Pesto, Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts Wrapped with Bacon

I think we’ve grown tired of the normal chicken breast so we decided to make it a little bit more than just that. We got 3 chicken breasts and I must say that these chicken breasts have got to be enhanced, augmented, enlarged whatever because they are ridiculously large. Anyhow, we pounded them out to about as thin as my wife could do. We had some store-bought pesto that we’ve been waiting to use and we thought this was the perfect opportunity.

Pesto on Chicken

We then grated some mozzarella and added them on top of the pesto. My wife likes them super cheesy so that’s what she did.

Mozzarella

My wife and I decided they were to big to roll up we just folded them up and wrapped with bacon

Bacon Wrapped

We got the Egg up to about 375 and put the rolled up breasts on the Egg.

On the Egg

I let them cook for a while. Honestly, I didn’t really time it but if you don’t feel comfortable with the look you should always have an instant read thermometer. When cooking them I thought I was losing a good amount of cheese, however, I then remembered my wife put A LOT of cheese inside of them.

Off the Egg

I sliced them up and the 2 boys and my wife and I went through about 2 of them that night. They were fantastic but I would definitely want to wrap it a little better which would require us to pound them out even thinner and wrap with probably a slice or 2 more of bacon.

They also made great sandwiches throughout the week as well.

The great thing is that you can stuff a chicken breast with about anything you truly enjoy.

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Easter Ham

Wow, it’s been a long time since I last updated but I expect that the posts will be coming more often now that the weather is starting to warm up and we are spending more and more time outside. With Easter being yesterday my wife and I tried to figure out what to make for dinner. Her mom was over for the weekend and we knew that nobody likes Lamb and while not a huge lover of ham my wife just said to go with it. I looked around on the Big Green Egg forum for a good recipe and everyone was recommending Egret’s Ham. Looked over the ingredients and outside of the pure maple syrup I had everything that was needed so we decided to go with that.

    Ingredients

10-12 lb Butt or Shank Portion precooked Ham
Inject the Ham with Pure Maple Syrup until it starts to shoot out

    Maple Bourbon Paste

2 tbls Maple
2 tbls of fresh black pepper
2 tbls of Dijon Mustard
1 tbls of bourbon
1 tbls of vegetable oil
1 tbls of paprika
1 tbls of onion powder
1 teaspoon of kosher or sea salt

Apply the paste all over the outside and put in fridge overnight. We put ours in there for about 16 hours or so. You want a precooked ham but not spiral sliced and if you can find one that’s not been smoked already that’s even better. However, we could not find one everything was hickory smoked.

As you can see my daughter attempting to put bunny ears over the ingredients. Her explanation “It’s Easter, Daddy”

My daughter applied the paste and did a great job!

Came home from Church and cleaned out the Egg and then got the temp up to about 300. Recommended temp is 250 for an even longer smoke absorption, however, I wasn’t so worried about that as I was getting the Ham done in time for dinner. I put some apple chunks on the Egg and the Ham went on for an indirect cook.

The Ham took a little while to initially start increasing in temp but once it did it went by fast. Here is a pic at internal temp of 90 degrees and the smell was amazing. My mother in law commented that she just wanted to stand outside all afternoon cause the smell was so good. I must admit the smell was intoxicating.

Once the Ham was up to 140 internal we took it off and let it rest while we got the other sides ready. Remember since it’s precooked you are just warming up the meat itself.

This was the best ham I’ve ever had. My wife even said “Best ham ever and I could have this at other times as well.” The bark was amazing and I can’t wait for sandwiches throughout the week. Just because you buy a precooked ham doesn’t mean you have to stop there with the preparation. THere are many things you can do besides just putting in the oven and warming up the ham. Make it special!

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Grilled Balsamic Flank Steak

Wow, it’s been quite some time since I’ve updated and I really apologize for that, however, there will be more frequent posts coming in the future. I certainly appreciate your following my blog and I hope you all look forward to a great New Year. Today my wife stumbled upon a marinade for a flank steak for dinner and we seemed to have everything on hand except the steak. If you aren’t familiar with the cut of flank steak then let me take some time to cut out any myths about it. Flank steak is not a chewy steak and while it is inexpensive it can be a fabulous cut of meat if cut right which is against the grain and thin but also cooked properly which you shouldn’t take to more than medium but I prefer medium rare.

So we went to Whole Foods and picked up a 2 lb. flank steak. Of course they had free samples all over the place and we found it very hard to walk away with just the flank steak but that’s not for this post! We came home and started to marinade the steak. I know the recipe says for a half hour but you could never over marinade flank steak.

My wife and daughter did the marinade of the meat

They used 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
4 tsp of dark brown sugar (we used light brown sugar)
2 garlic cloves minced
and salt and pepper to your liking

We had that in a bag in the fridge for about 4 hours or so. After that time I got the Egg up to about 450 or so for this cut as it had some brown sugar and I didn’t want that to burn on a high heat temp like 750 or so.

As you can see the first pic on the Egg…

Flank Steak on the Egg

I always try to get some really nice grill marks on this so after a few minutes I turn the meat on a 90 degree angle and cook for a few more minutes and then flip.

Flank Steak Flipped

I then closed all vents on the Egg and cooked it for a few more minutes. By now I’ve become pretty proficient at the poke test for the feel of the meat and felt it was time to take it off. We let the meat rest for about 5 minutes or so and my wife sliced thin and against the grain.

Sliced thin

We also made some roasted potatoes in the cast iron and some garlic herb butter with some bread! Overall the meal was fantastic and I definitely encourage you to use this cut of steak!

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Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

They always talk about athletes going into slumps well recently I found out that can convert over to cooking as well. I was really in a slump and not feeling inspired on anything to cook. The kids were off of school on Monday and I thought what a better way to break out of it by making some sweets! We looked in the pantry and saw some pecans, chocolate chips and there was my inspiration. My daughter and I decided we would make some cookies on the Egg. However, some of the best plans don’t come with much thought as I was missing some key things such as a circular cookie tray but improvisation was in order as we just covered up the pizza stone in some tinfoil.

Anyhow, back to the cooking…..

8 ounces of butter (should be 2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups of chopped pecans
2 1/3 cups of flour
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of light brown sugar tightly packed
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 large eggs
1 cup of chocolate chips

First thing is you’ll want to melt down the butter in a pan and after that is done pour into your mixing bowl

Melting the Butter

After you pour it into the mixing bowl you will have some reserve butter in the pan. Pour your finely chopped pecans in there and stir them around in the butter. Keep them on the pan until they become aromatic and slightly brown in color.

Pecans

Once the butter is cooled add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat well. Then beat in the eggs and vanilla until well blended. After that slowly beat in the flour, baking soda and salt until well blended. After that is complete add in the pecans and chocolate chips and toss around.

Preheat your Egg to 375 or if using an oven 350. If using an Egg I recommend having the platesetter legs down and using the green holding things that come with the egg to hold the circular cookie tray you are using. As you can see by my picture here is my improvised cookie tray.

Cookies on the Egg

I watched them until they were brown on the edges but still soft in the middle and removed. Honestly, when they are cooking on the Egg I look more than by time because it’s just a little different then cooking in the oven. Plus my daughter kinda just scooped and placed and there were no measurements for the cookies. Here you can see the first batch of cookies which came out perfect.

First Batch Done

Some people ask if you can taste the smokiness from cooking on the Egg. I make sure I really have the lump burning for a while to get rid of the smoke and also I use a non-woodsy type of lump. I use Wicked Good Charcoal Weekend Warrior blend. I love this lump. It lasts a long time, doesn’t spark and comes with lots of big chunks in there!

These cookies were fabulous and the recipe is supposed to make 4 dozen but seeing as how my daughter didn’t really spoon them equally we had about 3 dozen. They were gone in 2 days! Kids loved them and they didn’t want to admit that they liked them since baking is usually my wifes job.

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Piri Piri Wings

It was football Sunday and one thing my family likes to do is just graze all day on appetizers whenever possible for football games. Instead of writing about all the appetizers we had I’m going to focus on quite possibly the best tasting wings I’ve ever had which were the Piri Piri wings. A few of my buddies on the BBQ forum have been making them quite often and I thought I’d give them a try. I mean they have hot sauce so why wouldn’t I, right?

This recipe comes from a guy who really got me going on the hobby and that’s Steven Raichlen. The recipe calls for a minimum time of marinating these wings for 6 hours and as much as 24 hours. Obviously the more time you devote the better flavor. I was way too lazy to marinate the night before after Notre Dame beat up on Michigan so before I went to Church on Sunday I marinated them and they were in the marinade for about 9 hours.

Marinading the Wings

The marinade that I used
The original recipe from Raichlen can be found here

http://www.primalgrill.org/recipe_details.asp?RecipeID=149&EpisodeID=37

1/2 Cup of Crystal’s Hot Sauce
6 Cloves of Garlic
1 Small Onion
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
3 inch piece of fresh ginger
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper

Combine all those in a food processor or a blender and make a puree out of them. After you have cut the tips off the wings and separated the flat from the drumette place in a freezer bag and pour marinade in for a minimum of 6 hours.

After those have marinated for your desired time toss them around in some corn starch to give it a nice crunch exterior. Preheat your egg for a temp of 375-400 on indirect using wood if you want. I used hickory.

On the Egg

I let them go for about 45 minutes to an hour once I felt they had a nice crunch exterior and I flipped halfway through the cooking time.

Here they are fresh off the Egg

Off the Egg

You then toss them around in the glaze that you just made on…

The glaze consists of

1/2 stick of salted butter
3 tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro
2 cloves of garlic minced
3 tablespoons of the hot sauce you used (in my case it was Crystal’s)
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

You’ll melt the butter and after melted combine the cilantro and garlic into the butter. Do not burn the garlic but cook until aromatic which is around 2 minutes or os. Then put in the hot sauce and lemon juice and simmer for another 2 minutes or so. Then take the hot glaze and pour over done wings and toss them around.

Tossed in Glaze

Trust me these flavors of the wings were fantastic and I could see using this marinade on many other cooks as well. It had heat to it but I didn’t find it overwhelming at all. My 4 year old son loved them

Carter

I really hope you try this recipe for next football appetizers! Trust me you might not want to have wings any other flavor!

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Jucy Lucy Night

I have been promising my oldest son for the longest time that I’d make some Jucy Lucy’s again and finally that promise came to truth a few nights ago. For those of you not familiar with Jucy Lucy’s they are cheese stuffed burgers and it’s origin is in Minneapolis. The thought of melted cheese and fatty ground beef puts me over the top and let me tell you this time I sealed them up about as well as I think I could!

The first order of business is to separate your meat. I had to packages of 1.5 lb ground beef and then rolled up about 5 balls of meat. I then divided each ball into half and made them thin as I could while still have some type of width to the meat. I then quartered off one slice of American cheese and put it on one of the patties.

Patty

I then sealed them well making sure both patties were of equal size. I then put them in the freezer for about 30 minutes just so they could firm up when being put back on the Egg.

In the meantime I preheated my Egg to about 400 over some of my Wicked Good Charcoal that I just love!

The burgers were topped with some Raising the Steaks rub from Dizzy Pig which gives off an excellent flavor.

Before the Egg

They went on the Egg at 400

On the Egg

I really didn’t move them around at all. I didn’t want to interfere with the sealing of the burger so I let them cook about 9 minutes on the first side and then flipped.

I didn’t really lose much cheese but next time I will seal them even better and maybe keep them in the freezer a bit longer to really firm them up.

First Side Done

After another 8 minutes or so I took them off and then I took my bite…And the taste of just absolute juiciness raced through my mouth and I realized what I have been missing this entire time….

Bite

I think next time I might try some other types of cheeses but also maybe add another slice as well. I’m thinking a pepper jack with a creamy texture to it would melt quite well.

So next time when you are making your burgers try something different and you may just never go back to regular topped burgers.

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Grilled Chicken with Grilled Veggies and Grilled Mangos

Recently I was lucky enough to come across a new Dizzy Pig Rub which is Pineapple Head and I have yet to try it but it smelled so good that I know I needed to and soon. So earlier this week I figured we’d get some zucchini, some yellow squash and some mangos and liberally sprinkle them with the Pineapple Head rub. While we were going the healthy route I’d figure we’d grill up some chicken breasts and eat super good that night. Let me tell you something. These chicken breasts are ridiculously big so we had to slice them in half thickness wise to make them thinner and give us more pieces for the 5 of us.

I sliced the zucchini and yellow squash downwards and sprinkled liberally with the Pineapple Head. I had bought pre-sliced mangos so that saved me some time and tossed them around in the rub as well.

Veggies

Mangos

I got my Egg to about 350 and put my cast iron grate on and preheated that for a bit and then put my veggies on. These don’t take long at all maybe 5 minutes tops but I know that for my kids to eat them they needed to be even softer so we left them on a bit longer. The cool thing about the pineapple head rub since it had cinnamon in the rub was that it was having some fun sparks while cooking and made the deck smell fantastic while cooking.

Veggies

After I took the veggies off I put them on a plate with some tinfoil over them to retain their heat and put the mangos on the grill. Let me tell you the flavor of the rub combined with the grilling of the sweet mango really made the mangos even sweeter. They were superb and I plan on making more of these even more than grilled pineapple.

Grilled Mangos

I let those go on the grill till they got some nice char marks on them and they felt softer to the touch as well.

I then put the chicken breasts on and since they were so thin they didn’t take long to cook and I brought them to a temp of 160 and rested them which I knew the temp wouldn’t be more than 165 so as not to loose any juiciness from the chicken breast itself. Too many people cook chicken too long and it loses it’s natural juices and becomes dry and nobody likes a dry chicken or any type of meat.

Grilled Chicken

After it got to the temp I let the chicken rest and then started to plate everyones dish. The meal was simple, filling and healthy well that is until I brought out the pie….

Plated Pic

I know, I know, I know I was doing so well and my daughter kept even saying that “we are eating so healthy daddy” Well I guess I had to ruin that but nobody complained when I brought this out for them….

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Yep, I made one earlier in the day cause I absolutely love the pie and could literally eat it the moment it comes off the Egg. For the recipe and directions for the pie look on my previous blog entry soley dedicated to it!

Also, to those of you who have not liked my facebook page please do so!

Posted in Chicken, Grilled Chicken Breasts, Grilled Chicken Breasts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments