So last Saturday was my annual summer grilling and chilling class. This year featured a lot of new recipes, techniques, and new faces. What better time to fire up those barbecues, than now, whether you prefer gas or charcoal, dry rub or marinade, medium rare or well done(not too well done) and remember, it’s not just about the meat, when it’s comes to grilling, your options are pretty much endless, whether it’s for meat, veggies, desserts, or heck, even a salad. Mastering the grill is a great weapon to have in your arsenal of culinary skills.
Whether you prefer gas or charcoal, keep these three things in mind;
1) keep it hot, with charcoal, make sure those babies are white hot!
2) keep it clean, if you don’t have a grill scraper, a wad of foil will do.
3) keep it lubricated. Veg oil with a towel works, careful with cooking spray, a little flame up and say good bye to those arm hairs…
Making the most out of you meat
Marinades, dry rubs, brines have two purposes; adding flavor, and making foods tender and moist.
Always make sure your meat is completely dry before adding any marinade.
The longer, the better. Marinade your meat for at least an hour, ideally overnight. The tougher cut of meat you have, the more time you’ll want the acids in the marinade to break down the tough tissue.
Pictured above are lamb kebabs, made from the leg meat, which have been marinated in yogurt and spices. Yogurt makes a great marinade adding even more flavor and tenderness to the lamb.
Always let your meat rest for about ten minutes before cutting into it.
Take your meat off the grill, drink a beer, take a walk, have a smoke, whatever, just don’t touch your meat, let it rest!
Cutting into it right away will cause all of the juices to bleed out, leaving you with a sad and dry excuse of a piece of meat you worked so hard for.
Homer Simpson said it best, “you don’t win friends with salad”
Well, this grilled romaine may just prove him wrong. Adding a quick char to the lettuce adds another element of flavor to this simple salad, tossed with a light balsamic dressing, crispy bacon, and feta cheese.
By the time I took this picture, all but one remained…vultures…
Vegetarian tacos, featuring fire roasted chilies, seasoned portobellos, cotija, and lime.
Roast a bell pepper for about 10 minutes until it gets nice and charred. Throw it in a plastic bag and let cool. Peel the burned skin and rinse. You now have roasted peppers, which are far superior to their raw counterparts.
If you’ve never grilled fruit before, I would highly recommend it. These juicy ripe peaches would have been just fine by themselves on a hot grill. The carmelization of the sugars intensifies the natural sweetness. We decided to add a little cinnamon and sugar, grabbed a cast iron skillet, and after about 45 minutes, appeared a simple yet delicious cobbler. Add a little vanilla ice cream and, as a little man with spiky bleach blond hair on the food network would say, “that’s on a one way street to flavor town!”
Until next time, remember, let that meat rest!
Chef Bryce Benes