Sunday, September 28, 2014

CHICKEN CHORIZO ONE DISH MEAL




The only thing I love more than my Big Green Egg is creating and cooking ONE DISH MEALS.  I'm not a traditional BBQ'r in the sense that I don't cook low and slow, ribs, et al.  I do however cook just about everything under the sun that doesn't require more than a couple of hours of prep and cooking time.  
This dish combines the flavors of Chicken Breasts and Spanish Chorizo (sweet or spicy sausage) in a tasty ‘One Pot’ brown rice Dutch oven dish.   For this cook we punted our cast iron dutch oven in favor of our Emile Henry 8 Qt. burgundy clay Flame-ware Dutch Oven...which by the was is absolutely amazing cookware.
There are many varieties of Chorizo but Spanish chorizo is typically the most readily available in the grocery store.  It is made from coarsely chopped pork and pork fat, seasoned with smoked pimentón (paprika) and salt. It is generally classed as either picante (spicy) or dulce (sweet), depending upon the type of smoked paprika used.   Chorizo comes in short, long, hard and soft varieties, some of which are suited to being eaten as an appetizer or tapas, whereas others are better suited to cooking. Leaner varieties are typically better suited to tapas, eaten at room temperature, whereas fattier versions are generally used for cooking.  A general rule of thumb is that long, thin chorizos are sweeter and short chorizos are spicy, although this is not always the case. 

Ingredients
  • 1 – 1.5 Lb. Boneless chicken breasts (chopped)
  • ½ Lb. - Chorizo (soft for this recipe) 
  • 2 cups - Long Grain Brown Rice (not instant) 
  • 1- 4 oz. bottle White Zinfandel wine (or substitute ½ bottle white cooking wine) 
  • 2 each  - Roasted Red Peppers cut into thick slices (canned or prepared ahead of time on the grill)      1 Small Sweet Onion, sliced thin 
  • 2.5 cups  - Chicken Broth 
  • 1 cup  - Frozen Peas 
  • Paul Prudhomme’s Poultry Magic Seasoning (to taste) 
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) 
  • 2 Tsp. – Oregano (or 2 Tbsp. Fresh Chopped Oregano) 
  • 1 Tsp.  - Crushed Red Pepper (flakes) 
  •  6 cloves  - Fresh Garlic, minced 
  •  2 each - Bay Leaf and a Pinch of Paprika
Preparation

  1. Preheat Big Green Egg to High Heat; Season chicken with PP’s seasoning.  In the Dutch oven drizzle in some EVOO and add the chicken and let cook until tender.  Add the Chorizo, stirring frequently until browned (4-5 minutes max.).
  2. Add the sliced onions, red pepper flakes, oregano, bay leaves, garlic, bell peppers and a pinch of paprika and stir until onions are transparent. Cook, stirring frequently and add broth and keep stirring until it comes to a boil. 
  3. Add rice and shut down the egg and cover Dutch oven for 5-8 minutes.  Stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and let set for 15 minutes.  Stir in the frozen peas with a fork, cover Dutch oven and let sit for 5 more minutes and serve.
 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Chicken and Dumplings (and Bacon)

This ALMOST the season for comfort food, it has been in the 50's once or twice...and before you go much further please note; this recipe does NOT qualify as healthy but it does include several organic ingredients.  Sometimes you just can’t help yourself and have to eat comfort food.  Since this original post I have converted all my cast iron to Emile Henry Flame Ware but the rest stayed the same. 
Ingredients
  • 4-6 slices bacon
  • 5 Medium white potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion, diced
  • 4 Skinless, boneless chicken breasts  (organic) – diced and seasoned with poultry seasoning.
  • 3 Cups – Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 Tsp. Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Poultry Seasoning (to taste)
  • Coarse Sea Salt and Fresh ground Black Peppercorns (to taste)
  • 1 14-15 Oz. Can, Whole kernel corn, drained
  • 3 Cups, Low Fat Half-and-Half
  • 1 ½ Cups Bisquick  
  • 1 Cup Organic 2% Milk
Directions
  1. Place bacon in an extra large Cast Iron (CI) Skillet or 6 Qt. Dutch oven and cook until done (or microwave in advance and save grease).  Crumble Bacon and set aside.
  2. Keep or put the bacon grease in the skillet and bring up to temperature.
  3. Add the diced potatoes, onion and chicken to the bacon grease and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently (it will cook slower in a Dutch oven due to smaller pan area). Note: If using a Dutch oven add a little EVOO to keep the chicken from sticking to the pan during simmering.   
  4. Add the chicken broth, corn, more PP’s poultry seasoning, sea salt and fresh pepper.
  5. Pour in half-and-half and bring to a boil; add crumbled bacon.
  6. Biscuits: In a medium bowl, combine the Bisquick with milk and mix well (dough should be thick enough to ‘drop’).
  7. Drop tablespoon sizes of dough into boiling mixture; reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes uncovered.  Cover the pan and simmer another10 minutes. Be careful NOT to stir while simmering, or dumplings will fall apart. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Himalayan Salt Block / Salmon on the Big Green Egg

 




Pictured here is a Sur La Table Himalayan Salt Plate.  There are tons of facts on the internet about these ‘slabs’ and the information that follows is a compilation of that information and three recipe ideas for grilling with these slabs/blocks. 

(NOTE A RECIPE EXAMPLE FOLLOWS BELOW)


Your salt plate/slab can be used for cooking and serving.  When you prepare food on a salt plate they take on a light salty flavor and are alleged to deliver a variety of minerals absorbed into the food (as many as 72 trace minerals not present in regular salt).  Generally, a natural salt slab will add a hint of salty taste to moist or wet foods, but will have no effect on dry foods.  You can cure things like Ahi Tuna on a chilled slab but we’re focusing on cooking here!

Searing meat or fish
These salt slabs can be heated to as high as 450 degrees Fahrenheit and used to lightly sear all sorts of food.  The slab should be heated up slowly for searing or lightly grilling meat, fish or vegetables. When the slab reaches high temperatures it will turn colors in spots which is normal returning closer to it’s original color as it cools.  It is very important to start with a dry slab as lingering moisture inside the slab may expand and cause damage. Typically the dry time should be at least 24 hours since the slab's last contact with any moisture.

Once you've thoroughly heated your Himalayan salt slab, you're ready to sear your meat, fish and/or vegetables. Place the thoroughly heated salt plate on a heatproof surface. Lightly toss your meat, fish or vegetables in oil, spices and herbs. Drizzle the slab with EVOO (note that less oil will cause more salting and vice versa). Place directly onto the heated salt slab, then cook to desired doneness, stirring and moving around the salt plate as you would any other grilling surface. Your salt block will retain the heated temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
meal, as it will take several hours to cool completely.

To clean your Himalayan salt block, wipe with a clean, damp cloth or paper towel and remove any remaining food bits. Avoid running your natural salt block under water.  There is no need to use soap or detergent on your Himalayan salt slab, as it is naturally anti-fungal and anti-microbial. You may wish to freshen your salt block with a bit of lemon juice from time to time.

Note that the appearance of your Himalayan salt slab will change over time. The more varieties of foods you cook and serve on your salt plate, the more likely the surface will acquire various, interesting new colors and shades. This merely adds to the irregular beauty of the Himalayan salt slab. Your salt block may also develop small fissures and cracks over time; this is typical with regular use. And when it finally is time to replace your Himalayan salt block, you can break up what remains and shave it down to crystals to sprinkle over your food or into your bath. 
Avoid making direct contact with the salt block for some time after cooking the
Using your Block/Plate
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Pictured here with a few scallions this salmon fillet cook was completed on a Himalayan Pink Salt block.  Note: Leaving skin on reduces the amount of salt absorbed during the cook.

Ingredients
  •  2 Lb. Salmon Fillets (skin on)
  • Paul Prudhommes Salmon Magic Seasoning
  • Unsalted Butter
  • EVOO
  • 1 Large Lemon, sliced thin
Directions
  1. Fire up BGE and bring salt block up to approximately 350 to 400 degrees slowly.
  2. Cut salmon into 1 ½ - 2” slices and coat with butter
  3. Sprinkle on Salmon Seasoning to taste then add a slice lemon to each serving
  4. Once you've thoroughly heated your Himalayan salt slab, you're ready to bake your salmon.  Drizzle the slab with EVOO (note that less oil will cause more salting and vice verse). Place directly onto the heated salt slab, then cook to desired finish
  5. Close lid and let cook (approximately 10 minutes); remove and serve.
Avoid making direct contact with the salt block for some time after cooking the meal, as it will take several hours to cool completely.

To clean your Himalayan salt block, wipe with a clean, damp cloth or paper towel and remove any remaining food bits. Avoid running your natural salt block under water.  There is no need to use soap or detergent on your Himalayan salt slab, as it is naturally anti-fungal and anti-microbial. You may wish to freshen your salt block with a bit of lemon juice from time to time.

Scallops - Place Himalayan Salt Slab on grill. Heat grill gradually to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  1. Mix together olive oil and fresh diced garlic
  2. Brush uncooked scallops with olive oil/garlic blend
  3. Place scallops directly on salt slab and sear
  4. Flip scallops as needed until cooked through
  5. One minute before pulling scallops off the grill, sprinkle generously with Sweet Onion Sugar. Sugar will melt slightly creating a delicious, sweet glaze. 


When finished cooking on salt slab, turn off the grill and allow slab to cool. It may take several hours to return to room temperature.

Additional suggestion: Sauté 2 tablespoons margarine, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 shallot chopped, 1 garlic clove minced in pan on medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Pour directly over cooked scallops and then top while still hot with Sweet Onion Sugar.


Shrimp - Place Himalayan Salt Slab on grill. Heat grill gradually to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

  1. Squeeze fresh lime juice directly onto uncooked and peeled shrimp
  2. Drizzle salt slab with olive oil
  3. Place shrimp on salt slab
  4. Cook shrimp on both sides until they are pink and firm
  5. After pulling shrimp off the grill, coat lightly with your favorite rub or sauce (can also be done before cooking. When finished cooking with your Himalayan salt slab, turn off the grill and allow slab to cool. It may take several hours to return to room temperature.






Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tandor Baked Naan and Filets


One of our favorite things to eat when we go out to the Indian Restaurant is Naan...it comes in many varieties.  In the absence of a tandor to cook the naan, we bought some Storefire Authentic Flatbread Naan and grilled it for two minutes over our hot coals after removing our Filets.  Filets were prepared reverse sear with my Jailbreak rub applied at room temperature.  Baked potatoes completed the meal. 


Early in the cook, this is the set up for the primary cook, indirect.  About five minutes each side, remove, let set, then place over direct heat for about 1 minute per side.  These are 12 Oz. Filet and finished up medium rare, fall apart in your  mouth moist.  Prepared on our Rosle Kettle Grill.

PUSH TAB a.k.a. things I should have already known.

Okay, I MAY be the last person on the planet to learn this trick so no snide comments on the blog please.  We all use Aluminum Foil and Plastic Wrap in our cooking.  I am constantly fighting those stupid boxes (for YEARS) with the rolls coming out while you are trying to cut or unroll product...but NOT AFTER TONIGHT !  


My wife, who also apparently did not know this trick showed me that, and apparently this has been true for many years, that the boxes are designed to NOT give you the hassle factor of rolls coming out while your unrolling and or cutting...a.k.a.  PUSH HERE! OMG

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pizza Day ~ 103 degrees outside, 700 in the egg

Call us crazy...but hungry.


Grilled Cuban Pork Sandwiches

...to 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)...it 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)
Directions
  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.