How pros grill it up
Brad Costella, Blue Light Grill’s line cook on grilling seafood: “Firmer fish like tuna or swordfish work best. Brush with olive oil to avoid sticking and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. For medium rare tuna, one minute on each surface will do it. Swordfish takes about four minutes on each side.”
Sam Rochester, Downtown Grille’s executive chef on grilling meat: “Use a medium grill to avoid charring your meat on contact. A chicken breast takes about four to five minutes per side. A pork chop takes about five to six minutes per side. For beef, I like ribeye or New York strip, and cook it for about seven minutes on each side.”
Cash Gaston, Sticks Kebob Shop cook on grilling veggies: “Alternate 1” cuts of mushrooms, zucchini, onions, eggplant and peppers on soaked skewers. Marinate for 20 minutes in lemon, olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper and then grill for about seven minutes, rotating them every few minutes.”—Megan Headley
Where’s the rub?
“Wet rubs” deliver bigger flavor in less time than traditional marinades; they cling to the meat’s surface and can be applied right before grilling (though a few hours’ time boosts the flavor).
Generally, boneless, skinless chicken breasts and delicate fish taste better with herb or citrus-based rubs, while beef, bone-in chicken and pork stand up well to bold, spicy rubs. Lamb and meaty fish like tuna and salmon are versatile, handling either type gracefully.
Add all ingredients and use a blender, food processor or mortar and pestle to whip these up quickly.—Meredith Barnes
Get all up on your grillin’
It’s definitely summer out there, but are you fully prepared to get your grill on? The first thing to consider is the grill itself: charcoal or gas? Charcoal is portable, cheaper and creates a hotter fire, not to mention satisfies that caveman instinct to “make fire” and then poke it a bunch. Gas, on the other hand, is über-convenient. You crave a steak and as long as it’s defrosted, you’ll have it in minutes. Either way, you’ll need fuel—propane for gas and briquettes, newspaper and lighter fluid or a chimney starter for charcoal.
For grabbing and flipping like a pro, get some long-handled stainless steel tongs and an offset metal spatula. An instant-read thermometer comes in handy, as does a long-handled stiff-wire grill brush for easy clean-ups.—M.H.
Veggie burgers were always an apologetic attempt to feed the vegetarians at the BBQ, that is, until Crissanne Raymond left the catering business four years ago to focus on her NoBull Gourmet Veggie Burgers. A former vegetarian herself, Raymond’s been making the same organic lentil-, barley-, spelt- and veggie-packed recipe for 25 years, but it was only this year that the demand from friends, family and chefs became so high she committed to a commercial kitchen and booths at Wednesday’s Meade Park Market and Saturday’s City Market. There, she and her two daughters grill up Original and Savory Mushroom Roasted Garlic burgers or sell them frozen in four-packs.
Find them around town at Mono Loco, The Nook and Positively Fourth Street, or in cases at Rebecca’s Natural Foods, Greenwood Gourmet, and soon at Whole Foods.—M.H.