Archive for February, 2010

Burgers with Avocado BLT Salsa

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Page 62 of Big Green Egg Cookbook

Burgers with Avocado BLT Salsa

Burgers with Avocado BLT Salsa

Difficulty A Easy prep, quick cook time
Taste A Extremely good!
Was it worth it? Yes This recipe was really good, and incredibly easy.

The goal was to pick a simple recipe that would be a crowd pleaser. This recipe is a sure-fire win.

The preparation was easy, with just a few ingredients. We did all of the prep on the big green egg cabinet.

Prep on the Big Green Egg Cabinet

Just a few ingredients went into the recipe.

For something like burgers, the two cutting boards really helped. One for raw meat, the other for cooked food.

Ingredients kept separate on the cutting boards

Two cutting boards keeps raw ingredients safe

To cook the burgers, the recipe calls for a 600 degree grill, cooking for 3 minutes per side for medium rare. We cooked them just a bit longer to a medium temperature and they were so juicy, and so delicious. Not one burger was left over, everybody that could got seconds. So this recipe is a total winner on the Big Green Egg.

Finished Big Green Egg Recipe

Their picture looked nicer, but ours tasted GREAT!

You can see from the pictures that our final preparation didn’t look quite as beautiful as the one in the book. Of course, have you EVER seen a burger look like the picture? The picture shows the ingredients delicately placed on the burger. We did exactly what the recipe said: “MIX the ingredients in a large bowl.”  So I call foul on this one… we mixed ‘em and it didn’t look as pretty.

Lunch at the office

Lunch at Werever Products

These burgers were DELICIOUS. I noticed one thing, not one person reached for the ketchup. I’ve never been around a group of people grilling burgers without one person drowning the burger in ketchup. Part of the reason was probably because the burgers were so juicy.

This was a quick recipe, we all enjoyed it, and then got back to work. The recipe is perfect if you don’t have much time.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Page 244 of Big Green Egg Cookbook

Difficulty B Easy prep, but with two grilling temperatures and grill configurations.
Taste C It tasted like bacon
Was it worth it? No Maybe with fresh coals this would be better, but I’m not going to try this recipe again until I try some others first.

After our first attempt on the Egg came out so well, we decided to be adventurous and try something a bit more difficult. Who bakes a cake on a grill? We do.

First we gathered all of our ingredients. I was surprised by how few we actually needed. Most of the ingredients were things we already had around the house. The recipe called for fresh pineapple, but we decided to skip the mess and use the can of sliced we already had. The only thing we needed to run to the store for was the condensed milk and cherries.

Gathering Ingredients

Baker Susie prepares the ingredients

Before we started on the cake we needed to prepare the pineapple. You first need to mix together the condensed milk and brown sugar. This created a syrupy bath that the pineapple slices needed to be “dredged” in. You actually use very VERY little of this mix. For future cakes I would only use half of what the recipe calls for, as you throw away almost all of it.  

dredged pineapple

bathing the pineapple slices

Once the pineapple slices all had their milk bathes it was time to grill them up. Two minutes on each side over 325 degree direct heat gave most of the slices nice sear marks and a crispy almost candy like coating.

grilling the pineapple

grilling the pineapple

We tried one slice fresh from the grill and it was delicious! It was sweet, but with a smoky grilled taste. I believe the pineapple off the grill would have been outstanding even without the milk brown sugar bath, but it definitely added some flavor.

grilled pineapple

pineapple coming off the grill

It also made a mess of the grill grid. However, I was pleasantly surprised but how easily it cleaned up. Just a little brushing and the grid was completely clean.

clean grid

nice clean grid

At this point we removed the grid and set-up the Egg for indirect cooking with the plate setter. It took me a few minutes and a few glances at the instruction book to get the plate setter in correctly, but once I figured it out it was quite simple.

yolk removal

this takes skills

 I got the Egg heated back up to 325 degrees while our Baker was preparing the batter. Separating the eggs from their yolks proved to be the most difficult part, but other than that the cake was easy. Simply mix together the rest of the ingredients and pour over the arranged grilled pineapple slices and cherries in the bottom of the cake pan.

cake pan

cake pan ready for batter

batter in pan

in goes the batter

We put the cake on the grill to bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

cake going on grill

time to bake

About 20 minutes after we put the cake on I smelled something burning. I didn’t want to open the grill and let the heat escape, but I did want to see what was making that smell. I was able to remove the top of the Egg and look down into it using a flashlight. The cake had overflowed the pan on one side and the batter on the plate setter was burning and giving off that wicked smell. Luckily enough the cake still looked okay.

We cooked it for about ten more minutes. By this time the burn smell had gone away and you could smell the cake. It smelled wonderful. We took it off the grill and brought it inside to cool.

coming off grill

cake coming off the grill

After it had cooled we removed the cake from the pan and it looked perfect. It was soft and moist and smelled delicious.

cake

cake!

We let it cool a bit longer then everyone dived in. My friend Rob was the first to taste it. “How is it?” I asked. “Well…it’s…weird. It smells good and it’s moist…but it has the distinct flavor of….animal fat” he replied. I had to try it myself…and he was right. It tasted like bacon! After several tastes and discussions it was unanimous, we had made Pineapple Bacon Upside-Down Cake.

bacon cake

bacon cake :(

Now I don’t know if this is because I didn’t change the coals from our last grill session, or if that’s just how grilled cakes come out, but that’s how it was. The cake batter itself was great, so the bacon taste most likely came from the grill. I’m willing to bet that if the cake had been baked in the oven it would have been awesome.

I think we’ll try this again, but with fresh coals and do an update. I’ll keep you posted. :)

Rib-eye Steaks with Shallots & Garlic Butter

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Page 61 of Big Green Egg Cookbook

Difficulty A Easy
Taste A Delicious
Was it worth it? Yes If you don’t like a rib eye, you probably shouldn’t own a grill in the first place!

Since this was my first time using the BGE I decided to try the most basic grilling recipe I could find. I have been grilling on a charcoal Weber grill for years and was slightly skeptical of how it would be to use the Egg. I figured a simple steak recipe would be a good way to break myself in.

I wanted to follow the recipe in the book to the tee. So I got fresh parsley, shallots (which aren’t as easy to find as you may think), unsalted butter and 4 Rib-eyes about 1” thick.

Rib-Eye Steaks for Big Green Egg

I bought four rib eye steaks about 1 inch thick

Once we got home with the ingredients I began melting the butter before I started to get the Egg going.

First step, melting butter. So far, easy!

The Egg was easier to get started than I expected. Using not a lot of Egg brand charcoal and their fire starters I had a decent fire going in about ten minutes. Once I closed the lid and adjusted the vents the temperature quickly jumped up to around 700 degrees. With very little adjustment I was easily able to get the Egg to drop and stay around 550 degrees, which the recipe called for.

In between getting the Egg to the correct temperature I prepared the steaks and shallot garlic butter baste.

melting

Garlic and shallots and butter... oh my!

Mincing the shallots was like chopping up the most deadly onion ever. For being so small they are intense! I literally had to walk out of the room for a few minutes to give my eyes time to recover so I could finish mincing them. The steaks were a lot easier on me. I just seasoned and prepared them for the grill.

rib eye steaks hitting the grill

the rib eyes are going on the grill

Grilling was pretty simple, three minutes on each side for medium rare, basting in between. The butter sauce made the grill flare up a bit, but that is to be expected with oil over an open flame.

rib eye steaks cooking

Notice the nice sear marks. They look great.

The garlic on the grill with the meat smelled amazing, and I was surprised by how little smoke the grill gave off. After 6 minutes the steaks were ready to come off the grill.

the steaks are done

the steaks are done

The steaks looked and smelled great. They had nice sear marks and were tender and juicy. However, I would have to say they were more medium to medium well than medium rare. Either way everyone really enjoyed them and this is definitely a recipe I would recommend and will try again.

finished rib eye steaks

Here are the finished rib eyes!