I look forward to the warmer weather and the food choices that come with the grilling season. Oh I love the comfort foods of the colder weather, but there is something liberating about cooking and eating outdoors on a sunny summer evening. I think grilling gives you a chance to explore with ingredients – there is less chance that you will burn your peppers and steaks than your roast or potatoes. And even if you do, there are few that would refuse a slightly charred steak or roasted pepper. The grill adds that true smoky flavor!
Some of my favorites are the most simple. I am all about the freshest ingredients- but also the fewest ingredients to make the most of your summer supper.
Start with your meat. I like flank steaks as it is a lean meat that does well on your grill. You can marinate it with a nice teriyaki or ginger sauce. A quick and easy marinade that I use for 2 to 3 pounds of meat is: ½ cup red wine, ½ cup Tamari sauce, 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon. It is easy to use a Ziploc bag to marinate meats and flank steaks can be prepared overnight. Or you can brush the meat with extra virgin olive oil and simply add salt- preferably Butcher’s Salt from The French Farm (here). Grill about 6 minutes per side for rare. Always be sure to let your meat rest before slicing and always thinly slice against the grain.
Salmon- or any steak fish does well on the grill. Try using cedar planks- the wood infuses the salmon with a great smoked flavor. Planks can be found at most hardware or kitchen stores in the grilling section. Always keep the lid on and grill with skin down, about 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.
My favorite summer vegetable is asparagus. Pick the thinner asparagus- it is tender and grills quickly. Coat with a good extra virgin olive oil and sea salt (again the Ziploc bag works for this- toss well). Grill asparagus wrapped in foil for 10-15 minutes away from the heat. Serve topped with quality shredded parmigiana reggiano, and drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Even the kids will eat asparagus prepared this way.
Round out your meal with corn- it is a summer staple. I like to shuck the corn and wrap each ear in foil with a pat of butter. It takes about 15 minutes on the grill and produces the best summer “eating” corn you can imagine!
Grilling has gotten to be a very popular way of cooking so recipes and sauces abound for meats, seafood and veggies. Some of my favorites are Bobby Flay’s– he is easy to follow and offers up some classic goodies with new twists.
Grab a glass and relax.