Summer is flying by and I hope everyone is getting lots of quality time out on their boats.
And cooking out there too! There’s still plenty of time for grilling and even though that was the subject for last month’s column, there are so many more recipes to play with.
I’m not much of a meat eater but if you put a nice marinated London Broil on the grill and slice it thin, I’ll eat most of it (I may have mentioned that before). I read something the other day about grilling that I thought was interesting – a man giving advice on marinating said that he’s learned to put the marinade on after the meat has a char on it, not soaking it beforehand. I would disagree. You get a lot more flavor when the marinade has a chance to soak into the meat before grilling than just brushing it on after. But we all have our own methods and no one is right or wrong. It’s all up to our taste buds.
The method for grilling most meats is to marinade or heavily season the meat and place on to a hot grill. Steaks get 4-6 minutes on each side if you want medium rare. Obviously shorter or longer, depending on how you like it. For pork, you need to start out with a thick chop, not thin as they will cook to fast and be tough. You can marinate in a ‘brine’ overnight, then rinse the meat and grill over medium heat (not high!) for 4 minutes, then flip and cook 3 minutes more. A delicious recipe for that follows. Ham slices are nice too!!
I love to have grilled fruits with the meats as they add the nice sweet flavors of summer.
Whatever you decide to eat, there will be endless amounts of recipes for. Here are two that I like.
Brined Pork Chops with Grilled Stone Fruit
(courtesy of Williams Sonoma)
6 cups water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. juniper berries (optional)
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbs. kosher salt
1 Tbs. freshly ground black pepper
6 bone-in pork chops, each at least 1 inch thick
6 ripe but slightly firm plums, peaches or nectarines, halved and pitted
Canola oil for brushing
To make the brine, combine the water, vinegar, brown sugar, thyme, juniper berries, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper in a large bowl. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve.
Place the pork chops in a large sealable plastic bag and pour in the brine. Seal the bag closed, squish the brine around the chops and refrigerate overnight.
At least 30 minutes before you plan to begin grilling, remove the chops from the refrigerator. Discard the brine, rinse the chops briefly in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Prepare the grill for indirect grilling over medium heat; the temperature inside the grill should be 350° to 375°F. If using charcoal, bank the lit coals on either side of the grill bed, leaving a strip in the center without heat, and place a drip pan in the center. If using gas (if you’re at home), preheat the burners, then turn off 1 or more of the burners to create a cooler zone. Brush and oil the grill grate.
Place the pork chops on the grill over the direct-heat area and sear, turning once, until nicely grill-marked on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Move the chops to the indirect-heat area and cover the grill. Cook until the chops are somewhat firm to the touch. Transfer the chops to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, brush both sides of the fruit halves with oil. Place the fruit over the direct-heat area and cook, turning once, until nicely grill-marked, about 2 minutes per side. Serve the pork chops immediately with the grilled fruit on the side. Serves 6.
Grilled Peach-Glazed Ham Steaks
1 each – a lemon, grapefruit and an orange
1 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. of finely chopped ginger
1 tsp. each of finely chopped garlic and shallot
1/2 cup of white wine
1 can of peaches, drained
2 TB. each of mustard and brown sugar
1 finely chopped jalapeno chile
2 center-cut ham steaks (about 1 lb. each)
To make the citrus sauce start by zesting the whole lemon, then mince the zest. Cut the lemon, orange and grapefruit in half and scoop out all the fruit into a bowl. Squeeze the rinds to get all the juices added too. Add the lemon zest, stir together and set aside.
Mix together the olive oil, ginger, garlic, shallot and wine in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half - about 4 minutes. Add the fruit from the bowl and cook for 1 minute more.
For the glaze, place the peaches, mustard, brown sugar and jalapeno in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Place mixture in a container large enough to hold the ham steaks, add the steaks turning to coat with the glaze, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Do all of the above at home before heading to the boat!!
When ready to eat, heat your grill to a medium hot temperature. Grill the ham steaks for 10 minutes, turning once. Serve with the Citrus sauce.