Every one's thoughts turn to the outdoors when Memorial Day rolls around on the calendar. it's not the clear blue sky and balmy temps that 's the lure but the grill. It's barbecue season, with all the fun and good food that come with it.It's time to leave a hot kitchen for a cool grill.
The New York Times Food section covered all things related to it in today's issue. It's a keeper . especially for those planning on a big barbecue this weekend. One of the best articles is by regular contributor, Sam Sifton. He explains the basic, starting with the most basic - the fire.He parses the difference between direct heat (perfect for hamburgers) and indirect heat( good for slower cooking meats). There is also a how too about creating both on the same grill, whether it's a gas or charcoal fueled one. He then explains how meats from chicken to seafood to pork, beef and lamb, should be prepared and cooked. Mr Sifton recommends novice grillers to go with the easiest - chicken. There are also tips on on grilling all the meats along with how to prepare different types such as chicken breasts, shrimp and hamburgers. Melissa Clark gives a how to on how to roast an entire chicken outside.It's actually done in a skillet placed on the grill.One of the best things about cooking this way is that the drippings get saved as opposed to being dissipated . They can be used to saute sides. Ms. Clark uses it to saute spinach spiked with garlic and anchovies. Home chefs can vary the greens with ramps or chard.
Of course veggies are an important part of the cookout . John Willoughby and Chris Scheslinger wrote about the side side of barbecuing. Vegetables are surprisingly good for grilling. They grow tender without losing their flavor and can retain it days afterwards in the fridge.Both Mr. Willoughby and Mr. Scheslinger recommend bell peppers,eggplants and tomatoes. Even lemon and lime slices can be grilled, their juices lending some smokiness to dipping sauces.There is a smoky chimichurri sauce recipe that would be great with any grilled steak. Home chefs have to try the recipe for red onion chutney that takes the grilled alliums to another level,thanks to brown sugar and a melange of spices that include chili and cumin. Chefs around the country are also on this grill anything bandwagon too.Another Food regular, Jeff Gordonier traveled around the country to see what professional cooks are throwing over the coals.There are glazed grilled carrots that are cooked first and then tossed into a dressing.Onions can be charcoal cooked so their middles become creamy, savory puddings while hunks of olive oil soaked bread can be tossed on the grill to become toasty and smoky.Oranges can be cut and place don skewers to be toasted into chips.Anything can be used in a barbecue, a great idea for chefs who may be running low on food and ingredients.
Today's New York Times Food section will help any home chef deal with grilling . There is some great advice that will work for this year and for seasons to come. Save the section. It's truly invaluable