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Thursday
May042017

Grillin' & Chillin'

Thoughts on summer dinners for the 2017 season, that is.

A summer dinner is a simple dinner.  It's a grilled main course and a couple of salads.  I like to do one kinda starchy (but healthy starchy, with whole wheat or brown rice or bulgar) and one all-veg. Two all-veg is fine, too, but don't forget that whole wheat couscous and bulgur are not low-carb budget-busters.  You can eat some of that stuff and not hate yourself in the morning--and your bod with thank you for the fiber.  Rice, even brown rice, is tougher in the glycemics department.  The choice is yours.

Today, all shall be revealed about what I do when I grill protein. And "all" is a pretty simple basic recipe.  For chicken, beef, pork--whatever--I make a marinade about an hour before cooking.  Marinades don't tenderize, but they do add flavor and make it easier to produce a non-dry grilled meal.  The way I look at it, a marinade is a simple thing: some olive oil and something acid: vinegar and/or citrus.  Salt (I prefer kosher or sea salt).  Black pepper.  And some spices or herbs.  You need enough marinade to coat however much chickie or meat  you are planning on grilling.  And if you're doing fish, don't add acid until right before you put the stuff on the grill.

So, for example, if I were doing maybe three pounds of chicken breasts, I'd pound them to get them roughly the same thickness, and then pop them in a ziplock bag with maybe a half cup of olive oil, the juice of a lemon, three garlic cloves run through a press or chopped, a good tablespoon of kosher salt (which is not too much), and big handful of fresh herbs: parsley or marjoram or oregano.  No fresh?  A teaspoon or two of dried.  Close the ziplock, squish the chicken around in the marinade, and leave it for an hour or two.  You can keep it at room temp for about half an hour before grilling (and should take it out of the fridge that much in advance if you're holding it in there), but do refrigerate if it's going to be longer.  For beef or pork, I might use cumin and oregano.  Maybe a shot of soy for the beef, and a little balsamic vinegar in with the lemon.  Mustard--grainy, especially--is a nice addition, too.  Play and see what you like.

 

We bought a gas grill a few years back, and although I love the taste of charcoal-grilled food, I find I can't really tell the difference between it and gas-grilled food cooked with a pan of wood chips in with the flames. 

 

So, there ya go.  Good day for grilling, today is!  See  you on the air at 4 PM!

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