Sunday, June 30, 2013

Standing Rib Roast With Twice Baked Potatoes...

Been a little while since I've had a chance to blog about a cook... This is one that I am really happy with; from the food, to the execution and the experience overall.

After an entire week without Egging anything due to a heavy work load and heavy rain just about every evening, I was itching to get something on the Egg this weekend. Talking it over with my wife, I wanted to try a leg of lamb for the first time. Anyway, we compromised and settled on a prime rib roast. Figured I would run up to Shady Maple first thing Saturday morning at pick one up.

Up at Shady Maple, the Meat Dept was busy so I had to take a number and I was still about 8th in line. While waiting for my number to be called, I checked out the cases to see if they had any bone in rib roasts out, they didn't. Finally my number came up and I told the guy what I was looking for. He asked me how big of a roast was I looking for; I said, "give me 4 ribs". I also asked them to bone it out; basically cutting the ribs just about all the way off and then tying the roast so it is in a more uniform shape for even cooking and easier carving. The guy gave me a slightly funny look and walked away with my order form for the butcher.

After about 15min my name was called and as I approached the counter, I saw the guy look my way holding the roast. Uh oh... What was I thinking? For some reason, figured there are three of us, so 1 rib each with a leftover. Not too big right? Wrong... really wrong. The guy hands me my roast like a nurse handing over a healthy hefty newborn. The roast was just under 9.5lbs! As I wheeled my newly delivered roast over to the produce section to get the rest of the stuff I needed for dinner; I figured I had better get on the phone quick, our simple dinner for the 3 of us had better get a few guests.

Luckily, once the grandparents heard of my problem of "too much prime rib", they were only too eager to help out.

After a little research on the Big Green Egg Forum I decided to cook the beast raised direct between 220 and 250 grid temp (not dome temp) until the internal temp was at 130. Given the size of the roast, and the cooking temp, I could expect to see a temperature rise of 5 to 8 degrees while it rested on the cutting board before carving, figured this in for my finish of rare to medium rare. For sides, I made some mushrooms, sauteed asparagus, and twice baked potatoes based on the recipe in the Big Green Egg Cookbook.

Here is the roast. You can see on the left where they sliced away the ribs almost all the way through before tying into a more uniform shape. I made sure and stuffed some of my seasonings down into the cut as well when I prepped it for the Egg. 

The plan was to get the potatoes cooked for the first part of the recipe and then get the roast on. The mushrooms and asparagus were done on the (please forgive me) stove.

Here are the potatoes after an hour or so on the Egg direct at about 400. They were rubbed with olive oil, seasoned with sea salt, and wrapped in foil. I also poked them several times with a fork before cooking them.
 I scooped out the insides and made the filling. The filling has butter, Cheddar cheese, heavy cream, some BBQ rub, green onions, and salt & pepper. Here is mixing up in the Kitchen Aid.

 As the Egg got stabilized at the temp for the roast, I finished prepping the potatoes and started on the roast. Here the potatoes are stuffed and covered with some more cheese. I'll finish these on the Egg once the roast is off and resting in a few hours.

 Here is my normal spice mix when doing beef roasts... Fresh chopped garlic, fresh chopped rosemary, course black pepper, and sea salt. I don't measure, just go by feel depending on how big the piece of meat is... Mix in some olive oil and create a paste for coating the roast.

And here the roast is rubbed down and ready for the Egg. When doing Prime Rib roasts (or steaks in general) I don't add any smoke wood, I don't want to take anything away from or overpower the taste of the beef.

 Once the Egg was nice and stable with a grid temp of about 240, I put the roast on and stuck the meat probe of my Maverick remote thermometer into the end of it and set my alarms. The Maverick is great, let's me go back into the house and work on other things if I have to while letting me know what the Egg and roast are up to.

Dinner was planned for 6:30-7:00, and the roast went on at around 3:15PM. I cleaned up the kitchen and then around 4:30 started the mushrooms. I wanted to cook them down slowly so the juice would make a nice sauce to go with the beef and potatoes. These are small sliced portabellas. I start with about a 1/4 stick of butter, and a big spoonful of minced garlic. Once the butter is mostly melted, I add the mushrooms and stir it around. I then add about a cup(?) of Cabernet Sauvignon. I turned the heat to low and just let them simmer, stirring occasionally. I added another 1/4 stick of butter after a while along with some salt and pepper.

 Here are the finished mushrooms after about an hour and half... they turned out really well and got thumbs up from everyone.

 After about 3 or so hours, the roast was ready to come off the Egg and rest for a while. Here it is just before I took it off, the IT was 130.

 While the beef rested on the cutting board, I put the potatoes on the Egg to bake and get the cheese on top melted. After about a 25min rest I started to carve the roast. The meat was supper tender and juicy as you can see. And I managed to get the finish basically correct, I nice medium rare to medium.

Here it is plated up with the potatoes, mushrooms, and the simple sauteed asparagus. We enjoy a nice Cabernet Sauvignon with dinner; a 2011 from Fat Bastard. It was nice and dry with a smooth finish and it complimented the meal well.

The grandparents loved it and we were happy to have them over...

The Egg of course showed once again why it's the best cooker period... This is a fairly simple cook, just on a large scale. Don't be afraid to try one of these on your cooker of choice. As long as you pay attention to the temperatures, it should turn out fine.

Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from you if you have any questions or can relate your own cooking adventures.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Catfish, Corn, And Mango Cucumber Salad...

After my wife's positive reaction to the grouper cook a few days earlier; I decided to go with a new and previously untried fish, catfish. I have had catfish plenty of times and really like it, but it was a new one for the rest of the family.

Decided to make it easy and prepare it the same way I did the grouper; butter, Swamp Venom, and then blackened. I changed this cook up by also making some corn on the cob and still being on a mango kick, a mango cucumber salad that I made up as I went along.

First the salad...

4 ripe mangoes diced
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 green onions chopped
2 Tablespoons of fresh chopped mint
2 the juice of two large limes

Prep the stuff above, add the lime juice, and stick it in the fridge for a few hours...

 For the corn, I cheated a little and bought already cleaned ears...

I spray them with a little olive oil and then coat them in sea salt,  pepper, and a little garlic salt. Add a couple of pieces of butter and wrap them tightly in the foil.

I got my egg set up direct cooking at the normal grid level; and let the temperature go till about 350F. The foil wrapped corn goes on first and cooks for about 40 minutes, turning it a couple times during the cook. After the corn comes off; the cast iron skillet went on for about 10min to heat up for blackening the catfish...

Here are the results...
The mango cucumber and mint salad was crisp and refreshing; the corn tender and flavorful, and the fish turned out really well. Since they are thinner than the grouper, I cooked the catfish for 2min a side. I tried an Orange Vanilla finishing butter from Wegmans on the fish...

The family asked when how soon would we be having catfish again...



Saturday, May 18, 2013

Blackened Red Grouper & Mango Salsa

Can you believe it?!?!?!? An actual post about food... About time I know.

Okay, here goes...

My wife isn't really a fan of fish except for tuna steaks. I wanted to try some other fish on the egg, specifically doing something with a lot of spice that I could cool with a tropical salsa. While at the store a few weeks ago, I wandered past the seafood department and struck up a conversation with the guy behind the counter. After I told him what I would like to try; he suggested Red Grouper. Figured I'd try it, if the wife didn't like it, I'd have a chicken breast on standby... Brought home two filets and cut them in half for 4 servings, as a friend was joining us for dinner. This was fresh caught wild Red Grouper, supposed to be very mild in taste and since they filets were thick, they could stand up to being blackened in a cast iron pan. I also picked up some fresh fruit and veggies to make the sides.

I found the recipe for the mango salsa on here is the link
Mango Salsa Recipe

Here is the salsa being made... it was simple and very tasty. I will be making this one and ones like it throughout the warmer weather.

 Then it was on to prepping and cooking the fish. I simply melted some butter, brushed the filets with the melted butter, and then coated them thoroughly with Dizzy Pig Swamp Venom. Not the hottest spice mix out there, but it does have a really nicely balanced kick to it...

 Along with the grouper and salsa, I also made some simple grilled asparagus that was tossed with Wegmans Basting Oil and some sea salt, garlic salt, and course ground pepper. As a surprise for my daughter who loves strawberries; I also prepped and grilled some strawberries that where coated with a little EVOO and some Dizzy Pig Pineapple Head rub. This rub is great on any fruits and especially grilled corn on the cob.

The strawberries came off the egg after about 8 min. They were a little soft; but the flavor was amazing. I think they might be better egged in a small sauce pan and then served over ice cream. The juices after they were cooked tasted crazy good.

Here is the fish on the egg. I got the egg to about 350 dome temp and then let the cast iron skillet heat up for about 10 mins. I used a little bit of oil and the remaining melted butter to blacken the grouper. I did them about 3 min a side for the thicker pieces and 2 min a side for the thinner ones.

 I can say the aroma coming off the egg while cooking this had my mouth watering...

Here it is plated up... My daughter loved it, as she is always up for trying new things. My wife gave it two thumbs up and asked when we were having fish next. I would say that counts as a successful cook...

Don't be afraid to try grilling on cooking fish on the egg or whatever grill you happen to have. Ask your fish guy at your favorite seafood counter for suggestions; they are rarely wrong with the help they provide.

If you plan on using a lot of mangoes over the summer, either buy the pre sliced packaged type or get yourself one of these... Oxo Good Grips Mango Splitter  This handy tool will make working with the mangoes so much easier.