I don’t know when the idea of doing a stir-fry on the Big Easy first occurred to me. Probably late at night. Probably around the same time I came up with the idea of cooking bacon in the Big Easy. I wasn’t optimistic when I started, but boy was I ever happy when I tasted the final product.
Note: I doubt that using a wok on the Big Easy was something the original designers thought of. Doing so might violate your warranty.
So obviously you’ll need a wok. A wok big enough so it doesn’t fall into the Big Easy. In my case, I used one with a nice long handle and a good sturdy short handle. No fear of it falling in or sliding off. I took a paper towel and wiped down the inside of the wok with a little vegetable oil as I lit the Big Easy. It took no time at all for the wok to get super-crazy hot.
This being my first time trying this I decided to go the simple route. I wanted to prove the concept, and I did that and then some. I added a few tablespoons of oil into the bottom of the wok along with a head of cut broccoli and two sliced shallots. I gave it a good stir and let it cook. It was easy and oh what an aroma.
In about 6 minutes or so the broccoli was crisp-tender. I sprinkled a little red pepper flake over the top and served it up. A great side in under 10 minutes!
My only concern during my cook was that the Big Easy seemed to get pretty hot. My suspicion is that the wok is trapping most of the heat inside the unit (and hence my disclaimer at the top of this post). That’s great for cooking, but only time will tell if it’s a negative for the lifespan of my Big Easy.
I couldn’t have been happier with my first attempt at stir-fry on the Big Easy. You’ll be seeing me cooking this way a lot more in the future. If you try it, please let us Big Easy fans know your thoughts in the comments below.
Sweet heat. And then some. I should’ve known I’d love these Dragon Fire wings so much that I would want more. Such a simple sauce but oh so addicting. Don’t let the sweetness of that first bite fool you. There’s heat coming and it’s coming fast. No question about it, Dragon Fire is easily one of my favorite wings of all time. I used apricot preserves to make the Dragon Fire sauce. Peach would also work just fine. You can also substitute for the Sriracha sauce. Any good hot sauce or even Buffalo wing sauce would work just as well.
I could make (and eat) ‘fried’ chicken using my Vortex BBQ all day long. It has never let me down. It has never been anything but easy. This copycat of Church’s fried chicken was no exception. Incredibly crunchy skin. Unbelievably moist and flavorful meat. And as easy as coating it, grilling it, eating it. Done. There are no tricks or special handshakes that you need to know to get fried chicken right using the Vortex. And although a lot of sites say to rotate the lid every 15 minutes while cooking, I’ve not found that it makes a difference. I don’t over-crowd my grill and I make sure I have a super-hot fire. If you’ve found that rotating the lid is a requirement, let me know but so far, I’ve not had anything but success just keeping the lid right where it is. I also do not flip my chicken while it is cooking. Doing so will result in ‘batter loss’, a bad thing. Just keep it right where it is.
Also try my insanely-awesome proper pub fried chicken, another fantastic recipe for deliciously crispy tasty chicken cooked using the Vortex.
My oh my oh my these roasted spiral potatoes were good. And kinda pretty, too. But definitely delicious. The potatoes get cooked up perfectly, mixed with smoky bacon, garlic and seasonings. As the potatoes near their journey to doneness they are then topped with butter and cheese. Oh yeah! Garnished with sour cream and green onions, this is one mighty fine side dish. Assembling the potatoes in the pan is the key to having them cook perfectly (and look cool). It’s easier than it looks. Just cut all of your potatoes the same thickness (it’s up to you if you want to leave the skin on or not). Then for each circular layer select pieces that are roughly the same size. You then just lay them into a lightly oiled cast iron skillet at a slight angle, overlapping by about half. You’ll need one hand to hold them in place and one hand to add potatoes. Once you’ve made the full circle they’ll stay in place. When the roasted spiral potatoes come out of the oven they are tender, covered in ooey gooey melted cheese. They look and smell out of this world. You’ll never want to cook potatoes any other way.
Make sure you add a good bit of paprika to the spice mixture. It adds great color.
These potatoes go great with a grilled steak. The perfect meat-and-potatoes dinner!
You'll need a cast iron skillet to make these roasted spiral potatoes. The larger the skillet, the more potatoes you will need. I used a 10" Lodge.
4-5 Russet potatoes, sliced (try to select potatoes that are all roughly the same sizes)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus a little more
3 tablespoons minced garlic
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion and paprika, all to taste
3 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4" pieces
1/2 stick butter, melted
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Sour cream and chopped green onions, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Lightly oil your skillet.
Lightly toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil and the minced garlic
Layer potatoes around the edge of the skillet. You'll want to select pieces that are roughly the same size. Over lap the potatoes by about half, using one hand to add potatoes while the other hand keeps the potatoes in place. You'll want them to be at about a 60 degree angle, slightly angled back, following the contour of the skillet.
Once your first layer is done, add two more, each inside of the other. You might need four total layers depending on the size of your skillet and potatoes.
When you get to the end you'll have a little round 'hole' in the middle. Place a potato end (point-side up) in that spot to complete the arrangement.
Combine the seasonings and sprinkle over the tops of the potatoes. Don't be shy.
Sprinkle the bacon pieces over the top and place in the oven for 45 minutes.
Drizzle with the butter, raise the temperature to 425 F, and cook another 15 minutes.
Sprinkle with the cheese and return to the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
Corn, glorious corn! Fresh sweet corn is everywhere and that means time to fire up the Big Easy and make some honey-butter corn-on-the-cob. A little added sweetness and ready in no time at all. I actually made this honey-butter corn (on the left) along with my Buffalo blue cheese corn (on the right) so that I’d have a nice mix of sweet and savory corn-on-the-cob for dinner. You can cook the corn at the same time you’re cooking something else in the Big Easy. Just place the corn in a Bunk Bed basket above your other food. Depending on what all you are cooking you can squeeze two bunk bed baskets into the Big Easy at once.
Note: To cook all 4 ears (8 pieces in all) of corn you'll need a Bunk Bed basket for your Big Easy.
4 ears corn-on-the-cob, husks and silks removed, cut in half
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 pinch Kosher salt
Fire up your Big Easy.
Place the 8 pieces of corn onto pieces of foil.
Place the butter, honey and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter is melted and the honey is dissolved. Brush over the tops of the corn. Rotate and brush the other side of the corn.
Seal tightly in the foil and place into the Big Easy basket.
Cook in the Big Easy for 20-25 minutes or until the corn is tender.
Not too long ago I grilled up some cornbread and brushed it with jalapeno honey butter. Good doesn’t even come close to describing how great it was. I instantly became a big fan of grilled cornbread. And since I roasted a huge batch of Hatch chiles, I figured, hey, how about grilled cornbread with Hatch chile honey butter? A little less spicy than the jalapeno version, but still packed with fantastic roasted pepper flavor and just a little sweetness. Thicker cornbread definitely holds up better on the grill than the crumbly stuff. You have to be pretty careful flipping the cornbread, but it’s worth the stress. I like to have extra melted Hatch chile honey butter on the table when I serve these because, well, you can’t have too much of it that’s for sure.
If you love Hatch chiles as much as I do, don’t hesitate to add a few of the chopped roasted peppers into the cornbread mix before you bake it.
This cherry tomato salad is crazy good. Tomato season is our favorite time of the year, and this dish definitely satisfied our quest for tomato yumminess. The combination of balsamic vinegar and pesto sauce really makes for a wonderful dressing and marinade. The red onions add a nice bite. The original recipe calls for half an onion, but I thought the onions were so great that I’ll definitely use the entire onion the next time I make this salad. This cherry tomato salad can also be made with whole tomatoes (heirloom would be amazing!) cut into wedges. Of course, it wouldn’t be a cherry tomato salad then but it’d still be great!
If you’re looking for a tomato salad more suitable for kids, try my hot dog tomato salad. It was a childhood favorite of mine.
I absolutely love cooking corn on my Char-Broil Big Easy. It comes out perfect every single time. Juicy, hot and ready for whatever toppings suit my fancy. This time my topping of choice was inspired by Buffalo wings. A little Buffalo wing sauce, a little blue cheese and a little bit of butter and I’ve got a delicious side dish (the three pieces you see on the right in the picture below). The three pieces on the left is my honey-butter corn-on-the-cob. If you’re worried about Buffalo blue cheese corn being too spicy, don’t. The Buffalo sauce is there, you can taste it, but it’s not overwhelming at all, not in the least. The corn ends up sweet and buttery with that great blue cheese ‘funk’ and the hint of vinegary wing sauce. Yummy!