Saturday, September 26, 2009

Grilled Asian Chicken - Looks Good, and Almost Simple Enough to Consider

BBQ & Grilling

That link is to the home page. They've got information about sauces, marinades, and rubs; appetizers; beef; burgers; chicken; desserts; lamb; pork; seafood; side Dishes; skewers and kabobs; smoked; even vegetarian. All "-grilling" I presume.

There's also a "Today's Recipe" - today it's "Grilled Asian Chicken."

The recipe calls for soy sauce, which is a deal-killer for this family: I can eat it, but others can't. Also sesame oil, honey, ginger root, crushed cloves of garlic - two of them - so you know it's going to taste good, and - finally - chicken breasts.

They claim it only takes 15 minutes of preparation - which seems about right.

Given my family's dietary limitations, I doubt we'll try it - but this is close to being simple enough for me to grill.

As I've written before: I appreciate and applaud people who toil over fancy dishes. But I can't see me doing that. There's too much good taste in simple, well-grilled foods.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Okra, "they feel like bug eggs" and an Delicious-Sounding Recipe

"Grilled Okra With Tomato Vinaigrette"
The Washington Post (September 14, 2009)

"Green Spring Gardens assistant director Cindy Brown loves fried okra. 'It isn’t summer until I fry a big batch and my son and I burn our mouths as we eat them straight out of the pan,' she says. 'My husband never joins in the annual ritual because he thinks okra is slimy, and he hates the little tapioca-like seeds. I love the way they pop in my mouth. He thinks they feel like bug eggs.

" 'Well, my son is at college, and my husband and I are trying to lose weight, so no fried okra for dinner tonight...'...."

Any time that "feel like bug eggs" is used to describe food, the odds are pretty good that it's not on my 'top ten' list of favorites.

I don't know what I think about okra: I've never, to my knowledge, eaten any. And, since I can't remember eating something that felt like bug eggs, I probably haven't even had okra operating under an assumed identity.

" little bug eggs?!"

Princeton's WordNet defines okra as (among other things) "long green edible beaked pods of the okra plant" - also, in the context of gumbo, "long mucilaginous green pods; may be simmered or sauteed but used especially in soups and stews".

Okay: it says they're edible; and I believe it. Human beings have been described as opportunistic omnivores. There's precious little on this planet that we can't eat. In a way we're the opposite of Koalas, with their dependence on eucalyptus leaves.

On the other hand, just because we can eat something and live to tell: that doesn't mean that I'm particularly fond of everything that's "edible."

Let's see what happened to the the lady, the okra, and her husband:

"...'grilling okra reduces the calories and the sliminess. I haven’t converted my husband to an okra lover, but at least he didn’t make a face when he ate it.'..."

Wouldn't you know it: grilling not only is less calorific than frying (shazam!), but it de-slimes okra. To a certain extent.

This household isn't likely to try okra any time soon - but if we do, I'll recommend grilling those little bug eggs.

Yeah, There's a Recipe in That Okra Article

I took a quick look at the recipe in that Washington Post article. Okra or not, the ingredients had me getting hungry. Not the best situation for someone who's trying to lose weight - so you'll have to read it on your own.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Steaks and Philosophy

As I posted earlier in another blog (Through One Dad's Eye (September 15, 2009)), yesterday my wife asked me if I'd like to grill steak for supper.

That was a welcome question, after a grill-less weekend.

It took me about 25 minutes to finish the steaks - flipping them three times to get that crisscross pattern. I like the pattern: but it also helps me keep track of how many times the meat's been on that side.

The steaks were tender - probably as much due to the selection of meat, as to what happened on the grill.

'And What This Teaches Us Is - - -'

Grilling burgers and steaks is a socially-acceptable way to 'play with your food.'

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Special Occasions, Outdoor Grilling, and This Household

I get the impression, reading about people and grilling, that it's a special-occasions event. It works that way in my household, sometimes. But not as a rule.

Now that I've recovered from 2007, when my body was in for maintenance and repairs, I expect I'll be back to my routine of year-round weekend grilling. Trying to light the grill in a blizzard generally doesn't work, and my wife won't let me grill during a tornado warning: but otherwise when it's Saturday or Sunday noon, I'm out there, grilling.

Except for some special occasions.

Like last weekend, when my second-oldest daughter got married; or this weekend, when I was up in the Red River Valley of the North, with the rest of the family, seeing my father for what may be the last time. More about that in my personal blog.

Next weekend, though, there's nothing scheduled - as far as I know - so I hope to be back at the grill next Saturdayl

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Products that Make Grilling Easier? Maybe

"Grilling gadgets add sizzle in a snap"
Kristi L. Gustafson, Albany Times-Union, via the Houston Chronicle (September 9, 2009)

"Slap a steak, or a portobello mushroom if you prefer, on the grill and take a whiff. Smell the smokiness of the food? Now listen to the sizzle on the hot grate and feel the heat as you stand over the smoldering coals.

"For many, grilling isn't a task, it's an experience, and there are many new products on the market to make the event a little easier — and more fun. Here's what we found:

"The Grill Daddy: The grill-cleaning brush releases water that turns to steam when it hits the hot grate to help remove cooked- on gunk. Available in two sizes, $19.99 and $24.99, both available at, Walgreens and select Ace Hardware stores...."

There's more: grill tools that fold up; a grilling basket with a non-stick surface, something to grill pizza on - not a bad idea; and more, including flexible steel grilling skewers and a gas grill with a 1.6-cubic-foot refrigerator.

The non-stick basket sounds good - although I wonder what sort of unsticky surface could take grilling temperatures.

As for the flexible grilling skewers and the grill with a built-in fridge - okay, maybe they're useful, too. I just hope the skewers aren't too flexible.

The Grill Daddy teeters on the brink of my tolerance for elaborate grilling gadgetry. Between a water reservoir, snap-on detachable brushes, and a mechanism to deliver the water - that's a complicated doodad.

I'm obviously not the target demographic for the product, though. The Grill Daddy's website has a video that demonstrates how it gets the grill looking like new - and sanitizes it.

Looking like new is okay - but I associate that with the new-car taste our old grill had, before I broke it in.

Sanitizes, though? I use the spatula to scrape off the grill before I use it - and during the grilling process. But "sanitizes"?! Okay: "Sanitize" means "make sanitary by cleaning or sterilizing" (Princeton's WordNet). The "cleaning" part's okay. On the other hand - if the grill is hot enough to flash water into steam, there aren't any disease organisms left.

Oh, well: it's still a nifty gadget.

I won't be getting one, though. I'm the Easy Griller - and sanitizing grill surfaces sounds like work.

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