Thursday, January 28, 2010

What's on the Grill #159

Steak! What better to blog about after a few weeks off than one of my favorite things to grill: steak. I probably have countless photos of grilled meat all over this blog. In fact, when fixing dinner I equated my photography to that of a photographer on a SI swimsuit shoot.

The Simple Things...

"Looking good baby...boy, you're hot...OK, show me flame"

Grilling a great steak is not rocket scientist thanks to a few things I've learned over the years:

1. A "good" cut of meat. I love a good choice ribeye. Sure, I could blow the money on a prime cut, but if I find a well marbled ribeye staring at me, dinner plans are solved.

2. Spice x 3. My go to steak rub is what I call Salt, Pepper, and a Third. Depending on my mood, I may have Salt, Pepper, & Cayenne or Salt, Pepper & Garlic, or like here: Salt, Pepper & Paprika. Sometimes less is more and simple is better.

3. A hot grill. When I raised the hood on the 650, the hood temp was just at 700 degrees. The grate temp, had I measured it, would have been hotter. A hot grill gives you great grill marks and a fast cook to medium rare. You get a great looking and great tasting steak.

4. A little rest. Once your steak is done, allow it to rest a few minutes to allow those juices to work their way back into your meat. You will be glad your did.

My steak beer paring was none other than the hard to find, ridiculously expensive for beer, but damn good: Bell's Hopslam. This hoptastic Double IPA is one of my favorites.


Yup, this is the life. An uber hoppy beer, a delicious grilled steak, and no cholesterol test in sight.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What’s on the Grill #158

Grilled Lobser Tail w/Chili-Lime Butter

Grilled Lobster Tail with Chili-Lime Butter!  I love Lobster, but the rare times I plunk down the cash to buy Lobster out (and I’m not talking fine dining at the Dead Lobster), I’m usually disappointed.  On the contrary, whenever I have had it prepared at home, whether it be mine or friends, it is delish.  This incredibly subjective and rather non-scientific take on Lobster has nothing to do with my cooking skills.  Shellfish is probably one of these easiest things to make.  You take live a crustacean who was performing a race across the kitchen floor with it’s tank mate seconds before and dump it into large pot of boiling water.  Several minutes later you have high dining.  If Lobster’s were terrorists, they would go to the grave with few secrets.  So, where am I going?  Two frozen lobster tails for $16 at Sam’s, that’s where. 

As I patrolled the warehouse club in my abnormally large shopping cart filled with more toilet paper and paper towels some third world counties see in a year, I spotted my lobster bargain.  Yes they arrived somewhat “preassembled”…or rather “dissembled” and yes, they are frozen, but to me, they are heaven.

The other night I yanked a tail out of the freezer and set to defrosting it. I thought about redoing the curry butter recipe from the book of Senior Flay, but decided to cruise Epicurious to find something different.  I landed on a recipe from Dr. BBQ, aka the great Ray Lampe

Grilled Lobster Tail with Chili-Lime Butter

Adapted from Ray "Dr. BBQ" Lampe's The NFL Gameday Cookbook via Epicurious,com

Chili-Lime Butter

1 cup (8 ounces) butter
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
Salt & Pepper

Lobster Tail(s)

Prepare the grill for direct medium heat.

Prepare your lobster tail.  In my case, I opened a package containing a frozen lobster tail and defrosted it under running cold water.  Take the thawed lobster tail and place it upside down on a cutting board.  With a sharp knife, slice the tail open lengthwise. 


The knife will probably not go all the way through to the cutting board, so…flip the tail over and continue by using poultry shears to cut down the top of the tail.


when done, it should look like this:


Melt the butter in a small saucepan.  Add the lime juice and ancho chili powder.  Salt to taste.

Prepare a large pot of salted boiling water.  Drop the lobster tail in the pot for about 6 minutes and remove. It will not be cooked through (in other words, to avoid a trip to the hospital, it’s not done…don’t eat it yet!).  Grill the lobster tail, shell side down, for an additional 6 minutes, or until the flesh is opaque.  While grilling, baste the lobster with the curry-lime butter. Watch for flare-ups, butter burns!

Flamin' Tail

The butter added an interesting dynamic to the lobster.  Tasting the butter by itself scared me a little (I didn’t really like it!), but with the lobster it was quite nice.  Definitely something I would have again. The best part about this meal?  I still have one frozen lobster tail to grill in the coming weeks.  Good thing to.  After all the toilet paper and paper towels I bought, I’m not due back to Sam’s for some time!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

What's on the Grill #157

Chicken Kebabs marinated in Cumin Yogurt! After a busy, hectic, and tragic holiday, it's nice to be back at the grill. Too bad it was only in the teens outside.

Cherry Toms

After having 4 upside down weeks of meal preparation, I sat down today to go through some cookbooks in an effort to plan ahead. As I did, I quickly gravitated toward Mediterranean Grilling. I wanted something simple, like kebabs, and the kebabs with the yogurt marinade quickly jumped out at me.

I cut, I cry

Now, I love yogurt. Not in the Jamie Lee Curtis, let's sit on the couch and talk about how regular we are sense, but in the "I just like it" category. Yogurt is great plain, mixed with granola, or the case of tonight's dinner, used as a marinade.

He puts the skewer through the flesh

A little marinade, a little time at the grill, and voila...dinner!

Chicken Kebabs Marinated in Cumin Yogurt

from Mediterranean Grilling
by Diane Kochilas

1 cupt Greek yogurt, strained

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tbls Dijon mustard

1 tbls ground cumin

fresh juice from 1 large lemon

3 garlic cloves, minced

salt & pepper to taste

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 large red onions, peeled, quartered lengthwise then halved

24 cherry tomatoes, stems removed...duh

2 green bell peppers, cored, seeded & cut into 1 inch squares

6 metal skewers

1. Mix the yogurt, olive oil, mustard, cumin, lemon juice, garlic, and salt & pepper in a bowl. Drop in the chicken, mix well and allow to marinade in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

2. Prepare you grill by heating it to direct medium. Brush off snow, if necessary.

3. Thread the chicken and vegetables on to the metal skewers. Grill for approximately 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.


To make the meal even better, I enjoyed a bottle of the Trader Joe's Vintage 2009 Ale. The bottle came way of my good friend Matt and was truly a wonderful treat. Brewed by Unibroue, this malty, fruity, and really spicy ale was exactly what I think of when the words "holiday ale" come to mind, or cross my lips. I need to find another bottle before they are all gone.

Trader Joe's 2009 Vintage Ale

Even though I grilled my arch-nemesis: boneless, skinless chicken breasts, my friend yogurt came through to make them not just palatable, but enjoyable. I hope they work for you too.

Grilled and Ready