Dining In

Great on the Grill
By Nancy Finch, Food Columnist


Meat

You haven’t read much about cooking on the grill in this column previously because we rarely do — or did!

But summer birthdays brought a spiffy new, big, charcoal grill and a fancy starter — the kind we once fashioned out of a tall juice can but you can now buy. These are the starters you stuff with newspaper and coals. This one seemed to work even better than the old juice cans. The latter gift was from a daughter who recalls, and probably will forever, that my hamburgers always tasted like lighter fluid.

September and all through the fall is a much more sensible time to cook on the grill. Someone was not thinking temperatures in the 90s when it was decreed that summertime is grill time. Nope, the fourth of July — about 100 degrees — found us happily inside!

Some cooler days allowed us to try out that new grill, however. Those of you who are master grillers are, no doubt, groaning over our amateurishness. But we were pleased with our results. Our previous grills were small. This one is so big that we cooked a beef roast and two pork tenderloins all at the same time. We ate the beef first. It was wonderfully convenient to have more flavorful grilled meat stashed in the fridge and ready for a quick meal.

The grill size also allowed us to cook all our vegetables on the grill as well. That was new for us. We’d only done that with shish kabob before.

A simple sauce made of sour cream combined with pesto was a delightful addition to, well, anything we smeared it on — the meat, potatoes and other vegetables.

 So, don’t put your grill away. Now is the BEST time to cook a great meal without also cooking yourself!

GRILLED BEEF TRI-TIP ROAST AND POTATO PLANKS

Ingredients:

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1 beef tri-tip roast (bottom sirloin) cut 11⁄2 inches thick (about 2 lbs.)

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2 t coarse-grind black pepper

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2 cloves garlic, minced

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2 lbs. (5 large baking potatoes), peeled and cut lengthwise into 1⁄2-inch thick slices

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1 T vegetable oil

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1⁄2 c dairy sour cream

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2 T basil pesto sauce (prepared or homemade)

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Salt

1 T chopped roasted red pepper

Directions: Combine pepper and garlic. Press evenly onto all surfaces of beef roast. Toss potatoes with oil. Place roast in center of grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill roast, uncovered, 35 to 45 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. Grill potatoes 20 to 25 minutes or until tender, turning frequently.

Remove roast when instant-read thermometer registers 140˚ for medium rare; 155˚ for medium.

Combine sour cream and pesto. Carve roast into thin slices. Top potato planks with sour cream mixture and sprinkle with roasted red peppers. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

GRILLED RATATOUILLE SALAD

Ingredients:

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1⁄3 cup olive oil

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1⁄4 t Tabasco (to taste)

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1 12-14 oz. eggplant, cut into 1⁄2-inch thick rounds

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1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise

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1 yellow pepper, quartered

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1 red pepper, quartered

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1 medium red onion, cut into 1⁄2-inch thick rounds

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Salt and pepper

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2 T balsamic vinegar

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1⁄2 c feta cheese

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4 T slivered fresh basil

Directions: Toss prepared vegetables with oil and Tabasco. Grill vegetables on grate over coals until tender and tinged with brown, turning frequently. To serve, place on serving plate, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, top with broken-up feta cheese and basil. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

 

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