Monday, June 11, 2012

Smokin' in Seattle 2012

Saturday was the 6th Pacific Northwest Eggfest, put on by the PNW Egg distributor, AES, in Kent.  Another great event with so much great food.  The best part is seeing old friends, making new ones.  All my favorite AES staff were back, working as hard as ever.  They just keep getting more organized every year and do such an amazing job.  They make it look effortless, but I know how much work it is!

This year they supplied us all with aprons (green of course) and added a live band, which was so great - it really added to the festivities.  They also had added a sponsor, Fletcher Fine Foods, who was there handing out meat for anyone who needed something extra to cook.  How cool is that!?!

Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tots

I started off the morning with my usual bacon-wrapped tater tots, always a big hit.  Very simple to do:  Wrap one-half strip of bacon around a frozen tater tot and place on a large circular perforated grill pan that you have sprayed with cooking oil first.  Press the bacon into itself where the end meets; it'll stick just fine.  No need to figure out how to stuff a toothpick through a frozen tater tot!  Cook indirect at about 375 degrees.  They take quite a while to cook, maybe 45 minutes.  Basically you're waiting for the bacon to crisp up.  Some people like to sprinkle a bbq rub over them, such as Dizzy Pig, but I prefer to have them just as is.

Roasted Balsamic Green Beans

Next up on my agenda were roasted green beans with balsamic vinegar, mushrooms, and Parmesan cheese.

1-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 pound green beans, washed and trimmed
salt and pepper
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Combine the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and add the green beans; mix them to coat.  A plastic baggie worked great for me in the outdoor environment, but a bowl would be a little more eco-friendly.  Put the green beans in a perforated grill pan.  I used a square one with sloping sides.  Cook over indirect heat at 450 degrees.  Cook until the beans are the way you like them - I like them pretty well roasted.  Then put the mushrooms into the bowl/baggie and toss them around to coat them with what's left of the oil/vinegar mixture; then add them to the grill pan and continue grilling until the mushrooms are roasted, which doesn't take nearly as long as the beans.  Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and close the lid for a couple minutes to melt the cheese a bit.  That's it.  Very yummy as a side dish and serves about 6 to 8 people.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

The package called these fingerlings.  They were completely round and I always think of fingerlings as being long and narrow.  Whatever they were, they were delicious grilled with some salt and pepper. And very colorful too!  These would be a great appetizer while you're waiting for the main course to cook.  They work fine as a side dish and I can see roasting them, then making them into mini 'crash' potatoes too.  I contemplated sprinkling them with herbs after they were grilled but in the end went with just the salt and pepper seasoning. I wanted to show that simple can be delicious.

I tossed these with about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper, again using a plastic baggie for convenience.  Then into my square perforated grill pan and grilled them over direct heat at about 400 degrees until they were cooked through.  They didn't take long, maybe 15 to 20 minutes.

Eenie Meenie Potato Casserole

Since my earlier experiment with Eenie Meenie's Potato Casserole was such a big hit at home, and since it could be prepped the night before, transported, and put onto the BGE with no additional work, I made it for Eggfest this year.  It was a very big hit.  I did three layers since I was feeding such a big crowd, and I used the mozarella cheese specified in the original recipe.

Jim was disappointed I didn't bring any of it home, so I made it again last night for dinner.  I do like the flavor of goat cheese mixed with whichever other cheese you choose, so I added that back in last night.

Coffee-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with BBQ Peach Drizzle

For my last recipe, I did a pork tenderloin recipe from the BGE cookbook.  This recipe was provided by Ray Lampe, aka Dr. BBQ.  Since that cookbook is still in circulation and since I made it exactly as is with no changes at all, I will not post the recipe here.  But if you were to google the name of the recipe and click on the first link that comes up, you might find it on the web.  ;)

This was very good.  The peach drizzle reminded me of the sauce that goes with plum pork.  That might be because I may have accidentally used some yellow plum preserves rather than peach preserves - I'm not sure.  I know I used at least 3/4 peach preserves.  I'll have to make it again.  And I was talking with some of the cooks who were near me at the fest, and we decided it would be good using Greek coffee since that has more of a powdery texture, so I want to try that next time.  But you can just never go wrong with a grilled pork tenderloin.  They turn out perfectly every time - I've never been disappointed.  And they're easy and fast to do.  I should make them more often!

In between all this grilling, I had plenty of time to walk around, talk with people, and sample some of the food coming off other cooks' Eggs.

This was hands-down my favorite 'unusual' recipe on the BGE.  So unique.  They called it Roast Cabbage Stuffed with Bacon Jam, and it was cabbage, bacon, onions, bbq sauce, and butter.  They hollowed out the cabbage, stuffed it with the bacon, onions, and bbq sauce, then dotted with butter.  Covered it with foil, set it on the egg onto little foil rings for stability, and cooked it indirect.  It was on there for a while.  You could contact them at if you wanted to ask them specifics.  Really a fabulous grilled vegetable.

Here it is all cooked up and ready to dig into!

 Just one of the many amenities AES provides.  Here are Everett, my favorite Egger in the world, along with Art's daughter serving up sno cones and popcorn.

Had my first taste of pig candy - bacon with sugar and who knows what else - it was great!  Thanks, Sean, James and Jason for this tasty treat!

No eggfest is complete without a pulled pork sandwich.

Delicious meatball sandwich provided by my neighbor cooks Dean, his wife, and son William who does not eat vegetables.  They cooked a ton of stuff, all of it great.

My  new favorite Seattle dance band - The Woodies.  These guys rocked; they played all my favorites.

 These little cuties enjoyed the band, too, along with some nonEgged snacks.

  Seattle's hottest firemen cooked up some yummy stuff.

 Sadly I did not get to taste these stuffed baby bellas after they were cooked - the lines were just too long.  Guess I'll just have to make some of my own.

 These two strapping young fellows cooked up pancakes to order all day long - your choice of bluberry or chocolate chip....or a combo of both!
 Pancakes and beer - the breakfast of champion eggers

 Carnival area for kids of all ages, complete with balloon darts...

 ...egg bean bag toss...

...and photo opps!
(Me and Everett)

Besides working their butts off and providing all the generous raffle prizes, AES donated all proceeds to Rotary First Harvest.  That's what I call putting your money where your mouth is.

Another very fun day with friends, food, and fun - thanks AES - you guys are the greatest!

For more photos, go here.


Chicago_or_Bust said...

Great blog post, Gwen. I wish we could have made it, but our timing was tight, trying to make 2 ferry crossings -Tsswwanne (sp) and transfer to Salt Spring Island ferry!
It looks like it was a blast and the weather was good.


Chicago_or_Bust said...

Didn't remember what my Google name, so you probably are wondering who this is.:-)

Chicago_or_Bust said...

Geez, it keeps removing my Forum name :-)

Misippi Egger said...

Okay, aside from the great recipes as usual (sure you don't want to open a restaurant?) I had to laugh because when I read the title, first I thought you might be talking about decriminalizing marijuana in Seattle. Then, when I read the first paragraph, I thought this was a party put on by the biggest distributor of hen eggs. It took me awhile before I realized you were talking about your smoker! Or is it a grill? I know you love it, so I guess I better figure out exactly what it is!

Gwen said...

Misippi Egger, if you ever figure out computers, let me know! Sorry you missed it too. I hope you're having a great time here.

Melissa, it's a smoker and a griller and a bbq. Why don't you and Mike sail on over, we'll pick you up at the Langley dock and bring you back here for some 'que.