Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Grilled Steak and Shrimp

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I have taken the year off from sponsorships; however, I have accepted two educational trips to the Certified Angus Beef® Brand Culinary Center this year.

When you go to the store to pick something up for dinner, do you tend to:
  1. Go to buy a specific protein and have a recipe idea in mind, OR
  2. Go to see what protein looks so good that you can't pass it up and build the meal around that?
If we are just cooking for ourselves, we generally go with the latter.  Alexis and I went to Food City earlier this week and found a package of thin-sliced, USDA Prime, Certified Angus Beef® Brand NY strip steaks.  They also had 26/30 count shrimp for sale, so we decided to make a quick grilled steak and shrimp. 

Grilled NY Strip Steak with Shrimp featuring Certified Angus Beef Brand from Food City

These steaks were thin, weighing in at 6 ounces each.  That's what I call "breakfast steaks" because they are perfect for a quick sear in a skillet and serve along with some fried eggs.  Or in this case, a quick grill and served with buttery, garlicky shrimp.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Grilled Chicken Pita on the Big Green Egg

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

I have been on a Middle Eastern food kick lately so Alexis and I made these fantastic Chicken Pitas with Tzatziki last week.  I marinated the chicken with a spicy oregano vinaigrette and then grilled it to perfection - juicy and bursting with flavor.

Grilled Chicken Pitas with Tzatziki cooked on a Big Green Egg kamado grill

I blame my Middle Eastern cravings on Knoxville's own Yassin's Falafel House.  Yassin's has a message of inclusivity and tolerance and won Reader's Digest's Nicest Place in America last year.  They also happen to make insanely good falafel and one of the best gyros I have ever had.

Yassin's Falafel House in Knoxville has the best gyros and falafel.

We ate at the Yassin's in West Knoxville last week, and it was fabulous as always.  The next night, I was still craving Middle Eastern delights, so we whipped up these pitas.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Recipe Cook: Spiralized Vietnamese Cucumber Salad.....with Chicken!

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

Leave it to me to add meat to a vegetarian dish.

Like everyone, Alexis and I are trying to eat a little healthier as we get older.  Last night, we were going to make this Vietnamese Cucumber Noodle Salad from the May 2019 issue of Eating Well magazine.  It is spiralized cucumbers and carrots tossed in a version of nuoc cham and topped with cilantro and peanuts.  I just had to add some grilled chicken breast.  

I wanted to give the chicken a little Asian flair, but I didn't have time for a marinade, so I improvised.  I used Albukirky Green Chile Rub, which is Southwestern US, but with salt, pepper, chiles, and garlic, it isn't too big a stretch for Asian.  I took 1 tablespoon of the rub and added a 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon of Olde Virden's Spicy Verde for heat.  I seasoned two butterflied chicken breasts with that, and the flavor was passable as Asian.

My "weapon of choice" for this small cook was the Big Green Egg Mini-Max.  A small kamado (13-14") grill is perfect for small amounts like this, plus the grill heats up quickly and doesn't use much coal at all.  

My set up was a Kick Ash Basket full of Parker's Tennessee Hardwood Charcoal, a woo ring, and a stock BGE cast iron grate
I grilled the butterflied chicken breasts halves for about 6 minutes a side at 450°f until they registered 155°f on my Thermapen.  Butterflied thin like this, they will cook all the way through on the carryover cooking, so I pull them a bit early to keep them juicy.

So we made the salad as written and just topped it with this spicy grilled chicken.

I'm not a huge fan of cucumber, but this was surprisingly good.  I want to use the cucumber noodles and make some kind of gyro salad with some seasoned ground beef, shaved red onion, and tzatziki sauce.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Pepper Jack and Chili Juicy Lucy Burgers on the BGE Mini-Max

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I received no compensation for this post.  I took a year off of sponsorships this year, but I still like to disclose that I have a close relationship with the Certified Angus Beef® Brand.

Last night, thunderstorms and hail were moving through our area while I grilled these knock-out Juicy Lucy style burgers stuffed with chili and pepper jack cheese. 

Juicy Lucy Style Certified Angus Beef Brand Burger Stuffed with Chili and Pepper Jack Cheese

I haven't done Juicy Lucy-style burgers in a month of Sundays.  The craving just hit me when I was standing at Food City looking at a pretty Certified Angus Beef® Brand chuck roast that was just begging to be fresh ground for burgers.

I've probably tried a dozen burger presses and Juicy Lucy tools.  In general, I find that just making patties by hand is the easiest way to go.  Just make two 3-4 ounce patties, put your cheese between them, and seal the edges.  But last night, I broke out the ol' Burger Pocket Press that I got years ago just for grins and giggles.  It actually does a good job, I just hate cleaning 4 pieces, that's the only downside.  Well, that and the cost.  No way it should cost $40.