Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Grilling Carrots

Carrots can go one way or the other, good or some weird mealy mush stick. I normally wouldn't have bought carrots to go as the side vegetable. I wanted broccolini, but the store only offered carrots as a decent grilling option. (Don't forget your veggies kids) You'll need...
-Carrots (look for more slender carrots, if you only can get the larger ones 1/2 them lengthwise)
-Salt and pepper
-Olive oil
-Thyme & Oregano
-brown sugar
-Heavy duty non stick tinfoil

My garden has been growing pretty good so far, and a once a week light pruning gives me all the herbs I'll need for the week. I'm at a point where I don't know what to do with most of it. Hence all the mint water I've been drinking.
Peel the carrots, if you need to trim them down to fit into your foil packet please do. It's easy to overwhelm carrots I've been finding, so use everything with a light touch. Pinch of salt and pepper. Two stems of Thyme and a stem of oregano. Lightly drizzle the olive oil and ad the smallest touch of brown sugar. I know the ADD child in all of us thinks "More sugar, better!" trust me on this, go light. It should aid in the carrot flavor, not highjack you on Willy Wonka's haunted boat ride.
Fold up your carrots into its neat little package and place on the top rack of your grill over the main heat source for 15 minutes or until for tender. The key to the grilling the foil package is not to crowd them, give every veggie it's own spot on the foil to get the grilled goodness. Make two foil packets if you have to. Also, use a heavy duty foil that is nonstick. Over the winter in the bargain bin at the grocery store I picked up a roll of the heavy duty nonstick foil (An end had be crushed and made it 2 dollars.) I use it every time I grill now.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Grilling Potatoes

After a couple trial and errors I came up with a method that works best for me when grilling potatoes. Every bite ends up being roasted, with crisp golden ends.

You will need:
-New potatoes (Yukon or red bliss) washed and halved
-Olive oil
-Salt and pepper
-Handful of herbs or spices minced (I used garlic, spring onion, thyme and rosemary)
-Long sheet of non stick aluminum foil

make a trench in your sheet of tin foil, keep in mind it should fit the top rack of your grill. Toss the halved potatoes with the oil, salt, pepper, and spices. Be generous with the salt and pepper. Arrange the potato halves face down. This is key to getting golden brown potatoes.

Fold the foil over the top of the potatoes and put on the top rack of the grill until golden brown potatoes. Around 20-25 minutes.
Make sure to grab the foil so nothing escapes and wear mits to protect your hands. Buckle the foil on a plate to toss the potatoes.

Grilled Bread

Grilling bread is very basic, and I'm sure you get the gist of how this works in the title alone. I make it every dinner on the grill though, so I found it worth sharing. How ever you choose to season the bread with whatever herbs and spices you want is interchangeable .
You will need:
-Loaf of your favorite crusty bread, sliced lengthwise in half.
-Olive oil
-Salt and peper
-What ever herbs and spices you have on hand

Evenly distribute the oil on the bread halves. To avoid grill flare ups give the bread time to soak up the oil to avoid dripping. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Evenly coat the bread with your choice of spices. Place the bread face down on the grill. Pay attention to the flames, the bread will burn easy if not watched. Remove from grill once golden brown, cut into slices.

I like to use my bread to suck up meat & oil drippings from your BBQ plate. Or stack grilled onions on it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Grilled chicken with garden herbs

Well, we had a very long and hard winter in New England this year. At last summer is here, and if you're like me you're trying to suck up as many summer days as possible. In the dark depths of my winter cabin fever I started day dreaming of planting my own vegetable garden.

It's small and made mostly of containers, but you can fit a lot into a 7x4 area if you're cleaver enough. This summer I planted-
-Red cabbage
-Strawberries
-Yellow onions
-Green onions
-Parsley
-Thyme
-Tomatoes
-Cucumbers
-Mint
-Radishes
-Oregano
-Rosemary
-Pole beans
-Chives
-Celery
-Basil
-Broccoli
-Peppers
So as you can see, you can get plenty into a small area. I bought a couple books on container gardening to help me out and a really good vegetable garden book called "The Kitchen Garden"
I wish I could be super cool and claim to have grown the majority by seed but I only grew 30% this way. Yes it's cheaper and more bragging rights come with it, but I was ok with buying baby plants.
The nice part is having all the herbs on hand and the option to just go in the back yard and cut what you need. Light pruning also aids in the plants' grow. Just don't forget to rinse off what you cut to get the dirt off
But getting back on track to grilling chicken! I know plenty of people that know more about grilling then myself. I'm more of a "Grill Fan" then "Grill Master" But I can grill a good bone in chicken breast. I find bone in chicken is really good for grilling and makes a much more tender results then a boneless breast. In the morning I'll put together the marinade for the chicken and let the meat soak for the day. It's a really basic but very good mix.
-Half of the juice from a lemon & its zest
-two cups of olive oil
-tablespoon of salt
-2 teaspoons of fresh cracked pepper
-Half a bulb of garlic chopped
-2 tablespoons of dijon mustard (I like the country style)
-handful of fresh herbs (I had thyme, parsley, basil, rosemary) chopped
I got some cake pan tins at the dollar store to let the chicken marinate in. Combined ingredients.
Loosen the skin of the chicken like shown in the Roast Chicken recipe. I even slide some of the mix under the skin, but keep in mind not to add too much or it will prevent the skin from browning. Place the breasts in the tin breast down. Make sure to cover the upright part with the mix also. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the frig until you are ready to grill. Mine sits for at least six hours. (Reduce how much lemon you put in if you plan to let it sit over night)
I'm using a gas grill here, this grill was large enough that it had four burners. I used 3 out of the four. Preheat your grill with the lid down for at least fifteen minutes before placing anything on the grill. Shake off the excess marinade from the chicken to prevent flare ups from the grill. Place the chicken on the grill with the breast meat facing up for a half hour with the lid closed. Resist the urge to open the lid and let the heat out, I have my heat a bit higher then the lowest setting.
After 30 minutes flip the chicken placing the breast meat down on the grill, this will finish off the cooking and crisp the skin nicely. Grill for about 10-15 more minutes until skin is crispy and the juices run clear. Remove chicken from grill and let rest tented under foil for 10 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!