I received an email the other day from our local Fresh Market saying they had cases of Hatch chiles available for order. Well, I thought, that’s something new for me, so I’ll do it. I’ve never prepared or cooked fresh Hatch chiles, I’ve just used the canned ones you get in the supermarket. My plan was to roast them all, and I did. I also got to find out how big a case of Hatch chiles is: 18 pounds. Over 150 peppers. Yep, over 150 peppers. I fired up my largest charcoal grill and got to work. Batch after batch, I roasted the Hatch chiles until lightly charred. My plan was to only use a few of the roasted chiles immediately, so most went into bags and then the freezer for use later. After I got a system down roasting them was actually very easy. And boy, did it ever smell fantastic on the desk. I can getting a case of Hatch chiles becoming a yearly thing in our household.
I froze the chiles whole without removing stems, membranes or seeds. I found that they clean up quite easily when thawed and maybe (maybe) have more flavor that way. Plus, with 150+ peppers, I was definitely not up to cleaning that many peppers in one evening. Roasting them was enough of a chore!
Perhaps I should get one of those big chile roasters you see in serious pepper-roasting folk’s yards…. Hmmmm…. A new toy!
I absolutely love roasted baby potatoes. They taste almost like whipped butter, with a fantastic creamy insides. But my favorite part is that crispy skin that pops when you bite into it. The Char-Broil Big Easy cooks up baby potatoes perfectly, and in no time at all. No pre-boiling is required. Just toss them with some oil, salt and pepper and garlic and into the cooker they go! Although you can cook a few potatoes on the rack that comes with the Big Easy, you really want to add a bunk bed basket (or two) so you can cook more at once. If you prefer a potato with a little bit of spicy kick to it try my Fire-Eater potatoes also made on the Big Easy.
I use a lot of products from Stubb’s, from sauces to marinades. I’ve been very happy with them all. That’s why I decided to use some of Stubb’s chicken rub on a whole chicken and drop it into my (awesome) cooker, the Char-Broil Big Easy. As always, the Big Easy was easy, cooking the bird in 15 minutes per pound.The Stubb’s seasoning added a little sweetness, and a kinda different flavor, mustard. I’ve rubbed beef in mustard before but never added mustard flavor to chicken. It was fantastic! I did make my chicken a beer can chicken by adding a bit more Stubb’s chicken rub to a can of beer that I then inserted into the chicken. You can skip that part if you wish, or use an empty soda can with chicken broth added. There’s no wrong here because the Big Easy cooks chicken right every time. And boy, does the skin comes out crispy and dangerously delicious to say nothing of how tender and moist the meat is, dark or white!
Wow, talk about amazingly good. The heck with the main dish, just load me up on some of these Cajun shrimp-stuffed poblano peppers. A slight kick of heat, perfect shrimp and creamy melted cheese. What’s not to love? You could use green bell peppers instead, if you want. I love poblanos because they are a little spicier than a bell pepper without just completely drowning out a dish in heat.
For extra kick, substitute shredded pepper jack cheese for the feta and mozzarella and add a few diced roasted jalapenos into the shrimp mixture. That’ll definitely liven up the party.
As much as I use my Char-Broil Big Easy to cook up fantastic chicken, I also use it just as much for side dishes. This roasted cauliflower came out absolutely delicious. Tender and flavor-packed, with just a hint of smokiness from the bacon. And as with anything I cook on my Big Easy, it was easy to make.
Make sure when you pick out the head of cauliflower at the store that you don’t get a really big one or it won’t fit into the Big Easy. Shoot for one that is about 8″ wide. For a little kick don’t be afraid to add a few pinches of dried red pepper flake to the chicken broth as you cook the cauliflower. It won’t be overwhelmingly hot, but it’ll give you a slight hint of heat.
You can roast cauliflower in the standard basket that comes with the Big Easy or a bunk bed basket (lined with foil to keep the liquid in), or the Big Easy cooking rack.
Baby potatoes have such a wonderful creamy sweetness to them. I love them roasted so the skin gets just a bit crispy. They pop when you bite into them. The Char-Broil Big Easy is the perfect cooker for making a lot of things, and these Fire-Eater potatoes are one of them. Roasted potatoes hit with a nice seasoning mix that brings a little heat to offset the sweetness. You can substitute any rub or seasoning mix you desire, but you might want to shy away from any that contain a lot of sugar which might burn in high heat. These Fire-Eater potatoes do cook quickly since they are smaller, but keep an eye on them if you do use a sweeter spice mix. For a little more mellow (but still super yummy!) potato using the Big Easy, try my roasted baby potatoes.
Mmmmmm. Tasty, moist, tender chicken. Montreal seasoning combines many of my favorite things: garlic, coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dill seed, and salt. Combine that with the fact that the Char-Broil Big Easy makes perfect chicken every single time and you’ve got a great dish. In fact, I cooked 6 chickens on one of my Big Easy’s just the other day. It’s optional, but I went the beer can route with my Montreal chicken. It’s not any harder to do on the Big Easy than ‘regular’ chicken. Just add a bit of seasoning to an open beer can, insert, and cook. That’s it. The Big Easy cooks chicken just great without the beer can, believe me, but it does add a little coolness factor and flavor.
If you’re not a fan of beer, don’t fret. Soda works just as well. For Montreal chicken, I’d lean towards something like root beer or maybe a ginger ale.
So long and goodbye to boring cauliflower. Bring on the spiciness of harissa, a Mediterranean hot chile pepper paste that is so flavorful I’m quickly finding myself using on just about everything. Rubbing the paste on a head of cauliflower and roasting it results in an unbelievably tasty side dish. The heat gets tamed a bit (but it’s still there), leaving you with a wonderful garlicky, earthy bite. Roasted harissa cauliflower is quite possibly the perfect side dish (and it’s low in carbs too!). You can make the cauliflower in the grill too, just place the harissa-covered head directly on a hot grill over indirect heat and cook until tender. Specially when grilled over charcoal, the cauliflower will also get a nice light smoky flavor along with the taste of harissa. And don’t hesitate to make more than one head at a time. The leftovers are just as good as (and maybe a bit better) than the night you make them. The harissa flavors penetrate the cauliflower even more overnight.
For a little citrus flavor, squeeze fresh lemon over the roasted cauliflower just before serving.