Archive for the ‘BBQ’ Category

Brisket for Easter Sunday on the Big Green Egg   Leave a comment

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I made a brisket for the first time a few weeks ago. I followed the directions in Steve Raichlen’s BBQ University (“Smokelahoma” Brisket), and used my large Big Green Egg.

But, there was a casualty — there was a fire in my cooker and table, discovered this the morning after my cooking was done.

I think the gasket failed. I have a picture of what looks like a “blow-out” the gasket is actually curved / curled outwards. I believe this happened because the outer shell was cracked – remember I dropped it when it was new? It finally gave out.

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It is also interesting to see how it changed when I moved it outside to store. It used to be inside the garage. I noticed the shell would sweat – water would come out of the ceramic shell when cooking with it. So there’s expansion and contraction. All contribute to the fire.

So, I think this is the scenario, CSI style:
The fire box was over-loaded. I did not want to re-fuel during my cook (9 Lb brisket). Filled it too high. Lit the fire, temp was about 200 degrees to 225, low and slow. Cooked for 6 or 7 hrs.

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After it was done, I did my usual “sterilization burn” — open all the vents fully open and closed the lid to clean everything.

The crust was sugary and so added an element of catalyst to the fire, along with the grease.

By this time it was very dark outside, I had to use a flashlight to check the temp and the meat. I thought I saw the thermometer pegged all the way, so it was more than 700 or 800 degrees.

I didn’t think anything about that, since I always burn the crud off. Went to bed. . . Next morning, I saw this:

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I wish I could have seen the fire! Easter Sunday morning, I looked outside – and saw the table. No smell, no fire, I think there was early AM dew. So the fire was out. Notice the table stopped burning by itself. Lucky.

I guess the good news is — I get to buy a new one!

The timing of the So Cal Eggfest is great, I can make it to this on on June 11 – This is a great way to see these cookers in action and meet the crazy fans of this interesting smoker – grill – oven – outdoor stove.

 

Hot Italian Giardiniera (Hot Mix)   Leave a comment

Homemade Hot Italian giardiniera (hot mix)

 

I discovered hot Italian giardiniera while on a business trip to Chicago several years ago. It was served as a condiment for an incredible Italian beef sandwich. I like to use this on hot dogs and sausages.

Here’s my version of this tasty and easy “hot mix.”

Nothing in this recipe is critical – choose vegetables that are either on sale or with nice color, or what you like best. You may slice, dice or chop them in large or small pieces. If you are short on time, or don’t like vegetable prep, you can take advantage of pre-cut carrot chips and similar items.

Vegetable Mix
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 yellow bell peppers, sliced
8 jalapeno peppers, sliced – adjust for hotness level
3 celery stalks, diced
3 medium carrot, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup salt

For the Dressing
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 (5 ounce) jar pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped or whole
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup canola oil

Chopped jalapeno and other peppers for hot Italian giardiniera.

 


1. Chop and dice all vegetables and put them into a big non-reactive mixing bowl.
2. Mix salt with about 2 cups of water until it dissolves and add it to the bowl. Add water to cover the vegetables.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
4. The next day, drain and rinse vegetables. Add the olives.
5. In a separate bowl, mix together garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, black pepper and celery seeds.
6. Add the vinegar and oil, and stir well.
7. Blend the dressing with the vegetables.
8. Cover and refrigerate / store in jars.

This is a great side dish for beef and beef sandwiches. Put it on pasta or hot dogs instead of pickle relish.

Ono Ono Chicken Thighs on the Big Green Egg   Leave a comment

I made some “shoyu chicken” a while ago.

(ONO ONO means – VERY delicious.) It starts with a simple marinade, the ingredients look like this . . . .

Marinade ingredients for the Ono Ono Chicken

I decided I wanted to try trimming the thighs “competition style.” I need more practice, but this is what I did. It took a long time to do all this surgery, but it was worth it, since there is a lot of un-needed fat that you can throw away.

Thighs from the supermarket had this weird flap of extra skin. Yeah, I do love eating that stuff, but I decided to trim it off.

Chicken thigh from the local supermarket – all kinds of extra skin.

After trimming the excess, pull the skin away from the meat. If this process bothers you, you may want to think of this as a biology lab session. All this surgery is not for the faint of heart – and stomach.

Pull the skin away from the meat, and scrape the pasty fat away.

I used a spoon and a paring knife to scrape the fat from the inside surface of the skin.

Use various tools to scrape the fat away.

Keep scraping, but try to avoid damage to the skin.

 

Once the excess is scraped off, stretch and wrap the skin back on the thigh meat. I removed about a tablespoon or so of this excess stuff from each thigh. This is what it looked like. The guy performing the demonstration made his thighs look like little pillows, almost like a perfect, puffy rounded rectangle. Amazing.

Chicken thigh after trimming and de-fatting.

Prep Work Done – On to the Grill!

The marinade has a lot of sugar, so indirect grilling is used to prevent nasty flare-ups. (Big Green Egg Platesetter legs up, under the grill grate.)

Ono Ono Chicken on the Big Green Egg

Isn’t the color amazing? Cook until the safety zone is reached, about 160 to 170 degrees F.

Get ready to eat.

 

Here we go —

Ono Ono Chicken ready to eat.

 

I posted the recipe on the Green Egg – EGGhead Forum in 2011.

 

Paella on the Big Green Egg   Leave a comment

IMG_0609 - wayne yoshida paella almost done

Paella is a delicious rice dish. There was a reference to paella on a Seinfeld episode. I have eaten lots of paella, but never made it. So, after several Maker Faire events in the Bay Area, I really wanted to try making my own.

Based on a recommendation from a fellow Big Green Egg fan (Thanks Dale!), I bought a paella pan made in Spain and Bomba rice from La Española Meats, Inc. in Harbor City, CA.

My 15-inch pan would be perfect for my Large Big Green Egg – except for the handles. They are too big and prevent the pan from sitting on the grill grate. I think I can bend the handles so it will fit the 19-inch grate on the BGE. I didn’t let this glitch stop me. I inverted the grill basket used for the vegetables, and put the paella pan on top. If you look closely at the pictures, you can see the basket under the paella pan. Seemed to work OK.

Of course, my paella pan is not as big as the giant ones used by Gerard’s Paella at the Maker Faire, but my pan is large enough to make 8 servings.

I used Steven Raichlen’s recipe from Primal Grill, Season One as a starter. (“Paella Primavera (with Vegetables and Beans But No Meat.”) His version is vegetarian, using all roasted veggies and vegetable broth. I had some Portuguese sausage in my freezer, and chicken stock, so I used them in my first attempt.

Here are the grilled veggies – Onions, garlic, red and green bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini squash. These were direct-grilled in a basket. I used extra virgin olive oil and tossed on some sea salt, oregano, black pepper and basil.

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Next, I direct-grilled the sausages in the basket. These were Hoffy brand Portuguese sausages. I wasn’t too pleased with this sausage. It was not bad, it was just a little too plain and mild for me. I still have several other brands of Portuguese sausages from Hawaii in my freezer. I need to test those soon.

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I heated up the paella pan and added some olive oil. This is the chopped onion, garlic, peppers, saffron and chicken broth. . .

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After several minutes, I added the Bomba rice. . . .

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I almost panicked as the broth dried up – the rice was not fully cooked, and I was afraid of scorching the pan and ruining the dish. But, I quickly added some chicken bouillon to add more liquid. I had to add a total of four additional cups of liquid to get the rice just right. This is a total of 10 cups of broth. Not sure why this is so much more than Raichlen’s version. I do not recall how long I cooked this dish – I just cooked until the rice was tender.

Here is the dish with all the liquid absorbed. Bomba rice is nice and tender, and very tasty. Bu wait – there’s more. . .

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Next, I added the grilled vegetables and the sausage. . .

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This would be a great one-pan party dish for a good sized and hungry group.

 

Herb Crusted Pork Loin on the Big Green Egg   Leave a comment

I am still cleaning out my freezer, so I decided to defrost some pork loins and cook them on the BGE. The recipe comes from Steven Raichlen’s book, How to Grill. This is a great book on barbecuing just about anything. I especially like the sections where Raichlen shows us how to butcher the meats. Excellent dish. I served it with some homemade pickled onions.

 

 

Corn on the Cob on the Big Green Egg   Leave a comment

Summer is here, and this means corn on the cob. A local grocer had a great sale, 6 ears for a dollar, so I bought a dozen. Some people do a lot of prep work when they barbecue corn, I decided a long time ago to just soak ’em and grill ’em.

I trim the husks but leave the stems and soak the ears in plain water for a few minutes. No need to remove the silk inside. I do, however, check for worms and other critters inside the husks, just in case anything alive is crawling around inside. Anything inside will die, so there isn’t too much to worry about.

Soaking corn on the cob

Soaking corn on the cob

 

Make the fire in the Big Green Egg. Set up for direct grilling, high heat.

Direct grilling corn on the cob

Direct grilling corn on the cob

 

This takes a while. . .

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At some point, the husks will turn brown. This is the fun part, since the husks usually catch fire and burn. If this happens, do not panic. Just grab the ear with your tongs and use the fire to burn off the silk and the husks.

 

When corn husks catch fire - just let it burn off the silk and the husk - saves time later!

When corn husks catch fire – just let it burn off the silk and the husk – saves time later!

Peel the husks down if you want, and roast the kernels directly. This will add some nice grill marks to your corn

Peel the husks down if you want, and roast the kernels directly. This will add some nice grill marks to your corn

 

I like to keep the husks on, this gives the eater something to hold when eating the ear. If I am serving guests, I will use butcher string and tie and lace the husks into a “handle.”

And there you have it — corn on the cob on the Big Green Egg!

Use your imagination for finishing and serving the corn. Other than some freshly ground salt and pepper, I enjoy the corn as-is.

There are some fancy corn dressings out there, here’s one from Steven Raichlen, my BBQ hero: Cambodian Corn

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Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza on the BGE   Leave a comment

I had some T-bone steaks in the freezer for a while. So, I cooked all four of them a while ago. I enjoyed one with some fresh tomatoes.

T-Bones and Tomatoes

 

 

I decided to do something different with the meat. I grilled some assorted peppers – Anaheim and parsilla – and made a pizza.

Anaheim and parsilla peppers on the Big Green Egg

Anaheim and parsilla peppers on the Big Green Egg

 

I cheated and used a store-bought crust. I added some diced ham. . .

 

Ham, steak and pepper pizza

Ham, steak and pepper pizza

Here we go – Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza on the Big Green Egg.

 

Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza

Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza