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Grilled Cornbread Dressing with Sweet Sausage


Grilled Cornbead Dressing with Sweet Sausage

Fire up the grill to make your next bowl of dressing.

Grilled Cornbread Dressing with Sweet Sausage

12 ounces mild (usually labeled ‘sweet’) Italian sausage
2 large red bell peppers
6 large cornbread muffins
2 tablespoons butter
2 onions, chopped
A handful of fresh sage leaves, chopped
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 egg
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock

Set up grill for direct grill method. Add soaked wood chips to the fire.

Grill sausage over direct heat until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees. Cut into thin slices, and set aside.

Roast peppers over direct heat until completely charred and skins blister. Place in a bowl and cover. Set aside for 10 minutes, then chop.

Grill cornbread muffins on all sides until lightly charred. Crumble and set aside.

Melt butter over medium heat in a medium sauce pan. Add the onions and cook, stirring for about 10 minutes or until soft and caramelized.

In a large mixing bowl, add crumbled cornbread, sage, chopped peppers, thinly sliced grilled sausage, and caramelized onion and combine well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, cream and chicken stock. Pour mixture over the cornbread. Stir dressing together, spoon into buttered baking dish and bake 20 to 25 minutes at 300 degrees.

Garnish with chopped parsley.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

From Garrett Stephens/The County Line

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Grilled Green Bean Casserole with Portobello Cream


Grilled Green Bean Casserole with Portobello Cream

A portobello mushroom is simply a cremini mushroom that has been allowed to mature, says Garrett Stephens of the County Line. The flavors have grown earthier and meatier as the cap has gotten larger. It’s that added oomph that you want when making this green bean casserole.

Grilled Green Bean Casserole with Portobello Cream

1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
1 can fried onions
2 tablespoons butter
10 ounces portobello mushroom, rinsed and sliced
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half

Set grill for a direct grilling method. Add soaked wood chips to fire.

Place beans on a grill pan and grill directly over hot fire until nicely browned. Set aside. Cut in half.

Place fried onions on a grill pan and toast for 2 to 3 minutes.

Melt butter in a large oven-proof sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up liquid, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and cook 2 minutes.

Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add stock and cook for 1 minute. Decrease the temperature to medium low and add half-and-half. Cook until mixture thickens, approximately 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and add green beans. Top with fried onions.

Make at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

From Garrett Stephens/The County Line

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Pit-Kissed Cream Corn with Parmigiano-Reggiano


Pit-Kissed Creamed Corn with Parmigiano-Reggiano

When you’re making a recipe that calls for scalded cream or milk, bring it up to room temperature first so that it doesn’t burn, says Garrett Stephens of the County Line.

Pit-Kissed Cream Corn with Parmigiano-Reggiano

2 ears corn
Light olive oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
1/2 tablespoon flour
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, shredded

Set pit up for direct grilling method. Add smoked wood chips to fire.

Pull the husks back on the ears of corn, and tie with string. Do not worry about the silks, as they will burn off.

Brush the corn with light olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place corn directly over the fire and cook on all sides until the corn is nicely browned.

Remove corn from heat and let cool. Cut the kernels from the cob. Set aside.

In a small pan over medium heat, combine cream, ginger, salt and pepper, and reduce by one-third, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Add kernels, chicken stock and flour to reduced cream and cook for 10 minutes or until cream thickens to desired consistency and is absorbed by corn.

Remove corn from heat and stir in scallion and cheese.

Makes 2 servings.

From Garret Stephens/The County Line

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County Line Schedules Next Cooking Class


The County Line is hosting its second cooking class at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19. The barbecue joint’s pitmaster and chef, Garrett Stephens, will lead the class at the restaurant, 10101 I-10 W.

Class participants will dine on a full serving of each of the five courses that Stephens plans to demonstrate.  Everyone also receives a recipe book, with space to take their own notes.

The menu includes:

  • Pit-Kissed Cream Corn with Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Grilled Green Bean Casserole with Portobello Cream
  • Grilled Cornbread and Sweet Sausage Dressing with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Peppers
  • Fire-Roasted Breast of Turkey with Cranberry-Jalapeño Glaze
  • Harvest Cobbler

A champagne reception begins at 7 p.m. Each course will be paired with wine from Becker Vineyards.

The cooking class will be held outside on the shaded patio; in case of rain, it will be moved inside.

The price is $40 a person plus tax and tip.

To make a reservation, call 210-641-1998 or e-mail garretts@countyline.com.

Stephens’ first cooking class was a flavorful success. For details, click here.

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Grilled Caesar Salad


Garlic makes the dressing for this Grilled Caesar Salad.

Use both direct heat and indirect heat from the grill to make this special Caesar salad.

Grilled Caesar Salad

Dressing:
2 egg yolks
2 cloves garlic
3 anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Croutons:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups 1/2-inch cubes ciabatta bread
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Salad:
2 heads romaine lettuce, cut in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon light olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

To make the dressing: Place the egg yolks, garlic, anchovies and mustard in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for 10 seconds. Slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Add the cheese, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. Season with salt and pepper and pulse until combined. Refrigerate.

To make the croutons: Heat your grill. Melt the butter in a small saucepan on the stovetop, add the garlic and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, making sure to not let the butter brown. Strain the butter into a small bowl. Add the bread cubes, season with salt and pepper, and toss together. Place the bread on the perforated grill pan and grill over direct heat for 2 to 3 minutes, turning constantly, until toasted light brown on all sides. Using barbecue mitts, remove the grill pan from the grill and allow the croutons to cool.

To make the salad: Brush the inside of each lettuce half with light olive oil. Place the lettuce on the grill, cut side down, over indirect heat. Close the lid and grill for 1 minute, or until lightly browned. Remove and let cool.

To assemble: Place a lettuce half on each plate, grilled side up. Pour the desired amount of dressing over the lettuce and top with croutons and cheese. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

From Garrett Stephens/The County Line

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Memphis-rubbed Pork Shoulder


Memphis-rubbed Pork Shoulder

A rub and a marinade combine to give this smoked pork shoulder extra flavor.

Memphis-rubbed Pork Shoulder

County Line Memphis Rub:
1 cup ground paprika
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon celery salt
3 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons dry mustard
5 teaspoons garlic powder
5 teaspoons onion powder

Injection marinade:
3/4 cup apple juice
3/4 cup white grape juice
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Meat:
1 (10-pound) pork Boston Butt (choose a piece of meat with a good quantity of fat)

For the rub: In a clean and dry container combine paprika, sugars, salts, peppers, mustard, garlic powder and onion powder. Blend well. Sugar should be completely blended into mixture and the final product should be uniform in color with no lumps.

For the marinade: Mix juices, salt and Worcestershire sauce together. Using a meat injector, liberally inject the pork from all sides with the marinade.

Use any leftover marinade to moisten the pork so the rub sticks. Rub your spice rub into the pork, and don’t be shy.

Place the pork in your refrigerator overnight so that the meat will soak up the flavors.

Take the meat out an hour early so it can reach room temperature before it hits the smoker.

Preparing your smoker: You shoudl always cook with wood, whether it be hardwood logs or hardwood charcoal — just stay away from regular charcoal.

Once your coals are ready, add the meat. The ideal range for smoking your meat is between 200 and 225 degrees. you should plan on smoking your meat for about 1 1/2 hours per pound. For the last 3 hours of smoking time, remove your meat and wrap it tightly in foil. Once the meat reaches an internal temperature of 185 degrees, pull it. Always use a calibrated meat thermometer. Meat should pull apart easily with two forks.

Makes 8-10 servings.

From Garrett Stephens/The County Line

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Hatch Green Chiles Stuffed with Chived Cream Cheese


Hatch Chile Stuffed with Chived Cream Cheese

Garrett Stephens of the County Line recommends Hatch chiles and County Line sausage with this appetizer. Banana peppers and other smoked sausage could be substituted.

Hatch Green Chiles Stuffed With Chived Cream Cheese and County Line Smoked Sausage

8 ounces cream cheese
1 bunch green onions, finely diced
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
4 mild or hot Hatch chiles
8 thin slices bacon
2 links County Line smoked sausage

Combine cream cheese and green onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill in refrigerator.

Slice chiles lengthwise and remove seeds and pith.

Stuff the cream cheese into the chile.

Cut sausage links into quarters along the length of the link. This should approximately the length of the chile. Place sausage on top of cream cheese. Wrap the stuffed chile in bacon so that the cheese will not seep out. Bind ends with a toothpick.

Place on grill using indirect heat. Cover grill and cook until desired grill marks are achieved. Move chiles to upper section of grill and cover until bacon is cooked through. Be careful not to burn.

Makes 8 appetizer servings.

From Garrett Stephens/The County Line

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County Line Cooking Class Is Smokin’ Good


Mouthwatering Memphis-rubbed Pork Shoulder with Green Apple Coleslaw

Anyone wanting to present a cooking class would do well to look at the example set by the County Line.

The barbecue joint at 10101 I-1o W. kicked off a monthly series of cooking classes recently with a lesson in pit-smoking that was perfect fun. It was held outdoors on a balmy autumn evening. The menu was loaded with pork products, from bacon to sausage, that made you want to ask for seconds. The prickly pear margaritas and the beer were flowing. Oh, yeah, and the instructor made everything he did look perfectly easy.

Garrett Stephens

San Antonio native Garrett Stephens started his restaurant career as a dishwasher. For the last 15 years, he has been preparing barbecue at the County Line, so he knows his way around a smoker, which he demonstrated with his Memphis-rubbed Pork Shoulder. Use only Boston Butt for this succulent creation, he said, and make sure you select one with plenty of fat on one side. Leave it on and it will hold the meat together after smoking it for hours. Then when you are ready to serve, the skin will remove easily, he said.

Preparing the meat requires two steps. The first is to inject the meat with a marinade that uses a mixture of apple juice, grape juice and Worcestershire sauce. “Use every bit of the marinade,” Stephens said, which will cause the meat to expand once it is injected. The other is to make a rub, which Stephens makes by combining celery salt, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, garlic powder and brown sugar among other ingredients.

When the meat is ready to smoke, it is important to maintain a temperature range of 200 to 225 degrees as you cook it for 1 1/2 hours per pound. So a 10-pound Boston Butt will take 15 hours to smoke.

And always smoke it with wood, not regular charcoal.

Stephens paired this dish with a coleslaw that incorporated Granny Smith apples.

Hatch Chile Stuffed with Chived Cream Cheese

He started the evening with frozen prickly pear margaritas, which are easy to make. Simply scrape the seeds from the center of a cactus tuna, or prickly pear, which adds a vibrant magenta color to the drink and a welcome touch of sweetness.

He followed that with an appetizer in which he took Hatch chiles and filled them with chived cream cheese and smoked sausage before wrapping them in thin bacon and turning them onto the grill. Use indirect heat and make sure the bacon cooks on all sides. It was simple, yet it had the audience sighing with satisfaction, especially when paired with the seasonal Smoked Hatch Green Chile Blonde Ale from Freetail Brewing Co., one of the evening’s sponsors along with Whole Food and Barbecues Galore.

Next came a garlicky Grilled Caesar Salad that had an almost mayonnaise like dressing that Stephens whipped up in a food processor. Two cloves of garlic were mixed with egg yolks, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco as well as three anchovy fillets.

Don’t be afraid of the anchovies in your Caesar dressing, he said. “They add buttery richness and saltiness.”

The salad was a perfect foil for Freetail’s Rye Wit, a light-bodied, refreshing beer that cut through the thickness of the dressing.

Grilled Peach Kebabs

Stephens closed out the evening with grilled peaches and pound cake topped with the County Line’s special Jack Daniel’s sauce. Oil down the grill for this one and make sure it’s both hot and clean before placing the cake down, Stephens said. And don’t let yourself get distracted. The pound cake cooks in about 45 seconds.

I’ve been to plenty of cooking classes where the recipes were solid but just didn’t inspire me to recreate them at home. Not so here. In the few days that have passed since the class, I’ve already made the coleslaw. And I’m just waiting for some of my Anaheim chiles to ripen a little further before I grill them in a variation of Stephens’ recipe. That Jack Daniel’s sauce is going to get a good workout this fall on everything from chocolate-pecan pie to vanilla ice cream.

Stephens summed up his approach to smoking meat in a manner that applies to all cooking: “Barbecue is fun. If you’re not having fun, you shouldn’t do it.”

For more on the County Line, click here.

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Add Prickly Pear to Your Margarita


Tradicional Margarita

Lime wedge
Salt
1 ounce Jose Cuervo Tradicional or silver tequila
2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
1 ounce prickly pear juice
1/2 cup ice

Rub the rim of a chilled margarita glass with the lime and dip the glass into the salt to coat it.

In a cocktail shaker, combine Jose Cuervo Tradicional, lime juice, Grand Marnier, prickly pear juice and ice.

Shake vigorously and strain drink into a rimmed glass filled with ice.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From Jose Cuervo/The County Line

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Grilled Peach Kebabs and Pound Cake with Jack Daniel’s Sauce


Grilled Peach Kebabs and Pound Cake

The Jack Daniel’s sauce is what the County Line uses on its bread pudding. It’s a lively addition to many desserts.

Grilled Peach Kebabs and Pound Cake with Jack Daniel’s Sauce

Jack Daniel’s Sauce:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1/2 pound brown sugar (break up clumps so appearance is granular)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 ounce Jack Daniel’s whiskey or bourbon

4 large ripe freestone peaches
8 cinnamon sticks
Store-bought pound cake
8 fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Whipped cream
Cinnamon sugar

For the Jack Daniel’s Sauce: Place butter on a burner at a medium high setting. Melt butter (make sure not to burn). Break up brown sugar and slowly add to melted butter. Continue to whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth and almost at the point of simmering. (Do NOT allow sauce to boil — if it does, it will thicken and become pralines.) Slowly add the heavy whipping cream, continue to stir the mixture as you do so. Blend well and immediately remove from heat. Add the Jack Daniel’s or bourbon. Mix well. Set aside.

Set  up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush and oil the grill grate.

Cut the peaches in half, running the knife in a circular motion around the peach to the stone. Twist the halves in opposite directions to separate them. Pop out the stone with a spoon and discard. Cut each peach half in half. Using a pointed chopstick or metal skewer, make a started hol in the center of each peach quarter (from outside to the pit side). Skewer 2 peach quarters on each cinnamon stick. Grill the peaches until nicely browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side, basting with the Jack Daniel’s sauce.

Slice the pound cake into 1/2-inch slices. Place the pound cake on a clean and well-oiled grill. Grill each side for 1 minute. Do not move the pieces of pound cake until nice grill marks have been made. Remove.

Place 2 pieces of cake on a plate with a peach quarter on top of each slice. Drizzle with Jack Daniel’s sauce and serve with mint, whipped cream and a pinch of cinnamon sugar.

Makes 8 servings.

From Garrett Stephens/The County Line

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