Backyard BBQ on the Big Green Egg with Bering’s Hardware

Last week I got the opportunity to cook on The Big Green Egg for a handful of wonderful humans at Bering’s Hardware and it was seriously so much fun! There is something so special about getting a group of strangers together and bonding over food. If you did not get to attend, here is the menu!

The Menu

TURKEY SLIDERS ON BUTTER LEAF LETTUCE 

LEMON MINT ZUCCHINI SALAD

ROASTED CORN WITH FETA CHEESE + CHIPOTLE BUTTER

SWEET POTATO WEDGES

First Things First…

Egg Set Up:

1. Start by removing your grill and plate setter, remove any unused charcoal

2. Remove the charcoal grate and the upper/lower rings

3. Use a shop vac or regular vacuum to remove all of your ash and charcoal pieces from the egg. If you have ash or dust, you can use a wet cloth to wipe off

4. With the lid open, reach underneath and wipe the Green Egg thermometer clean

5. Re-assemble rings and charcoal grate

Fire Set Up: 

1. Fill egg with enough charcoal to build a pyramid shape leaving the outer parts of the grate holes open

2. With the vents wide open on bottom and top, light fire with your charcoal starters or heating element. After about 10 minutes, use your ash tool to stir the charcoal around the bottom of your grate. This will help the fire spread quicker. 

3. Add more charcoal to the top of the first ring

4. Place Conveggtor (legs up) for indirect cooking with one leg directly in the back of the egg

5. Place grill on plate setter

6. Close lid and leave vents open until you reach your desired temperature

7. After 30 minutes, start checking your stone or steel temperature using an infrared thermometer

8. When temperature is within 50 degrees of your desired temperature, start prepping your meal

TURKEY SLIDERS ON BUTTER LEAF LETTUCE

WITH PICKLED ONIONS, HONEY HABENERO AIOLI, AVOCADO + CHERRY TOMATOES

INGREDIENTS:

For the sliders

1 lb. grass-fed ground turkey

1/3 cup feta

1/3 cup parsley, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbs tamari sauce or Briggs liquid aminos

¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt

¼ tsp cracked black pepper

1 egg

For the honey habanero aioli

2 egg yolks

1 habanero pepper

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic

½ lime, juiced

½ lime zest

2 tbs local honey

1 tbs Dijon mustard

Himalayan pink salt

For the pickled onions

½ red onion, thinly sliced (use a mandolin is you have one)

1 tbs peppercorns

1 tbs coriander seeds

1 tsp Himalayan pink salt

2 cups apple cider vinegar 

Remaining players:

1 Head butter leaf lettuce 

Avocado, sliced

Cherry tomatoes, halved

METHOD:

1. The day before or a few hours before, make the pickled onions and aioli

2. For the pickled onions: Combine vinegar, salt, coriander seeds, and peppercorns in a medium bowl. Whisk together until salt is fully dissolved. Place onion in a jar or bowl (I like to use a mason jar). Pour vinegar mixture over the onions and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour if you’re in a rush. Preferably, cover jar or bowl and place in refrigerator for at least 1 day. Pickled onions will last for a few weeks stored in the refrigerator.

3. For the aioli: Place habanero on the hot BGE or in your oven on ‘broil’(4-5 minutes at 400 degrees). Remove, put in a paper bag or cover in a kitchen towel and let cool. Once cooled, remove the skin and seeds from the pepper. Wash your hands, or your eyes will be burning later! You can make this by hand or by using a food processor/blender; I opt for my food processor. In the food processor, pulse together garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, habanero, lime juice and zest. Add the egg yolks and pulse a few times so the mixture combines. Make sure your eggs are room temperature or it will be harder for them to bind to the oil. With the food processor running, very slowly stream in the oil. When all of it is added, it should look like mayonnaise! Give it a little taste, and add some salt as necessary. Put it in the fridge until ready to assemble burgers.

4. Get the Big Green Egg set to 400 degrees. 

5. In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, parsley, garlic, feta, salt and pepper. Add the egg, stirring to combine. Shape the mixture into 12 2-inch-size patties.

6. When the Egg is hot, add the turkey sliders and cook until done all the way through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. 

4. Top the butter leaf lettuce piece with the burger, aioli, pickled onion, cherry tomato and avocado. Serve immediately.

LEMON MINT ZUCCHINI SALAD

INGREDIENTS:

3 zucchinis

½ lemon, juiced

1 tbs avocado oil

1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt + pp, to taste

Handful of fresh mint

METHOD:

1. You’re going to start with the hardest part of this: slicing zucchinis lengthwise. Pick up a mandolin slicer before making this unless you have wicked knife skills. 

2. Lightly brush the slices with avocado oil and place them on the hot grill. After a minute or two, carefully turn them over for another minute or two. Depending on how thick your slices are and how hot your grill is you may want to repeat the procedure.

3. Once all zucchini slices are grilled to your liking, set them aside and prepare the dressing: Mix lemon juice, a little bit of olive oil, a crushed garlic clove, salt and pepper, and a handful of chopped mint leaves. I let this sit for a few minutes to let the flavors enhance. 

4. Pour the dressing over the grilled zucchini and buon appetito! 

ROASTED CORN 

WITH FETA CHEESE + CHIPOTLE BUTTER

INGREDIENTS:

4 ears corn

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons chopped dried chipotle chilies (can be found at Central Market)

¼ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

½ cup crumbled cotija cheese or feta cheese (2 ounces)

¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 fresh lime, cut into quarters

METHOD:

1. Set the EGG for direct cooking with the convEGGtor at 400°F/204C°.

2. Place the corn into a large pan and cover with cold water. Let soak for 1 hour.

3. Pull the husks back from each ear of corn and tie them into a bundle with butcher’s twine. Completely remove the silk from each ear. Combine the butter, chilies and salt in a Cast Iron Sauce Pot and mix well. Using a knife or small spatula, spread 1 tablespoon of the butter evenly over each ear.

4. Place the corn on the grid with a piece of aluminum foil under each husk to prevent the husks from burning. Add the sauce pot to the EGG until the butter melts. Roast the corn for 6 minutes, basting the corn with the chipotle butter and turning every 2 minutes. Continue grilling for 6 more minutes, or until the corn is tender.

5. Transfer the corn to a platter and coat with more chipotle butter. Sprinkle with the cheese and cilantro. Serve immediately with lime wedges. Serves 4

SWEET POTATO WEDGES

INGREDIENTS:

For the Seasoning:

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the potatoes:

4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and each cut into 8 equal wedges

1/4 cup avocado oil

Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

METHOD:

  1. To make the seasoning:Mix together paprika, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl, set aside.
  2. Place potato wedges in a large bowl. Add avocado oil and toss to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place potatoes on cool side of grill, cover, and let cook until a pair knife can be inserted into middle of wedge with no resistance, about 40 minutes. Move potatoes to hot side of grill and cook until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes per side.
  4. Transfer potatoes to a serving platter and sprinkle with prepared seasoning to taste. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.

Big Thank you to everyone who came out last weekend! See you guys at my next Bering’s Big Green Egg Cooking Clinic Saturday, June 8 from 10am-12pm!

Holiday Party Platter

Still unsure on what to make this holiday season for an upcoming family dinner or swingin’ soirée? This party platter is easy to make, requires no cooking and is so aesthetically pleasing, it practically looks like decor. I enjoy making these snack boards because there truly are no rules and they are the epitome of a great return on investment. I personally like to add foods that are easy to pick up and eat while chatting. You can add fruit, veggies, cheese, cured meats, honey, jams, crackers, nuts and dips. We eat with our eyes first so don’t underestimate the power of color and versatility

Here are some simple rules to live by when making a party platter:

  1. Find the right platter – You want to find a piece that really pops. I love this Large Beatriz Ball Organic Nicola Pedestal Platter paired with this adorable Beatriz Ball Holiday Christmas Tree Mini Bowl that I used for the dip. These two pieces came from Bering’s Hardware here in Houston, my go-to spot for all things entertaining. If you haven’t been and you need some last minute gift ideas or serving pieces for your upcoming holiday party, Bering’s is your spot.
  2. Add your crudités – these raw veggies will be great with any dip you decide to add and they also provide a great opportunity to add fun pops of color to your platter.
  3. Add something sweet – Dried and fresh fruit are the way to go to satisfy the sweet factor here. Any fruit you like or have on hand would work. Just make sure to treat fruits that oxidize (like pears and apples) with a fresh lemon juice before putting them out so they do not brown.
  4. Add some crackers –  I enjoy using a mix of crackers, just because it’s fun, but use whatever makes you happy. I just pile them on the platter wherever there are openings.
  5. Add a dip or two – Condiments are a really fun addition to a party platter and can provide a flavor boost to all of those delicious veggies. Some of my favorite options: hummus, honey, fancy mustards, jams, and preserves. You can add sauces and chutneys and whatever else makes you happy.
  6. Fill spaces – This is what will help make your party platter look really amazing—fill in all the empty spaces. I like to do this with clusters of grapes, cherries, blueberries or nuts. They fill in all the nooks and crannies nicely, and they’re the perfect size for someone to grab and just eat a few grapes.
  7. Garnish – For the holiday season, I love adding a few sprigs of fresh rosemary – it looks a lot like a Christmas tree, and it smells great. Is this step important? No. Does it look great? Heck yes.

And that’s it! I know that was a lot of explaining, but honestly, the whole process takes less that ten minutes. It is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser this holiday season.

This post is sponsored by Bering’s Hardware.

Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Informal Grub possible.

Scream + Shout for Brussels Sprouts

Scream + Shout for Brussels Sprouts

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BRUSSELS SPROUTS // maintain the health of your skin, teeth and gums

Vitamin C is essential for normal growth and development. This nutrient keep your immune system strong and helps maintain the health of your skin, teeth and gums.

Vitamin C protects your cells from damage as well, which can reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

A 1/2 cup serving of brussels sprouts contains 48 milligrams of vitamin c, which is about 50% of what men need each day and about 65% of what women need.


I have been gluten free for 15 months now and I could not be more happy with that decision. I haven’t felt this healthy in a long time and I know this is just the beginning. With that being said, it still is hard eating outside of my safe gluten free kitchen because it truly seems like EVERYTHING has gluten in it.

My sweet and thoughtful friends always attempt to eat gluten free around me to not torture me but I assure you, it’s just not worth it for me and my body of oddities.

When we go out and there are brussels sprouts on the menu, you know those bad boys are getting ordered. What’s unfortunate for me and other Celiac’s like me is that 9 times out of 10 these delicious brussels sprouts have soy sauce in them which has gluten in it.

After coming across this issue so many times while eating out, I decided to take matters into my own hands…replicate the very delicious dish that plagues me at most restaurants. Since I was already happy with my current brussels sprout recipe I decided to just add some tamari sauce (gluten free soy sauce) to the recipe.

The stars aligned for this one ya’ll…you’re welcome 😉 I have officially made it multiple times this week and am craving it to the point where I will be making sandwiches and tacos stuffed with these brussels sprouts. So happy about this tweaked recipe. This is what I like to call glass half full…because of my crappy diagnosis, I have found something delicious and enjoyable that will in return boost my immune system. Suck on that, Celiac.

Here you go!

IMG_5604

SWEET TART BRUSSELS SPROUTS

INGREDIENTS

brussels sprouts halved

3 tbs grapeseed oil

2 tsp brown sugar

1/2 lemon juiced

1-2 tbs tamari sauce or soy sauce

S + PP to taste

  1. Cut the bottoms off of the brussies and then cut in halves, place into saute pan
  2. Once all brussies are cut up, add oil and turn to medium heat
  3. Add your salt, pepper and tamari/soy sauce
  4. Once the brussies start turning to a light green and softening, turn the heat to low, add the juice of the lemon (zest, too if you’re feeling fancy) and sprinkle the brown sugar on top
  5. Cook on low until you are ready to serve dinner
  6. Enjoy!

185 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY!

-C

Life’s a Peach

Life’s a Peach

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PEACHES // the zen fruit

Peaches are often referred to as the “Fruit of Calmness” in Hungary.

Peaches are a healthy stress-reliever that help reduce anxiety. Who new something so tasty could be so beneficial?


There are two things that I love so much…summer salads and peach season! Today’s salad basically encompasses both of my loves and it’s also a crowd -pleaser.

Who doesn’t love something cool and refreshing during the Houston melt-fest that is our summer?

This past weekend, I got to spend sometime with my family at the beach which was so nice but we all couldn’t help to notice that even the nice coastal breeze was hot! When we were planning dinner, all we were craving was light and refreshing. I knew it was a great time to whip out this salad recipe.

I am a big fan of simple recipes and quick to whip up –this salad is definitely those things. If you’re in the market for a new summer salad, see below!

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PEACH SUMMER SALAD

2-3 peaches

2 heirloom tomatoes

1 ball of mozzarella di bufala

1 small bundle of basil

6-8 slices of proscuitto

 2 heads of greens of your choosing (I now have used kale, arugula and spinach)

1/4 cup EVOO

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  1. Rinse and dry the lettuce and rip larger leaves in shreds
  2. Slice the peaches and tomatoes into wedges
  3. Assemble the salad by laying the lettuce down on the bottom, scatter the peaches and tomatoes over the lettuce
  4. Tear the mozzarella over the salad
  5. Spread the basil over the salad
  6. Lay slices of prosciutto throughout the salad
  7. To make the dressing, whisk together the EVOO and balsamic vinegar
  8. Drizzle desired amount on top of the salad
  9. Enjoy!

169 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY!

-C

 

What’s Up, Doc?

What’s Up, Doc?

carrots

CARROTS // stop memory loss

Middle-aged people who ate the lowest amount of root vegetables showed more than three times as much cognitive decline as those who ate the most, according to a Netherlands study.

Researchers concluded that the beta-carotene in the vegetables – ESPECIALLY IN CARROTS–protected the central nervous system against aging.

An 18-year Harvard study determined that when men consumed 50mg supplements of beta-carotene every other day, cognitive decay was delayed for the equivalent of 1 to 1.5 years compared to those who took a placebo.


Today’s recipe is another gem I stumbled upon while stuck in an airport for hours on end; I have never been so thankful for crappy weather and a delayed flight.

Since this is Miss Martha Stewart’s recipe and not mine I feel I can toot it’s horn a little bit. I must say this is one of the most simple and easy recipes I have made to date but not only that, the presentation is outstanding. I felt like something so easy to make looked like a lot of thought and effort was taken. Not only that but the flavors are such a great match. This side dish will be a great hit at a dinner party where you’re definitely looking to impress.

On a random side note: Barbles and I were laughing earlier about, what if you were the person in the 18 -year study that was getting the placebo… for 18-years!! What a mind f*ck! ha. I would love to hear yalls take on that! Anywho, here is the recipe!

 

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CARROTS + SESAME

INGREDIENTS

2 large carrots

2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1-2 tsp of lemon juice

sesame seeds sprinkled

  1. Using a potato peeler, peel carrots into ribbons. For added support while peeling, I used a knife pinning the top of the carrot in place on the cutting board (literally stab the knife thru the top on the carrot, pinning it in place.)
  2. Place the ribbons of carrot in a bowl and toss with remaining ingredients.
  3. Optional: chill in the fridge before serving.
  4. Enjoy!

143 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY

 

-C

Everyday I’m Brusslin’

Everyday I’m Brusslin’

Bacon jalapeño brussel sprouts gratin_DSC9297BRUSSELS SPROUTS // vitamin c packed

Vitamin C is essential for normal growth and development. The nutrient keeps your immune system strong and helps maintain the health of your skin, teeth and gums.

Vitamin C protects your cells from damage as well, which can reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

A 1/2 cup serving of brussels sprouts contains 48.4 milligrams of vitamin c, which is about 50% of what men need each day and about 65% of what women need on a daily basis.


I am so happy to post the recipe for one of my most favorite side dishes. It is always a crowd-pleaser and my most favorite part — when someone asks for the recipe.

I am always looking to find ways to boost my immune system (since mine sucks!) instead of trying to repair it.

I am sure we all have our rituals to what we do when we feel a cold coming along. Mine used to be just simply pounding vitamin C chewables, orange juice and lots of water. But instead of pounding that vitamin C when it’s already too late, why not boost the immune system when you’re feeling fab? Why only help the body out when it’s under the weather?

Ever since I was diagnosed with Celiac disease I made it a passion to boost my immune system; I am extremely driven to never get sick again! The more research I have done, the more foods I am finding that have vitamin c in them!

A FEW TO NAME:

Bell peppers

Kale/Spinach

Broccoli

Kiwi Fruit

Berries

Tomatoes

Peas

When I am sick, I guarantee you I won’t be craving a bowl of brussels sprouts so that is why it is key to ingest these immune boosters when you’re feeling tip top!

The goal is to maintain my health, not repair it!

For those of you who want to stay on top of your immune system or just want a delicious recipe, here you go!

LEMON-Y BRUSSELS SPROUTS

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INGREDIENTS

brussels sprouts cut in halves

candied pecans

1 lemon

3 tbs grapeseed oil

3 cloves garlic

S + PP to taste

  1. Cut the bottoms off of the brussies and then cut in halves, place into saute pan
  2. Once all brussies are cut up, add oil and turn to medium heat
  3. Add your salt, pepper and garlic
  4. Once the brussies start turning to a light green and softening, turn the heat to low, add the juice of one lemon (zest, too if you’re feeling fancy) and the candied pecans. If you can’t find candied pecans, use regular pecans and add 1-2 tbs of brown sugar.
  5. Cook on low until you are ready to serve dinner
  6. Enjoy!

131 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY!

 

-C

Double Date

Double Date

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DATES // your perfect energy booster

 

Dates are high in natural sugars like glucose, fructose and sucrose. Therefore, they are a perfect snack for an immediate burst of energy.

Many people around the world use dates for a quick afternoon snack when they are feeling lethargic or sluggish.


Since I don’t consume any form of caffeine I typically have to get creative when that inevitable afternoon crash comes.

(Your body temp drops around 3pm on the reg, causing that lovely afternoon crash)

I have tried jumping jacks to get the blood movin’ but that typically causes some stares, peppermints (eating and smelling it’s oil), and a nice cold-pressed juice but those things can get redundant after a while.

When I found out my newest afternoon snack gave a great energy boost, I was given an even greater incentive to enjoy them.

I challenge you to put down your artificial sweetener filled coffee or your nasty Red Bull -esque energy drink and ingest something natural to help boost your energy.

Do you accept? If so, here is the recipe!

ALMOND BUTTER STUFFED DATES

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Medjool Dates

Almond Butter

Cacao Nibs

Goji Berries

  1. Cut open the center of the date, removing the seed. I use my hands typically but these guys can get pretty sticky.
  2. With a sandwich knife, fill the center of the date with almond butter as well as the top making it look like the date has been dipped into the almond butter.
  3. Roll or sprinkle your toppings onto the almond butter. This recipe can be used with so many other toppings; almonds, pistachios, shredded coconut, etc.
  4. Enjoy!

100 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY!!!!!!!!!!

Quick tangent: I cannot believe I have gone this many days without getting a cold, sinus infection, etc. It’s honestly been “always something” since my freshman year of college!! (2005) This is a great feeling and I truly owe all of it to NUTRITION…food truly can be medicine. It’s proven so for me! I really cannot wait to see my friends and loved ones lives and health improve when they realize what you put in your body affect how you feel.

-C