Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I'd like to thank my fellow veterans for being who they were when they were needed to do what they did. Regardless of how little they think that was. Without you there is nothing.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Getting all up in my Grill

That reminds me. The grill is back in full use now. We use it over the winter, but that's just for kicks. Nothing like some grilled peaches on the grill for desert in January.

Grilling is not as much of an art as most people seem to think. While there are things that you can do by feel and experience if you can cook in an oven you can cook on a grill. Below are some simple rules I go by when grilling.

  • Don't play with your meat! Unless you have to touch it don't. Don't open the lid to check it, don't do anything unless you have to.
  • Food should be mostly dry when it goes on the grill. While I douse my hamburgers with Worcestershire sauce I do it after they hit the grill. Sop up any extra marinade or juices before you throw it on the grill.
  •  Apply any sauce after the food is about 80% done. Any sugar in your sauce will burn before your meat cooks giving you a nightmare of burnt sauce on top of raw meat.
  • Drink something while grilling, I prefer a nice adult beverage, but anything will do. This will keep you from fiddling with the food.
  • Make as many items as you can either ahead of time or on the grill. Nothing worse than one of you inside making things while the other one is outside making something else. Grilling should be a social event. Even if you don't have a side burner you can put a cast iron skillet on the grill and make cornbread or beans.
  • Let it stand after cooking. While your food is cooking all the juices run to the outside of the meat, if you cut it right away you end up with a bloody mess on your plate. Make a tin foil tent and let it sit for at least five minutes. This will also allow the temperature on the inside to rise up to another 5 degrees.
  • Seriously, you may feel like Joe Cool flipping your burgers every thirty seconds, but don't do it. When you keep flipping your meat you keep heat from entering the center of the food, which causes the outsides to burn while the inside stays nice and raw...
  • Try grilling vegetables. And fruits. Asparagus and corn on the cob on the grill is heaven on earth. And peaches on the grill are the bomb.
  • Don't spend nine million dollars on grilling tools. The same stuff you use in your kitchen will work on your grill, just be prepared to lose some hair on your arms now and then.
Just some ideas off the top of my head. As the summer goes on I'm going to try to share our  favorite recipes.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Spice Rack Challenge - Coriander

Coriander, really I had no idea what to make.  I love Cilantro (I used to HATE it!) It always amazes me that at my age, I am always still learning new thing.  Like a couple years ago, I found out the easy way that Coriander is Cilantro that has been allowed to go to seed.  Every year I get tons of Cilantro because I let it go to seed the year before.

So what to do?  I start looking through cookbooks and on the internet, then I get lazy and fall back on an old recipe.  Woodman bought a cookbook some time back, I don't even remember the name but it had a rub recipe you used in conjunction with a bbq sauce.  While Woodman likes this, the cumin is a bit strong for me but I do like it.  We had it on grilled pork chops this week and it was a beautiful taste of summer.  Here is the recipe with a few adaptions.

Woodman's BBQ Rub

2 T Kosher Salt
2 T Ground Coriander
6 T Ground Cumin
4 T Hot Chili Powder
1 T Paprika
1 1/2 t Ground Allspice
1 1/2 t ground black pepper

Mix well and store in airtight container.  Rub on meat prior to grilling.  During last few minutes of grilling, brush with your favorite BBQ Sauce