Give your oven the summer off! Use your grill to heat up your favorite frozen foods and add smoky flavor, too.
Barbecue expert, cookbook author and executive chef of the Hill Country Barbecue Market restaurants, Elizabeth Karmel shares her best barbeque secrets.
Squeeze the most out of your summer with these fun, fresh ways to flavor your drink!
We wouldn’t claim it to be Grilling Week if we didn’t know a thing or two about the subject matter. As we share our best grilling recipes, we want you to cook them to utter perfection, so before the week gets too crazy, we’re sharing our top grilling tips. Whether you’re in the mood for chicken, seafood or even dessert, here’s what you need to know about grilling:
1. X Marks the Spot
A great piece of grilled meat isn’t complete without gourmet grill marks. But how can you achieve this restaurant-quality look at home?
Make sure your grill is hot, hot, hot (about 400°)! Pat your steaks dry with paper towels, then rub with oil, which heats up on the grate to cleanly sear the meat and ensure that it won’t stick when you try to turn it. Cook your meat on the grill for 2 minutes; rotate a quarter-turn and cook for 1 minute more. Flip and repeat on the other side (for medium-rare). Don’t fiddle — that’s what messes up the marks!
2. Make your Veggies Fit
Trying to grill smaller veggies like peppers or asparagus, but they keep falling through the grates?
Good news! You don’t need to buy a special basket. Just cut the veggies thicker — e.g., bell pepper halves instead of strips. You can always slice them later if you need smaller pieces. You can also place them perpendicular to the grate. When you’re cooking a variety of vegetables, you should group them on the grill according to cooking time, not all in one mixed bunch; this makes it easier to remove them when they’re done.
3. How to Test for Doneness
Implement these four techniques on how to check your grilled chicken for doneness on any type of meat:
Prick with a Knife
Jut the tip of a sharp paring knife into a juicy part of the chicken, such as its thigh joint. If the juices have a pink tint, keep cooking. The meat is safe to eat when the liquids run clear.
Use a Thermometer
Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken, pressing it into the center of the flesh (do not hit bone). The meat is safe to eat at 165°; take it off the grill when it registers 160° to account for carryover cooking.
Poke with Your finger
Practice makes perfect with this no-tools-required technique. Using your index finger, tap the thickest area of the meat. If it springs back to your touch (and doesn’t mush under your finger), chances are good it’s cooked through.
Yank on a Joint
Grab the end of a leg with your fingers or a set of grilling tongs and tug it away from the body. When the joint separates easily, the chicken is ready.
4. You Can Grill Just About Anything… Including Your Condiments!
Don’t limit yourself to steak corn on the cob. Anything you would normally cook can be thrown on the grill instead. Our Charred Tomato-and-Red-Pepper Ketchup adds a smoky touch to the classic sweet and savory condiment.
5. Just Because It’s Grilled Doesn’t Mean It Can’t be Chilled
Grilling doesn’t just add heat– it also adds an insanely savory smoky flavor that can’t be achieved with any other cooking method. Even after your food has cooled, the flavor will last, so start using your grill for recipes that are normally served chilled or at room temperature, like our Grilled Curry Zucchini, Red Bell Pepper and Arugula Salad with Yogurt Dressing.
6. Sweet + Savory = a Grill’s Best Friend
One of our favorite things to grill during the summer is fruit, and since grilling already infusing so much savory flavor, why not think outside the dessert realm and pair your sweet grilled fruit with savory flavors, like herbs and spices? Try our Grilled Pears with Whipped Mascarpone, which work beautifully as a side dish or light dessert.
There you have it! Our best tips for grilling your favorite meats, veggies and fruits all summer long. Now get to it!
In honor of National Egg Day, we’re sharing our most egg-spert advice on perfectly cooked eggs. Whether you like ‘em hard boiled, scrambled or even poached, our tips, tricks and recipes will definitely give you an excuse to eat an egg or two today!
Eggspert Advice: The fresher the eggs, the harder they are to peel. If you know you want to make deviled eggs over the weekend, just buy your eggs earlier in the week!
Eggspert Advice: Starting with cold eggs and adding a splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt to the water will help the whites stick closer to the yolks, giving you round, neatly formed eggs.
Eggspert Advice: Sliding th eeggs into the pan from a small bowl is a more gentle method than dropping them in from their shells, which could cause the yolks to break.
Eggspert Advice: Mixing eggs with milk or cream may give you a richer flavor, but water creates a steamy atmosphere that leads to a fluffy scramble. Use 1/2 tbsp. water per egg.
Eggspert Advice: To make sure the omelet is tough enough to fold but not thin enough to break, three eggs is the magic number.
Did you know today is Pizza Party Day? Not that we need an excuse to share a pie with some friends on a Friday, but the holiday today gives us an opportunity to embrace two of our favorite things: pizza (obviously) and grilling! How, you ask? Rather than baking your pizza in the oven, try grilling it up for a smoky, fire-roasted flavor that truly can’t be beat.
If you want to go all out, you can make your dough from scratch, pick your toppings and hit the grill. Or, you can grab a bag of store-bought pizza dough and go from there. Whether you’re starting from scratch or taking a shortcut, here are some recipe ideas:
Grill-less or just not in the mood to cook on a Friday? That’s okay, you can still celebrate! Order in a pie from your favorite delivery shop and throw together the easiest spring cocktail ever, Pick-a-Liquor Ginger Cocktail
You don’t need to buy a cocktail muddler to make smashing good drinks. Chances are, you have a tool that can crush herbs already on hand. Three to try: the handle of a wooden spoon or spatula (the fatter the better), the handle of an ice cream scoop or the flat end of a tapered rolling pin. Now that you’ve got the gear, here’s how to use it (like in our brand new Cucumber-Basil Smash!):
1. Place the ingredients you want to muddle (usually fresh herbs and sugar) in the bottom of a pint glass, shaker or sturdy pitcher (for big batches).
2. Using the muddler, press down on the mixture in the bottom of the glass and gently twist. Stop as soon as the herbs release their aromatic oils. (You’ll smell ‘em!) And go easy with the squishing! The idea is to release the fragrance of the herbs without ripping the leaves, which can unleash bitter chlorophyll into your cocktail.
Here are some more cocktail ideas for you to muddle up!
Chop some canned tomatoes, then mix together these cool dips. Pass the chips!
1. Taco Joint
Veggies & fruit: chopped carrots, radishes and scallions
Heat: chopped pickled jalapeño
Seasonings: chopped parsley
2. Chunky Salsa Fresca
Veggies & fruit: chopped onion
Heat: chopped fresh jalapeño
Seasonings: minced garlic, chopped cilantro lemon juice
3. Cool Customer
Veggies & fruit: diced cucumber, chopped onion
Seasonings: chopped cilantro, lime juice
4. Smoky Black Bean & Corn
Veggies & fruit: corn kernels, drained canned black beans, chopped scallions
Heat: chopped chipotle chiles in adobo
Seasonings: minced garlic, lime juice
5. Spicy Pineapple
Veggies & fruit: diced pineapple, chopped red onion
Heat: sliced serrano chile
Seasonings: toasted cumin seed, chopped mint
6. Tequila Sunrise
Veggies & fruit: chopped onion
Seasonings: chopped cilantro, lime and orange juices, shot of tequila
A Moroccan pantry staple, preserved lemons are traditionally made by brining the whole fruit in lemon juice with plenty of salt. After a few weeks, the citrus becomes super soft and entirely edible. If you can’t find preserved lemons at a specialty-food store, you can make them at home. To get the same results in a fraction of the time, try our genius test kitchen shortcut from our recipe for Moroccan Lemon-Herb Chicken Skewers. Removing the peel from the lemon and cooking it in a salty solution re-creates the intense flavor and satiny texture of slow-cured preserves in just 10 minutes.
HOW-TO: In a small skillet, combine 1/4 cup thin lemon peel strips, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and 1 tablespoon salt. Cover and simmer until the peel is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Tip: Use your preserved lemon to brighten up all sorts of dishes. Below are some of our suggestions.
MUDDLE with fresh lemon juice and simple syrup, then top with some club soda for a sparkling preserved lemonade.
FINELY CHOP with fresh parsley and garlic and toss with EVOO and pasta or with roasted carrots.
WHISK with white wine vinegar, EVOO and a touch of honey for a vinaigrette. Toss with leafy greens or a three bean salad.
PUREE with room temperature butter in a food processor. Serve with hot rolls or put a pat on top of grilled fish.
Though we don’t use it a lot, buttermilk is a great addition to recipes for a tangy, tender bite. But rather than buying a whole bottle only to throw most of it out, you can make your own buttermilk using ingredients you most likely always have on hand! Simply pour 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or any other acidic fruit juice, such as kiwi) or white vinegar into a liquid measuring cup. Then, pour in enough milk to measure 1 cup. Let the mixture sit until it curdles, 5 to 10 minutes, and start cooking! The only April Fool here will be your taste buds!
Use this homemade buttermilk in pancakes, biscuits, chicken and more. Here are some recipes to get you inspired:
From Seersucker Brooklyn, Chef Rob Newton’s Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits