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Monday, July 1, 2013

All About Grilling...It's Grill Time, baby!!!

Just in time for the upcoming 4th of July holiday we're going to take a look at some unconventional things that you can grill and give you some new tips and tricks on grilling a better chicken. So with a bag of charcoal, grill ablaze, tongs in one hand, and spatula in the other...LET'S GET GRILLING!!!

Let's start with maybe some things you didn't know you could grill. We're going to call it: CAN YOU GRILL IT???

  • Figs: The smokiness from the grill will add a perfect dimension to these figs that would go absolutely perfect in a summer salad.

  • Bologna: This could take you back to your childhood (I know it does to me: "My bologna has a first name it's Oscar...") but grilling it sure is a grown-up version and can be added to a delicious sandwich or even put on top of a hamburger.

  • PB and Fluff: We skip the jelly on this bad boy and add marshmallow fluff and it's almost like a PB&J sandwich married a S'more and had a baby! DELISH! You can even throw some chocolate bars in there for an added treat. DESSERT ON THE GRILL!

  • Grapes and Strawberries: Grilling these delicious summer fruits are great to eat on their own or you can add them to your favorite salad or make a delicious fruit salad.

  • Mozzarella cheese: This is the perfect answer to a "grilled cheese" sandwich. Instead of grilling the whole sandwich you can grill the cheese. Add it to a salad, your favorite sandwich, or even as a topping on pizza.

  • Iceberg lettuce and Kale: I've gotten into the habit of always grilling my lettuce when I can. Not only are iceberg and kale great but so is romaine lettuce, green leaf, and red leaf. It makes the perfect smoky, charred taste to salads.

  • Citrus: Whenever I cook fish on the grill I tend to lay a thin layer of citrus on the grill and add the fish on top so the fish gets "steamed" by the citrus, and then the citrus gets a nice charred flavor as well. *A new interesting recipe I found is grilled lemonade. Before you get skeptical trust me, grilling the lemons makes the drink taste caramelized and slightly smoky. To make a pitcher, dip the cut sides of 16 halved lemons in sugar and grill until marked, about 5 minutes; let cool. Simmer 1 1/4 cups sugar with 1 3/4 cups water and a pinch of salt until dissolved; let cool. Squeeze the lemons through a strainer into a pitcher; stir in the sugar syrup, some ice and a few of the grilled lemons. Voila, grilled lemonade!!!*

  • Frozen onion rings: Sounds crazy, I know, but what a perfect side dish to an AWESOME backyard BBQ!

  • Rice Krispies Treats: Either buy Rice Krispies Treats or make your own and put those yummy guys on the grill for an AWESOME dessert treat, guaranteed for the kiddies to love! Never thought a yummy snack like that would be so delicious on the grill.

  • Pickles: Perfect accompaniment for those hot summer days when you're BBQ'ing those yummy hot dogs and hamburgers. Grilling the pickles adds such a yummy layer of dimension and tastes DELISH on top of a hamburger.
Alright now let's talk: CHICKEN! Here's some tips for grilling that delicious fowl...

  • For a super moist chicken utilize citrus. Rub a whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces, with vegetable oil, salt and black pepper. Grill, skin side down, and squeeze the juice from 2 lemon halves and 2 orange halves over often. Brush another 2 lemon halves and 2 orange halves with 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil. Grill, cut side down and serve alongside the chicken for additional squeezing.

  • Buy a brick: Buy a brick from a home improvement store and wrap it in foil. Butterfly a whole chicken and use the brick to weigh down the bird, flatten out its shape, and allow it to attain its crackling skin.

  • Memorize this rub: 4 Tbsp. kosher salt+3 Tbsp. brown sugar+2 Tbsp. sweet paprika+1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper=Enough spice rub for two whole chickens.

  • Remember this: The only thing worse than overcooked chicken is undercooked chicken. Don't cut it open to check. Instead insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh-or the center of any other cut. 165 degrees is the MAGIC NUMBER!!!

  • Brined birds taste better. Here's an all-purpose buttermilk based recipe and a couple of variations:
Buttermilk Brine: Combine 1 quart buttermilk, 4 teaspoons of kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper in a large, resealable plastic bag. Add chicken and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain before using. Makes 1 quart (enough for 4 lbs. chicken).
Curry: Use the master brine recipe and add 4 teaspoons curry powder, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, and 2 teaspoons of ground turmeric.
Chipotle: Use the basic brine recipe and add 2 Tablespoons of adobo sauce from a can of chiles in adobo.
Louisiana-Style: Use the basic brine recipe and add 2 Tablespoons of smoked paprika, 2 Tablespoons of Tabasco and 2 teaspoons of celery seeds.
Lemon-Dill: Use the basic brine recipe and add 2 thinly sliced lemons, 4 finely grated garlic cloves, and 2 cups of chopped fresh dill.


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