Start the summer off right with a walkthrough of grilling basics and some delicious ideas to heat up even the coldest dish.
Here in Central Florida, June is a time for relaxing in the Florida sunshine. What better way to do that than by grilling a delicious meal in your own backyard? Whether you’re using charcoal or propane, a cart grill or a kettle, grilling up a meal is a sure way to enjoy the warm weather and spend some fun, quality time with your family.
Grilling Time Is Family Time
Families gathering around a grill isn’t a new concept; in fact, grills as we know them have been a staple of family summers since the early 1950s. But grills existed long before America’s nuclear families reclaimed them. The Arawak people of the Caribbean used to roast meat on a wooden structure called a barabicu. With time and the appearance of Europeans, this term was replaced with the Spanish word barbacoa and came to define the method of cooking rather than the cooking structure. Thus, the modern barbeque was born.
For seasoned practitioners, grilling is an art form. There are various platforms and mediums to choose from, each with their own attributes and benefits. Gas-grill models can be heated with either propane or natural gas and offer more convenience and control than their charcoal counterpart. But charcoal-fueled grills can cook meats at higher temperatures, a necessary component in cooking steaks that are crisp on the outside and pink on the inside. Charcoal models also usually hold on to smoke better than gas-fueled grills unless the gas grill has a tight lid and a smoke box for wood chips, a feature that most do not include. Traditionally, achieving smoky flavors is easiest with charcoal grills and by cooking low, slow and indirectly.
When it comes to gas-fueled grills, natural gas, or methane, must be delivered to the grill by a pipeline and installed by a certified contractor. It’s cheaper in the long run though, making propane grilling the more expensive but also more convenient choice.
Now that you know grill basics, the next step is to start cooking. Remember, grilling isn’t only for burgers. You can open up that lid for tasty vegetables, like corn on the cob or asparagus, delicious fish dishes or a sweet treat to end your meal. You can even grill pizza for something different.
So before you start relaxing by the pool this summer, pick up a grill that best suits you and cook up some tender steaks or even a batch of grilled donuts for a delicious meal. Putting the grill to use is one way to be sure that you and your family swallow something tastier than chlorine water this summer.
Herb Grilled Salmon
Courtesy of The Fresh Market
Wild salmon season runs through September, depending on the species. So make it a summer for salmon with this cedar plank recipe.
1 pound salmon
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup chives, thinly sliced
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for finishing
½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 whole lemon, sliced in wedges
1 Cedar Grilling Plank
Soak grilling plank in water for a minimum of 1 hour before using. Preheat grill to medium high heat. In a small bowl, combine oil, chives, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Place plank directly on grill and close lid for 3 minutes. Open grill, flip plank and place salmon (skin side down) directly on plank. Brush salmon with garlic herb oil. Cover and grill until salmon is cooked and flakes easily, about 15-20 minutes, or until your desired level of doneness. Remove lid, brush with more garlic herb oil. Remove plank from grill and place on large platter. Serve hot with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a light sprinkling of coarse salt.