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Taking Dinner Outdoors? Americans Get Their Grills On



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

Smoked Chicken Salad



When I first got out on my own, I could cook four things: bacon, eggs, toast, and cheekun salad.  I'd learned the chinese method to cook a juicy breast: bring water to a boil, drop in one or two breasts, slap on a lid and kill the heat; let it set for an hour, and you have perfectly juicy (if bland as hell) chicken breast, which I'd zip up in my $60 Oster with mayo and sometimes celery.  
Haven't made it in decades.  This past week I noticed a recipe for "Smoked Chicken Salad" in the Texas BBQ Monthly newsletter, decided to give it a go:
Smoked Chicken Salad

330 grams smoked chicken*

60 grams celery (1 stalk, halved lengthwise and finely chopped)

30 grams pickles, finely chopped

80 grams mayonnaise

10 grams sugar

20 grams pickle juice or apple cider vinegar

Chopped fresh herbs like parsley, tarragon, or cilantro

A few dashes of your favorite barbecue rub

Juice from 1/8 lemon

Salt to taste

Debone the chicken (if necessary) and pull, chop, or mince it. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, celery, and pickles.
Combine the mayonnaise, sugar, and pickle juice, and mix well. Pour the dressing over the chicken/celery/pickle mixture and mix again. Add herbs, barbecue rub, and lemon juice, and mix again, adding salt as needed for taste. I like to let the chicken salad spend a few hours in the refrigerator before eating. Enjoy.
*Be sure to weigh the amount of chicken you use to get the correct ratios for the dressing. The quantities are shown by weight because I swear to you that it is so much easier to cook using a scale when measuring is necessary, and it’s time you bought one.
Are you texans using metric now?  (four thighs weighed 315 grams, so I went with that and eyeballed the rest).  I thought the dressing was a bit bland, thought about adding some minced chipotle en adobo, thought that might clash with the pickle, but saw on another ewetube someone used curry powder; I added a tsp and that was the ticket (I also left out the sugar, and forgot the rub).  
Toasted some weird buns, made two sammiches w/the salad, tomato, lettuce, and cheese on one and a bit more mayo on the other (the mayo was better).  These were good.

As I mentioned on my "Question for CenTex Smoker" thread, this time I dropped a small chunk of cherry into the bottom of the LBGE bowl, below the KAB, then lit the lump top-dead-center as I usually do.  I didn't notice any "dirty" smoke coming out of the egg as I had when burying the chunk off to the side, so I think this may be my new method; the cheekun tasted great and the chunk was used up at the end of the cook.  
While browsing videos on chicken salad (Retirement: Life in the Fast Lane) I came across Sam the Cooking Guy's:

He did a neat trick that I'm also gonna try.  He started with a pre-rotisseried chicken from the supermarket, and then carefully peeled the skin off in one (well, two) pieces (insert some Hannibal Lector morbidity here), layed them flat on a wire rack, and then hit them, both sides, with a blowtorch, making the skin deeper brown, toasted, and amazing; oh Hellz Yeah!  He used that skin as the top layer of his sammich (bacon on the bottom.  Bacon?) and I bet that's delicious!  
This is definitely into my rotation, especially this summer when it gets hot.  

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By: Botch
Title: Smoked Chicken Salad
Sourced From:
Published Date: 02/08/21

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Cooking Tips

Skirt Steak Recipes for the Win!



What do the words arrachera, fleica, or ahnchangsal have in common? Respectively, they are Spanish, Romanian, and Korean terms for one of the beefiest-tasting cuts of meat on Planet Barbecue—skirt steak.

In the US, skirt steak is practically synonymous with fajitas, a specialty of the Tejano culture. Food historians say Mexican ranch hands working near the Rio Grande in the late 1930s and early 1940s resourcefully turned humble cuts like skirt steak into satisfying meals by marinating the meat, grilling it over their campfires, and serving thin slices in tortillas.

Although peddled by a festival vendor who called himself the “Fajita King” and a couple of local restaurants, skirt steak may have remained an obscurity were it not for a German-born chef, George Weidmann. In 1982, he presciently put “sizzling fajitas” on the menu of the San Antonio Hyatt Regency. They proved to be immensely popular, and the fajita gospel spread quickly.

But as noted above, skirt steak is appreciated by grill masters in disparate parts of the world. Like flank steak and hanger steak, it comes from the short plate primal. There are four skirt steaks per animal. However, they are not the same: One is called the outside skirt steak (NAMP 121C, or 121E, if the outer membrane is peeled); the other is the inside skirt steak (121D). The former is longer and thinner than the inside skirt steak, but is considered the most desirable of the two due to its superior flavor. You’ll pay more for it, too—up to $17.99 a pound (few are larger than 11 or 12 ounces) at my local market. Fortunately, it’s available from online meat purveyors at lower prices. Inside skirt steaks sell for as little as $5.99 per pound and are still a relatively economical choice.

Because skirt steak is quite lean with a pronounced grain, it should be cooked quickly—about 3 minutes per side—over high heat. It is best when served medium-rare and sliced sharply on a diagonal. (That technique shortens the meat fibers, giving the steak a more tender chew.)

The meat’s unique accordian-like folds give it a deceptive amount of surface area, making it a good candidate for your favorite marinade. Because skirt steak is thin, a couple of hours in a marinade is sufficient. Be sure to dry the meat thoroughly before grilling, however, to get the best caramelization on the exterior.

Sauces, like Argentinean chimichurri, or your favorite salsa make good accompaniments.

Romanian Garlic Steak (Fleica) is another recipe you’ll want to add to your grilling repertoire. Skirt steak (or flank steak, if skirt steak is unavailable) is for true garlic lovers—appropriate since Bram Stoker’s malevolent character “Count Dracula.”

Or you can take things in an Asian direction by marinating skirt steak in a soy- and sake-based marinade reminiscent of Korean bulgogi. The meat is grilled (we like to use a hibachi for this), sliced thinly, then served in lettuce wraps with a variety of condiments. It’s a quick—and healthy!—preparation.

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Beef,Homepage Feature,Planet Barbecue,Recipes & Techniques,beef,recipes,steak

By: Molly Kay
Title: Skirt Steak Recipes for the Win!
Sourced From:
Published Date: 02/14/21

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Barbecue Sauce For A Perfect Barbeque



sauce, dip, cook

Barbecue Sauce For A Perfect Barbeque

When someone mentions barbecue images comes to the mind like cooking at the backyard grill, a social gathering, cooking outdoors and cooking meat slowly over wood and smoke that adds flavor to the food.

Different cooks have different preferences and style in their cooking. Some prefer rubbing the seasoning whether wet or dry prior to cooking and some prefers to soak the meat first in special marinades that could be sops, mops and finishing. The preparation and ingredients for marinating may differ from region to region the preferred wood to be used can also differ. However, no perfect barbecue will taste as good without the perfect barbecue sauce.

Barbecue sauces can generally be categorized by what they are based on. Common examples are tomato, vinegar and mustard based sauces. To give the barbecue its distinctive taste and prevent the meat from burning easily, barbecue sauces are applied to the meat while being cooked with the exemption of tomato based barbecue sauces as tomato based sauces burns easier than the other kinds of sauces.

Barbecue sauce preparation can either be sweet, sour, tangy, spicy, hot, thick or thin. The varieties are almost endless which makes barbecues popular because anyone can make his own special preparation depending on taste and anyone can create his own way of serving the barbecue.

Recipes for barbecues can also be guarded. And good barbecue sauces can be purchased at almost any store. But the only perfect barbecue sauce is the one that you can create for yourself.
Remember whatever works for you and your family can be a great barbecue sauce. So start experimenting that is the only way to start good cooking.

The basics of Barbecue sauces…

Tomato based barbecue sauce is the most widely used. Some say that it is the most popular. Its popularity however may be due to the simplicity of preparation and besides; tomatoes are ingredients that could easily be found. The point to remember in preparing tomato-based barbecue sauces is to cook the tomatoes very well in order for the flavor to blend with the other ingredients.

Tomato based barbecue sauces are acidic. Because of this, it has the property to breakdown all the flavor of other ingredients blending them with its own. But because of its propensity to burn, limit the usage of tomato based barbecue sauce while cooking. To make it even more flavorful, prepare tomato barbecue sauces a day in advance.

Mustard based sauces are preferred in North Carolina. The mustard based barbecue sauce is great for grilling pork.

Vinegar is great meat tenderizer. It is also more acidic than tomatoes. Because of its acidic content, vinegar based sauces has a tendency to penetrate deep into the meat. To make this barbecue sauce more flavorful, experiment mixing it with chili, cider vinegar or red pepper, sugar salt and all the other ingredients that you want it to have.

Barbecue sauces today has different uses departing from its traditional purpose. It now serves as a condiment that is present on almost any table like ketchup, salsa, salt, pepper and Tabasco.

However, if experimenting with food is not your greatest strength, you can always find great sauces in any store. To make great barbecues, one rule to follow is not to place too much weight on the “with smoke flavor” label that many bottled tomato sauces advertise itself. Smoke flavor is what is barbecuing all about. The flavor has to come from the wood not the bottle.

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