  Shuttling the chops back and forth from the grates to a pan of goodness cooks layers of flavors onto the pork chops.  The sauce becomes a smoky, sweet syrup that makes the pork chop sing.  

Grilled Thick Pork Chops with Apple and Apricot Sauce


  • 2 porterhouse pork chops, bone-in, 1" thick
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper (coarse ground Malabar, dustless)
  • 2 gala apples, cored, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  • 3 tablespoons sweet BBQ seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple pie seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chicken stock

Monday, October 9, 2017

Event: 2017 Lamar Johnson Classic - A BBQ Event Ooltewah, TN

Alexis and I judged the 2017 Lamar Johnson Classic Saturday in scenic Ooltewah, Tennessee.

The Lamar Johnson Classic is a regional BBQ competition held in the foothills town just a few miles North of Chattanooga. The contest is organized by our friend, Steve Ray.  Lamar Johnson was a legendary pitmaster in the area.  I'll let Steve's own words tell you more about the contest's namesake.

Around 1905 to 1910, when Ooltewah was the county seat of James County, a legendary man named Lamar Johnson smoked whole hog BBQ near Mineral Park just off the old hwy that connected Ooltewah to Cleveland. Travelers by train going and coming from Atlanta to Ooltewah to Chattanooga would stop over at the busy Ooltewah Train Depot and make the short trip east on what was then known as Fitzgerald Pass. It was there at Mineral Park where they stopped and sampled the whole hog BBQ of Lamar Johnson.
The Lamar Johnson Classic is a "non-sanctioned" contest meaning they have not gone through a sanctioning body like the Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS), Memphis BBQ Network (MBN), World Food Championships (WFC) or other agency.  Sanctioning bodies provide a framework of rules, judging, and processes for consistency.  Here's how a non-sanctioned event like this one differs from the typical KCBS contests in which we normally compete.
  • Meat Categories - KCBS events typically require the 4 main meats - chicken, pork ribs, pork, and brisket.  The Lamar Johnson Classic categories are burger, pork tenderloin, and pork ribs.
  • Timing - Since the meats are all short cooks (no brisket or butts), these are usually single day contests rather than overnight.  Additionally, the turn in times in KCBS are pretty consistently (but not always) the tight time windows of 12, 12:30, 1, and 1:30.  The Lamar Johnson Classic had turn in times an hour apart.
  • Judging - Sanctioning events prescribe specific judging procedures and often require certification for judges.  The Lamar Johnson Classic used a judging style similar to the E.A.T. Methodology used by the World Food Championships because about half of the judges were either E.A.T. certified, KCBS certified, or both.  

Neither style is better, they are just different.  Non-sanctioned events tend to allow for more creativity from the cook teams.  Non-sanctioned events are often more fan friendly since you can see more of the action with cook teams under tents instead of inside trailers.  Sanctioned events usually have more prize money and have consistency so you know what to expect from contest to contest.

Eppy's BBQ used a small black steel off-set pit.  Off-set steel pits are what most people envision when you mention a BBQ pit. They require constant attention but in the hands of a capable pitmaster, it's hard to beat the BBQ off of a wood fired pit.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Smoked Turkey Breast with Bourbon Orange Glaze on a Grilla Pellet Cooker

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  This is not a compensated post; however, I did receive my Grilla pellet grill as thank you for competing on Grilla's Pro Team at Memphis In May.

Alexis was craving good turkey for lunch meat so we smoked a turkey breast last weekend just for slicing.  It is also good to get some practice in before Thanksgiving, right? 

I opted to use my Grilla pellet cooker for a couple of reasons.  First, I like the color that it builds up on food.  Second and probably more importantly, I was juggling tasks and wanted the ease and reliability of using a pellet cooker.  

Monday, October 2, 2017

Breakfast Bowls with Goetta Sausage, Hatch Chile Cheese Grits, and Eggs

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] I have a agreement with Char-Broil® to provide content (recipes/tips/pictures) for their website and I received the pictured grill as part of that compensation package; however, this is not a sponsored post.

I just returned home from a food related business conference and every time you turned around, someone was giving you some delicious creation to eat. It was nice being catered to but the first thing I wanted to do when I got home was cook for myself.  

It was an absolutely gorgeous Saturday morning with warm sunshine and a pleasant early Fall breeze so it was a day for breakfast outside.  I scrambled through the fridge and found a few things.
  • Hatch green chiles - Big Dude tells me these famous chiles are a regional variation of Big Jim chiles.
  • Oaxaca cheese - A Mexican cheese that has a buttery flavor, semi-soft texture, and melts quite well.  We call it Mexican Mozzarella because it is similar, but we like Oaxaca better.
  • Goetta sausage - a sausage with German heritage from Cinncinati that is pork sausage that contains oats.
I used those to create these fantastic breakfast bowls.

Breakfast Bowls with Goetta Sausage, Hatch Chile Cheese Grits, and Eggs