The XXL Big Green Egg was a Big Hit!!!
The XXL Big Green Egg will soon arrive in our stores in Orange and San Diego County.
Soak a cedar plank in salted water for 1 to 2 hours, then drain. Rinse the salmon under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Generously season the salmon with salt and pepper. Lay the salmon skin-side down (if skin is still on) on the cedar plank and carefully spread the mustard over the top and sides. Place the brown sugar in a bowl and crumble between your fingers, then sprinkle over the mustard.
Set grill to medium-high. Place the cedar plank in the center of a hot grate. Close the grill hood and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes. Check to be sure the cedar plank is only smoking and not catching fire or overly black around the edges. If so, turn the burner down or off under the plank and continue cooking (indirect cooking) with the other burner(s). Total cook time will be 15 to 25 minutes. The internal temperature should read 135 degrees F. With a spatula cut under the meat leaving the skin attached to the plank and transfer the salmon to a platter for serving.
Finding a wine that works with the big flavors of BBQ is easier than you might think. The taste of BBQ is bold (and sweet when combined with sauce) so not every wine is a good choice. Avoid wines over 14.5% in alcohol content. They can open your taste buds to the point that the barbecue taste is overwhelming. Here are some general guidelines and a few specific recommendations:
Practically any sparkler from California, Spain or Italy is great with BBQ. Those tiny bubbles will scrub your palate and make each bite taste like your first. Blush sparkling wines are especially good with BBQ. Whatever your budget is, there are a lot to choose from. Try Taittinger Domaine Carneros Brut Rose ($33), Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Rose ($22) or Domaine Ste Michelle Brut ($9).
Reds are often a favorite with BBQ but some white wines work as well, especially with pulled pork, chicken and of course fish. Instead of Chardonnay look for whites with a crisp, bright taste. They will cut through the rich, tongue coating qualities of BBQ much better. Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Viognier are all good choices. Try Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc ($26), Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc ($16), Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc ($10), Dry Creek Chenin Blanc ($10), Foxen Chenin Blanc ($20), or Miner Viognier ($15).
Dry Southern French blush wines are a great choice with BBQ. California has jumped into the action by using the same combination of grapes to produce a dry, not sweet blush wine. If your only memory of a blush wine is white zinfandel you'll be pleasantly surprised by this change of pace. Try: Moulin De Gassac ($10), Chateau Puligny Montrachet ($20), Domaine Fontsainte ($12), Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare ($13).
Reds are an obvious choice particularly with beef and lamb. While Cabernet works well with BBQ, you might enjoy trying some of the following.
Syrah (Shiraz - same grape with a different name down under) A nice syrah with silky, smoky tannins, red berry and ripe fruit flavors will work well with BBQ. Try: Zaca Mesa ($15), Blackjack Estate Double Down ($20), Peter Lehmann Barossa ($12)
Zinfandel - The young spicy ones with lots of black pepper and raspberry work especially well with BBQ. Try: Hartford RRV ($30), Tobin James Paso Robles ($15), Manzanita Creek MC2 ($10).
Cote Du Rhone is another good choice. From the South of France this wine is smooth with well behaved tannins and smoky finish is just right with pulled pork and pork ribs. Try: Aphillanthes Villages "3 Cepages" ($23), Domaine Gour De Chaule ($16), Espirit Delas Freres ($10).
Rioja is possibly the best choice for BBQ. This Spanish red made with the tempranillo grape is spicy with great fruit making it a big, bold wine. Rioja can stand up to the assertive flavors of BBQ like brisket, ribs, tri-tip and steaks. Try: Muga Reserva Seleccion Especial ($40), Baron De Ley Reserva ($27), Marques De Riscal Reserva ($17), Vina Santurnia Reserva ($15) or Gran Familia ($10).
When a hamburger is done right, you know it--the smokey, char-grilled outside and all juicy inside is barely contained in a toasty roll. It's an American tradition that’s hard to beat! Here are some general guidelines to get the very best results.
Tips to Grilling the Perfect Hamburger…
There are a lot of ways to grill a burger but there is agreement on one point: The best, juiciest burgers are made from ground beef chuck, which is about 20 percent fat. Meat labeled "ground beef" or "hamburger" can be up to 30 percent fat. 10% or less fat, although a healthier choice will lead to dry hamburger. An even better idea is to select a piece of chuck and have your butcher grind it and ask for a "coarse" grind.
Experiment with Different Types of Meats or Combining Them
Almost any kind of ground meat can be used to make burgers, or mix together different ones. I've heard of mixing pork with beef, chicken with lamb, or even buffalo with beef. For flavor, try mixing some fresh sausage in with another type of meat.
Don't Handle the Meat Too Much
The heat from your hands begins to melt the fat and makes the patty too dense. Wet your hands first and move it lightly from hand to hand. Make a patty ¾- to one-inch thick.
Don't Press Down on the Burgers When Cooking
This compresses the meat and squeezes the juices and flavor out of the meat.
Adding Flavors to the Meat
Many people argue that the perfect burger is made with great beef, straight up with salt and pepper. But it's also fun to add flavors, and if you are using leaner meats, or leaner cuts of beef, you can add moisture at the same time. Finely minced vegetables such as onion, mushrooms, or mild chiles are especially good for this. You can also take a lean cut of meat and add some olive oil for good fat, although this will cook faster than meats that are naturally fattier. Tip: When adding other ingredients to ground meat, use a spoon or spatula to avoid heating the meat with your hands - see above.
Liquids : Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce are perhaps the two most common liquids to add to burgers. Most recipes call for about a Tablespoon of liquid per pound of meat. Wine is another possibility, or, for blander meats, concentrated beef stock.
Spices: Other than salt and pepper, almost any spice in the cabinet is a good addition. Garlic or onion powder is probably the most common, but experiment with everything from chili powder to Asian spices to salad dressing mixes. Tip: Here's one ingredient to use carefully…wait on the salt! Salt will extract moisture from the meat, leaving you with bone-dry burgers. Instead of adding salt while making the patty, sprinkle each burger with salt right before you put it on the grill.
Before Grilling: Let the meat patties chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, even overnight to allow all the flavors to mingle. Stack the patties on a plate and separate them with waxed paper. Cover the plate with plastic wrap until ready to grill.
Grilling the Burgers
Get the BBQ and cooking grates really hot and grease the cooking grates with some olive oil. Put the burgers on and don't move them until they release naturally. Grill for 4 to 6 minutes, depending on how hot the grill is, the type of meat (leaner meat cooks faster), and how done you want it to be. Then flip the burger and cook on the other side until done, about 4 to 6 minutes more. It’s best if you have a meat thermometer and cook until 160° F.