Quick & Easy|
By Beverly Barbour
What makes grilled food taste so good?
One of the world's biggest misconceptions is that grilling is quick and easy. It ain't necessarily so. Cooking on a barbecue reminds me of Asian cooking--it takes a lot of preparation time to get the food ready to face the heat.
As an example: the point of marinating meats before cooking them is to add flavor while making the meat more tender. This is how it works.
A marinade always contains:
Marinades penetrate 1/8- to 1/4-inch in two to three hours. Thin pieces of meat or poultry get the maximum benefit of a marinade in as little as ten minutes. After the tissues fill with liquid, they can't take in any more. So when you are short of time, cut the meat before marinating.
Teriyaki Grilled Meats
Intensely flavored, teriyaki blends the crucial elements: acid (in wine), salt (both acid and salt are in soy sauce), and sugar.
1/4 cup sake or dry sherry
In a gallon or larger heavy plastic food bag, mix sake, soy sauce, sugar, ginger and garlic. Rinse meat, pat dry, and add to marinade. Seal bag and turn over to coat meat. Chill at least 2 hours or up to 1 day, turning bag occasionally. Lift meat from marinade and reserve the marinade. Lay meat on grill over high heat. Cook to desired doneness. Put on platter and keep warm; let rest about 5 minutes. If desired, pour remaining marinade into pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Serve with the meat.
Follow directions for Teriyaki Grilled Meats making the following additions.
--Chili teriyaki: Add 1/2 teaspoon hot chili flakes to the marinade.
Sauces & Rubs for Beef or Pork
These are flavor enhancers but usually not tenderizers. Many people make a larger batch and keep it on hand year round to jazz up a bored roast, chop or burger.
3 tablespoons ground chilies
Measure ingredients into a plastic bag; seal and shake together well. Rub well into all surfaces of the meat and let stand 10 minutes before cooking.
Hot Sauce for Beef
1 1/2 cups catsup
Simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 3 cups, 35 to 40 minutes. Brush on the meat about 30 minutes before a roast is done, sooner (of course) for chops and steaks. Serve hot with the meat, if desired. Keeps refrigerated for 2 weeks. Makes 3 cups.
Sauces for fish
Each sauce takes only 5 to 15 minutes to prepare. They can be served with any fish and can be made at least one day ahead.
1 jar (6+ ounces) marinated artichokes, with marinade
Whirl all ingredients in blender or food processor until smooth, scraping container sides as needed. Makes about 1 cup.
Cracked Pepper Aloli
1/2 teaspoon dried peppercorns
Coarsely grind or crush the peppercorns. Combine with remaining ingredients. Makes about 1/2 cup.
2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
Whirl in a blender or food processor until pureed smooth, scraping container sides as needed. Makes about 3/4 cup.
A little something extra can make a good thing even better!