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Menu Ideas For The Barbecue Grill

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Menu Ideas For The Barbecue Grill


A good barbecue isn't easy and there's no substitute for experience but we've all got to start somewhere so if you're a BBQ novice then read on.

Below are plenty of fantastic barbecue tips and menu ideas for the grill so if any ladies out there have read my article entitled “Modern Man And The Barbecue Grill” you’ll already be on the road to converting your man from the fire pits to the BBQ King with some easy BBQ recipes.

I’ve already spoken about the patience that’s required when it comes to lighting the grill and the need to heat up the coals and eliminate the flames. Remember, “coals are hot, flames are not!” and we’re on the road to a successful BBQ cookout. This same rule applies to gas grills as well as charcoal, gas grills may be more or less instant but it's still important to ensure that the lava rocks are fully warmed through and this usually takes about 15 minutes. Charcoal of course will be more like 45 minutes before it's ready to cook on.

So what’s the next step? The best tip I can give is to take time to plan the menu, think carefully about what you’re going to cook.

But isn’t it easier just to do burgers and sausages? No! In fact burgers and sausages are quite difficult for to reasons:-

1. Relatively speaking they’re high in fat compared with other foods. Now I know we need fat to drip onto the coals to create the smoke to give the flavor but too much fat and the BBQ will flare up – a sure fire way to cook up a burnt offering.

2. They’re made from ground beef and that means they must be cooked through. Food poisoning is generally caused by the bacterium e-coli that grows on the surface of the meat. Cook the outside of a steak and you can safely eat the inside raw but think about a burger, with ground meat, the meat that's on the inside has also been on the outside.

So if you’re not yet convinced about your man’s BBQ capabilities choose a meat that doesn’t need to be cooked through to be safe. Try barbecue beef, barbeque lamb or BBQ fish.

Back to the “coals are hot, flames are not” theme it’s important to light up the grill on its highest position away from the coals. This means that the meat will be cooked slowly therefore giving you the best guarantee that it will be cooked through and should there be a “flare up” you are as well protected as you can be from burning. Of course if it’s going too slow, lower the grill step by step until you get the sizzle, in other words start gently and slowly work up the heat.

Finally to make for a really flavorful cookout, why not try a marinade? Marinades not only add flavor they also tenderize and all that’s needed is a little thinking ahead for preparation time. There’s a good few websites out there offering free barbecue recipes so it’s easy to find different menu ideas.

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Cooking Tips

Taking Dinner Outdoors? Americans Get Their Grills On

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Taking Dinner Outdoors? Americans Get Their Grills On


While nearly everyone in America grills, not everyone is comfortable barbecuing more than the basics.
Here's an approach to grilling you can “steak” your reputation on:

Neighborhood grocery stores can help make the outdoor cooking experience easier by providing everything a griller needs under one roof. The Great Grilling program at Safeway features recipes, tools and high-quality ingredients for families that want to create delicious meals on the grill, and their Rancher's Reserve beef is guaranteed tender. The recipes were developed in the test kitchens of Sunset magazine to make it easier for shoppers to grill up a meal on the spur of the moment.

Whether using a charcoal or gas grill, having the right accessories on hand makes for easy and safe grilling-and even easier cleanup. A wide spatula, extra-long tongs, a long-handled brush and a spray bottle with water are the foundation for a great griller's tool kit.

Direct-heat grilling is best for thin cuts of meat that cook quickly. It gets them nicely browned on the outside in the short time they take to get done in the middle. Here's a surefire recipe using direct-heat grilling:

Flank Steak with Green Olive-Jalapeño Tapenade

A Mediterranean-inspired tapenade is a flavorful addition to this tender flank steak.

Prep time: About 20 minutes

Grill time: 13 to 17 minutes, plus 5 minutes to rest off the grill

Makes: 4 servings

1 jar (4.5 oz.) Safeway Select Stuffed Jalapeño Olives, drained

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

1/4 cup Safeway Select Verdi Olive Oil

1 Rancher's Reserve Flank Steak (about 11/2 lb.)

1. Prepare barbecue grill and preheat for direct-heat cooking. For charcoal grill, before you put the grill over the hot coals, brush it with a medium coat of oil; for gas grill, when hot, brush grill with a medium coat of oil.

2. Rinse olives and drain well. Combine olives, garlic, parsley, rosemary, lemon peel and oil in a food processor and pulse until mixture forms a fine paste. Set aside 1/2 cup of the tapenade mixture for seasoning meat; reserve remainder for serving or another use.

3. Rinse flank steak and pat dry. With the tip of a sharp knife, make shallow diagonal cuts about 1 inch apart over one side of steak, then make cuts perpendicular to the first to create a diamond pattern. Repeat on other side of steak.

4. Spread 1/2 cup of the olive mixture on both sides of steak to coat evenly.

5. Lay steak on oiled grill over a solid bed of hot coals or high heat on a gas grill. Keep charcoal grill uncovered; close lid on gas grill. Cook steak until browned on the bottom (lift edge with tongs to check), 8 to 10 minutes. With tongs or a wide spatula, turn steak and continue to cook until done as desired, about 2 minutes longer for rare (red in center; cut to test) or 4 minutes longer for medium-rare (pink in center).

6. Transfer steak to a clean platter or rimmed carving board and let rest about 5 minutes, then cut in thin, slanting slices across the grain to serve. Offer remaining tapenade to add to the meat to taste.

Beverage suggestions: A spicy, plummy zinfandel; a hoppy, English-style pale ale; or peppermint iced tea.

Tools: Grater (for peel), strainer or colander, measuring cups and spoons, food processor, paper towels, sharp knife, spatula for spreading, heatproof brush for oiling grill, tongs or wide spatula, platter or rimmed carving board.

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Cooking Tips

Grilling For A Great Cause

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Grilling For A Great Cause

What does it take to grill the perfect steak? According to a new cookbook, the answer is a few good Marines.

Weber's new grilling cookbook, “Command of the Grill-A Salute to Steak,™” features grilled steak recipes by active, reserve, and famous former U.S. Marines. One hundred percent of the sales from the $10 cookbook will go to four charities that directly benefit U.S. Marines wounded or killed in the line of duty and their families: Fisher House™, Wounded Warrior Project, Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, and the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation.

To purchase a copy of “Command of the Grill-A Salute to Steak” and directly help Marines, visit www.commandofthegrill.com.

“We hope to raise at least a half-million dollars from this effort,” said Mike Kempster Sr., executive vice president, Weber-Stephen Products Co. “We want to show our support for brave men and women who have been separated from their families, wounded in the line of duty, and need help coping with new challenges when they come home.”

The book features recipes from “honorable mentions” and winners at grilling competitions held at Marine installations across the country, including Capt. Eric Peter Dominijanni's Disco's Hot and Tangy New York Strip Steaks. In addition to the winners' background information and anecdotes, the “Command of the Grill” cookbook also features grilling advice and tips; profiles of the four charities; and recipes from 10 famous former Marines, including Ed McMahon and Lee Trevino.

Disco's Hot and Tangy New York Strip Steaks

from Captain Eric “Disco” Dominijanni, 2D Assault Amphibian Battalion, MCB Camp Lejeune

Marinade

1 can (12 ounces) cola

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup garlic teriyaki sauce

1 habanero chile pepper, finely chopped with seeds

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

1 tablespoon freshly ground ginger

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

4 New York strip steaks, about 8 ounces each and 3/4 inch thick

Extra virgin olive oil

1. In a medium bowl mix the marinade ingredients. Place the steaks in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Press out the air, seal the bag, and turn several times to coat the meat. Place the bag in a bowl and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, turning the bag occasionally.

2. Let the steaks stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling. Remove the steaks from the bag and reserve the marinade. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and boil for about 10 seconds. Set aside about half of the marinade for basting the steaks. For the remaining marinade in the saucepan, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until it has reduced to the consistency of a dipping sauce, 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

3. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels. Lightly coat the steaks with oil.

4. With the lid closed, grill the steaks over direct high heat (500ºF to 550ºF) until cooked to desired doneness, 5 to 7 minutes for medium-rare, turning once and basting with a little of the boiled marinade. (If flare-ups occur, move the steaks temporarily over indirect high heat.) Remove from the grill and let rest for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm with the dipping sauce on the side.

Makes 4 servings

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BBQ Tips

Make Grilling A Healthy Experience

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Make Grilling A Healthy Experience


Without a doubt there is something very relaxing and pleasurable about cooking and eating grilled food.
There are countless ways you can turn your grilling not only into a flavorful and enjoyable way to cook, but there are also many healthy and tasty alternatives. Like anything else in life, what you put on your grill is a choice. Grilling healthy first means that you have decided to eat healthy. Cooking on a grill can be a great way to reduce fats on while adding wonderful flavor however we must also be careful when grilling as there can be certain risks if precautions are not taken. Eating healthy always begins with choosing healthy foods that are low in fat and using marinates to reduce unhealthy caseinogens.

We know that charcoal grilling can produce carcinogenic smoke from the high temperature cooking of foods containing fat and protein. This can produce unhealthy chemical changes in the outer layers of flesh foods. To avoid these dangerous chemical formations we must avoid inhaling the smoke and avoid the black char on the outside of charcoal cooked food caused by high heat and/or overcooking. It is also advised that any lighter fluid or self-lighting packages be avoided as they can also add toxic chemicals directly into your food. Instead, use a starter chimney and newspaper to get your charcoal lit. While this method may initially take a few more minutes, in the long run it’s faster and healthier. The use of marinades can also help greatly lower caseinogens in food. By using a marinade your food will not only take on extra flavor but even a simple marinade consisting of olive oil and a citrus juice can reduce the harmful chemicals by as much as 99%. A marinade will also assist in tenderizing and enhancing your food’s natural flavors.

There has been a lot of talk about grilling and the risk of cancer. While the risk is real and this should be kept in mind, there are some simple things you can do to greatly reduce the risk of cancer caused by grilling. The harmful chemicals that can form are created by putting food, primarily meats, under intense heat and flame. These are cancer forming agents however by taking a few simple precautions you can greatly reduce and even eliminate the risks. Grilling isn’t the only cooking method that causes these agents so there is no reason to give up on your grill. If done right, grilling is one of the healthiest methods of cooking.

To reduce the risks follow these basic tips:
• Trim excess fats from all foods. The fats are the main contributors to harmful chemicals so avoid fatty foods as much as possible.
• Using marinades based on olive oils and citrus juices with greatly help reduce the risks.
• Maintain a clean grill. This will also help reduce harmful cancer forming chemicals.
• Avoid letting your grill flare-up. Extreme heat and flame will also increase risk.
• Do not overcook foods. If you do accidentally char your food simply scrape or cut that portion off.

The marinade recipe below is simple, versatile, and tasty and will significantly reduce harmful cancer forming agents. The marinade will work perfectly with poultry, pork, vegetables and seafood and should be combined with your food of choice at least 1 hour prior to grilling.

Simple Marinade
¼ C olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons Italian herb blend
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Grilling can be a great way to prepare low-fat meals and only takes a little imagination to create healthy foods. Try starting with foods you already enjoy and find ways to make them healthier choices. Trimming fat, substituting skinless chicken, using healthy marinades are a few things you can do to start forming healthy habits.

Grilled Fennel Salad with Nicoise Olives

Ingredients:
2 orange peppers
3 fennel bulbs with tops
2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
18 small nicoise olives
2 sprigs of savory
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions:
Roast the peppers using your gas grill flame or the method of your choice. Place them in a bowl and cover the bowl in plastic wrap. Remove the green fronds (top flowery pieces) and set aside for later. Slice the fennel lengthways into roughly five coarsely cut pieces. Place the fennel pieces flat in a dish and coast with 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil. Season the fennel to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove the char from the peppers and dice the peppers into small-diced pieces.

Place your grill on medium heat and place the fennel slices and turn frequently for 7-10 minutes. Grill until the fennel is showing grill marks. Be sure to cook them until they are the desired texture but do not char too much. Transfer to side dish.

Combine the vinegar and remaining olive oil and pour evenly over fennel. Lightly combine the pepper mixture with the fennel while adding the olives. Tear the savory and fennel fronds and sprinkle over the fennel.

Grilled Fennel Salad is fantastic as a side or main course. As a side consider serving it with a simply grilled chicken or seafood. Just remember that what you put in your stomach or on your grill is your choice.

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