Autumn has arrived in West Central & Southwest Ohio — Tis the season for soft sweaters, warm throws and cozy boots. Many of the elements we love most about the season center around comfort. Whether it is the indulgent fabrics of cool-weather attire or the sense of home we get from the aroma of our favorite comfort foods cooking nearby, fall is all about comfort.
When you think about all the things you can prepare on a Big Green Egg, you probably don’t think of comfort foods. But, the capabilities of the Egg will exceed your expectation in the range of savory foods possible. Take a look at a few of our comfort food favorites:
Roasted Hatch Chile Mac N Cheese
- 1 16-ounce box cavatappi or macaroni pasta
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (½ cup)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup crema or crème fraîche
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 cups shredded cheddar-Jack cheese (about 8 ounces)
- 2 cups shredded Gouda cheese (about 8 ounces)
- 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika, divided
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 4 fresh Hatch Chile peppers, charred, peeled, stems and seeds removed, finely diced
- ¾ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon oil to keep pasta from sticking.
Set EGG for indirect cooking (with convEGGtor) at 350°F/177°C.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; whisk in flour until a smooth paste is formed, about 3 minutes. Whisk in milk, crema, and nutmeg until smooth; whisk in cheeses until completely melted. Whisk in 1 teaspoon paprika; whisk in salt and white pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
Add pasta and Hatch Chile to cheese mixture; toss together. Pour evenly a Rectangular Drip Pan.
In a bowl, combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining ½ teaspoon paprika, and breadcrumbs; stir in salt to taste.
Sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture.
Bake in EGG until bubbly and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes. Serve.
- Serves: 12 (1¼ cups)
Blueberry French Toast Casserole
The Big Green Egg is a truly versatile and fun piece of cooking equipment. Your friends and family will be amazed when you fire it up in the morning to make a great make-ahead breakfast. In this recipe, we used blueberries, however, if strawberries, bananas or even peaches or apples are more your taste you may use these as a substitute. Just be sure the casserole gets cooked in the middle and it will be great.
- 15 slices Texas toast-style white bread
- 1 pound breakfast sausage, cooked, crumbled, and cooled
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup salted butter, melted and cooled
- 4 ounces fresh blueberries
- Maple syrup, warmed, for serving
The night before you plan to cook, tear each bread slice into 9 pieces and put the pieces in a large bowl. Add the sausage and toss to mix. In another large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy and blended. Add the butter and whisk until blended. Pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture. Using a large spoon, gently fold them together until the bread is evenly soaked.
Spray a 9 by 13-inch EGG-safe pan with vegetable cooking spray. Pour the bread mixture into the pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the blueberries over the top, distributing them evenly, and then push them down into the bread mixture just to hold them in place. Cover the casserole and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
In the morning, take the casserole out of the refrigerator to warm at room temperature for 1 hour. Prepare the EGG to cook indirectly with the convEGGtor at 350°F/177°C. Uncover the casserole, place it on the EGG cooking grid, and cook for 30 minutes. Spin the casserole 180 degrees to ensure even cooking and continue cooking for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the casserole is firm and set in the middle.
Remove from the EGG and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with maple syrup on the side.
- Makes about 8 Servings