Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sometimes Even the Easy Griller Stays Inside

This is why I didn't grill burgers today. And probably won't tomorrow. December 26, 2009.

We've been having a bit of noticeable weather, here in central Minnesota. And in quite a bit of the rest of the country, too. From the looks of it, I'll be able to get at the grill by next weekend.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Chicken. Cheese. Anchovies. Grilled

Okay: This recipe doesn't seem to be intended for outdoor grilling. And, it's more complicated than anything I'm likely to try.

But it's got an - odd - name, and looks like it should taste good. And, since the holidays are a time for more-or-less over-the-top foot preparation, maybe someone who goes in for fancy cookery and grilling might adapt this for a charcoal or gas grill:

"Cheese and Anchovy Grilled Chicken Breasts"
Notecook (December 13, 2009)

"A lovely supper dish, with a deliciously different flavour...."

Like I said, it looks promising.

Me? I'm not likely to try. The Easy Griller is more about keeping it simple, and enjoying the flavor of burgers and steak - and not so much flavours, deliciously different or otherwise.

But, hey: Don't let me stop you from trying that anchovy-cheese-chicken thing out.

A tip of the hat to williamcooks, on Twitter, for the heads-up on this recipe.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Grilled Ribs? Okay: That Could Work

Christmas, New Years, and an assortment of other holidays are coming up: and that means special food. Generally in larger-than-usual quantities.

For the Easy Griller, 'fancy grilling' generally doesn't go much beyond steak and baked potatoes instead of burgers. But don't let that stand in the way of complicating your grilling life.

I ran into this recipe, which looks promising:

"Holiday Recipes & Great Grill Cooking Classics"

"There are many barbeque grill Holiday Recipes for just about every major holiday. Some are classic meats that work well on the bbq grill or smoker.

"Prime rib for Christmas Day or turkey for Thanksgiving are two that come to mind.

"What would be nice is to have a collection of recipes for the holidays that can be turned to time and time again for each major and maybe not-so-major holiday...."

What they've got, so far, is a recipe for BBQ Ribs: "...Buy one rack of ribs for every two adults. Marinade ribs in worcestershire sauce, pepper, season salt and garlic...."

One rack of ribs for every two adults? I'd have the thought it would be the other way around. But then, Texas racks of ribs may be bigger than we have here in Minnesota. And, you should remember that I've lived in and near agricultural communities most of my life. Farmers' appetites tend to be on the hearty side.

One more thing, with a disclaimer. I Haven't tried out any of the (no doubt excellent) advice I found on

"Preparing the Rack - Barbecue Ribs on a Gas Grill"
2 of 7 pages of grilling advice on

It's funny: I've grilled burgers, steak, chicken, potatoes, and corn cobs. But not ribs. I've never seen that as a deficit in my life's experience - and still don't - but now I'm wondering what grilled ribs would taste like.

Like grilled steak, I suppose, except with less meat, and a bone to gnaw on. A sort of fun food?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Alaska Scallops Wrapped in Prosciutto, Grilled Duck Breasts with Sweet Potato Frites: and Drunk Chicken?!

My closest approach to haute cuisine a la grille is my burgers flambé, with a grease fire substituting for the traditional blazing liquor.

But, I know that some folks like their food preparation to be a bit more elaborate. With that in mind, here's the first of a (short, I suspect) series of things you can do, to make grilling more complicated.

"For Your Holiday Meal / Grilling Recipes to Delight the Taste Buds of Family & Friends"
Sizzle on the Grill (December 20, 2007)

"...There are so many different ways to think of holidays. Depending upon your culture and your beliefs, you may celebrate the same name holiday – at different times and certainly in different ways according to family traditions. And I think that is a wonderful thing!

"The only suggestion I would make is to enjoy food prepared on the grill! Here are some holiday recipes that you may enjoy making with or for your family:..."

It's an impressive list:
  • Alaska Scallops Wrapped in Prosciutto
  • Bacon-Wrapped Pork and Apple Patties
  • Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Blue Cheese Topping
  • Butterflied Curry Turkey Tenderloins
  • CB's EZ Grilled Veal Chop Forestier
  • CB's Classic Rotisserie Roasted Leg of Lamb
  • CB's EZ Grilled Duck Breasts with Sweet Potato Frites
  • Drunk Chicken
  • Suzanne's Deviled Eggs
I don't know that sozzled chicken stumbled in with all those rather frenchified dishes.

Drunk Chicken: No, Seriously!

It sounds like a joke, but Drunk Chicken is a very real way of grilling chicken. I haven't tried it, but anything that brings fire, chicken and beer together deserves a hearing. Here's a link to the recipe (it's fairly simple, too):

Sizzle on the Grill, via Char-Broil

"This is a seriously funny description of a popular method of cooking chicken. You can purchase different devices that take the place of the beer can, which you fill with liquids that flavor the chicken while keeping it moist...."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Winter Grilling: Near Zero, and Glad of It

The temperature was up to about three degrees above zero, Fahrenheit, when I went out to grill this noon. I actually prefer that sort of temperature, if I'm going to be standing around for a while. When it's closer to the freezing point, ice and snow under my feet are more likely to melt, and standing in near-freezing water is colder, in my experience, than standing on dry frozen snow and ice.

A degree or two above zero, Fahrenheit, but it's still good to grill. (December 13, 2009)

Anyway, I got the burgers grilled - it took a bit longer, with more flame, than when it's in the nineties - and seem to have regained the knack for winter grilling.

They were done - but not burned to a crisp.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My Take on Grilling, and Books by Real Professionals

Looking through the news for something about grilling, I found quite a few articles.

Reviews, anyway.

Some of them were more of editorial advertising. My opinion.

Not that I blame anybody involved. If I'd written a how-to book for grillers, I'd want to sell it, too. Maybe I will, someday. Just to give you a sort of head-start on later readers, here's the secret of my success as a year-round griller.

I put the burger, steak, whatever, on the grill. Then I wait until it starts turning brown on the top side. (This isn't generally recommended, but it works for me since this household eats fairly thin slices of burgers and steaks.)

Then, I flip it. Or, more often, them. And, repeat the process until they feel done - and, if I do it right, before they catch fire.

There you have it: my secret of grilling, in 68 words. Add another 9,932 to 199,932 words, and you've got a cookbook. (source: "Guidelines to Average Manuscript Lengths," Gloria T. Delamar)

There's a bit more to how I turn frozen slabs of meat into something distinctly better than what comes off a stove top: but don't bother waiting for that book. I've written about what I do on a not-quite-ready-for-prime-time website, Easy Griller. (

Or, see what the professionals are selling this year, in this nowhere-near-extensive set of links:

Thanksgiving: "The The Rodney Dangerfield of Holidays" - Which has Nothing to do With Grilling

This op-ed piece doesn't have all that much to say about grilling (just one word, actually: "grilling.") On the other hand, it's a pretty good set of observations: and a somewhat thoughtful variation on the traditional 'whatever happened to the holidays' laments we get this time of year.

"Second Thoughts:The Rodney Dangerfield of Holidays"
EDITORAL by Dave Mishur, The Community Times, Pontiac, Illinois (November 26, 2009)

"Thanksgiving gets no respect. It's like the fat little kid on the corner of the playground that everybody ignores at recess. Like the scrawny non-athletic runt surrounded by two all-star older brothers, Thanksgiving languishes, almost forgotten, between the twin towers of Halloween and Christmas. Those are the major Feasts.

"From late October through December there now exists a bacchanalia of syrupy songs, glaring lights and infantile decorations. Whoever invented the miniature pumpkin lights strung on trees, or worse yet, miniature skeletons, should be strangled by them. If we have to put up with these things, where then, are the little turkey and cornucopia lights to wrap around our homes at Thanksgiving? Where are the Thanksgiving carols, the gifts, the tricks and treats?

"Thanksgiving it seems, is like the giant meal the Romans fed to their gladiators before sending them into the arena of slaughter. For some, it's no more than a big preparation for the real thing, the real deal of Christmas shopping, which begins the very next day.

"It's a preamble to Black Friday. Eat your fill now, because once you start shopping there won't even be time for a snack. Most stores and shops are open on Thanksgiving, just like any ordinary day...."

I wrote something like this - in desperation, since I had no original ideas whatsoever - for another blog. It doesn't have anything much to do with grilling, either: There must be something in the news about grilling. I'll take another look.