Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Cooking

Our Big Green Egg Christmas miracle: How we baked sweet rolls on the grill

We call it the Year the Big Green Egg Saved Christmas.

It was just a few days before Christmas in 2008, when I was making a big pot of chicken noodle soup for my family and discovered I couldn't turn the burner off. The soup was suddenly in a full rolling boil. The only way I could make it stop was to flip the circuit breaker.

It turned out our particular stove was under an emergency recall for just this glitch. There were house fires. We were toast. There was no way we would be able to get a repair or replacement in time for Christmas.

It had become a tradition that every Christmas morning while we were opening presents, I would throw a breakfast casserole in the oven and a Bundt pan loaded with cinnamon and sugar and Parker House rolls.

While we tore into our gifts, that Bundt pan turned into a mishmash of sweet rolls sometimes called monkey bread. We liked that name because we tear at it like monkeys, pulling the balls of yummy, cinnamony, caramely dough with our fingers.

How was I going to pull off a day of Christmas memories with just a microwave?

My husband, the grill master, had a Big Green Christmas miracle up his sleeve.

The temperature control system of the Big Green Egg is why it inspires big green envy. Thanks to its ceramic composition, an Egg will maintain an even temperature, and not just for low-and-slow barbecue dreams.

You can cook on a pizza stone or, like we did, use the plate setter accessory that is designed for indirect cooking. It provides a barrier between the food and the fire, allowing heat to radiate within the dome while preventing the flames from reaching the food. It basically turns the Egg into an outdoor convection oven.

You can bake on any grill. The Egg just does it better than most. Many a tailgate party makes use of the grill to bake a dessert after the burgers are done. You just need that indirect heat, a good grill thermometer and time to let the grill settle in at the proper temperature. Then leave that lid closed tight.

That Christmas morning, we lit a small amount of lump charcoal. Once the heat settled in at 350 degrees, we baked the monkey bread for about the same length of time we would in the kitchen oven.

Sure, there was a bit of smokiness, but that only made the victory taste sweeter.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.

Comments
Drunk in love with banana bread

Drunk in love with banana bread

I have a thing about bananas. They have to be perfectly yellow, with a light hint of green. And they absolutely cannot have a spot of brown on them. At all. Brown bananas make me gag. My window of tasty opportunity is small, so I love to bake with ov...
Published: 04/24/18
Cooking Challenge: Making a stovetop steak for the first time

Cooking Challenge: Making a stovetop steak for the first time

Raw meat terrifies me. Growing up, I was the kid who avoided cookie dough because it could give me salmonella poisoning. Just imagine how I feel about a slab of bloody steak. So for my latest cooking challenge, I’m diving into the deep end and making...
Published: 04/24/18
Taste test: vanilla wafers

Taste test: vanilla wafers

When it comes to cookies, our judges are all in. When it comes to vanilla wafers, most of them admitted to reaching for the familiar Nilla Wafers in the bright yellow box. Surprisingly, they liked the well-known brand least of the seven wafers sample...
Published: 04/23/18
A taste test for drinking water? They can be surprisingly different

A taste test for drinking water? They can be surprisingly different

BROOKSVILLEThey brought it in glass carboys, in jars, in 2-liter bottles. It stacked up at the entrance to the auditorium, some of it just slightly murky but most of it crystal clear.Water. For more than 15 years the members of Region IV Florida Sect...
Published: 04/18/18
Five ideas for travel-friendly snacks

Five ideas for travel-friendly snacks

Whenever I fly, I pay way too much for food. I’ve stumbled jet-lagged into fancy wine booths and nearly bankrupted myself with cheese plates. I’ve purchased granola bars that cost more than my plane ticket (okay, maybe it just felt that way). If you’...
Published: 04/18/18
Enjoy a slice of sunshine with Tangerine, Ginger and Chocolate Tart

Enjoy a slice of sunshine with Tangerine, Ginger and Chocolate Tart

There are chocolate people, and there are vanilla people. I am a lemon person.Show me a dessert menu, and I’ll choose whatever is flavored with puckery lemon or any of her citrus sisters — lime, tangerine, kumquat, yuzu. Even as a kid, I went for lem...
Published: 04/17/18
Recipe for 30-Minute Spaghetti and Meatballs

Recipe for 30-Minute Spaghetti and Meatballs

As the name suggests, 30-Minute Spaghetti and Meatballs is no substitute for the kind of meatballs simmered for hours in your nonna’s Sunday gravy. Strangely enough, the recipe doesn’t even include oregano or basil or a dry Chianti. And yet I think t...
Published: 04/17/18
Re-create that fancy spa water at home

Re-create that fancy spa water at home

It was lunchtime in the middle of the workday, so although I sat at the bar at downtown St. Petersburg’s Asie Pan-Asian, I opted for a water. The bartender poured a glass and I took an unknowing sip.Cucumber. It was definitely cucumber. I’m not the b...
Published: 04/17/18
Taste test: citrus-flavored sparkling water

Taste test: citrus-flavored sparkling water

Many years ago, I took a trip to Rome and learned enough Italian to find directions and order dinner from menus. I learned very quickly that if I didn’t make it clear, I would get sparkling water rather than still water at every restaurant. My husban...
Published: 04/16/18
Here’s how to make shakshuka, the egg dish with the awesome name

Here’s how to make shakshuka, the egg dish with the awesome name

By Rick NelsonSuddenly, it seems like shakshuka is everywhere.Restaurant menus. Food Network how-to shows. YouTube videos. And on breakfast, lunch and dinner tables in homes across the country.Maybe the dish’s ascendancy can be traced to cookbook aut...
Updated one month ago