Tuesday, June 22, 2010

BGE Pizza and a little more.

When I started writing Macon Dinner I was in between working for a restaurant and buying one.  I had plenty of time to cook anything I could think of.  Byrd was pregnant and we were anxiously awaiting the birth of Baby Byrd.  Wow how things have changed.  We opened the restaurant and then eight days later Baby Byrd was ready.  Since then life has not been the same, it has been better.  I remember when I was a child and my mom and dad said "you will never understand how much we love you until you have your own."  I now understand and it's amazing.

I have been cooking, but just haven't had the time to put it into words.  I am still reading blogs and enjoying all of them immensely.  Chris, Nibble Me This, you continue to inspire and  thanks for all the Egg info.  Dave, MYOTG, I not only enjoy your food but envy your lifestyle.  Grey, Grill Knuckles, we share not only a taste for food, but also beverages.  Brent, Brent's BGE, being on of my oldest friends I am amazed at the cook you have become.  Dave, Food-Fire, first food blog I read, thank you for showing me the way.  

Just a few shout outs to say thanks. Now on to the recent cook.

I have had pizza more times in my life than I would ever try to count.  I have discussed this in the past.  The other night I tried a pizza on the BGE.  (I still haven't come up with a name for her, yes it is a her, yet, but I will.)  I wanted to make my own crust as I have seen it done, but didn't have the time, and lately dinner preparation is lacking.  I went to Papa Murphy's and grabbed one.  If you don't have one in your area I am sorry.  Now I didn't make the pizza, but I did pick out the toppings.  That has to count for something, right?  I went with a pepperoni, onion and jalapeƱo pizza.  I read the instructions on their website on how to grill a pizza, well it wasn't very specific.  So I decided to kinda wing it. I got the Egg up to 450, with the plate setter legs down, I am  still trying to get my lEGGuage down, pizza stone on top.  I bought the stone the day after getting the egg.  A month ago.  Sad it has just been sitting waiting to be used.
Per the manager at Papa Murphy's I cooked it on the tray given for the first ten minutes, then removed the tray and placed the pie directly on the stone.  At this point the cheese was melted and the crust was set.
Byrd and I like really crispy crust, so I let it go at 450 for another 25 minutes.  
The cheese had a great crust on the top, with a great smoky flavor.  The crust was crispy on the outside with a nice soft inside.  All pizza should be wood fired. I doubt I will ever put a pizza in the oven again.  Next time I will make a homemade crust, I hope.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pork Wellington Sort of...

A few weeks ago I saw Alton Brown make a Pork Wellington on Good Eats and I have wanted to try it.  This has been my next cook since then.  Well this afternoon I set things in order to have this tasty looking treat.  After work I came home to take care of Baby Byrd and Byrd went to the store to get the few ingredients we didn't have.  One of them being puff pastry.  Byrd came back with Phyllo dough.  She said the lady at Publix told her it was the same.  I wasn't aware that Publix hired culinary graduates these days, but then again you never know.  Well it isn't the same so what do you do when you don't have one of the necessary ingredients for wellington, well you adapt the recipe.  So instead of the above mentioned this is what I did.

I layered the prosciutto so I could wrapped the tenderloin.  I seasoned the wrap with thyme, light salt, and pepper.

There were a few other items that weren't what they were supposed to be as well.  The 1 pound unseasoned pork loin package ended up being to very tiny pork tenderloins, but what do you do.  I fileted both of them then rubbed them with course grain mustard and packed with sliced dried apples.  
Then wrapped it. Since I didn't have the pastry I seasoned the outside with more thyme and garlic powder.  
I got set up for an indirect cook at 400.  Then onto the Egg.  After about 35 minutes the pork was at 150.  I removed it and let it rest.  Then sliced.
The prosciutto crust was nice and crispy and the smell was overwhelming.   Served with a great box of toasted pine nut couscous.
The pork was delicious.  The flavor of the mustard, apples, and thyme together was fantastic. This wasn't exactly what I had planned for this evening, but what came out of this mishap was great. I will go back and make the Pork Wellington from Good Eats, but this will definitely get made again.  

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Early Father's Day Present

There are many moments in life I will never forget.  Here is the short list: When I met Byrd. My wedding day.  The day I found out we were pregnant. The opening of the new restaurant. The birth of baby Byrd.  Byrd's first mother's day, I got her a card, touching I know.  And then yesterday. Memorial day 2010.  The day Byrd surprised me with an early father's day gift.  I would like to say that Byrd is a much better gift giver than I am. She always has been, and probably always will be.  She went above and beyond incorporating my dad into the mix for this one. The perfect gift.  You can see in the shadows are 2 of my now extinct smokers.  I say extinct because this gift came with a clause.  Now that you have an Egg, you have to get rid of 2 of our grills.  I am glad to part with them.
I got this around 5 o'clock yesterday and it took about an hour to put it together.  Then we had to go out to dinner. I say had here, but dinner was great.  There is nothing like spending time with the family, but this did kill me. A new toy sitting at home waiting to be played with. If i would have known we would have cooked immediately.  But that is what's great about surprises.  All day today, and last night, I got to think of what to cook first.  What a tough decision.  I have been toying around with a new mustard based marinade and think I have finally got it the way I like it.  So I went with that on some chicken thighs.

Mustard Marinade (I know, not a creative name)
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/8 cup Saw's Sauce
2 Tablespoons McCormick's Spicy Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

Mixed together until blended well

I marinaded 4 chicken thighs in half of the marinade in a zip top bag for 2 hours. Then removed them and let sit uncovered in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While the chicken was sitting in the fridge, I got the Egg started.  Following all directions I got it up to temp(400), plate setter in, legs up.  I put the skin side down for 20 minutes.  This was the longest 20 minutes of my recent life.  Mainly because Byrd was putting Baby Byrd down while I put the thighs on.  She kept wanting to look inside.  I was strong enough to not let myself show her.  This was tough.  After the 20 minutes I flipped them over and set a timer for 20 minutes.  Then basted the tops of the thighs with some of the reserved marinade.  Then let them finish cooking for another 20 minutes.  Here they are when I opened the Egg.
If I were a better blogger I could describe the smell/ thoughts going through my head.  Christmas morning/Any present getting holiday morning comes to mind, but that is the best I can do.

Here it is with the still favorite oven fries of Byrds.
The chicken was wonderful.  In Byrd's words " I didn't know there would be that big of a difference.  The thighs have always been good, but these were perfect. I mean on the other grills they were a consistent 8, but these were a 10!"  This stroked my ego, which is probably already to big.  I can't wait to continue to play with my new toy. I am thoroughly happy with as Byrd calls it, my first gift from my daughter. Now a question to other owners of the BGE.  What "EGGcessories" can I live without?  Right I must have them all.