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Grill Time for Gourmets!

June 9, 2005
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The warm weather brings out cooking enthusiasts and amateur gourmets to their outdoor grills for culinary enjoyment.

To aid these backyard chefs in enjoying their outdoor cooking experiences and to assure that the foods they prepare on the grill taste even better, here are a few pointers.

• Preheat the grill on both sides until it is extremely hot. Then turn the flame off on one side and cook with the radiant heat on the non-flame side. This way you save fuel, and rest assured that the radiant heat side is almost as hot as the other. And you can always slide the food back and forth.

• To avoid meat sticking to the cooking grates, get it very hot on the uncooked surfaces before you turn it. You may use a cooking spray for added ease. Avoid flame-ups by not cooking meat directly over the open flame.

• When marinating meat, poultry and fish, do not add salt. It will make the food too tough. You can always add some at the last minute.

• Add barbecue and other sauces at the last minute to avoid bitterness. These sauces contain sugar, and the heat will burn it, causing a bitter taste.

• Be careful not to overcook. You can always slip your foods back on for a few minutes.

• When grilling vegetables such as squash, onions, peppers, eggplant or asparagus, use a little olive oil, chopped parsley or tarragon. Grill quickly on both sides, leaving the grill marks on the first side.

• When grilling fish, oily and dark-meat species - such as salmon, blue fish, tuna or mackerel - make sure the flesh is fresh. Allow fish to cook until a small crust appears, so they turn without falling apart.

• To poach fish on the grill, place the portions on aluminum foil. Season the way you like them, and wrap them thoroughly before placing on the hot grill surface.

• For added flavor and color, place some lemon slices under the fish before closing the grill cover. u

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