The good people of Kingsford Charcoal contacted me with the subject line of "Do you know it's time to tailgate?" They offered the suggestion; 'Tailgate season is here and it’s time to beef up what you throw on that grill'. We love to tailgate and our 'Tailgate Season' runs all year. Kingsford offered some tasty recipes and threw in a bag of their 'Professional Charcoal'. Today we are going to make a side dish with sweet Vidalia onions. We will also discuss Kingsford's Professional charcoal. I have been a fan of their original 'Blue' bag charcoal and have been curious of this new charcoal. Let's fire up the grill and have a tailgate.
I contacted the Kingsford representative, Samantha Haerti to ask her about the "Professional Charcoal". She replied; "It’s made with premium wood char that delivers a hotter and more consistent burn than Kingsford original. The high heat it achieves is good for searing and smoking! It also produces less ash, and is made of 100% natural ingredients. The briquets light quickly, so that food can be placed on the grill within approximately 13 minutes.". Let's give it a try.
Our first cook was with a stuffed pork chop from a specialty butcher. This chop was stuffed with a savory bread stuffing. We filled up a chimney and lit a couple of newspapers. I took a closer look at the unlit charcoal and compared it to an original Blue Bag charcoal. The Professional is a little lighter and seems to be a little thinner. The fire was lit. I have to concur the fact that these charcoals do light quickly. I even noticed the higher heat even though I was wearing my heat proof gloves. This fire was hot. The high heat seared and caramelized these chops very quickly. They were seared quickly and placed to an indirect area and covered with the kettle top to finish off. The heat was amazing. These chops cooked quickly and even oozed a little stuffing out the side. This was one tasty meal.
Next up was a beautiful bone in rib-eye and a side dish of Atlanta's Sweet Vidalia Onion Bloom. This recipe was very simple to make. It had few ingredients and promised to deliver big taste. Once again I noticed the high heat the Professional Charcoal produced. I liked the quick lighting time because this Mad Meat Genius was one hungry tailgater. My wife, Ms. Goofy loved this side dish. She loved the crunchy cheese topping of the sweet Vidalia onion. This was another touchdown of good eats.
Atlanta's Sweet Vidalia Onion Bloom
Recipe created by chef David Larkworthy of 5 Seasons Brewing
on behalf of the makers of Kingsford Charcoal
"Vidalia Onions were named after a town in Georgia, so this side dish is a perfect taste
of Atlanta flavor"
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 2 medium Vidalia or other sweet onions
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 4 slices Swiss cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Light grill using Kingsford briquets.
Cut onion in half across the middle. Then cut crosswise three times without slicing through the sides of bottom of onion. Remove two cross sections of onion to create small cups.
Place onion halves sliced side up on aluminum foil and evenly distribute butter, bread crumbs and parsley in the onion cups. Top with cheese ad salt and pepper . Fold aluminum foil around onion until all ends meet ot make a tight seal
Place onion packet on covered grill over indirect heat for 30 minutes., rotating occasionally. Onion shouuld be soft and 'melted ' with the bottom caramelized when done.
Serve as a side dish with grilled steak.
To answer the burning question of "Do you know it's time to tailgate" I reply a resounding; You better believe it. Thanks to the good people at Kingsford for the suggestions and bag of charcoal. The Professional Charcoal works great when you need higher heat for searing. This works perfect for chops and steaks. I think it is time for another tailgate.