Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pizza Day ~ 103 degrees outside, 700 in the egg

Call us crazy...but hungry.

Grilled Cuban Pork Sandwiches me cooking is all about taste, quit worrying about lighting and presentation years ago.  This particular recipe I pirated from Chris at NibbleMeThis.COM in 2012 and it is one that we do not prepare enough...Cuban Pork Sandwiches.  This was all prepared on my Rosle Kettle Grill, quickly becoming my favorite grill for quick cooks. 

I like to prep, cook, eat, clean up and move on.  Chris goes all in...all the time.  But hey, we're Internet Grillin' friends so whats a few stolen recipes between those who've never really met? LOL.
The plating looks a little boring but the meal was spot - on !

For tonight's meal I have prepared what I am going to call Grilled Pork Cuban Butterflies and Seasoned Pee-Wee Roasted potatoes

I tossed out the potato preparation and all the ingredients from Chris's potatoes and also from Bobby Flay's original pork chop recipe and went with Pee-Wee potatoes (no cutting required) and Mojo (I didn't have all those spices in Flay's list anyway).   This makes preparation a snap, which is my new MO...quick and tasty. 

Ingredients for the Grilled Cuban Butterfly Pork chops
  • 6 - Butterflied Pork Chops (approx. 6 ounces each)
  • 1 - Bottle, Mojo (eliminates the entire list on Flay's ingredients) 
  • Suggested additional 'fixins'"
    • Mustard
    • Honey Ham (deli sliced)
    • Baby Swiss Cheese (deli sliced)
    • Tomato slices (TOTALLY optional and non-traditional)
  • NO BUNS or CUBAN ROLLS required!
Potato ingredients
  • 1  - 3 Lb. Bag - Yellow Pee-Wee Potatoes, rinsed (use the quantity you need to feed your guests, 3 Lb. might be on the high end for feeding 6).
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Black Pepper
  • Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Dried Roasted Garlic

Pork Directions
1. Place chops in a 9 x 13 roaster and soak in Mojo, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
2. Remove 45 minutes prior to cooking and drain off marinade.  Cover in plastic wrap again and let come to near room temperature while the grill gets hot.
3. Prepare the chops by layering your favorite ingredients then fold.  You might need to stick a toothpick in them to keep them 'folded.'
4. Fire up (in this case I used my Rosle Kettle grill) and Kingsford Charcoal and place on hot grid and sear grill marks into each side.
5. Raise grid or place a grill basked on the grid (the idea is to raise the pork chops further from the heat so the pork can finish without demolishing the cheese and condiments. Optional:  Use a grilling surface like a Emile Henry Baking Stone for final cooking cycle instead of raising the grid or messing with temperature controls.
6. Cook to temp and remove to rest for 3-5 minutes and serve. 

Finished Marinating

Layered on Honey Ham, Home Canned Dill Pickle Slices and Baby Mozzarella

 All Wrapped up and ready for the Grill (that's a Emile Henry Small Baking Stone)

Potato Directions
1. Rinse potatoes and pat dry and dump into a gallon freezer bag.
2. Add spices (to taste but using those recommended above) will NOT take much.

All spiced up for the oven (I hate cooking anything indoors!)

3. Set aside or refrigerate depending on how soon you will cook.
4. If you are going to use the oven (sacrilegious at our house) cook on a cookie sheet at 350-375 F until tender. If you cook on the grill, use a grill rack and roast until tender, rotating constantly to avoid burning.

Note:  The potatoes will take 20 minutes minimum....prepare them BEFORE you start the pork chops because those will cook in under 10 minutes. 

KEEP ON EGGIN' my Friends! (or Rosle'n)
More information than you will ever want to know about the Cuban Sandwich paraphrased from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (so you gotta know this is suspect information LOL).
The Cuban sandwich is a variation of a ham and cheese originally created in cafes catering to Cuban workers in Cuba and in the early Cuban immigrant communities of Florida: Key West and Ybor City, Tampa. Later on, Cuban exiles and expatriates brought it to Miami  where it is also still very popular. The sandwich is made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and sometimes salami (the Italian influence) on Cuban bread. FUN FACT!!!! In April 2012, the "Historic Tampa Cuban Sandwich" was designated as the "signature sandwich of the city of Tampa" by Tampa's city council.
While there is some debate as to the contents of a "true" Cuban sandwich, most are generally agreed upon. The traditional Cuban sandwich starts with Cuban bread. The loaf is sliced into lengths of 8-12 inches (20–30 cm), lightly buttered or brushed with olive oil on the crust, and cut in half horizontally. A coat of yellow mustard is spread on the bread. Then roast pork, glazed ham, Swiss cheese, and thinly-sliced dill pickles are added in layers. Sometimes the pork is marinated in mojo and slow roasted.  The main regional disagreement about the sandwich’s recipe is whether or not to include salami.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

New York Strip Steaks

New York Strip steaks prepared 'reverse sear' tonight.  Combined with some tender crisp veggies and corn on the cob...
 How do you get there? - I used to post every weekend, create recipes and put endless lists of ingredients and directions.  We've gone SIMPLE in our cooking and in our directions.  I hope you enjoy this method. 
  1. Buy four 12 oz. Angus Beef NW Strip (HyVee brand) 
  2. Rub with my Jail Break Rub  recipe posted her on the blog.
  3. Set up Rosle grill for indirect.
  4. Chop Veggies; 1 each large Red, Green, Orange Bell pepper, 1/2 Large Vildalia onion, 2-3 Teaspoons of Minced Garlic and a dose of Paul Prudhommes Vegetable Magic.
  5. Simmered direct in a terracotta roasting pan, stirring once to Tender-crisp.  Remove and cover.
  6. Boil water with copious amounts of sea salt and sugar and boil Corn for 10 minutes.
  7. Drop steaks on middle of grid for 3-5 minutes per side
  8. Remove and let rest for 3 minutes, place over coals for 2 minutes each side for the SEAR or GRILL MARKS.
  9. Remove and cover, let stand for 5 minutes and serve
  10. If you FORGET to buy fancy bread, use REGULAR bread and toast it with butter and garlic and parsley spice.  As always, serve EVERYTHING with Green Onions. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pizza on the Big Green Egg

Grilled Pizza is the BEST....and what PIZZA CRUST to use IS NOT A DEBATE. 

I see endless forum recipes and all kinds of equipment and ingredients going into the preparation for a simple thin crust pizza.  I've tried them all and I keep coming back to my .89 cent package of Betty Crocker Pizza Crust Mix.  It is ready in about two minutes, cooks very consistently and tastes great.  
Here are the dough's rolled out (by hand only) with a light drizzle of EVOO and a sprinkling of Paul Prudhommes Pasta and Pizza Magic.  We use 2 Cups of Shredded Mozzarella cheese on each pizza recipe we make.

Ingredients for our cook tonight - One Veggie Pizza and one Sausage
  • Two packages of Betty Crocker Pizza Dough
  • 1 Cup of HOT water
  • 1 Pound of Honeysuckle Italian Turkey Sausage, browned in the microwave
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (organic)
  • 6 Sweet Banana peppers (seeded and chopped) (organic - Cat Poop Only)
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper (organic)
  • 1/2 Large Vidalia Onion, Sliced and diced.
  • 30 or so Sweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes (organic), slice in half
  • Black Olives
  • Canned Mushrooms
  • 1 Pint - 'Hulsmeyer Family' Homemade Pizza Sauce 
  • Parchment paper
  • Crushed Red Peppers (garnish)
  1. Fire up BGE to T Rex
  2. Add Plate-setter, legs down
  3. Add Pizza Stone
  4. Close lid and bring temp to 450-600 degrees (it REALLY isn't that critical after you reach the 500 range, its about time and one peek at about 8 minutes. 
  5. Prepare pizzas, place on parchment paper and transfer to pizza stone
  6. Cook for 9-13 minutes (depends MOSTLY on number and thickness of ingredients.  The BC Pizza dough is typically done in about 10-11 minutes. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Reverse Sear on the Rösle Charcoal Grill

Take 2...this weekend it's Reverse Sear on the Rösle Charcoal Grill.  Now that I have tried it, I am hooked.  Last week I dipped my toe into the Reverse Sear world and the results were amazing, that was on the Big Green Egg.  This week I reproduced, and frankly with slightly better results on my Rösle.  

Just like last post, the concept is simple, Reverse Sear allows you to approach your favorite internal temp first, then sear on those grill marks we all love to take pictures and post on the internet.  This is really a testament to the fact that the rules of Steak 101 apply to char-coaling nice cuts of beef - Meat is a muscle; when subjected to extreme temperatures in constricts.  

Traditional grilling methods are sear, remove, rest (relaxing is the real thing that is occurring), return to the grill and hope for the best in the middle.  Reverse Sear, reverses the process and with better results than traditional grilling. 

  • 2 - 12 Oz. 1.5-1.75" Angus Beef® KC Strips (NY Strips outside the Midwest).
  • Rub of your choice, however tonight I used a light dusting of Pink Himalayan Salt, White Pepper and Paul Prudhomme's Anaheim Chile. 
  • Set up the Rösle for indirect cooking (Pictured here)
  • Lower the dome and let the temperature rise to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or higher). 
  • Prepare yours steaks as you would normally, seasoning of your choice, as I mentioned above, tonight I used a light dusting of Pink Himalayan Salt, White Pepper and Paul Prudhomme's Anaheim Chile. 
  • When you reach temp, plop your meat directly on the Grid. In this case in the MIDDLE and not above the coals as pictured below.

  • Remove the grid and dump the indirect coals into a pile in the middle, lid up and vents open and let them get TRex Hot.  
  • Place steaks directly over the flame to sear in those coveted grill marks and flip once (picture at the top of this post) about 60-90 seconds depending on how hot your coals and if you have flame present. 
  • Remove and let relax while you dish up your sides and serve.

Sunday, June 29, 2014



Char-coal [2](chär'kōl') n. A black, porous, carbonaceous material, 85 to 98 percent carbon, produced by the destructive distillation of wood and used as a fuel, filter, and absorbent.

Natural Lump Charcoal [1] comes from partially burning wood created by heating wood without oxygen turning it into nearly 100% carbon. During the process all volatile compounds in the wood (water, hydrogen, methane and tars) pass off as vapors into the air, some of the carbon is consumed as fuel, and the rest of the carbon is converted into charcoal.

Since Charcoal is 100% pure wood carbon, it weights much less than its original state. It is also free of tars (which can contain carcinogenic compounds, like benzo-a-pyrene). And unless it has been exposed to moisture and variable temperature, natural lump charcoal will last literally forever.
The low ash production of lump charcoal is very important. Ceramic grills and Smokers have a fire bowl holding the charcoal. As the charcoal burns, the ash falls down into the bottom of the bowl. There isn't room for a whole lot of ash. Lump charcoal tends to burns hotter and faster than briquettes. Lump charcoal will also burn at whatever rate and temperature that you allow it to. Briquettes tend to burn slower as they were designed to be used in an uncontrolled environment.

There are 2 types of charcoals:
the first type comes from natural wood which has been cut and made into charcoal. This is as natural as you can get. The wood comes from trees, branches and scrap pieces from saw mills. The second type comes from using processed scrap wood and tuning it into charcoal. Processed scrap wood tend to burn faster since its density is lesser than natural. This is mainly because there is less moisture into the wood at the time it is transformed into charcoals. This wood comes from wood flooring scraps, building material scrap and furniture scraps and others.[1,3]

How was it made originally?
Wood charcoal productions origin is very remote however the method of producing it consisted generally of piling billets of wood on their ends creating a conical shaped pile with openings at the bottom to admit air and a shaft in the middle to act as a flue. The whole pile is covered with turf or moistened clay or even additional lumber. A fire is lit at the bottom of the flue and gradually spreads outwards and upwards. The success of the operation depends upon the rate of the combustion. Under average conditions, 100 parts of wood yield about 60 parts by volume, or 25 parts by weight, of charcoal; small scale production on the spot often yields only about 50%, large scale was efficient to about 90% even by the 17th century. The operation is so delicate that it was generally left to professional charcoal burners. These often worked in solitary groups in the woods and had a rather bad social reputation, especially traveling ones who often sold a sack (priced at about a day's wage) with lots of rubbish mixed in to farmers and townsfolk. [4]

How is it made today? In the modern method, wood is raised to a high temperature in an iron retort, and industrially important byproducts, e.g., methanol (wood alcohol or wood spirit), acetone , pyroligneous acid , and acetic acid , are saved by condensing them to their liquid form. Air is not really needed in the carbonization process, and advanced methods of charcoal production do not allow air to enter the kiln. This results in a higher yield, since no wood is burned with the air, and quality is improved. Charcoal is also obtained from substances other than wood such as nut shells and bark; that obtained from bones is called bone black, animal black, or animal charcoal.

Charcoal yields a larger amount of heat in proportion to its volume than is obtained from a corresponding quantity of wood and has the further advantage of being smokeless. The greatest amount is used as a fuel. Charcoal is often used in blacksmithing, for cooking, and for other industrial applications. One of the most important applications of wood charcoal is as a component of gunpowder . It is also used as a reducing agent in metallurgical operations, but this application was diminished by the introduction of coke . A limited quantity is made up into the form of drawing crayon. Bamboo charcoal is the principal ingredient in sumi-e, a form of Japanese ink painting that uses only black ink in various concentrations.

Because of its porous structure, finely divided charcoal is a highly efficient agent for filtering the adsorption of gases and of solids from solution. It is used in sugar refining, in water purification, in the purification of factory air, and in gas masks. Wood charcoal can remove coloring agents from solutions, but this is accomplished more efficiently by animal charcoal. By special heating or chemical processes the absorptive property can be greatly increased; charcoal so treated is known as activated charcoal.
Information in this blog post has been paraphrased from text but not limited to the references herein:
[1][2] “charcoal.” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Houghton MIfflin Company, 2004, 03 Apr.2008 and taken from[3] Author not available, CHARCOAL., The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2007[4]

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Rösle Kettle Grill Review

It's GRILLIN' season again so I dusted off my review of this AMAZING Rosle Kettle Grill.  It has (much to my surprise) taken over for my Big Green Egg as the most used grill in my collection.
Delivery Day - The Kettle Grill arrives partially assembled as indicated in the product literature. It takes about as much time to unpack as it does to assemble and from delivery to picture of the assembled product was a total of about 30 minutes. The tools required are a broad headed Phillips screwdriver and an adjustable 8 or 10” Crescent style wrench.

Assembly  - The pictures and descriptions that follow show how well the kettle grill is packaged (using environmentally friendly packaging per the manufacturer) and the very few steps it takes to assemble and be prepared for its first outing. The instructions are shown as ten steps but frankly if you are mechanically inclined at all you could figure this thing out without instructions.  

This is ALL THERE IS when you get it all unpacked; it truly is partially assembled.  For all intents and purposes you are basically required to put on the base/wheels.

You bolt on the wheels, extend the base with the provided arms/poles, secure them with 8 bolts (provided), add the pin to the lid, attached the damper, place the grid, bins and ash pan in place and you are done.                       

Warranty - Cooking and Charcoal grates, 2 years; Enameled grill bowl and lid, 10 years (against rust and flame damage); all other parts, 2 years
Accessories - 31 individual accessories are listed in the product manual.  Many of them you will determine over time are items that are very hard to live without. 

Direct Grilling
The rule of thumb for grilling direct is that any food that takes less than 20-25 minutes to cook can or should be cooked direct.  Anything requiring more time requires greater temperature control and should be done indirect (see Indirect Cooking)

Lighting the Rösle Kettle for a direct cook – There are lots of options for fuel and methods for lighting.  For purposes of this review we are using the traditional Briquette and Lighter Fluid method. Dump the estimated amount of briquettes required onto the Kettle and arrange in a pyramid, Use your selected method for igniting and allow coals to come to temperature then carefully distribute around the grid for cooking.  Replace the cooking grid and you are ready to cook direct. 

First impressions - From delivery to first direct cook the Rösle Kettle Grill has been a satisfying experience. During the quick and easy assembly you discover a well built unit made of high end and well designed materials. While the unit is priced on the high end of the traditional briquette kettle grill the materials, design and features are clearly superior. On the very first use you will discover its unique and distinguishing features like the 45 degree hinged lid (which keeps the handle cool) and easy to manage temperature controls rival grills that are priced hundreds of dollars higher. It is built with enough simplicity that you never have to graduate from hamburgers and hot dogs, however its ease of temperature control (allowing for long, indirect cooks) coupled with the large cooking surface area will quickly lure the simplest of cooks into trying longer cooks with superior results to the traditional kettle grills on the market today. The next installment in this review will cover the indirect cooking set up and temperature controls for a longer cook – Indirect cooking on the Rösle Kettle Grill. 

Pictured here are Free Range Kansas City Strips w/Jail Break Rub (or NY Strips if you are outside the Midwest) ready to come off the grid on my initial direct cook, ready to rest while I prepared Wok Shrimp.

KC Strip Cooking Directions – Bring Kettle Grill to high heat, place steaks on grid and sear each side then remove to let rest (in foil) while you prepare your shrimp. Return Steaks to Grid for 1-3 minutes per side and remove for serving
Shrimp Recipe and Directions The Emile Henry Flame Ceramic Wok is heated up with a generous amount of EVOO. Add ¼ Cup of Minced green onions and garlic. Shrimp are dipped in a seafood tempura batter and dropped in hot EVOO turned once and removed for serving.  
  Jail Break Rub Ingredients (in equal portions - you determine the size of the batch you want to create)

3 portions - Granulated Roasted Garlic (NO POWDERED GARLIC)
1 portion - Coriander powder (or two portions coriander seeds)
2 portions - Coarse Sea Salt (original recipe probably had 3 or more portions)
2 portions - Black Peppercorns (not ground pepper)
2.5 portions - Red Pepper Flakes (original recipe probably had 1 portion)
2.25 portions - Dill Seed
2.25 portions - Yellow Mustard seed
Put it all in Mortar and Pestle, (I use the Emile Henry, Citron model) and grind into to medium coarse mixture.  Store in a well sealed container and always shake mixture before applying.  

After you have completed your cook, use a grill brush to remove food particles and residue, then close the lid and all vents (top and bottom) and let cool before covering.