Having people over and cooking for them is one of the joys of any holiday. When it’s all American, like Fourth of July, smoke and fire is a requisite no matter what your rig. On a recent Sunday, Chef and wife Tamara were at the Lynx grill where the main event wasn’t even the sizzling gorgeous New Yorks.
“It’s no secret we love vegetables in this family,” Chef explains. “We love meat too, but I think the point is when we light the grill, we do everything on it.”
It is a good point. Think about all the pluses… All on the grill, everything it one place. Less running around. Just stand and tend at your leisure. Here are some tips from Chef to maximize your time at the grill today and throughout the summer season.
- Clean your grill and work clean — Please, so it’s not gross. “You got to love your grill, so it loves you back!” You don’t want to be stuck cleaning when the food is hot and ready to eat so just make sure to wipe when you are done. You can clean when you fire up on the next session which entails basic common sense: brush, wipe, scrub and let it burn. But honestly just do it. Don’t neglect, or you’ll be sorry!
- Everything on the grill, please — It’s not just for meat. If you’re going to light it, use it. This means the obvious and the less obvious. Grill your vegetables. Check. Cut in even thickness or just cook time them accordingly. Grill your salad. A sturdy lettuce like romaine or escarole can be great halved or quartered and given the grill mark treatment. A little kiss goes a long way, so don’t go too strong or you’ll get more wilt than you want. You can even cut into fresh, crisp raw spears for added texture. Grill your condiments? Try charring leeks, spring onions or scallion to chop into one of our favorite accompaniments to meat and vegetables — salsa verde. Michael’s base combines parsley, capers, anchovies, garlic, shallot, lemon zest, black pepper, a pinch of red pepper flakes and olive oil.
- Be organized — One of Chef’s best pieces of advice when his cookbook first came out was reminding readers to read the recipe all the way through before getting started. Similarly, when getting ready to grill, gather your mise en place. Set everything out — using a sheet tray or baking sheet is helpful — not as heavy as a cutting board. Make sure it’s not just food but any equipment you will need. And bring it all out. Less running around, more time to chill.
- Board Sauce is a (beautiful) thing — You already know to let your meat rest. Once you’ve cut, you have the inevitable runoff. Vegetarians aside should 1000% chop veggies in it. Don’t waste all that flavor!