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Posted Jun 17, 2011 in Food | 0 Comments

ModernHostess: Bitchin’ BBQ

When I think summer foods, one winning choice comes to mind- anything BBQed! Who doesn’t love a BBQ? For me, it’s really the most flavourful way to cook meat, plus there are so many BBQ options besides meat that you can surely find something that will please all your guests, even vegetarians.

You already know that lots of meats are fabulous for BBQing: steaks (great recipe and technique below), burgers, lamb chops, veal chops, hot dogs, sausages – all are great. Fish is also fantastic BBQed (though you may need to wrap it in foil if it doesn’t have skin) and I adore veggies such as eggplant, zucchini, asparagus and peppers on the grill. There are even some cheeses that can be BBQed! Recent amazing discovery: haloumi cheese, which originates in Mediterranean island Cyprus. Haloumi is firm and squeeky, kind of like the poutine cheese curd, and is tough enough to stand up to those scorching BBQ grills without melting into an oily, puddly mess. Simply slice and BBQ on high heat until the outside is golden. Great on its own or in a salad, especially one that includes strawberries or other juicy, sweet fruits or veggies.

Despite all the great options out there, I think most people would agree that steak is largely overrepresented in the BBQ world. And with good reason – steak rocks! To make the perfect steak, start with your favourite cut. Filet Mignon, which comes from the tenderloin, is my personal favourite because I love how soft it is, but some say it lacks flavour. Other popular choices: New York strip (also known as strip steak) from the strip loin, rib eye, from the primal rib, and T-Bone and Porterhouse, both of which consist of tenderloin and strip loin portions, though you’ll find more tenderloin in a Porterhouse. All of these cuts have their own unique character and quality, but all taste best when seared to perfection (also known as medium-rare) on a BBQ. Medium-rare means nicely grilled on the outside, and juicy red on the inside; internal temperature of 55 degrees if you’re one of those people that actually owns a meat thermometer.

Seriously, though, using a thermometer is actually the most accurate way of knowing that your meat is cooked as you like it. However, since I don’t actually have a meat thermometer (note to self: get one!), I rely on a different method, which I like to call “the Benji method” after the good friend that showed it to me. See my recipe below for a perfectly cooked medium-rare steak. This recipe works best with New York strip, but it can be adapted for any type of steak. If you prefer your steak more cooked, go ahead and cook it longer (but don’t expect it to come out tasting as delicious as medium-rare). Enjoy!

Best BBQ Steak (Ingredients):
-Your favourite cut of steaks
-Minced garlic, to taste
-Splash of olive oil
-Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat grill for at least 10 minutes, until smoking hot. Sprinkle steaks with garlic and seasonings, and pour on splash of olive oil. Turn steaks and repeat. Place steaks on grill perpendicular to the grill stripes and close BBQ. Allow to cook for 45 to 60 seconds depending on the thickness of the steak. Rotate steaks 90 degrees; do not flip! Close grill and cook another 45 to 60 seconds. Flip steaks and repeat. Once steak has reached desired doneness, remove from heat and place on plate. Cover with aluminum foil and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes so all juices reabsorb into the meat.

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