Monday, May 28, 2012

Scared to Grill? Who, Me? Nahhh....

Grilling is counterintuitive: You don't put the food on while there's fire? You wait until the flames go out? I finally accepted this as a reality and chose this year to acquire grilling skills. I have had $10 tabletop grills whose bellies burnt through on the first use; no good. Can't lift the propane tanks for gas grills. My best previous experience was with a cast-iron hibachi, so the next step up was the Lodge Cast Iron Portable (sort of; it weighs 35 pounds) Grill. Followed the step-by-step "be a grilly girl" article in the latest issue of Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazine: Get self-lighting coals. Pile them in a pyramid. Don't skimp. Light. Light. Light, darn it! Why won't they *#***@* light? (Tuck a sheet of newspaper underneath those coals, girlfriend!) Oil the grill so food won't stick. Go away for 45 minutes and return with food packaged in aluminum foil. Grilling seems to require lots of foil.

The magazine's recipe was for grilled corn with olive oil and garlic. In a cookbook I found the recipe for grilled potatoes with onions in a packet (not shown; they were cooking in the coals). Online were instructions to shape the beef patties with a small hole in their centers. This way you can ascertain when they are cooked through. To keep fat from dripping and flaming fat from charring the meat, cook in a disposable aluminum pan until the last few minutes; then move them directly onto the grill to get that smoky taste and grill marks. The corn is that "butter and sugar" bicolor cultivar so popular and good they almost don't sell anything else around here anymore.

While waiting for the food to grill, sit down, enjoy the beautiful Missouri spring day and perhaps a beer. I didn't have one because I now get plastered and loop-legged after a single bottle.

The result was not bad for a novice. Practice makes perfect. I see so many great grilling recipes and don't want to miss out. (P.S. The following week I grilled a flatiron steak, my first grilled steak, and wrote about it.)

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