Sunday, April 24, 2011

Smoked Chicken Lasagna

It's time to step outside the "normal" smoked/grilled meats and get a little fancier... 

I got this idea from a pellet cooking forum Pelletheads, tweaked it a little, and decided to go for it.   I started with some chicken thighs which I skinned, boned and trimmed.  They were then seasoned with oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and EVOO and smoked for about an hour and then finished on high heat on the grill. I sauteed some mushrooms and created a "blush sauce" which was a tomato based sauce mixed with an alfredo sauce.  Mushrooms and smoked chicken were one layer. A mix of ricotta, mozzarella, cream cheese, and cottage cheese was a layer. Then it was topped with more mozzarella, Parmesan, basil and parsley. 

The best part is this lasagna was assembled and then cooked on the PG1000.  I cooked it at 350 degrees covered for about an hour and then uncovered for 15-30 min.  

This lasagna had a great smoke flavor, with a very creamy, cheesey consistency.  It was honestly way better than I expected it to be.  I was afraid the chicken might not have enough smoke flavor to carry the dish, but I think cooking the lasagna on the smoker really added some additional smoke taste which was just perfect.  

I WILL be cooking this again!

2 lasagnas on the PG1000 

Almost done

First off the smoker

Side by side... 

Ready to dig in!

Served up

So it's really hard to take pictures of lasagna... trust me... it was good. Another WIN for the PG1000.  I'm pretty sure this grill can cook about anything.

Brisket Fest

This cook was about two weeks ago...  Two prime briskets from Creekstone Farms.  One was prepped by marinating for several hours then rubbing it and cooking in the SM020.  This was foiled at about 170 degrees internal temp and put back in the smoker until it was above 190 and tender.  

The second brisket was a humongous brisket which was rubbed and injected about 4 hours prior to the cook and was cooked on the PG1000.  This brisket was not foiled until it was taken off the grill. 

When briskes were removed, the point was separated from the flat and the point was cubed and placed back in the smoker to make burntends.  Both flats were "rested" wrapped in foil, then in towels, and placed in a warmed cooler for 3-4 hours.  

Both had great moisture, and were quite good.  Burntends were melt in your mouth good!

Prime Brisket from Creekstone Farms.

First (smaller) brisket trimmed out rubbed and ready for the smoker.

Brisket in the SM020


Brisket after being foiled in the SM020

The "humongous" brisket (yes thats the same size pan as above)

Trimmed Rubbed and ready to go... 

The thinnest edge (on the right) is folded under slightly so it will fit...

The next day, just before removing... about 15 hours after putting it on the smoker

Burntends back on the smoker for about an hour.  They were then sauced and put in the smoker to set the sauce.  (Forgot to take more pics!)

Forgot to take many pics after... but this is part of the PG1000 brisket sliced and ready to eat!

Bottom line - The Cookshack smokers did a great job on both briskets.  I liked them both... If anyone ever wants more details... lemme know...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My favorite... Ribeye Steaks

Enough with this low and slow style of cooking... It's time for grilling some ribeyes!  

These ribeyes were marinated for about an hour and seasoned with Butcher BBQ Steak and brisket seasoning.  Then were placed on the indirect side to get a little smoke flavor at about 200 degrees. Honestly, the plan was for about 20 minutes, but I lost track of time and left them too long.  Consequently,  I couldn't  sear/grill them over direct heat quite as long as I wanted to and maintain a nice medium to medium rare temp.  After I realized steaks were done "smoking" I turned up the heat on the PG1000 to about 500 degrees and let the grill heat up.  I put the asparagus on while it was heating up.  I seared the steaks for a short time on each side and then removed them and rested for about 10 min.  Asparagus was cooked on the upper rack direct side until limp.  Steaks turned out so good I forgot to take a "cut through" picture!

Steaks and asparagus.  Grill at 500deg heating up now.

Steaks over the flame

Finished product with some homemade macaroni and cheese. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Heart Attack on a Biscuit

So I have been considering this cook for a long time... Finally the day came for the Stuffed Sausage Fatty. What is a "Fatty" you ask?  Its a normal chub of breakfast sausage pressed flat, filled with eggs, cheese, hash browns, or whatever you want, rolled up, sealed, and wrapped in bacon... It's then slow cooked at 225 degrees until an internal temp of 160-ish degrees, sliced, and served on a biscuit.  

Here is the photo essay of the process and results... 

This is the bacon "lattice" woven for the "outside wrap"

The sausage is pressed into a square inside a Ziploc bag.  This just makes it easier and when it comes time to stuff, you just cut the edges of the bag open.  

Scrambled eggs, O'Brien breakfast potatoes, and cheese cooked, cooled, and placed on the sausage.  Sausage is then rolled and edges and ends are sealed. 

The rolled stuffed sausage is then placed on the bacon weave and the weave is rolled around the fatty 

Rolled fatty wrapped in bacon. This was wrapped in wax paper and placed in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning the fatty is wrapped in a frogmat and tied with twine.  

The frogmat is a nice non-stick way to both provide support and really helps when moving the fatty around on the grill.  (much like when I used them on meatloaf)

About an hour into the smoke I removed the twine and let the frogmat open. As the temp of the fatty went over 150 degrees, I increased the temp of the grill to about 400 degrees to 1) crisp the bacon and 2) cook some biscuits!

I placed the biscuits on another frogmat.

Almost done...

Finished product.  (one small "blowout" on the top, very minor)

Sliced up ready to serve.

Sliced you can see the eggs, hash browns, cheese, and bacon wrap.  The pink color around the outside of the sausage is the "smoke ring" you get from smoking meat. This is NOT "undercooked" meat.  The pink colored areas are cooked perfectly!

And the final "ready to eat" Stuffed Sausage Fatty sliced and on a biscuit

As a physician I shouldn't really recommend this meal... However, as a fat kid, and a cook... GO FOR IT.