Grilling 101

Every summer I relish in being able to grill outside again. I don’t really know what it is about it, yes its tasty, yes its fairly quick, but there is something else that I can’t really pinpoint.  And every summer I feel like I have become a grilling newbie again.  It is like with watersking; it feels foreign and weird and then comes back to you so quickly.  Monday was a glorious night in many ways.

  1. Temperatures in the 70s, no clouds in the sky, and a forecast that makes me smile.
  2. A great bike ride home (yeah right, I hate hills).
  3. No plan for the night other than to use up things in the fridge.
  4. Bryan and Polly joining me for a dinner on the deck.
  5. Blues playing on the radio.

And isn’t it amazing what you can come up with from random things in the fridge, and I actually found a few really killer recipes to keep in my repertoire.  First off, chicken.  I had two chicken quarters in the freezer that I had taken out to thaw overnight.  I have been getting these because they are great to grill, have quite a bit of flavor, and are very economical.  I removed the drumsticks from the thighs and then removed the thigh meat from the bone (I used the bones to make a chicken stock for who knows what).  I made a spice mixture of cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and red pepper and coated all of the chicken with this and then made skewers from the chicken thigh meat.  After the meat was mostly cooked I brushed it with a sauce of honey and apple cider vinegar.  The smoky, spicy, sweet flavor combination was awesome and the chicken was super moist.  See recipe here.

Very good chicken!
Very good chicken!

Another trick I tried was skewering asparagus (had in the fridge) together with two skewers.  I was able to string a bunch together and flip together and not lose any through the grate (I don’t have a veggie basket) and they all cooked at the same time.  Worked really well.  These I covered with a mixture of two parts soy to one part sesame oil.  Super simple.  Made a little basmati rice pilaf.

Easy trick!
Easy trick!


One more recipe that is a true keeper because of who I am dating is this roasted pepper and tomato salad found here.  Bryan absolutely loves caprese and this is a spin-off on that salad.  We had made this salad together on Saturday for the sailing BBQ, it was gone in seconds and we both loved it.  I had the ingredients leftover in the fridge, and vine tomatoes going overly ripe on my counter so I remade the recipe using the vine tomatoes instead of the grape tomatoes.  I didn’t really measure anything this time, including the dressing ingredients but it was equally delicious and Bryan finished it off drinking dressing straight from the serving bowl :/

Caprese for a crowd!
Caprese for a crowd!

We had a great time eating and talking with Polly and it was just such a nice night.  Plus the sun is out until like 9pm so we were really able to linger.  A really great Monday night!



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