a grilling lesson {and great eats} for me

grilled swordfish

Well it was quite a culinary day ~ one of collaboration as I watched a grill master at work and took notes {and photos}.  I know gas grills have their place and with little grilling experience I’m not the one to make comparisons.  But there’s something about food off a charcoal grill that tastes really good!  And a chimney is essential to get your fire burning just right.

The first step, I have just learned, is to set a ring of newspaper on the bottom of the chimney.

charcoal grilling with a chimney

Little Honey here approves of this technique.  It wasn’t long before Chester wanted to inspect and give his seal of approval, too.

grilling with a chimney

They also approve of the smells coming from real hardwood charcoal and I couldn’t agree more.

grilling with lump hardwood charcoal

Now that the chimney is set up it’s time to light it.

light charcoal with a chimney

After the newspaper is alight, the chimney does the rest ~ in about 15 minutes the coals are white and hot, ready for grilling.

grilling chimney

Maybe it’s my imagination but to me the great thing about non-gas grilling is the food seems to retain more moisture.  Certainly the swordfish steaks came out succulent and amazing ~ with a honey Asian style marinade.

grilled swordfish

After the grilling lesson the eating commenced.  Accompaniments included steamed corn on the cob {one inch of boiling water in a big pot, drop them for 2 minutes and they’re done perfectly}

steamed corn on the cob

…and a quick panzanella type salad with chunks of beefsteak tomato and mozzarella cheese, some pickled cukes & red onion, a handful of torn basil and cubes of bread leftover from the boule loaf I’d used the other day .  I supplemented the cuke’s pickle juice {made from this recipe} with additions of red wine vinegar, olive oil, a splash of lemon juice and s&p.  Yummy.

panzanella salad

On a final note, a friend of a friend passed on this tip for not-fine wine.  Decanting can only go so far if the wine isn’t great, and if oxygenation is the key then why not hyperventilate it?  Enter the hand blender.

two buck chuck

This photo was taken after we’d served ourselves ~ so just fill up a tall container and give it a buzz ~ it really works!

2 comments on “a grilling lesson {and great eats} for me

  1. soffiagudrun says:

    REALLY…hand blender and red wine? Interesting!!!

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