Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I am grilling EVERY DAMN THING

Tonight's Menu

  • grilled sweet Italian sausages
  • grilled sweet onions (Texas 1015)
  • grilled napa cabbage
  • fresh green salad with lettuce FROM THE GARDEN!

I've found that the only way I personally can successfully grill fresh (non-cured/smoked) sausages is to simmer them in water first. So I brought a big pot of water to a boil, dropped in the sausages, turned down the heat and simmered them uncovered for about 15 minutes. I let them rest in the warm water while the grill got nice and hot, then grilled them off for about 5 minutes per side, just to brown them and let the skins go crisp. This way they get cooked through the middle, stay moist, and don't burn all to hell. Works with all fresh sausages, including brats. Yum!

For the onions, I cut them in lengthwise wedges, cutting through the root end so that the wedges held together (I hope that makes sense; I don't really know how to describe it). Tossed them with a little EVOO, grilled them on a grid/screen overlay thing for 3 minutes per side. Delicious.

The cabbage was an experiment. I'm almost positive I've seen Giada or Nigella or someone grilling cabbages or lettuces on the Food Network, so I thought I'd give it a try. I bought a HUGE napa cabbage, removed the outermost leaves, and cut it in half lengthwise, reserving half for another use. The remaining half I quartered lengthwise, again cutting through the root end such that the sections held together, more or less. I drizzled the quarters with EVOO, sprinkled on some salt and pepper, and grilled them on the grid/screen thingie also for three minutes per side. They actually came out really yummy! Some of the thinner green leaves got a bit singed, and the thicker white parts were just okay, but the grilled light green bits were AWESOME.

So yeah, this was yummy, low carb (DH is doing that right now; I don't know if you can tell from our recent menus) and dead easy once the prep work was done. And yes, I AM grilling everything short of ice cream right now. And if I could find a way to grill that, too? I totally WOULD.


BreadBox said...

Grilled icecream? Let's see: take phyllo pastry, place several buttered sheets on a counter, wrap a 1x2x4 inch (or so) block of vanilla icecream in the sheets so that they are sealed. Place in the freezer for a while to chill. Now place on hot grill for short time on each side to cook the pastry.
No idea if it will work --- I just made it up --- but it might be worth a try! If it does work, let us know, will you?


BreadBox said...

What is the grid/screen thingy to which you refer? Is it one of those things that clip together to hold the food inside, so that it's easy to turn? Or is it a fine mesh screen that you lay on top of the grill so things don't fall through? I'm thinking of trying that onion and cabbage idea myself soon:-)

Badger said...

It lays on top of the grill. I wouldn't call it a FINE screen, but it's finer than the grill slats.

BreadBox said...

Thanks: I get it now --- haven't seen one of those, but it sounds like a good thing for grilling long skinny things like asparagus!

I do hope that you are going to try the grilled ice-cream, by the way --- it seems to me that you could put it on a small sheet pan on the grill and it would be just like doing it in a hot oven: perhaps putting a thin slice of cake on each side of the icecream before wrapping it in phyllo would help too: sort of like a baked alaska...


orangepower said...

I sell a whole lamb sweet italian sausage at the Farmers Market in OK, and I tell my customers just to sear it all the way around, then put it on the upper 'shelf' of the grill and close the door. Essentially, they are baking it to done. Nice if you don't want to heat up the stove...
Found your blog through the NY Times article. I'm always struggling to prepare quick homemade meals, mainly because I don't want to eat all the processed crap you get at the grocery store or the local drive-thru. I look forward to your cussin' and discussin'.


Badger said...

Thanks, orangepower! I like your suggestion for cooking the sausages and will definitely try it that way if/when we ever get a decent grill. The one we have now has no top rack, and it doesn't do indirect heat well, either. (It has one propane tank fueling two burners; if we turn one burner off but leave the tank valve open to fuel the other burner, the one that's off makes a REALLY alarming popping noise the whole time. I'm convinced this thing will blow up our house one day.)

And oh my God, whole lamb sweet Italian sausages? Drool!