Tag Archives: Recipes

My First Crock-Pot Pork Shoulder

Years ago I bought a crock pot with ideas of all the wonderful recipes I would create. Well I pulled it out a couple of weeks ago and have used it once with solid results. With the thunder snow accumulation projections up to 7 inches in Atlanta I wanted to cook up my first pork shoulder. I grew up in Macon GA and my best friend’s family owned a BBQ restaurant. I won’t go into all of the details, just visit Fincher’s BBQ on Houston Avenue, you’ll figure it out. Anyway I have a problem where things don’t get done because I’m waiting on them to be perfect. I know Jake isn’t going to give me his recipe, and I love Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce, so I decided to go for it.

I went to Sprouts and picked up a pork shoulder. The recipe I found on Chowhound was pretty simple, apply a rub, add chicken broth, and cook for 9 hours in the crock pot.

 

I turned on the Crock-Pot at midnight, excited to see what would become of it by morning. At 4:30 I was awoken to “what in the world is going on in the kitchen?” It was the dankest smell in the world, like a wet blanket of pork belly filling every crevice in our house. I got up and decided to move the crock-pot to the garage for the second 4.5 hours. Once it was done I took it outside to see how it turned out.

The first thing you will notice outside is that there is zero snow. Nope, nada, just the remnants of the freezing rain and sleet that we got throughout the night. Ben called it the ultimate disappointment. We move on… Just as the recipe read, the pork  was literally falling off of the bone. It was perfect!

We ended up getting out of town and heading up to Cartersville, GA to visit with family and get our hands on some snow. That worked out just fine since I had 4 lbs of pulled pork. On the stove I combined the pulled pork and Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce, mixed up some cole slaw, and we were in business with some BBQ sandwiches.

pork-shoulder-1

pork-shoulder-2

My favorite way to enjoy BBQ.

I hope to try out some different recipes, and will most likely do it next time on the Big Green Egg. Stick around and see how it turns out.

 

Carson Matthews

Lemon Basil Chicken on the Big Green Egg

Yesterday I was searching for a way to use some of the basil that I needed to harvest from our garden.  When I searched for a low fat basil chicken recipe, the first three results pointed to a Lemon Basil Chicken recipe on a blog called Eat Yourself Skinny.  Here is the link to the recipe: http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2011/03/lemon-basil-chicken.html.

I followed the recipe just as it is, but instead made it on the big green egg using the plate setter and cast iron grate.  Let me tell you that chicken was superb, juicy like no other I assume due to the brining.  Anyway it’s a simple recipe using household items plus some basil and a lemon.  I also used some basil to top some tomatoes.  mm good!

Lemon Basil Chicken

Fruit and Vegetable Smoothie Recipe

Fruit and Vegetable SmoothieOver the past year I have been drinking some sort of smoothie just about every day for lunch or dinner.  The smoothies have evolved from heavy fruit with orange juice and a lot of spinach to tons of vegetables and a variety of fruit.  The evolution had a lot to do with the blenders I was using.  I started off with a Ninja bullet which did the trick pretty well as long as you didn’t mind chewing your smoothie.  My next blender was another Ninja Professional Series which I thought was going to prevent me from having to spend $400+ on a Vitamix.  The blender was fine but did nothing better than it’s predecessor.  This year I caved in and bought a Vitamix at the Cook’s Warehouse.  People have been raving about them forever, literally they have been around for a really long time.

It’s really clear why everyone loves them, there is no comparison.  Before I was limited to soft fruits and even then I was chewing seeds and skin.  With the Vitamix there is none of that and the ingredient list is out of site!

Here was my smoothie before the Vitamix:

2 Cups of Frozen Strawberries
1 Cup of Frozen Blueberries
1 Banana
Two handfuls of Fresh Spinach
Orange Juice and Water
Or Watermelon for Juice

Here is my smoothie recipe today with the Vitamix:

1 Cup of Frozen Strawberries
1 Cup of Frozen Blueberries
1 Cup of Grapes
1 Banana
Two handfuls of Fresh Spinach OR Kale (previously not an option)
Orange Juice and Water
1/2 of a Beet and Foliage (previously not an option)
1 Carat (previously not an option)
1 Whole Apple (previously not an option)
1 Tablespoon of Chia Seeds (previously not an option)

Fruit and Vegetable Smoothie

Lose It Smoothie Ingredient List
Lose It Smoothie Ingredient List

This makes a 32 ounce smoothie with 381 calories and endless health benefits.  Over the past year I lost 40 lbs and 4 pant sizes drinking this smoothie, exercising several times a week (running around Chastain Park 3 +/- miles) and eating relatively healthy meals at other times.  The “eating relatively healthy meals” was not and has not been consistent, but the smoothie has been, and I have maintained the weight I am at for 6 months.  I say this because often times I eat what my kids are eating, whether it’s at the concession stand or Chick-fil-a.  So far I have found that if I am consistent with the smoothie and exercise, I can eat whatever for dinner and they offset each other.

So for those of you out there looking for a healthy smoothie recipe, this is the real deal and tastes great!

See you around,

Carson Matthews

My First Beer Can Chicken

Tonight I made a beer can chicken for the first time on the Big Green Egg.  I’ve been on a grilling hiatus since December 31st.  For some reason that I’m not aware of I have been taking a break…  Glad to be back.  I used several BGE toys for the first time including the sittin’ chicken, iGrill and some of my new tools that I got for Christmas.  It was pretty easy; I simply rubbed the chicken with lemon pepper from the Fresh Market, filled the sittin’ chicken with a beer, put the chicken on top and stuffed the neck with some quartered onions.  I cooked it on the Big Green Egg for about an hour and a half at 375 give or take.

Beer Can Chicken on Big Green Egg

The iGrill was awesome and totally eliminated the need to open the egg while it was cooking.  My phone went off when the temperature was 170 degrees and we were done.  It was simple and the taste was amazing.  I was not expecting the boys to eat it, but they devoured it!  When we were done at the table they both went to the counter and picked the chicken apart until it was gone.  The chicken cost $7.94 at the Fresh Market… now that’s money well spent.

Beer Can Chicken on Big Green Egg

 This was a very simple recipe as I didn’t want to get too involved the first time through, but the flavor was right on with so little effort.  There are more extravagant rubs that will probably make it even better, and you have to think a different beer could enhance the flavor as well.  We shall see.

Smoked Pork Chop on Big Green Egg

Last weekend my father-in-law called me and was heading up to Ball Ground GA to pick up some pork chops.  My immediate thought was that it was a long way to drive for some pork chops.  He proceeded to tell me how incredible they were and that they were like nothing I’d ever had before.  I told him to pick up 5 for me knowing that if they were as good as he said, I would need to do some sharing.  Boy am I glad, this smoked pork chop is the real deal.

I did a little research and the smoked pork chops came from a store called Frankfurt Doner and Meats, located at 250 Gilmer Ferry Rd in Ball Ground GA.  You can connect with them on facebook here http://www.facebook.com/pages/Frankfurt-D%C3%B6ner-and-Meats/180573851984559.

So here is what I did with it:

Rubbed bone-in pork chop with some Dales, Season All and Kosher salt
Seared both sides on Big Green Egg then cooked at medium heat for 7 minutes per side

It came off the grill almost falling off the bone.  It was very tender with an amazing flavor.  The chops are already smoked so they don’t require much time on the grill.  I split the pork chop with my kids, complemented with some green beans and a Dogfish Head 90-minute Imperial IPA.

Here are some pictures of the preparation and end result.

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Grilled Chicken Flatbread Sandwich

In one of my former lives I was a cook at a restaurant called the Rocky Mountain Oyster.  The Rocky Mountain Oyster was is located under the Mangy Moose in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  We mainly served breakfast and lunch to folks heading out to ski at Teton Village.  My absolute favorite dish to make and to eat was this grilled chicken sandwich served on a thick flatbread, wrapped up with lettuce, tomato and a creamy dressing.  This week it popped back into my head and I decided to try and replicate it for dinner.  Here is how I made it:

*Sliced grilled chicken breast marinated with Lawry’s Mediterranean Herb & White Wine 30 minute Marinade and McCormick Montreal Chicken Seasoning.
*Shredded lettuce mixed with Marzetti Sweet Italian Dressing
*Sliced Tomatoes and Vidalia Onions

All wrapped in a piece of white flatbread heated on the grill.

While it was not exactly like the original, it was really good, easy to make and brought back great memories.

Barbecue Salmon on the Big Green Egg

Cooking salmon on the big green egg is one of my favorites, and this Barbecue Salmon recipe is easy and really good.  I picked up a couple of pieces of salmon last night at the Fresh Market and the other two ingredients are staples in the cabinet and refrigerator.  All it takes is rubbing some Magic Salmon Seasoning over the top of the fish, then covering it with Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q Sauce.  Cook it to your liking on the grill or Big Green Egg if you have one and you are in business.  This recipe never fails and always comes out perfect.