I’m a sucker for new discoveries, so when our friend Dr. Alex Nguyen, DDS raved about his Big Green Egg BBQ, I couldn’t wait to check it out. And yes, despite what they say in The Hangover, dentists are doctors (speaking of this movie, check out this strange but funny version of the trailer). The Big Green Egg concept is actually relatively simple: it’s made out of ceramic for great heat conduction; shaped like an egg to maximize convection; and is tightly sealed to allow precise heat control and extreme coal efficiency. Does it work? In two words, FUCK YES! The egg utilizes direct and convection heat simultaneously, resulting in very uniform and consistent cooking. It basically marries the stable heat of a highly efficient convection oven with the flavor benefits of charcoal grilling.
Last week Alex and his lovely wife TA (who went to my same grade school) had a bunch of us over for what I like to think of as the “Egg-stravaganza” – a truly magical meal consisting of foods grilled on Alex’s Big Green Egg. My brother Pierre contributed a tasty and delicate appetizer of endives with lobster, crab and scallop mousse. I brought a Caesar salad and our friends Danny and Taylor brought not one, but two desserts. However, there was no doubt the night belonged to Alex and his Big Egg. Take a gander at the menu: Pulled pork sliders with spicy slaw; thin cut lamb chops in exotic spice with virgin cous cous; smoked sea bass with miso mustard sauce and wasabi mashed potatoes; filet mignon with port wine sauce.
My favorite was the lamb. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was the most tender lamb chop I’ve ever had. Even Wifey said it was her favorite dish and she doesn’t even eat lamb! A close second was the sea bass. I’m not sure which was better about this dish: the mildly caramelized outer crust of the seas bass giving way to a melt-in-your-mouth interior or the perfectly paired miso mustard sauce that brightened up the dish without overpowering the fish.
It was an unforgettable night. Great food, great wine and great friends. These are things worth cherishing.
p.s.: As if being a dentist, fellow blogger and wonderful cook wasn’t enough, Alex is also a very good amateur photographer. Is this guy a Renaissance Man or what? All photos below are courtesy of the good doctor.