Grilled Desserts: Going Beyond S’mores

Grilled dessertsIt’s the end of the meal, the coals are settling, and the fire’s dying down.  It must be time for dessert!  Sure, you could break out the marshmallows and graham crackers and chocolate bars—no one would mind—but why not expand your repertoire?  Why not serve up something that’s a little unexpected?  Something that’s simple but sophisticated?  Something like one of these grilled fruit desserts that exploit fruit’s natural sweetness in a whole new way.

Grilled fruit recipes are cooked over mellow, medium heat, which means that just about the time you’re taking that last bite of burger or barbecued chicken, the grill’s ready to go.

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Win a Big Green Egg Cookbook from Outdora – just give us your favorite Big Green Egg Recipe!

Outdora wants your Big Green Egg recipesDo you have a favorite Big Green Egg recipe?  One that makes your barbecue guests go bonkers and your mouth water just thinking about it?  If so, we want it!

Outdora is proud to be the sponsor of Sonoma’s first annual Big Green Egg festival!  In honor of this EGGciting event, Outdora is holding a Big Green Egg recipe contest.  The winner gets the Big Green Egg Cookbook, a $50 retail value.  Also, the winning recipe will be featured by one of our celebrity chefs at Outdora’s  Big Green Egg festival in Spring of 2011.

Submit your original Big Green Egg recipe by email to biggreeneggrecipes@outdora.com.  Please include your name, city/state and any pertinent  information you’d like to include about yourself in the blog post.  If you have a picture of either your dish or yourself, send it!  We’d be happy to include it in the post with your recipe.

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Add Some Sizzle to Your Steak

Barbeque the Perfect StateBarbecue.

It’s a noun.  (I’ve just bought a new barbecue.  I could go for some barbecue tonight.)

It’s an adjective.  (Pass me some of those barbecue beans.)

It’s a verb.  (I’m going to barbecue some burgers for dinner Saturday.)

In its simplest form, to “barbecue” simply means to cook something with fire.  It can be as primitive as roasting a hot dog on a stick over a campfire or as sophisticated as throwing Kobe beef steaks on the grill of a high-tech, state-of-the-art, freestanding Lynx grill.

In the US, “barbecue” is often considered merely a summer pastime while globally, it’s just another method of food preparation that ends in year ‘round yumminess like kalbi (Korean barbecued short ribs); South American asado (considered the national dish of Argentina); or African braai.

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Tracing the Development of the Big Green Phenomenon

Dr. BBQYou can’t miss this one.  If it has nothing else going for it, the Big Green Egg certainly stands out from the crowd.  Shaped exactly as it’s named, this unique smoker and grill has an almost fanatical following that seems to only be growing.

Where did it all begin?  Who are the “Eggheads” that rave so loudly about this product?  What’s behind the legend and when did this outdoor kitchen appliance become an industry icon?

Way Back In History

Truly a phenomenon in the 21st century, the Big Green Egg comes from humble roots.

American soldiers returning home from Japan after WWII brought cargo planes full of items from the Eastern world.  In the midst of that crowd was a unique rice steamer used in Japan for ceremonial purposes.  The “mushikamado” had a simple clay pot design that included a removable lid, a damper at the top and a draft door on the bottom.

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Smoking Out the History of BBQ Cooking

Barbeque It’s a summer staple across the continent and an all year round favorite in the sunny south.  But BBQ cooking has a long, intriguing history that’s actually debated with passion in some circles.

The First Smoked Meat?

Folks who call themselves “true barbecue” enthusiasts would define the process as smoking beef or pork outdoors.  Most likely this originated from Native Americans, who did it out of necessity.

When they were successful on a hunt it was important to either eat the meat quickly or preserve it to enjoy later on.  Spanish explorers found that the natives used the sun to preserve their meat, building racks over small fires to smoke away the insects and other pests during the process.

Ingeniously, the Natives were also doing what many of us today would call BBQ or smoking their dinner.  Did the Spanish introduce spices to the recipe or were the Natives already using them?

Indigenous people of the West Indies called this process “barbacoa,” which could be where the modern term came from.  You can enjoy it (without having to hunt for your food) with the Big Green Egg or the Viking C4 Outdoor Cooker, two of the smokers available at Outdora.

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