Archive for September 11th, 2010
The first part of this cooking adventure begins with getting the grill itself. Back in Minnesota this wouldn’t be a problem, but here in Brooklyn, in order to get the grill Nick and I had to walk about a mile to Home Depot. Actually, the walk there wasn’t bad - it was the walk home with a grill and a giant bag of charcoal that was a little more of a struggle. The main problem is that to get to and from Home Depot and the apartment we had to walk on what is basically a highway offramp. Unlike the skilled Mexicans pushing carts up the hilly off ramp in the middle of a lane, we not-so-artfully walked on the curb that was about two feet from a cement wall. But we made it home with body and grill unharmed.
Our next job was to set up the grill. I know, I know, it’s not rocket science, but it’s been about two years since I’ve built anything even as simple as an Ikea bookshelf.
It wasn’t in the instructions, but I’m pretty sure that the first step of building a grill is opening a beer. So with some Brooklyn Lagers in hand we set to work and successfully assembled a fine grill (Yes, the handle somehow ended up on the side instead of the front, but I like to think it adds character).
Finally, it was time to grill. Since it was Labor Day weekend, burgers and brats seemed right. Unfortunately, here in New York, brats are not as ubiquitous as they are in the Midwest and we were forced to settle for some hot Italian sausages.
On our second grilling day, Labor Day proper, Meg was hit with a brilliant idea: cheese inside the burgers! Having experimented with putting various herbs and spices in the burgers we decided to mix some Chipotle Tabasco sauce in with the meat. To get the cheese inside, I basically made a smaller-and flatter-than-normal burger with a dent in the middle which I filled with cheese, and then I put a similarly-sized beef patty on top. Softly pinching and massaging sides of the burger makes the patty whole, with the delicious cheese trapped inside.
With an heirloom tomato, a red onion, and some mizuan (a lettuce with spiky dark green leaves that has surprisingly delicate texture, but a good crunch), it was time for meat to meet fire.
One especially large and juicy burger became what I call an open legs burger (No, it’s not an open legs burger because as we all know great food is the way to a woman’s, um, heart). It’s an open legs burger because it’s so deliciously juicy that the only way to take it on and not ruin your clothing is to sit down, open legs, lean forward, put your elbows on your knees, and eat so any drippings fall cleanly on the ground in front of you.
After the meat was cooked I threw a few ears of corn (husk and all) onto the grill that, after about 20 to 30 minutes, were so sweet and savory, with a hint of smoke, butter was unnecessary.
With the grill now safely broken in, new proteins are on the horizon. My recent trips to the store have me eyeing great looking racks of ribs.