A little of everything on the Grill

401Hello, and welcome, once again, to my blog.  I want to start by apologizing for the late entry.  It’s been a busy weekend.  The Viking Princess and I are preparing for a wedding, and we are in the final stages of a kitchen renovation (that will come up on a future blog).
This past week, I’ve grilled a few items that turned out quite well.  The menu items were Salmon, Chicken Breasts, Ribeye Steaks, Turkey Burgers, and Ocean Perch.  I grill-roasted some vegetable sides in foil packets, as well.
Everything was done on our gas grill. I prefer charcoal and wood, but the propane is quicker for my needs.  The Viking Princess and I are soon to acquire a smoker, and I am converting a firepit to have dual tasking with that of a charcoal/wood grill.  This will allow me to expand my menu, and get the wood smoke rings I want in pork products.
The first item from this week was a grilled wild caught Salmon done on a soaked cedar plank.  Cedar planks are great for salmon and other seafoods.  The plank allows for the infusion of smoke into your salmon.  The planks are cut to size to fit a good sized filet.  You want to soak your planks for at least an hour.  Better if longer.  I like to get up in the morning, and place my plank in a water filled cooler in the morning.  Place a rock or other weight to keep the plank submerged.
I seasoned my Salmon filet with a simple lemon pepper lightly dusted onto the fish.  Place the Salmon, skin side down, on the plank.  I then spread a Thai Sweet Red Chili sauce, being very generous, all over the filet. (*A lesson I learned is that the cooking time does not allow the sauce to caramelize as I would want.  To help with that, mix a little corn starch to thicken the sauce, and then heat it to bubbling prior to spreading it on your filet.)  With the grill preheated to a medium/high setting, place the plank of Salmon directly between two burner rows.  Heat closed for 18-22 minutes.  Check often and add more glaze, if desired.  Grill Roasted Broccoli or Asparagus makes for a great side.  The smoky taste from the plank, with the spicy sweet flavor of the Thai sauce had my Viking Princess smiling through her whole meal.
433 Next up was Soy Sauce/Brown Sugar marinade boneless chicken breasts.  Andrea mixed the marinade, and almost every drop soaked into the flesh.  This is fairly simple.  You want to grill these breasts over a medium/high heat for 15-20 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees F. Yes, that means you BETTER have a meat thermometer.  Never, ever cut into your item.  You will risk losing all the juices, and you end up with a tough piece of leather that sort of tastes like chicken.  When taking a temperature, place what you are grilling on a plate away from the heat of the grill.  Put the probe into the thick portion, and wait until the temperture reading levels out.
When your chicken is done, remove from the heat, and let it “rest” for about 5-10 minutes before serving.  A roasted Squash/Zuccini side dish is excellent with this meal.
Saturday was a double bill.  It was my fiance’s daughter’s birthday, so I decided to grill some ribeyes, with sides of roasted broccoli, and sweet corn on the cob.  To save time, I boiled the corn cobs, but I will blog a much better way to prepare corn soon.
When grilling more than one ribeye (or any cut of meat), you want to get all the cuts roughly the same size and thickness.  That way, you will save yourself the headache of keeping track of which one is which.  When it comes to grilling a steak, I have one simple rule.  Never season it with sauce or marinade it.  It is meat, and it has a distinct flavor.  That is my own opinion though, and you can do what you want.  At most I with lightly sprinkle a little salt, and pepper on it to help draw out the flavor.  In this instance, I went away from my rule, as the birthday girl, and the Viking Princess, requested to have theirs with soy sauce.  I covered those steaks in soy sauce and let the sauce boil as the steak grilled.  To start, place your steaks on high heat for 2 minutes per side, under a closed lid, to sear the outer flesh.  Move the steaks to a medium/high side of the grill and grill to an internal temperature of 135-145 for Medium Rare, and 145-160 for Medium.  Medium Well, and Well Done will toughen the meat, and you start to get a charred flavor.  We all have our preferences though. Let your steaks “rest” for about five minutes before serving.
The roasted broccoli side was simple.  Place the broccoli pieces in a pouch made of foil.  Olive Oil or Pats of thinly cut garlic herb butter is placed over the top, and then sprinkle a sea salt/herb mix over top of that.  I use a brand called Herbamare (future blog, and plug to come). Close the pouch and put over a low/medium heat while your steak is grilling.  It will be done at about the same time as your steak.
The second part of the double bill was to do something with some extra ground turkey.  You see, we have a pet Hedgehog, and as a once in a while treat, brown a little ground turkey, cool, then treat your little carnivore.  I had enough ground turkey left to make three burger patties.  I decided to make stuffed burgers.  I split my patties, and made depressions in each half.  In the pockets, I sprinkled turmeric, a light dust of salt and pepper, and filled the gap with shredded sharp cheddar cheese.  Close the halves back together and pinch the halves together.  Throw on the grill for about five minutes per side, and enjoy!  The Hedgehog got a treat that he ate only 25% of, but we got a good and gooey little snack for the evening movie. I call it a win-win!
I will save the ocean perch for the next blog, tentatively to come on Wednesday.
It is my hope that this blog will evolve and grow as I get used to doing it.  I asked the Viking Princess to add a Recipe Page for me to have recipes to follow beyond the descriptions in these blog posts, so once that is set up, I will do my best to have easy to follow directions for any item you wish to try.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday evening, and don’t fret over Monday coming.  At least we can all start the week off with coffee?  Yes? Right?  Okay, yeah, it IS a Monday, after all.