Hat tip to Joleen Oshiro, who received an email on grilling tips from Chef Emeril Lagasse while on the road promoting his latest cookbook, “Emeril at the Grill”, featuring 158 recipes for indoor and outdoor cooking. His advice for pros is “to grill something they might not have thought of before — Chipotle BBQ Oysters with Homemade Salsa Fresca or Grilled Banana Splits.”
Chef Emeril’s Advice For Amateur Grillers: “Many cooks are afraid of undercooked meats, and it can sometimes be tough to control the temperature on a grill … So I think a good thermometer is a griller’s best friend. Once you know the proper range of temperatures for meats, poultry and seafood … grilling can be almost foolproof. … I advise people to take their proteins out of the refrigerator beforehand and bring it to room temperature before placing it on the grill, to prevent sticking.”
A few “Emeril at the Grill” recipes:
Grilled Sweet Potato Salad
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or more to taste
1-1/2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup very thinly shaved red onion
1-1/2 tablespoons crumbled Cotija cheese (or other mild crumbly cheese, such as farmer’s cheese)
Preheat grill to medium-high and oven to 350 degrees.
Place potatoes in a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss well, then place potatoes on grill and cook until nice grill marks develop, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
Transfer potatoes to baking sheet, place in oven and bake until tender enough to easily pierce with fork, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Arrange on platter and drizzle with remaining olive oil and lime juice. Sprinkle with cilantro, red onion and cheese. Serves 4 to 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (based on 4 servings): 350 calories, 24 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 650 mg sodium, 34 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 3 g protein.
Thai-Style Beef Salad
1-3/4-pound flank steak
Emeril’s Original Essence or Creole seasoning (recipe follows)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage (won bok)
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the diagonal, for garnish
2 tablespoons jasmine rice
1/4 cup Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc nam), or to taste
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion tops
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Season flank steak on both sides with Original Essence or Creole seasoning. Place in gallon-size sealable plastic bag, add olive oil and Worcestershire and seal. Marinate in refrigerator 4 hours to overnight.
Preheat grill or broiler to medium-high.
Remove steak from marinade (discard marinade). Grill 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Remove and let rest 10 minutes.
Thinly slice steak against the grain, reserving juices.
To make dressing: Place jasmine rice in small skillet and heat over medium-high, stirring constantly, until toasted golden brown and fragrant, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to plate and let cool. When cool, place in clean coffee grinder or spice mill and process to fine powder. Combine ground rice with other dressing ingredients in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
In another mixing bowl, combine cabbages with 3 tablespoons of dressing. Toss well and arrange on platter.
Toss steak with remaining dressing and arrange slices atop cabbage. Garnish with cucumber and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (based on 1 teaspoon Emeril’s seasoning): 500 calories, 26 g total fat, 7 g saturated fat, 85 mg cholesterol, greater than 1,500 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 47 g protein.
2-1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Yields 2/3 cup.