Elegant Edibles Catering
Well, friends, we seem to have finally turned the corner weather wise. After spending months huddled indoors, Mother Nature has flipped the switch to warm, dare I say summer-like, weather! Having just gotten our deck and pool ready for the summer months, I no longer need to turn the oven on just to warm up the house!
As I have mentioned before, I love picnics…whether hosting or attending as a guest, picnics are always fun get-togethers for the McGraw family. Since I generally spend too many hours a week at Elegant Edibles, I like to spend my off time at home, hosting the family outing. My husband is a master of the grill. He can cook just about anything I can come up with (that being said, he doesn’t always see my point of view when I tell him the menu I’m planning…) He is typically male-he likes big cowboy steaks and thick juicy burgers; I on the other hand enjoy grilled chicken or fish and veggies (‘girl food” in his opinion!). We generally compromise and do some of both!
Grilling is easy to do with minimal preparation; it can be done quickly, as with hot dogs and burgers, or can take hours when doing ribs or brisket, and can be simple to very involved. I recommend starting off easy when you begin to grill and work your way into more involved recipes. Get used to the temperature variations on your grill. Gas grills are easy- you can simply use the knobs to turn the heat up and down, but if you are using charcoal or wood, you will want to pay close attention to the color of the coals and spread them out or push them closer to adjust the heat. You can try using different types of wood for your fire to add different flavor profiles to your favorite dishes. Always remember a long handled tong and spatula, as well as a long cooking mitt are irreplaceable tools, and it is a good idea to keep a spray bottle of water close by to handle flare-ups, too.
When grilling, whether using a gas or charcoal grill, you always want to preheat it on high for about 10 minutes (if using charcoal, high is barely grey coals with ash). Clean the grate with a grill brush and wipe lightly with a towel dipped in vegetable oil. The grill will smoke faintly when it is ready to cook on. Whenever possible, cook similar size pieces to keep the cooking time about the same or stagger putting things on the grill to accommodate longer cook times. If cooking steaks, for example, put steaks to be the most cooked (well or med-well) on first and stagger lesser cooked steaks (rare to medium) so they will be done at the same time. And remember, you want to keep the natural juices in your meat, so NEVER use a fork to turn meats…always use a tong. Piercing the flesh with a fork will allow all of those delicious juices to run out and cause your meat to cook dry.
As I have told you many times, don’t be afraid to go out and play with your food! This week, be adventurous and try something new, be it a new food, a new recipe, or new cooking style! You never know what your next new favorite food will be until you try it!
Grilled Beef Tenderloin
- 1 Beef tenderloin, trimmed
- 2 T Olive oil
- 1 t rosemary
- 1 t thyme
- 1 t parsley
- ¼ t salt
- ¼ t pepper
- Meat thermometer
Preheat grill on high 10 minutes
Mix oil, herbs, salt and pepper and rub lightly on meat, reserving some for basting.
Reduce heat to medium. Sear meat on all sides, basting with extra oil herb mixture. Reduce heat to low; close cover on grill. Cook 20-35 minutes, until internal temp teaches 125* for rare, 145*for medium and 165* for well done.
Transfer to a clean platter and allow meat to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.
- 1 Yellow Pepper
- 1 Vidalia Onion
- 1 Red Pepper
- 1 Large Portobello Mushroom
- 1 Eggplant
- Herbed Oil (see above recipe or use any flavored basting oil)
Preheat grill on high 10 minutes
Wash and cut veggies into thick slices (about ½ inch thick). Reduce heat to low; place veggies on grill and baste, turning every 2-3 minutes until tender.
To read more of Vicki McGraw’s commentaries on good cooking, fine recipes and perfect party treats, visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on Join Me in the Kitchen’s own page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.