Hot Stuff

By Diane DeVaughn Stokes

My husband, Chuck, has always loved cooking on his outdoor grill, but ever since he heard me drooling loudly over Tyler Florence of the Food Network he has become more interested in grilling than ever before. (Don’t tell him, but I was actually drooling over Tyler himself not necessarily his pork chops, if you know what I mean!)

So, after years of owning a Weber Grill, Chuck started craving the ultimate outdoor cooking sensation, a Big Green Egg! Now he is obsessed, but better about this than golf, as grilling is much cheaper.

In case you are not familiar with this brand, it is a high-end ceramic cooker that can roast, bake, smoke or grill based on the way cooking was done in years gone by in an old clay pot. High or low temperature, it produces great results cooked over natural wood lump charcoal. Besides, if you saw it – the name describes it perfectly. It’s big, green and shaped like an egg! Lucky for us, we found a used one. Chuck refurbished a few of its parts, and now it’s his favorite toy, next to his iPhone, of course. He even had a carpenter build a cypress cabinet to put it in that will also hold all of his cooking tools. This is the kind of obsession I love, because even though I love to cook it gives me time away from the stove.

Chuck has mastered steaks that are seared to perfection with a nice crunch on the outside, and they turn out medium rare every single time just as we like them. His wood plank salmon with herb butter, which is actually cooked on a piece of water soaked cedar, is a standout! He grilled a delicious turkey for Thanksgiving, and last month his prime rib was out of this world! Last night it was an Herbes de Provence coated pork loin that had our dinner guests begging for more! Recently he purchased a veggie basket, and after each piece is rolled in olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt, he grills them to perfection. Frankly, even an old shoe rolled in olive oil and kosher salt would taste great!

Hate to talk about it, but Chuck did flunk making pizza! I should have known. This is a man who does not eat red sauce or cheese. What was he thinking? He is the only person to ever graduate from USC who NEVER ordered a pizza. The old adage holds true, “Stick to what you know!” But I’ll give credit where it is due. He knows I love it, so he wanted to do it for me. Then, he announced he wanted to make the dough from scratch when I suggested he buy the pre-packaged dough. You’ve got to love a man who tries to please you, even though he made the biggest mess in the kitchen with flour flying all over the place. Even the cats ran and hid! Finally, on the grill it went; a pizza which was half red sauce and mozzarella and on the other half, to please his own weird taste buds, chicken with sausage and peppers and ranch dressing. You heard right – ranch dressing!

Sadly, the whole thing tasted horrible.

Even my half was hard to swallow as the dough tasted like cardboard. Worse actually. I was able to scrape the sticky gooey cheese off the top, but the rest was not edible. I’m a great actress, but I could not fake it this time. Then he tasted his half and decided this was one time he should have stuck to one of his better meaty specialties like London broil. Proving he was a great pizza “tosser,” however, he tossed it right into the garbage can. Then, as any good husband would do after promising his wife a stimulating meal, he ordered Pad Thai to be delivered.

Never miss a meal no matter what, that’s our theory. And we’re sticking to it!

Okay Mario Batali, King of Italian cuisine he is not! And he will never have hair like Guy Fieri, because he doesn’t have hair, but Chuck could give Bobby Flay a run for his money. Last summer he cooked an entire meal on the egg – grilled rosemary chicken, candied sweet potato rounds, asparagus, even the romaine lettuce was lightly grilled and basted with olive oil and vinegar. But it was the fresh Horry County peaches with maple glaze that stole the show! And it was all cooked on the Big Green Egg. That means no dirty pots and pans either. What a man!

And there’s one more thing worth mentioning; I actually think Chuck looks very sexy prepping his grill for the process. It’s a real turn-on! Maybe even better than Tyler Florence!

So, honey what’s cooking tonight?

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2 Responses to “Hot Stuff”

  1. Diane, your humorous story reminded me of my hubby who also thinks of himself as a grill master. I don’t think I’ll tell him about the big green egg.

  2. Diane,
    Chuckled all the way thru! But how about some recipes, now? Those maple peaches sound great!

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