Way Back Into Grilling Form
As the sun
climbs higher, and the temperature begins its annual march toward the
July boiling point, our thoughts turn towards our good friend the grill.
For most of
us, the grill has been locked away for months. On cold winter nights,
you perhaps heard its low whimper of agony on the howling wind. It is
your grill and it was in pain. Pity! Sorrow!
sun always brings people outside, blinking and pointing up at the
mysterious yellow orb hanging in the sky. So, too, does your grill wish
to stretch its legs and get ready for a few months of decent weather.
things that are rusty with disuse, when you bring out your grill those
first, sunny and warm days, you will want to make sure not to overtax
it. Asking it to take on too great a load – perhaps a leg of lamb, or
perhaps some spareribs – could be a fatal mistake on your part. Each
man, or bowl of metal (complete with grate), has its limitations.
friend’s, and also yours.
It has been
months since you last stood on your porch, tongs in hand, waiting for
your meat to sizzle just the right way – a reminder that it is time for
you to either turn it or to remove it from the heat. For you, going from
a winter away from grilling to doing too much could result in physical
and emotional trauma. As with long-distance running or sword swallowing,
it is best to work your way into these things.
faster than pork tenderloin? Pork tenderloin that has been cut into
pieces. The answer is so very obvious that it is nearly profound.
A word of
warning before moving too quickly down this road. You will want to pay
special attention to your cooking time. Pork tenderloin is only good if
tender. If allowed to cook for too long, especially in fillet form, it
will become dry and tasteless. You also run the risk of it becoming hard
and dangerous, for if casually thrown at a friend, it – like the English
pound sterling – will possess enough heft that you risk denting his or
not with meat, but with marinade. The trick isn’t always the proper
application of heat to meat, but of what you heat along with the meat.
case, we start with four parts balsamic vinegar and one part olive oil.
This will create a lovely little base into which you will want to add
crushed garlic and also dried rosemary.
A word here
on herbs. Rosemary is a natural ally for roasted meats. It knows how to
treat roasted meat and complement its flavors. But, it is a robust herb,
and can remind people of unpleasant experiences with pine trees. So,
here, it is possible to substitute oregano or thyme for the rosemary.
Here is the
easy part. Mix these and soak your fillets for about five minutes. Then,
place them on the grill for only a few moments per side.
It is worth
repeating an earlier warning – if you spend a great deal of time
worrying about whether the fillets are finished cooking, there is a good
chance that they will be entirely inedible. Someone, a guest or your
child, will bite into one and think that they have visited the Sahara at
the height of a summer afternoon. They will suspect you, perhaps, of
having unkind feelings for them (to the reverse, you need not serve them
pork that is so undercooked that it practically squeals when poked by a
fork … thanks to Mr. Trichinosis, this too will cause people to question
grilling muscles are now loosened up, and the kinks of a winter’s worth
of inactivity are working themselves out. Before you lie glowing coals.
You are – as they say – feeling a bit froggy. Do not be misled. If you
continue to grill, you might discover that you’ve grabbed the tiger’s
tail and that at the end of a night of exhaustion that pain and anguish
must, however, a good way to do just a little more is to sprinkle olive
oil on asparagus spear and roll them in salt and pepper. You may roast
these over the coals for a few minutes (remove them before they scorch).
With a few spoonfuls of wild rice, the pork and asparagus will set the
stage for a summer of open-flamed goodness.
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