Elegant Edibles Catering
Happy Mother’s Day, dear readers! I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend celebrating everyone who plays the role of Mom in your lives.
While the recent days haven’t been particularly spring like, I have been attacking outdoor chores in anticipation of those warmer, sunny days to come. I don’t know about you, but I sure am ready to open the windows and let the sweet breezes of spring waft in and freshen up my stale house. I’m also ready to start grilling again!
While this wasn’t a really horrible winter weather-wise, we didn’t uncover the grill as often as I would like to have, so I am more than ready for the sizzle and smell of a thick, juicy burger, cooked to perfection! That, along with some homemade potato salad, my secret recipe baked beans, and an ice cold beverage… I say dinner’s ready!
There were a few things I needed to do before grilling season could really commence, though. First off, since we hadn’t used the grill much in the last couple of months, it really needed to be cleaned. I started by removing and soaking the cooking grate in warm soapy water. I like to use a wire brush to scrape off any cooked on bits that my rag couldn’t easily remove. After it air dried, I lightly coated it with cooking spray and set it aside while I tackled the grill itself.
The inside of grill (both bottom and lid) needed to be scraped down to remove the dropped food bits and grease that had accumulated (and bot was there a lot of it). I like to use a small metal spatula or (new) putty knife to do this. I simply scrape down the insides and scoop out the debris with a paper towel or rag. While I do this yearly, I am always amazed by how much “gunk” I clean out of the grill! I also removed the burner plates and scraped them off. Once the inside is clean and put back together, the cooking grate can be put back in. Next, I wiped down the outside of the grill using degreaser and a scrubby. The smoke from cooking contains grease, and if not washed off occasionally will become a sticky residue on the outside surfaces of your grill. Finally, and probably most important, I got the propane tank inspected and filled. I say inspected, because, as I was surprised to learn several years ago, tanks actually have a specific life span and are marked with a year of production. Once they have been used for a certain number of years, you will no longer be able to get them refilled, and they will need to be replaced. I always like to start a grilling season with a full tank on the grill, as well as a full back up tank. If you have ever run out of propane in the middle of a barbeque like I have, you will understand my reasoning for that!!
Once this is done, dear friends, the grilling season can commence! It’s time to stock up on burgers and dogs, chicken and chops, perhaps a few nice steaks…and let the party begin!
Wine and Herb Marinade
- 1 Cup dry red (for use with red meats)*
— OR —
- 1 Cup dry white wine (for use with white meats)*
- ½ C Olive oil
- 1 T Kosher Salt
- ½ T freshly ground pepper
- 1T fresh thyme leaves
- 1 T fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 T fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
Mix all ingredients and store in an air-tight bottle for 24 hours before using, to let flavors mingle. Shake well before using.
To use marinade with beef, place meat in a zip lock bag and add ½ C marinade per 2 pounds of meat. Squeeze out excess air, seal and allow to rest in refrigerator for up to 24 hrs. When ready to cook, remove meat from bag and discard bag and excess marinade.
To marinate chicken or pork, place meat in a zip top bag and add ½ C marinade for every 2 pounds of meat. Squeeze out excess air, seal bag and refrigerate for up to 4 hrs. The longer it rests in the fridge, the more pronounced the flavor will be. When ready to cook, remove meat and discard remaining marinade.
Any unused marinade can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for later use. You can also freeze remaining marinade in ice cube trays to be added to sauces or stews as flavor enhancers!
*While the wines can be interchanged, when making this marinade for use with chicken or pork, I prefer to use the white wine marinade, rather than a red wine marinade. White wine marinade will offer a less pronounced flavor and therefore not cover up the milder flavor of chicken or pork. In addition, using red wine marinade will add a purple hue to your white meat, which you may not care for.
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.