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BillP
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Fire Up the Grill

[ Edited ]
April is only just starting, but the weather is warming up and the mind turns to backyard barbecues. I live in Brooklyn and actually went to my first of the year on Sunday. In the warmer months, how much do you take advantage of your grill? And what do you grill? There are some who will tell you you can grill anything. Do you stick to steaks, hamburgers and hot dogs, or do you venture into fish and fowl?

Also, what are your favorite grilling/bbq cookbooks? I must admit to being a fan of Bobby Flay's first book, Bold American Food. I have made his recipe for Southwestern Potato Salad so many times I don't have to open the book. I made it on Sunday.

But I just got Peace, Love & Barbecue by legendary pitmaster Mike Mills of the 17th Street Bar & Grill in Murphysboro, IL. There are recipes, but it's more of a Barbecue tome, a fascinating, funny read into what some consider the only true American Cuisine.

Message Edited by BillP on 04-03-2007 06:33 PM

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LizzieAnn
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Re: Fire Up the Grill

Did you barbecue in the yard, on the roof, or on the fire escape. I remember when I was young & first married, we would put a hibachi grill on the fire escape to barbecue! All over Brooklyn, you would smell charcoal fires going!

I love to grill almost any & everything - vegetables (especially), fish, chicken, sausage, and meat. We're not big meat eaters - but we eat the most meat when we barbecue. Anything from steaks, London Broil, burgers, & hot dogs. Just last year I added Steve Raichlen's BBQ USA to my cookbook collection. This year I hope to add one or two of Bobby Flay's books - I love watching him on the Food Network.
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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BillP
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Re: Fire Up the Grill

My friend has a nice big backyard. Mostly burgers, but we grilled a lot of vegetables too, including bacon-wrapped asparagus. Very good. I think bacon-wrapped anything is good.

-BP



LizzieAnn wrote:
Did you barbecue in the yard, on the roof, or on the fire escape. I remember when I was young & first married, we would put a hibachi grill on the fire escape to barbecue! All over Brooklyn, you would smell charcoal fires going!


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caroline88
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Re: Fire Up the Grill

I have no experience grilling vegetables. We used to eat barbecued chicken all summer round but this is not practical any longer.

Care to share some newbie pointers for grilling vegetables?

Thanks,
Caroline
Belief in your mission, greet life with a cheer
There's big work to do, and that's why you are here
~ Caroline
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BillP
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Re: Fire Up the Grill

[ Edited ]

caroline88 wrote:
Care to share some newbie pointers for grilling vegetables?

Thanks,
Caroline



For the most part, grilling vegetables requires far less finesse than meat. The most important thing is to cut vegetables down to grillable size. Most only require brushing with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to be delicious.

For things like eggplant and zucchini, just slice them lengthwise about 1/2 inch thick. (Eggplant you'll want to salt first and let set for half an hour or so, then pat dry, to make them less bitter.)

Asparagus and scallions can be left whole.

Big mushrooms, like portabellas, can be grilled whole, like a steak (remove the stem). Smaller mushrooms you might want to skewer.

Skewers are fun in general, just make sure everything is the same size.

Most of these require about 10 - 15 minutes on the grill, depending on how hot it is. They should be tender, but firm. Eggplant may take a bit longer. Turning them once is really all that's necessary, for the most part. You can grill things like potatoes, too, though you may want to par-boil them first since they take so much longer to cook.

Bell peppers can be grilled whole. Put them on the grill (no olive oil or seasoning yet), turning every so often until their skin is black all over. Take off the grill and put into a bowl, cover with cling-wrap and let sit for ten minutes. This steams them a bit and will loosen that blackened skin from the flesh. Then rub off the blackened skin (I use a paper towel), cut open and remove the seeds. Now a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

My favorite, though, is grilled corn. Leave the stem attached to the ears. Peel back the husks and remove the silk, then soak the corn in water for about 20 minutes. Pull the husks back around the corn and put on the grill, turning every few minutes. After about 10 minutes, remove the husks and put the ears back on the grill so that the kernels caramelize (brown) a little. Butter, salt, pepper... what could be better? A little chili powder and lime is nice too.

Though, to be honest, if it's the height of summer and the corn is super-fresh, I'd just as soon eat it raw.

Message Edited by BillP on 04-04-2007 11:40 AM

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Jessica
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Re: Fire Up the Grill


BillP wrote: April is only just starting, but the weather is warming up and the mind turns to backyard barbecues. I live in Brooklyn and actually went to my first of the year on Sunday. In the warmer months, how much do you take advantage of your grill? And what do you grill? There are some who will tell you you can grill anything. Do you stick to steaks, hamburgers and hot dogs, or do you venture into fish and fowl?


Oh, how I love Brooklyn cookouts! We'll set up a grill just about anywhere, won't we? On the roof, on the stoop, in the street... It's almost my favorite thing about summer!

I don't eat a lot of meat, so I've been quite creative about throwing things on the grill. (By the way, what's the difference between grilling and BBQing? Is it that grilling is a fast cook over high heat, and BBQing is a slower cook over lower heat? Or do I have it backwards?)

My favorite experiment so far has to be my grilled portobello, green tomato, & mozzerella, BBQ sandwich. For the portobello, brush lightly w. olive oil before grilling to your preference (I like mine just a *tiny* bit burned). The green tomato also needs a little olive oil but hardly any time on the grill. Same for the big, thick slice of mozzerella. Throw it all on a huge bun with some spicy BBQ sauce (I like a mustard-based BBQ sauce for this sandwich), and I promise you'll have a new favorite! And watch out -- it's pretty messy.

Jessica
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BillP
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Re: Fire Up the Grill

Some will say there is no difference between grilling and barbecuing -- just names for outdoor cooking.

But Barbecue experts would say that Barbecue is a way of life.

But specifically, yes, "Barbecue" is slow cooking over low or indirect heat, with fattier, tougher cuts of meat that require it.(ribs, brisket, pork belly, shoulder) The result is that tender, falling-off-the bone quality that makes a lot of people drool like Homer Simpson.



Jessica wrote:
By the way, what's the difference between grilling and BBQing? Is it that grilling is a fast cook over high heat, and BBQing is a slower cook over lower heat? Or do I have it backwards?
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LizzieAnn
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Re: Fire Up the Grill

[ Edited ]
I've also used Italian dressing (NOT Creamy Italian) as a marinade instead of olive oil - Delicious! :smileytongue:



BillP wrote:

For the most part, grilling vegetables requires far less finesse than meat. The most important thing is to cut vegetables down to grillable size. Most only require brushing with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to be delicious.

Message Edited by LizzieAnn on 04-04-200705:24 PM

Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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LizzieAnn
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Re: Fire Up the Grill

How true, how true. And almost always charcoal grills! Don't forget block parties where people cook all day! Your sandwich sound great - I'm definitely going to give it a try.



Jessica wrote:

Oh, how I love Brooklyn cookouts! We'll set up a grill just about anywhere, won't we? On the roof, on the stoop, in the street... It's almost my favorite thing about summer!

I don't eat a lot of meat, so I've been quite creative about throwing things on the grill. (By the way, what's the difference between grilling and BBQing? Is it that grilling is a fast cook over high heat, and BBQing is a slower cook over lower heat? Or do I have it backwards?)

My favorite experiment so far has to be my grilled portobello, green tomato, & mozzerella, BBQ sandwich. For the portobello, brush lightly w. olive oil before grilling to your preference (I like mine just a *tiny* bit burned). The green tomato also needs a little olive oil but hardly any time on the grill. Same for the big, thick slice of mozzerella. Throw it all on a huge bun with some spicy BBQ sauce (I like a mustard-based BBQ sauce for this sandwich), and I promise you'll have a new favorite! And watch out -- it's pretty messy.

Jessica


Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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BillP
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Re: Fire Up the Grill

We had beautiful weather this past weekend, so my friend with the big back yard had another BBQ.

I don't think there's anything better or easier than grilled asparagus. Just olive oil, salt and pepper and they don't take but a couple minutes on the grill. I made some fresh mayo to dip them in, but they were great just on their own.

We also had skewers crimini mushrooms and scallions which were great too.

Plus burgers and hot dogs.
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KristyR
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Re: Fire Up the Grill



BillP wrote:
We had beautiful weather this past weekend, so my friend with the big back yard had another BBQ.

I don't think there's anything better or easier than grilled asparagus. Just olive oil, salt and pepper and they don't take but a couple minutes on the grill. I made some fresh mayo to dip them in, but they were great just on their own.

We also had skewers crimini mushrooms and scallions which were great too.

Plus burgers and hot dogs.


Sounds wonderful! I can't wait for summer. It was nice here over the weekend, but very windy. We sat and watched the top of a tree come down and just miss our satelite dish!
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LizzieAnn
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Re: Fire Up the Grill

Sounds great! Everything tastes better on a grill too.

Have you ever had grilled pizza? I've been dying to try it since I recently saw Bobby Flay do it on TV.
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Bill_T
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Re: Fire Up the Grill

I thought this thread might be the place to put a link to this informative piece from Mark Bittman of the New York Times about cooking a better burger.
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KristyR
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Re: Fire Up the Grill

Thanks for the article, it was interesting. I'm glad he gave us another way to check the seasoning though, because there is no way I'm tasting the meat raw!
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Wildflower
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Re: Fire Up the Grill



KristyR wrote:
Thanks for the article, it was interesting. I'm glad he gave us another way to check the seasoning though, because there is no way I'm tasting the meat raw!




It's funny how times have changed with this. I don't touch raw meat now, but growing up my dad would always give me raw hamburger with Lawry's salt on it and I LOVED it. Was meat safer then? Because we never got sick even once. And now I am too afraid to eat it even though I miss the taste.
"It's never to late to be what you might have been" -George Eliot
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BillP
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Re: Fire Up the Grill



Wildflower wrote:

It's funny how times have changed with this. I don't touch raw meat now, but growing up my dad would always give me raw hamburger with Lawry's salt on it and I LOVED it. Was meat safer then? Because we never got sick even once. And now I am too afraid to eat it even though I miss the taste.




I don't know that the quality of mass-produced commercial ground beef has necessarily changed. What has, though, is that many more Americans now get their ground beef that way instead of from a local butcher -- be it a butcher shop or the meat counter at your local supermarket that used to grind meat in-house. I suppose some still do. More than anything, Bittman's article says the way to a great burger is to grind your own, that way you know what you're getting. I wouldn't eat prepackaged hamburger raw, but i would eat it if I made it myself. And I love steak tartare, though I don't think I have it more that once a year at most.
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jmcnaughton
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Re: Fire Up the Grill

Beer can chicken is my all-time favorite and no work (or dishes) at all!
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BillP
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Re: Fire Up the Grill

I love beer can chicken.

And I'm a bit sad to say my Memorial Day Weekend involved no barbeques whatsoever. What about the rest of you? Any highlights?



jmcnaughton wrote:
Beer can chicken is my all-time favorite and no work (or dishes) at all!


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jmcnaughton
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Re: Fire Up the Grill

This weekend will be salmon on a cedar plank.
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Chet_Guevara
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Re: Fire Up the Grill

Very late to the party here, but I had to share. We've long had a gas grill (donated by practical parents) and use it enough, but miss the flavor of charcoal. This past weekend I decided to throw some extra firewood under the grill, and then got crazy and added some herbs. The result was amazing. The firewood kicked up a huge cloud of smoke and gave the skirt steak I was grilling an amazing flavor. Already dreaming of what other combustibles I can add to the formerly boring gas grill.