Saturday, January 31, 2009

Super Bowl Grilling

I read somewhere that Super Bowl Sunday is the 7th most popular day for grillers. I'm going to a neighbors for pot luck and he doesn't have a grill so I'm bringing one of mine. BUT I have no intention of getting tied to the grill and missing game time. This cookout is all about pre-game, appetizers and I've done my part. I am sticking to my grill more eat less diet, I'm taking a couple bags of large tortillas, cheese, (ouch picked that up today for $8 bag) olive oil and some vegetables. During cocktail hour I'll be grilling a bunch of Super Bowl tortillas for people to decorate as they choose with Salsa, Quac, Sour Cream, etc. I can grab most of if from the fridge so thats a bonus. Tortillas make great bases for quesadillas on the grill and nifty appetizers. The tortillas cook fast at 400F and I go for 3 turns to get the sear and stiffness. Sometimes they'll bubble up with air on the grill. Hot off the grill it is 5 minute grill duty. Of course I'll grill the vegetables first over a beer or two, and maybe some brats, but mostly its tortillas for healthy grilled appetizers. Got to have some hangtime at the grill before kickoff!

  • Two large flour tortillas form a sandwich with cheese
  • Oil or spray one side and place downward on cutting board
  • Sprinkle 3 Mex Blend cheese over topside and place
  • Second tortilla on top- spray or brush the topside with olive oil and you are ready for the grill.

  • Best on Gas Grills for fast controlled temp- 400F
  • You'll know you are too hot when the sear marks are black
  • 2 minutes then turn with Grate Tool
  • 2 minutes quarter turn
  • 1 minute turn- or off the grill- cut into 6 or 8 slices for Super Bowl grilled quesadillas.
I'm going to try and make a stack before hand but its supposed to be nice- I might go fishing. I'll also bring a couple of MamaMary's Gourmet Pizza Crusts . There's going to be some good pizza fixings for a grilled pizza or two at halftime! I'm rooting for the Cards, mostly because Warner is a class act, and he was a good NY Giant for a short time.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I have bacon envy!

Who knew that a NY times story about a well Stumbled Upon video would create a net sensation. A recipe called bacon explosion is a massive culinary masterpiece much like the Coronary ByPass Burger at the VORTEX. But the internet buzz and traffic it created is much more impressive. I have bacon envy.

I like grilling bacon (and with GrillGrates it is superb without the massive flare-ups) but I had no idea that there is a cult of bacon people. I knew this to be true when Guy Kawasaki was twittering about it way back about 19 hours ago. Then he added an Alltop page just for bacon lovers.

I thought I'd do my part and put up a gallery of grilled bacon shots for the unheralded multitudes of bacon lovers out there! I feel better getting that out of my system.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Coming Clean on the Grill

This post is dedicated to cleaning GrillGrates during abnormal and nearly continuous use. Two of my best friends never clean their GrillGrates. My buddies are part of the reason we developed the hard anodized version- they are hard on their GrillGrates and they are hard on me! You guys run your grills hard and are grilling all the time, and I do appreciate grilling and dining with you. Thank you for being my in-house testing and torture team.
Tommy Boy called me on Saturday night wanting to know where his GrillGrates were. After the last time we grilled together I went over to his house the next day and took them off his grill to see how well I could resuscitate them. Remarkably well
thank you!

UPDATE: This link is to a more recent entry about SAVORING a SEASONED GrillGrate I have come to really appreciate well seasoned GrillGrates and have learned a lot from our friends!

The GrillGrate on the left is hard anodized with silver clean rails, the GrillGrate on the right is the Gourmet GrillGrate coated with RealEase- both GrillGrates have seen months of continuous grilling.

Now that I am a student of GrillGrate care and proper preparation here is a recap of what I've learned from studying my friends grill hygiene habits.

1. Clean GrillGrates are easy- just focus on the top rail grilling surface. Clean rails give you a huge edge on the grill and a sense of culinary excellence. A clean, hot GrillGrate is ready to deliver a perfectly seared and sizzling meal. No sticking or random grill chunks please. It is ok to oil GrillGrates especially during break-in when they are new. Weber Grilling Spray is highly recommended since it is non-flammable. The Gourmet GrillGrates with the RealEase coating will not require oiling as much, and clean-up well in the sink, but we're not talking gourmet here.

2. Achieving clean GrillGrates is easy. The best time to clean GrillGrates is during grill warm-up. Use a Grill Pad or Wire Brush on the rails lightly to remove any blackened remains. The rails should come shiny clean. Dip the brush or pad in water or spray hot GrillGrates for steam cleaning. Its not as easy to clean up after the meal- its better to allow the Grates to cool and re-heat. If are grilling a three course meal, then run a wet brush or spray water over the GrillGrates and get them 80-90%. Don't over-brush- what does not come off the next time you warm-up your grill.

3. Clean GrillGrates in the sink occasionally if you feel inclined. GrillGrates will clean as much or as little as you want. DO let them blacken in on the sides and valleys- no need to clean there just keep debris out of the valleys- and DON't drive yourself crazy trying to clean these areas- its seasoning! If you want to give your GrillGrates a bath- you'll be amazed how easy the top rails release the grime and char. A brief soak and the rails come perfectly clean with a sponge or brillo. I can almost see myself in the shine. No harsh caustics, just regular dish soap. And no dishwasher. Try it every once in a while- Tom, Randy... (Update MAY 2009- I have not put my GrillGrates in the sink for months. Once they are seasoned the rails clean easily and I just keep the valleys clear of debris.) I have to admit that less is more and again you guys have shown me the way!

4. I 've learned that there are two kinds of grillers.
The hard core, year-round griller which I believe is 90% of us and the Gourmet Grillers who treat their GrillGrates like cookware. The fastidious are hard core too they just clean up after themselves better. The RealEase coating does deliver unbelievable non-stick and clean-up. Now we call them Gourmet GrillGrates but they are not for you Tom or Randy- the hard anodize are for you. Thanks for teaching me that and Tom- your GrillGrates are back on your grill nice and clean by the way. Carry on.
GrillGrate, Eat Well!

Tell me how you clean your GrillGrates- please leave a comment below. THANKS- Brad.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Grlll More, Eat Less!

That is my resolution for the New Year among a few others. After all grilling is the healthiest way to cook- especially lean meats, fish and vegetables. I packed on more than a few pounds this holiday with wonderful home cooked meals and deserts almost every night. Grilling only works with real food, and I need to limit myself to real food and a little less of it at that. A little less cheer will help too. My wife and I are whipped after another whirlwind holiday with family, friends and out of town guests and the recovery process started today. We are back to empty nester status as of this afternoon when our youngest headed back to school. It was great to have them all home and it is great to have them all happy to get back to their worlds too.

My middle one snuck out with the left over brisket from our Low & Slow New Year's Day Party. We had brisket, beans and collard greens at a friends farm. The day was complete with a sauna and polar bear jump into the cold lake. What a way to cure what ails you! A new tradition has been established I hope. The bed & breakfast that was our home is now closed, but the grills are still warm. May your grill warm you and nourish you and your family and friends in 2009. Grill More, Eat Less!