Sunday, August 3, 2008

Grilling 101

So two months have passed, and I haven't blogged here. I'll try to do better :-)

I've noticed I motivated a friend of mine to start blogging about food, but from the look of his blog he actually knows what he's talking about. He's doing a much better job posting than I am as well. Check out HungryKyle.

One of my excuses is that I moved to a new apartment near Alamo Square (near the Full House houses). Once we get a pot rack, and I get some stuff for my room, like a bookshelf, I'll take some pics and post them up(so like 2 more months).

So I've got no photos about food, but I do want to tell some things I've learned about cooking.

So I really love a good steak. I've been to a few expensive restaurants, and the only one I'd really consider going back to is Bobo's steakhouse because it was probably the best steak I've ever had. I'm sure I'll go back and realize it was a fluke experience, but for now, I consider it the best steakhouse in the SF.

I had been bummed before about being in an apartment and having to cook steaks inside, but I started cooking and experimenting with different ways to do it, and now, I can honestly say I like cooking them indoors more than outdoors (and we have a communal grill at our new apartment). I watched Alton Brown cook steaks inside once, and after trying his method, I'll never go back to anything else.

I like a good, peppery and well seasoned steak, so what I do is brush the steaks in a little vegetable oil, and then I use a generous amount of Montreal Steak seasoning (kosher salt and black pepper works as well). I put a cast iron (really needs to be cast iron as regular stainless steel doesn't seem to work as well) in the oven for about 15-20 minutes at 500 degrees (or however hot the oven goes...mine goes to 550). Then I take it out and put it on the stove at high. I throw the steaks on for about 1 minute each side, and then I put it in the oven and cook for about 2 minutes each side for medium rare. You gotta let it rest for about 10 minutes after that. I always know how long to cook the steak when doing it indoors, and they come out absolutely perfect.

I also learned how to make an amazing hamburger this weekend because I did a little more research online. Key things I really didn't know: you need about 20% fat for hamburger meat, and you don't want to squeeze the meat want to make the patty light and fluffy.

So I went to costco and got 12 lb's of beef. The problem was it was only 12% fat, so I threw in some butter to get it more moist and juicy. A few hours before cooking, I tossed in some garlic salt and some worstershire sauce. I was afraid the garlic salt would dry out the meat, but I didn't want to have to mix them at the bbq. It ended up being perfectly fine, but I'm not sure if it's really recommended to salt a lot before cooking meat. Anyways, the other thing about hamburgers is you should only flip them once, or they might fall apart on the grill, especially since the patties aren't particularly dense. It takes only about 4 or 5 minutes on each side to cook them.

The burgers came out absolutely perfect. Inbae had some spinach and grilled onions with balsamic vinegar. He also made some homemade bbq sauce, but what I really loved on the burger was some garlic aioli sauce I made. Garlic aioli is essentially garlic mayo, and it's absolutely delicious. The recipe I followed was one from Emeril. I didn't really like the way it came out initially (I realized after the fact that our olive oil might actually be going rancid because it's gotten too much sunlight). To doctor it up, I threw in some dijon mustard, extra lemon juice, some cayenne pepper, and some garlic powder. Our kitchen wreaked of garlic, but the sauce was delicious. I don't think I've ever had anyone ask for the recipe for a hamburger before, and this time atleast 3 people asked me how I did it. Christine even asked for some extra raw meat and sauce to take home, so she could make it herself.

One problem I've had at bbq's before was when I tried making chicken, I felt the marinade made the chicken juicy but didn't add much flavor. However, Inbae made jerk chicken, and I think it was the right move. He used a recipe I sent him off of epicurious, which is one of my favorite food websites because their recipes are top-notch. Anyways, the chicken was probably the best grilled chicken I've had in a really, really long time. The food at the bbq this weekend was just all-around fantastic.

Anyways, I hope to start taking more photos of the food, and I'll try to post here a little more frequently :)


Kyle J said...

I'll be reading!
Thanks for the shout out.

Thomas said...

Thanks for posting again! Kyle, the Striblings and I ate at Dukes over the weekend. We missed you.

As for grilled chicken, my favorite is taking a whole bird rubbed in olive oil, sea salt, pepper one or two spices (i like to do italian herbs like rosemary or thyme) and splitting it down the middle, putting it on the grill with the insides down. cook it for about an hour or until it reaches the proper internal temp is it 170? anyway, the oil gives it a nice crispy, flavorful skin but without the heaviness of breading or deep frying. then you can use it for whatever, eat it plain, make grilled chicken salad, quesadillas, curry, etc.

Ryan said...

That sounds pretty good. I actually saw on "Good Eats" Alton Brown cooked a chicken this way. However, he also wrapped a brick in tinfoil and put that on top of the chicken. He also cooked it at a really high heat.