Originally heralding from Spain, to grill "a la Plancha" literally means to grill "on a metal plate." It's fast high heat cooking, and it's a new weapon in my grilling arsenal.
From time to time, I use my cast iron skillets, but have never had the opportunity to play around with a larger metal surface. The skillets are great, but there is only so much I can do within the confines of a 12 inch pan. With the new Plancha insert for my Summit Grill Center, I no longer have to worry about space. The heavy porcelain plancha takes up one grate section on the grill, and it's high sides ensure the food stays in contact with the metal.
When grilling with such a cool new toy, it was apparently obvious I needed to grill, not with one type of meat, but three! While less is sometimes more, sometimes more is just better.
Tri-Meat a la Pancha with potatoes and onions
Somewhat based from L'atelier des Chefs
2 chicken breasts
2 duck breasts
1 beef tenderloin filet
1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 bunch of green onion
1 pound small potatoes, sliced in half
4 T butter
Salt and pepper
Parboil the potatoes: Place the potatoes in a pot of water, bring to a boil, and cook for approximately 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes into a colander, and then run the potatoes under cold water to stop them from cooking.
Slice the duck, chicken, and beef into 1/4 inch slices.
Heat the plancha over direct high heat and allow to warm up.
Have a beer. I highly recommend Tetravis, from Samuel Adam's Barrel Room Collection. A big Belgian quad, for a big meal.
Add 2 T butter to the plancha. Once the butter starts to melt, cook the onion and mushrooms for about 5-6 minutes.
Once cooked, remove the onions and mushrooms from the plancha, and place in a small bowl.
Add 2 T butter to the plancha. Add the potatoes, and cook for approximately 10 minutes, moving them around often.
Return the onions and mushrooms to the plancha and season with salt and pepper.
Add the meat to the plancha, and grill until cooked, approximately 5-8 minutes, or until the chicken turns opaque.
Add the green onions the last few minutes.
Season the food again with salt and pepper, and serve.
This is a really simple meal, which I thought would be good, but didn't realize would be great. Don't let the minimal seasoning fool you. The rich flavor of the duck is amazing along with the chicken and beef while the potatoes, onion, and mushrooms tie everything together.
While I'm sure I could have achieved a similar experience directly over the flames, the plancha raised the bar, and best yet, I didn't loose a thing between the grates.