September 14 | Weekly Top 5
Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival is so close we can taste it (we wish). We’ve been looking forward to this event for months and, as you may recall from our article back in August, Strategic Hospitality is curating the VIP Village this year, hosting an outdoor kitchen and larder with some of our good friends from across the city. You can find the full list of chefs here, but rest assured it’s going to be two days chock full of incredible meats, fish, and seasonal vegetables...all cooked on a live fire and on the Big Green Egg.
We thought that, while we bide our time until we set up shop in the park next weekend, we should do what we do best - and get cooking! We tapped SH culinary mastermind (and the man curating the culinary village!!) Chef Levon Wallace for a few of his favorite BGE recipes and tips...and boy did he deliver. Below is Levon’s Weekly Top 5, sure to get you your tastebuds watering just in time for next weekend.
Five Recipes and Tips for Cooking on Your Big Green Egg
by Chef Levon Wallace
1. Burp, (excuse me). Burping your BGE allows fresh air to slowly and safely enter the dome, preventing flare-ups that could escape towards you (also known as “backflash”, yikes!). This is essential if you’re cooking at temps above 350 degrees. To do this, slowly lift the lid of the dome 1-2 inches and “bounce” it up and down (gently!) a couple of times. By slowly introducing cooler, fresh air you also avoid potentially damaging the ceramic dome from a drastic temperature change.
2. Get this party LIT. When lighting the charcoal, have all the vents wide open and keep the lid open the first 7 to 10 minutes. Then close it to bring the Egg to the desired temperature. This will take 15 to 20 minutes (a bit longer in winter).
3. Utilize your cast iron skillet! I’m obsessed with many things...pizza, cast iron cookware, and the Big Green Egg being a few of them. And when they’re combined together? Look out. With its crispy, cheesy, charred crust and a tender pillow-like interior, it’s hard to not want to make this pizza every weekend (cheat meal, amirite?)
4. Grilled Gulf Oysters (or “errsters” as they call them way down south) are the perfect quick - and impressive - snack to make on your Big Green Egg. You can make the butter in advance and it will hold in your fridge for up to two weeks for easy, on the fly entertaining. The butter also works well for cooking fish “on the half shell”...see more in the recipe!
5. Simple and Classic Smoked Chicken - If you have quality ingredients and quality tools (like the Big Green Egg) you really don’t need to fuss it up too much when it comes to seasoning, especially when smoking. For example, whenever I smoke meats my go-to rub is Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and red pepper flakes (you’ll see I use it in this recipe!). That combination usually wins over some coffee-chili-brown sugar-cumin witches brew you might come across on the internet. Simple is always best. And that’s why this Simple and Classic Smoked Chicken is one of my absolute favorite things to eat when done right. The Big Green Egg makes this super easy!