• Tommy Centola

Time to get out the Grill

Now that Memorial Day has passed, time for Grilling season to start. Cooking outside over open fire seems to be hard wired into the human DNA. Grilling also lends itself to great social gatherings.

Most people use the terms grilling and barbecuing interchangeably. However, they are two different cooking methods. Grilling is done over direct heat with the lid open. Barbecuing, or Smoking, is done with a closed lid so the hot air can cook the meat. This is done at a lower temperature than a grill.

So today, time to get outside and light up your grill. Whether you use, charcoal, wood or gas to fire up your grill, these recipes are sure to please. I have included recipes for pork, chicken and beef. The sauces for these recipes all work well with other meats as well as fish.

A few years ago, I started experimenting with Asian ingredients other than just soy and teriyaki sauce. Today, I now have a large variety of hot sauces, my favorite being Sriracha, oils and Asian sauces in my kitchen. This recipe is a great introduction to some of these Asian ingredients. The sauce works well with chicken and beef.

Honey Ginger Barbecued Pork Chops

1 cup Honey

1/2 cup Ginger, finely grated

1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup Soy Sauce

1/2 cup Sriracha Sauce

1/4 cup Sesame Oil

2 tablespoons Garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh Chives, minced

4 Center Cut Pork Chops (each about 3-inches thick and 12 ounces)

Preheat grill.

In a bowl, whisk together honey, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, Sriracha, sesame oil, garlic and chives.

Grill chops until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 155℉. Serve pork chops drizzled with honey ginger barbecue sauce.

Here is a grilled twist on a classic New Orleans dish. Grilling the chicken and bell pepper adds another level of flavor to the dish. I personally like this recipe better that the original version.

Grilled Chicken Creole

2 1/2 pounds Chicken Breast, boneless and skinless

Creole Seasoning to taste

1 Red Bell Pepper

1 teaspoon Olive Oil

1 teaspoon Garlic, minced

1/2 cup Onion, chopped

3 large Tomatoes, seeded and diced

2 tablespoons fresh Parsley

Preheat grill.

Season chicken with Creole seasoning. Place the whole red bell pepper on the grill and char the skin on all sides. Remove pepper and place in an airtight container. Grill chicken breast about 5 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through. When chicken is done, remove from grill, cover with aluminum foil and keep in a warm place. In a medium saucepan, sauté garlic and onion in olive oil for 1 minute. Add tomatoes. Peel the charred skin away from the pepper, remove seeds and chop. Add to tomatoes. Serve chicken breast with Creole sauce and garnish with parsley.

To round out the recipes, here is a wonderful steak recipe. I use filets because it is my favorite cut of steak. However, feel free to use whatever kind of steak you wish. They all work well with the recipe.

Grilled Steaks with Peppers and Onions

1 tablespoon Olive Oil, divided

1 Onion, cut in half, then thinly sliced

1 Red Bell Pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips

2 tablespoons Creole Mustard

1/4 cup Water

4 Beef Tenderloin Fillets, about 1-inch thick

Creole Seasoning to taste

Preheat grill.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until soft. In a small bowl, whisk the mustard with water, add to the onion mixture and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Season with creole seasoning. Keep warm.

Brush steaks lightly with the remaining oil and season to taste with Creole seasoning. Grill steaks to desired doneness, about three to four minutes for medium-rare. To serve, spoon the onion mixture over the steaks.

I know it has been a crazy winter with the cool weather extending into April. Time to dust off your grill and enjoy the warmth.

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