June 30, 2003


This past winter was so long and cold. With the snow storms here starting last October and lasting through March, enough was enough. I love snow, and even I was done with it!! But it did not seem to want to leave this year, hanging on as long as possible into the spring. Then spring came and seemed to not want to move along for summer. So now we seem to have jumped with both feet straight into summer in the past week with 90-degree days all week.

The grill is begging to be used and we are dying to be eating dinner out on the deck. The kids want to be playing outdoors until bedtime, happily digging in the sand box or playing with the hose. They seem to want to eat their from plates perched on the seat along the sandbox, even if it means they get a little grit in each bite. Either that or while running back and forth near the water from the hose, getting food wet and still munching! The sun in the late afternoon just begs us all to be out there enjoying it, at whatever cost.

I like the low maintenance dinner of throwing a some meat in a ziploc bag with some marinade first thing in the morning (or even the night before) ensuring easy cleanups too! Nuke some frozen veggies and you’re done! Or use the time instead to make a good side dish, but one that you make ahead or can prep ahead. The key is to spend less time inside, and have more time to enjoy being outside. There is just something about eating outside; flavor, atmosphere, the act of cooking outdoors all contribute to it somehow tasting better.

Below are my most simple grilling recipes. (I already did the best steak one in the Father’s Day column on June 9, 2003)
Marinated Grilled Steak
This marinade is excellent! From the Colorado Cache Cookbook.

juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dry red wine
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 large clove garlic, sliced
chopped dill weed
celery seed ( optional)

1 Marinate steak in this for at least 1 hour.
2. Grill the steak.

also good: from the Family Album Cookbook:

1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1 Tbsp chopped onion
3/4 cup oil

1 Marinate steak in this for at least 1 hour.
2. Grill the steak.

Soy Basil Chicken
So easy…… I almost always use thighs since they cook quicker and more evenly than breasts, and seem to stay juicier with less effort.

chicken thighs
soy sauce
basil (dried)

1. Place chicken thighs in a large bowl. Pour some soy sauce on them and turn to coat.
2. Sprinkle basil over all of the pieces- be generous.
3. Place the chicken on a broiling pan and broil, turning once, until done. (about 20 minutes total).
I usually parboil my chicken before sticking it, still hot, into a bowl with the marinade (or cooled into a baggie with it). I find it just makes the whole thing easier, and quicker too. If I do it ahead and it’s in the fridge, I take it out about 1/2 hour before cooking so that it will be at room temperature.

version 2:
1. Parboil chicken (put into a pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes)
2. Remove from pot and allow to cool slightly.
3. Pour some soy sauce on them and turn to coat.
4. Sprinkle basil over all of the pieces- be generous.
4. Grill the chicken until cooked through. About 10 minutes more.

Chinese Barbequed Pork
…from Epicurious
three 3/4-pound pork tenderloins
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons dry Sherry or white wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce (preferably Kikkoman)
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons honey
Trim any fat and membrane from pork and transfer pork to a large heavy-duty sealable plastic bag. In a bowl whisk together all remaining ingredients except honey and add to pork. Seal bag, pressing out excess air, and turn it to coat pork well. Chill pork, turning bag once or twice, at least 2 hours and up to 12.
Prepare grill.
Remove pork from marinade and reserve 2 tablespoons marinade. In a small bowl whisk together honey and reserved 2 tablespoons marinade. Grill pork on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals, turning it over every 2 minutes, 6 minutes total. Baste pork with honey mixture and cook pork, turning and basting it every 2 minutes, 10 minutes more. Discard any remaining honey mixture.
Continue to cook pork, turning it every 2 minutes, until a thermometer diagonally inserted 2 inches into center of pork registers 155°F, about 6 minutes. Let pork stand 5 minutes before slicing on the diagonal.
Serves 4.

Grilled Fish
this is always good-
any good fish steak- tuna, swordfish, bass, etc.
mayonnaise (Hellman’s only)
—or aioli (mix mayo with garlic and lemon)
—or spicy tomato aioli
paint some mayo (or aioli) onto the fish steak and grill until barely done.

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