The polar vortex descended on the Midwestern US this week causing record cold temperatures.
Here in France (and Europe) we’ve been experiencing our own bad weather – bad enough that it has a name: Storm Gabriel.
There have been damaging winds, driving rain and cold (for us) temperatures all week.
Naturally I thought it appropriate to do a post about summer cooking.
Actually, seeing the grills appearing in the Brico stores reminded me that spring will, eventually, be here.
And it’s never too early to have warm weather thoughts….. So, to get you in the mood, here is a quick primer on grills in case you’re thinking about getting something new this year.
Or adding to your existing collection. We, of course, have them all.
I’ve tossed in a few recipes ideas, too
A Gas Grill with or without lava rocks is useful for everyday summer cooking The flavor is better with charcoal or wood, but the gas grill is convenient and quick. Use it for any type of meat, fish or vegetables. A gas grill with dual burners and an upper shelf is ideal. The upper shelf is great to keep things warm, or for slow cooking vegetables. Regular vegetables, like this Potato & Onion Salad can be cooked in a basket:
A Weber-style kettle grill is useful for slow cooking poultry or roasts – cooking time of 45 minutes or more, with indirect heat. Use regular charcoal or briquettes. Add bits of wood: oak, apple, hickory or mesquite, to give a smoky flavor.
A small, portable, charcoal grill is handy for steaks and chops that should cook over a hot fire, and directly over the coals. It gives a steak or chop a slight char on the outside and the cooking time is normally very short.
Briquettes are the best for this style of grill because charcoal pieces are irregular in size, and produce uneven heat. With briquettes, the heat is even and hot.
Do not start cooking until the coals are completely glowing and put the cooking grid in place at least 5 minutes before cooking, to get it hot.
The advantage of the small grill is that less charcoal is needed to produce a hot fire. The bigger kettle grill would use 2 or 3 times more charcoal, and the cooking grid on the kettle grill is several inches above the coal.
Smokers come in many styles. We use ours for fish, poultry and pasta. The process is very slow, 2 to 3 hours or more, but produces lovely results. If you have never had Smoked Pasta you need to get a smoker just for that dish alone…. Trust me. Think Mac & Cheese for the gourmet adult.
If you are interested in more info on grills (lots more) as well as fireplaces and outdoor fireplaces (I covet an outdoor fireplace) visit We Love Fire.