Tag Archives: big green egg

Makin’ Bacon

Yes, Hubbard and I are the proud parents of a home-cured and apple wood smoked 3 lb slab of bacon.

Our pork belly spent it’s first 7 days covered in a dry cure made of Kosher salt, pink salt (nitrite) and dextrose (sugar).  Rubbed the bacon with the dry ingredients and then poured about half a cup of pure maple syrup over it.  Sealed it up, stuck it in the fridge and turned the meat every day or so.

Rinsed and ready to go.

Light a fire in the Big Green Egg.

Add some soaked apple wood chips to the fire.

Set up an indirect smoking rack.  We put down the pizza stone.  Shallow pan on the stone to catch juice.  Roasting rack with bacon.  Use your incredible Big Green Egg skills to get the unit to sit on 200 degrees for the next two hours.

There’s our toasty, roasty baby.  Nothing left to do now but…

Fry it up in pan!

So, what do we do with this 3 lbs of heaven?  Any ideas?

Big Old Shrimp

Hub scored these guys at the White Rock Local Market.  HUGE.  There really isn’t anything to show the scale in this photo.  But, that’s a pound and a half of shrimp marinating for a little over an hour in peanut oil, lime juice, lemon juice, salt, pepper, crushed garlic and red pepper flakes.  I cut each one down the back to remove the vein, but the shell stayed on.  I questioned whether the marinade would flavor the shrimp because the only way into the meat was that slit down the back.  It worked great.  The shrimp was very delicately flavored.

Hub prepares the grill.  The grating that he’s using to grill on is supposed to keep smaller items from falling through onto the fire.  There really wasn’t any chance that these babies could have fallen through.  They were too big.  Hub likes to use this grated surface when he grills fish.

On they go!

 

Yes, a pound and a half of head-on shrimp equals 12 individuals.  Hubbard had never grilled shrimp like this before.  You sure couldn’t tell when he was done.  The shrimp was fabulous!

I was afraid the meat would be chewy because of their size.  It was deliciously tender and reminded me a little of fluffy hunks of lobster.  He should have bought 10 pounds of them!

Turkey

I have to say that our turkey was not lovely to behold.   First of all, we stripped it of all it’s dignity by perching it on a verticle roaster.

We didn’t bother to pose it cutely or anything.  I should have taken a picture of it sitting around in the kitchen, waiting for the rest of the meal to be served.  But, buy the time I thought of it again, it looked like this!

It only took an hour and a half to cook on the Big Green Egg.  Hubbard smoked it over apple wood.  Fantastic flavor and so juicy it was almost dripping!  I’m thinking some turkey gumbo might be in our future.  We only cooked an 11 pound bird and we still have tons of leftovers.  Ours might not have been the prettiest turkey on the block, but it sure was good!

Thinking About Ribs for the 4th?

We were thinking about them last Thursday.  Thinking about them smothered in dry rub.

Dry Rub Recipe
I got this recipe from a friend of mine.  Who knows where he got it?

1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons cumin
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon oregano
4 Tablespoons paprika
2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon ground white pepper
3 Tablespoons celery salt
3 Tablespoons garlic powder

Feel free to adjust those ingredients to taste…

Put it on the Big Green Egg at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

Then move the ribs indoors, sealed tightly in a foil pouch on a baking sheet.  This kind of steams the ribs the last part of the cooking while retaining the smokey grill flavor.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 325 degrees. 

Now you can grill your corn or prepare whatever else you’re having.  Here’s what you get.  Highly flavorful pork ribs with meat almost falling off the bone.  We don’t bother with any sauce because their so moist and tasty to begin with.  Watch out for the steam when you open the pouch.  And be sure to make too much.  They make great leftovers.

Pizza on the Grill

Hub and I love our pizza.  We received a pizza pan set when we got married that I’m still using.  Here’s the dough recipe…

1 package yeast
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
1 & 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Disolve the yeast in the water.  Mix with the other ingredients.  Knead for 5 minutes.

Simple enough, huh?  I’ve found that some people have problems with pizza dough.  A friend of mine says hers seized up so much she couldn’t even roll it or pull it out.  I believe the secret is not to try too hard.  You aren’t fighting the dough into submission.  You’re mixing the ingredients and warming up with your hands. 

Let the dough rise in a lightly greased bowl covered with a towel for an hour.

Here’s my sauce…

I’d say that’s about 3/4 of a cup of olive oil, 5 or 6 thinly sliced garlic cloves, 10 peppercorns, a few shakes of crushed red pepper and a couple of sprigs of rosemary.  You bring this up to a sizzle and then take it off the heat.  You want to take that raw punch out of the garlic, but not cook it until it’s bitter or anything.  My favorite tool for this job is my mini-mandoline.  If you don’t have one of these, get one.  I’ve seen them at Sur La Table and Central Market.  They’re great for turning a garlic clove into tiny little slices.  Very yummy on a pizza.

Then I cook about a pound of Jimmy’s Italian sausage.  We usually get the spicy type.  Do I need a whole pound of sausage for the pizza?  No.  But, we tend to nibble on a good bit of it while we’re cooking.  So, I just go for the whole pound. 

Then, I carmelize some onions.  And slice up about a pound of fresh mozzarella.  Chop up a few tiny tomatoes for color more than anything because you can barely taste them.  They really look nice, though. 

So, now we’re about ready.  I roll out the dough and then to get it on to the pizza pan, I sprinkle on a little flour and fold it in half.  Then I sprinkle a bit more flour and fold it into a quarter of it’s original size.  This folded dough is much easier to handle than a full round pizza dough.  I spray the pan with a little olive oil and lay down the dough.  Our pan has little holes all through it.  That helps to crisp up the final product while it’s cooking. 

I slather the olive oil and garlic, minus the peppercorns and rosemary, onto the dough.  I usually do not use all the olive oil.  It’s not supposed to be in huge puddles or anything.  Add the mozzarella, sausage, onions and tomatoes.  Then hand it off to Hub.

Hub cooks our pizza on The Big Green Egg.   He’s able to regulate the temperature on the grill.  So, we cook it on a pizza stone at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  It comes out perfect every time.  And here it is.  

Before we serve it, we add chopped fresh basil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  It’s sooo good.  And also fun to do as a party.  We bought a bunch of different topping ingredients.  Each couple made their own dough and topped their pizza.  Then we took them out to Hubbard to cook.  Of course, sharing the results was mandatory and a really tasty way to spend the evening.