Thursday, April 28, 2011

ABTs V2

I'll start with apologizing for the lack of posts recently.  I have been gone on far too many trips and vacations and I feel terrible that you people have nothing to read/look at.  A while back I made some ABTs and have not had the time to write it up.  So here it is...

When making pizza the other night I had the bright idea to make some ABTs for the side.  I grabbed some jalapenos, sausage, cream cheese, and bacon at Publix to make some.  With this and the pizza ingredients in my cart I could tell this was going to be a healthy evening.

Prep:
I cut the jalapenos in half and cored them using my new corer from my pepper rack and corer combo I got recently.

I browned the sausage in a pan and drained it.  I placed it in a bowl with the cream cheese and used a spoon to mix the two together.  After the jalapenos soaked for about 30 mins, I laid them out and filled them with the cream cheese and sausage mixture.


I wrapped the stuffed peppers in bacon using a toothpick to secure it. As discussed in my previous ABT post, I had trouble cooking thick cut bacon completely through so this time I used regular cut bacon.


Cooking:
Since I was trying to get the grill hot for pizza, I left the vents wide open and put the ABTs on as soon as the grill started getting hot.  I used my normal pizza setup but added the grill extender and pepper cooker to the top. As an experiment I placed a few peppers in the cooker and a few directly on the rack.  I let them go for about 20 minutes while the grill came up to pizza temp at 550ish.  I had to flip the ABTs on the rack but did not touch the ones in the pepper rack.  This was nice.  After the 20 mins, I pulled them off and plated them.

Notes:
These were very tasty. Using the regular cut bacon allowed the bacon to get done thoroughly throughout (tongue twister).  The ABTs on the rack were much easier since I did not have to touch them during the cook and I will use this rack as much as possible in the future.I froze the rest of the ABTs for another night but enjoyed the heck out of these.




Bonus Garlic!!!
I also bought a clove of garlic to throw on the grill from a post I saw on the egghead forums. I cut the top off of the garlic and added olive oil and salt and pepper to it.  I cooked it at the same time as the ABTs and left it on slightly longer until it looked done.  This was very good and as I have mentioned before I have a love affair with garlic and MBH is very jealous.  Luckily she was not home so I walked around with garlic breath proudly for the rest of the day. Yumm-o!



Thursday, April 14, 2011

Couple-o- 'Zas

As I mentioned before, MBH has been out of town for what seems like 3 months straight now so I decided to fire up the egg for myself. This was another one of those cooks where I was home alone on a lazy Sunday with nothing to do so I decided why not give pizza another go and make sure the BGE still had some life in it.  I went to Publix and grabbed a dough ball that was partially frozen and brought it home to lay out on the counter. I went about my day while it thawed and got to prepping the pizza that evening

Prep:
Once the dough ball was semi-thawed, I cut it into two pieces and left it to finish thawing and to rise.  I made the sauce the same way we had in the past and left it to simmer while I shaped the dough.  Through my past few attempts, I have gotten much better about shaping and stretching the dough but I am not to the point of tossing it over my head yet (I'm getting there). On one pie I used the sauce, shredded mozzarella, and pepperoni with a dash of oregano.  On the other I used the sauce, shredded mozzarella, garlic, oregano, and basil.


Raw pies ready for the egg.
 Cooking:
I decided to get the grill a little hotter than I had used in the past to really try to authenticate the brick oven style cooking done in some Italian kitchens.  I locked in at just around 650º and threw the first pie on the same pizza setup I have used in the past (see below).  Each pie only took about 10 minutes due to the higher temperature I was using and I left them on the parchment paper for the extent of the cook.


This is the setup I use when cooking pizza. 
The plate setter legs lay directly on the fire ring edge.
 Notes:
Because the pizzas were getting done so quickly and the grill was so hot, it was near impossible for me to remove the parchment paper so that the crust could crisp directly on the stone.  For this reason, I will pull back on the temperature next time (probably 550º) and make sure each pie gets a couple minutes directly on the stone.  I like the crust extra crisp on the bottom.  Other than this, the pies were excellent.


The first pie. (upside down?)

Pepperoni!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Chicken Kabaaaaaaaaaaabs

It seems like MBH has been on an eternal work/vacation traveling spree for the past month so I have resorted to egging for myself recently.  The weather was absolutely perfect this one evening so I wanted to spend as much time outside as possible. On my ride home I decided that I was craving some kabob action and headed over to the BHFM.  I knew I wanted peppers, onion, and chicken (I am not a mushroom guy but I am sure they would work great on these) so I grabbed a red, yellow, and green pepper and a large white onion as well as a 3 pack of chicken breasts and headed home to become reaquainted with my egg.

Prep:
I cut the peppers and onions into what resembled large squares.  I cut up two of the breasts (I'll use all 3 next time) into small blocks about the same size as the peppers and onions.  I skewered them trying to seperate the colors as much as possible and then seasoned them with a bit of EVOO and Cavendar's greek seasoning.



I took plenty of pictures to make up for what I have lacked in the past.
(Not to mention this is probably my prettiest cook to date)
 Cook:
I got the grill set for direct cooking at 400º and threw the kabobs directly on the grate.  I rotated every 10 minutes for about 30 minutes.


Notes:
Although I didn't add any wood to these things they had a distinct smokey flavor that was really delicious.  I ate one that evening and used the rest for lunches.  I will definitely cook this again mainly because MBH is demanding it after seeing the pictures.  Good eats.



Monday, April 4, 2011

5lb Pork Butt

To this point, all of my pork butts have come from Sams thanks to their very manly 2-pack providing guys everywhere with 14+ lbs of meaty heaven in one giant, vacuum sealed bag. Recently I noticed a pretty awesome sale on 5lb Boston butts at Publix and I had to grab one.  Even though I didn't have any excuse to cook it, I bought one and put it in the freezer.  Recently, several of my friends had expressed to me a desire to come try some of my egged masterpieces (lets be honest, they just like free BBQ) so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and invite them over for another attempt at a pork butt. 

As is usual, I planned to cook the butt over night after we got back from going out with a friend that was in town.  Of course, it turned into a late night so I got the butt on right around 2 am.  MBH pulled up a chair and watched the show.  Listening to her explain me trying to do something as simple as lite the egg was pretty hilarious the next day(I may have had a couple drinks).  However, even in my degraded state I was able to get the egg locked in to temperature fairly easily.

Prep:
Upon opening the butt I immediately noticed that there was a much less substantial fat cap than I am used to with the Sam's butts.  As you may or may not recall, I did nothing to the fat cap on my first butt cook but did a little trimming on my second.  There was not much to trim on this one so I did nothing to the cap (I am not sure that I will ever trim another fat cap as a little fat and moisture in my butt is the way I prefer it [that sounded gross]). I rubbed the butt with the new DP rub I got from Ace and wrapped it in saran to wait for cook time.



Prepped and ready to go on.
(yes this picture is from right around 2am)


Cooking:
I set the egg up for indirect cooking at 225º and let it cook for just about 8 hours until I got up to check it.  The internal temp was right around 195º so I wrapped it in foil and let it go for one more hour while MBH and I went to get some breakfast.  I pulled it off upon our return with an internal of 205º. and re wrapped it and placed it in the cooler for around 2 hours until it was time to eat. 

Notes:
This was the best butt yet.  It was very moist and had a very small amount of fat.  People that had tried other butts agreed that this was the best.  I served it with Publix bakery buns and Williamson Bros BBQ sauce.  I was very happy with the result.


These are some of the pulled remnants after everyone had gorged themselves.


Kielbasa/Boudin:
I have done my best to document every cook I have tackled on the egg but could not find it in my heart to make a separate post about about a couple of cooks I did this same day since they were way too simple and I didn't take a single picture. 

First, almost immediately after the butt was finished I opened the top and bottom vents and removed the plate setter so that I was set up for direct grilling.  I was able to get the grill up to right around 350º and threw a package of Sam's kielbasa on the egg.  I let it go for about 10 minutes per side and pulled it off and sliced it into small pieces for eating with a toothpick.  This was our appetizer for the butt and everyone had a few pieces.  You can't go wrong with kielbasa.

Secondly, when inviting people over I had also advertised some boudin I got from New Orleans (boudin is a sausage wrapping stuffed with a meat (in this case crawfish), rice, and various veggies).  We had all already eaten and the egg was cranking on its last little bit of charcoal from the overnight cook so I threw them on until some of the sausage packaging had burst.  Usually I would cook this until it had a little bit of char and crunch but with the little heat I had remaining, I was lucky to get them done at all.  Everyone loved the boudin and I am glad I bought a few extra packages when I was in New Orleans.