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Grill like you mean it

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Get your grill on.
Photo: Natashalcd / Flickr
Jet Tila

Yo! Happy Memorial Day 2010, homies! This is the holiday where we honor the fallen soldiers of our armed forces. Big respect to all of you military folks past, present, and future and to military families, too. We also honor the sacrifices you have made for this great country. Show a military ID this weekend and get some extra love at Wazuzu! I am a huge supporter of our military.

I want to offer some no-bull, slammin’ grill recipes for a weekend when we bust out our grills and pay homage to the sun gods. If you aren’t coming out to Encore and experiencing the new Encore Beach Club and Surrender, you’re probably staying home and charring animal flesh. Here’s how you can grill like a serious mofo:

1) Proper grilling temp is key! You want to let your grill preheat a bit so you can get a nice char on your meat. (And getting “char on your meat” isn’t a euphemism, lol.) So heat your grill to high for about 10 minutes. Once it’s hot, use a grill brush to scrape off the stuff that’s been stuck there since last Memorial Day! Then, lower your heat to medium and take a rolled up towel, soak up some oil and give the grill a wipe. This will help lube and clean your junk. (That, boys, is a euphemism.)

You’ll know the temp is spot on when you place your hand at meat height and it’s too hot after about three or four seconds. Then you may begin charring the flesh!

2) Use indirect heat. When grilling ultra big pieces of meat or whole chicken pieces with bone - like legs/thighs, drums, or wings - always use indirect heat! This is an awesome technique cause you can get your drink on and look like Grill-zilla. Preheat your grill on high for about 10 minutes, do the brushy wipey thing above, but then turn off the heat on half the grill and lower the other half to medium. Place your meat on the non-heat side and close the grill. You can do major pieces of protein this way - whole chickens, turkeys, leg of lamb, prime rib, etc. But no peaking every five minutes!

3) Test your meat. So you’re like, how the f*** will I know when my meat is ready? The no fail, no food borne illness, no Montezuma’s revenge way is simple: a thermometer. Every grill master should invest in a cheap insta-read thermometer to test your meat’s temperature before you declare it done. Remember to take the temp from the thickest part of your meat not close to bone.

For Beef and Lamb, the ones you can eat rare:

• Very Rare Steak – 120°

• Rare Steak – 125°

• Medium-Rare Steak – 130° – 135°

• Medium Steak – 140° – 145°

• Medium-Well Steak – 150° – 155°

• Well-Done Steak – 160°

Pork and chicken should be cooked to at least 165 degrees to be safe. So good luck and happy grilling, homies! Here are a few of my fave recipes for the holiday:

Grilled Flank Steak Sandwiches with Siracha Aioli

Marinade:

Salt and Pepper as needed

6 Tbsp olive oil

6 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 tbsp)

1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 tbsp)

2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary

2 Lbs. Flank steak, uncut

Baby greens, tomato, cheese and mustard.

2 Loaves flat rustic bread, uncut

Pulse all marinade ingredients in blender until they form a rough paste, scraping down blender jar as needed.

Combine marinade and meat in a gallon-size zip lock bag; press out as much air as possible and seal bag. Refrigerate 1 hour, flipping bag after 30 minutes to ensure that meat marinates evenly.

Remove steak from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Grill, uncovered, until well-seared and dark brown on first side, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, flip steak and grill until second side is well seared and thickest part of meat is slightly less done than desired, 4 to 5 minutes for medium-rare (about 130 degrees on instant-read thermometer), 6 to 8 minutes for medium (about 135 degrees). If outside of meat is browned but the inside isn’t yet cooked through, move steak to cooler side of grill and continue to grill to desired doneness.

Transfer steaks to cutting board; tent loosely with foil and let rest 5 minutes. Slice steak very thinly on the bias. Split loaf, brush a bit of oil on the inside, and grill for about 1 minute until warm and slightly toasted. Compose your sandwich using the aioli recipe below.

Siracha Aioli

1 cup mayonnaise

6 fresh garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

2-4 Tbsp Siracha sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and other seasonings of choice. Cover and chill well.

Thai Style Roasted Chicken

1 Chicken, about 3 1/2 Lbs.

2 Tbsp ginger root, crushed

2 Tbsp lemongrass, crushed

1 Tbsp corriander root, crushed

2 Tbsp garlic, crushed

2 Tsp black or white pepper.

1/4 Cup thin soy sauce

1 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp curry powder

1 Cup coconut milk

Combine all ingredients except chicken in a blender and blend until smooth.

Prepare chicken by cutting out the backbone and laying the bird flat. Poke holes in the chicken using a fork.

Pour the marinade mixture over the bird and coat evenly. Rub the marinade into the bird. Let bird sit covered in marinade in the fridge for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

Broil, roast, or deep fry over medium heat until cooked through. If roasting or grilling, make sure thickest part of the thigh reaches 160 degrees. Another indication of done-ness is poking the thigh and making sure the liquids run clear.

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