Saturday, June 23, 2007

Grilling Veggies!

Vegetables on the grill can be done in many ways. Of course, the method you use depends greatly on what it is you want to cook. Here are a couple that I use frequently.

First is the "raft" method for grilling asparagus. Break off the asparagus ends. Drive a wooden skewer through four or five aspagaragus spears crosswise, near the bottom. Now drive another one through the asparagus, this time, near the top of the trunk. Cover the raft in sesame oil on both side and sprinlke heavily with sesame seeds. Grill it directly until the asparagus is soft and lightly blackened, and you're in business.

The other method I enjoy using is the foil pouch. This is a good method to use when you want to grill items that may be hard to grill due to size and/or shape. This includes broccoli, celery, carrots, or a combination of the three.There are more specific instructions on how to do this in How to Grill. Basically, you form a pouch out of heavy duty aluminum foil, folding each edge twice before creasing it. This seals it pretty well. When there is only one side open, put in your vegetables, along with some soy sauce, butter, and a bit of water, then seal the opening. Grill the packet directly. Be sure to puncture the top to let out steam or it will burst. Give the bag an occasional rough shake with a pair of tongs, being careful not to tear it. When you have grilled long enough (10-15 minutes) the bag will have taken on an inflated look. Carefully remove it from the grill and open it, keeping your face away from the escaping steam. You now have delicious vegetables off the grill!

These are my favorite methods. There are more, but these are the ones most effective for me. Of course there's much more that can be done...take a look at the smoked cabbage on the site for instance. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you have fun!

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Very Special Dinner Guest

She is known for her contributions to NPR and for her time spent as a writer and cast member of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Her name is Mary Jo Pehl, and last night, she was a dinner guest in my home.

She and her boyfriend, Ronald, are in town for Ronald's corporate training. The two have been staying in a corporate apartment, and eating corporate cafeteria food for a week. Since I had met Ronald online, and he had seen my website, He accepted my invitation to dinner.

I grilled four personal pizzas using real mozzerella cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and cabarnet marinera. This was followed by Oaxaca style grilled corn, and grilled chicken breasts marinated in Steven Raichlen's, "The Only Marinade You'll Ever Need".

The chicken was the hit of the night. "It's like butter!" She commented as she cut into the plump, juicy chicken breast. The chicken was tender as could be, and tasted wonderful.

This was followed by grilled pound cake. Ronald commented before leaving, "You really are a grillslinger."

By the time the two of them left for the night, Mary Jo was asking about what kind of grill to buy, and she left with a copy of Indoor Grilling, which she couldn't wait to read.

It's great to spread the joy of grilling!