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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hamburgers on the Big Green Egg

The Classic Hamburger on the BGE 


There is not much better in life than a really good backyard hamburger and what better way to make one than by using a big green egg to impart a little smoke?




Research:

We simply googled around to find a good mix and technique for making patties and quickly learned that the secret seems to be not to fuss too much with the patties or the ingredients. We also bought really good buns from a local bakery here in Atlanta, H&F Bread Company.

Plan:

Gather the following ingredients:


2 lbs of good ground beef 80/20 (not too lean) - We purchased ours from the local Whole Foods.
Fresh made bread. Don't skimp on bread get the bread that is made that day.
a little olive oil
salt/pepper to taste
home made pickles people!
home grown tomatoes too!

We will hand press the patties and take care not to work them too much. As little as possible. Press your thumb in the middle of the patties to keep them from turning into round balls when you cook them. Brush with oil and then salt and pepper them.

Cook at 400 on direct heat for 2 minutes each side then close down completely and let cook for 4 more minutes. So 2/2/4.

Prepare the sides and serve. We let the kids build their own in assembly line fashion and enjoyed them on the patio.

Execution:

Prep the patties. No need to add anything to them. Just fashion with your hands into bun sized patties and push your thumb into the center to prevent them from turning into a ball as they cook. Handle sparingly. Don't press them meat when cooking! Brush with olive oil, salt and pepper.




We let them sit while prepping the sides. Including bacon, tomatoes, onion, home made pickles, american cheese slices (idea stolen from Holeman and Finch).


2 minutes each side then close it down for 4 minutes.


Ready to go! These are delicious and juicy with a hint of smoke.


Daughter's hamburger (no bun)


Another version from the assembly line


The everything bacon cheese burger!

Verdict:

A homerun. Nothing beats a great burger on the patio with the family. These were special. They were juicy, flavorful and topped with home grown tomatoes. Nothing to complain about here.

Please help support our site, buy something you like on Amazon. Simply click through the links below and though you can pick anything, I suggest the thermometer and knives below:


So apparently Thermoworks doesn't sell through Amazon anymore. You must buy direct. Still the thermometer to have. Go here and order direct. 

Aaron Franklin's Favorite trimming knife:

Dexter-Russell (S131F-6PCP) - 6" Boning Knife - Sani-Safe Series

Aaron Franklin's Favorite Brisket cutting/serving knife:

Sani-Safe S140-12SC-PCP 12" Scalloped Roast Slicer

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pico de Gallo or Salsa Fresca

Everyone needs to know how to make Pico de Gallo 


It is tomato season here in the South and so we are looking for ways to use the fresh home grown tomatoes that we suddenly have in abundance. What better use than fresh Pico de Gallo to add some spice to a quiet Friday evening on the patio? A cold Corona, a lime, and some Salsa Fresca.




Research:

We used the Pico de Gallo recipe in Bon Appetit and made a few variations. Did I mention we had a lot of tomatoes?

Plan:

Gather the following ingredients:

2 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 cup of diced onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon diced jalapeño
Kosher salt to taste
Probably going to want some lime juice.

We will chop and combine.

Execution:

I would recommend the yacht rock iTunes radio station for this effort along with a Corona and that crucial lime slice majestically perched atop this dose of Mexican perfection.


Get to chopping. Go easy on the Corona until the knife work is complete.


Place the onion in cold water with a few ice cubes to rinse.


Chop up the tomatoes and drain.


Add the cilantro.


Be cautious with the jalapeño. We made two batches, one with and one without. The one that included jalapeño was very spicy. Good for me, not for her.


Mix it up, salt to taste and we added a little lime juice to add a little acid.



Verdict:

A great summertime treat and equally great method to use some of the tomatoes that we have. This recipe included a mixture of Cherokee Purple and Heart of the Ox (A french variety).

This was delicious and very fresh tasting. A crowd pleaser that is a wonderful addition to just about any latin dish or even on your eggs the next morning.

Please help support our site, buy something you like on Amazon. Simply click through the links below and though you can pick anything, I suggest the thermometer and knives below:


So apparently Thermoworks doesn't sell through Amazon anymore. You must buy direct. Still the thermometer to have. Go here and order direct. 

Aaron Franklin's Favorite trimming knife:

Dexter-Russell (S131F-6PCP) - 6" Boning Knife - Sani-Safe Series

Aaron Franklin's Favorite Brisket cutting/serving knife:

Sani-Safe S140-12SC-PCP 12" Scalloped Roast Slicer



Saturday, July 12, 2014

Skirt Steak on the Big Green Egg

Skirt Steak on the Big Green Egg 


Skirt steak is one of those cuts of meat that I haven't thought very highly of in the past. I am used to a traditional skirt steak with a chimichurri sauce, rice, black beans, and plantains that his hopefully consumed on some caribbean beach patio. Ours, however, will be served with our own fresh garden vegetables and herbs from our potted garden on our deck. Now featuring a drip watering system that has much improved my life. A whole separate post that I should do because it has been quite the learning curve. And come on, doesn't a few pages on drip irrigation sound like the most interesting thing in the world to read about?




Research:

We simply googled around and found Cindy's table. We modified the cook times to be a little more rare but it was based on 500 degree Egg then 2 minutes each side, after 2 minutes on the second side we closed down the egg completely and let it cook for 4 more minutes.

Plan:

Gather the following ingredients:


Skirt steak approximately 1 lb. We purchased ours from the local Whole Foods.
Fresh rosemary
Fresh basil
Fresh parsley
Fresh chives
Olive oil.

We made a paste using the herbs and olive oil then rubbed down the meat and let it marinate for 2 hours before pulling from the fridge and letting it reach room temperature.

Heat the egg to around 500 degrees, Direct heat with cast iron grate. Cook 2 minutes each side then shut the grill down completely closed and let it cook for 4 more minutes.

Execution:

Pour a glass of red wine people, we are having a red meat.


Rub down the meat and let it marinate for 2 hours in the fridge. Then pull it out and let it reach room temperature.



Place it on a very hot grill and cook 2 minutes then flip


After two minutes, shut down the top completely.


4 minutes later...



Let it rest for 10 minutes or so at least.


Then serve! It is important to slice the meat against the grain in thinner strips. It helps make it seem more tender.

Verdict:

This was the best skirt steak I have had and I am now a big fan. It is usually really chewy and tough but this was not. It had a nice char, it wasn't very tough, slightly chewy as you would expect but overall, I was blown away. All I needed was a beach, a corona and a bunch of people talking in a language that I don't understand.

Make this one. You will love a really good skirt steak. I suppose I didn't know what a good one should have tasted like.

I wouldn't change a thing.


Please help support our site, buy something you like on Amazon. Simply click through the links below and though you can pick anything, I suggest the thermometer and knives below:


So apparently Thermoworks doesn't sell through Amazon anymore. You must buy direct. Still the thermometer to have. Go here and order direct. 

Aaron Franklin's Favorite trimming knife:

Dexter-Russell (S131F-6PCP) - 6" Boning Knife - Sani-Safe Series

Aaron Franklin's Favorite Brisket cutting/serving knife:

Sani-Safe S140-12SC-PCP 12" Scalloped Roast Slicer


Friday, July 4, 2014

Pork Chops on the Big Green Egg

Pork Chops! 


In a last minute, wandering through the grocery store sort of way we decided to make pork chops on the big green egg for the first time. I am not much of a pork chop sort of person having grown up eating mostly lettuce and soybeans and later beef so bear with me as we learn together.





Research:

We returned to another great post on nibble me this that we used as our starting point but will deviate from the directions because we will incorporate our reverse sear technique that works so well for steak as our method to get it seared and the internal temperature to 145 degrees.

Plan:

Gather the following ingredients for a quick brine - probably only an hour or 2 because of the lateness in getting started:


2 - boneless pork chops. We purchased ours from the local Whole Foods because they were on sale.
1/3 cup of Big Green Egg dizzy gourmet down and dizzy rub. Purchase at : Big Green Egg Down and Dizzy Dizzy Gourmet Seasoning
1 delicious corona light. (I hope this is worth it).
1/2 cup caster sugar (super fine)
1/2 cup salt
pepper corns

We will brine for about an hour or 2 then rub with dizzy gourmet rub and then follow the reverse sear technique. Finish with a BBQ sauce like the Fox Bros sauce. Fox Brothers Bar-B-Q Sauce 16 oz BBQ

Execution:

First, pour a glass of wine folks. It is the 4th of July!

Then prep your brine:



Simply the beer, salt, sugar and peppercorns. Smells great!



Placed it in the fridge at about 5:30 to let the salt do the work.

I lit the big green egg and put in the platesetter around 7:00. Stablize the egg at 300.

At 7:30 we pulled the pork chops from the brine (rinse them here) and rubbed them down with the dizzy rub. - don't be so heavy on the rub because you don't want to miss the chop. It is important not to let the pork chops get too warm. This isn't steak so room temperature is dangerous.




Place the pork chops on the BGE and cook them to temperature. We are looking for about 130  Make it 120 internal temperature maybe 8 minutesish  and then pull them off and let them rest. We only need 130 because when we sear them, we will do it until they reach the 145 internal temp that we need without over shooting.



Remove the platesetter then run the grill up to 600. Get the cast iron grate good and hot.

Return the pork chops for 1 minute each side to get some nice sear marks

check the internal temp to make sure you get to 145

Pull off at 145 or so and let them rest for 10 minutes at least. Glaze with Fox Bros sauce or serve it on the side.




Verdict:

They were great with a few caveats. First, they were a little salty. I should have rinsed them after getting them out of the brine. Second, they were slightly over done. I should have pulled them at about 120 and then seared them until about 135 internal. That would have let the residual cooking get them to 140 or so.

All that said, they were good. We ate them and loved them. I'll make them again and try to get them a little less done next time.

Kick in a buck or two and buy something you want- help support my drinking habit, buy something you like on Amazon.

Please help support our site, buy something you like on Amazon. Simply click through the links below and though you can pick anything, I suggest the thermometer and knives below:


So apparently Thermoworks doesn't sell through Amazon anymore. You must buy direct. Still the thermometer to have. Go here and order direct. 

Aaron Franklin's Favorite trimming knife:

Dexter-Russell (S131F-6PCP) - 6" Boning Knife - Sani-Safe Series

Aaron Franklin's Favorite Brisket cutting/serving knife:

Sani-Safe S140-12SC-PCP 12" Scalloped Roast Slicer