One of our favorite things to do is to download a Podcast of Evan Kleiman's KCRW show, Good Food. This past week's installment was its usual mix of informative and delightful, highlighted by a chat with the Food Network's handsome grilling man Bobby Flay, who gave out some pointers on maximing your grilling potential. Even though we here in LA can chill and grill just about all year, we thought we'd pass on the basics before we're too knee-deep in summer.
--Almost any grill will do, so long as it's not electric. Gas, charcoal, Weber, what have you.
--Get basic tools: spring loaded tongs, some brushes for coating on marinades (even paint brushes from the hardware store, or pastry brushes), and a towel. No need to go to any fancy store to get fancy gadgets.
--Don't flip your food more than once! This separates the pros from the poseurs. Cook an item, say a piece of fish or steak, completely on one side, flip once, turn the heat down, and let it finish cooking without turning it and turning it.
--Use spice rubs instead of sugar-laden sauces. Pick up some powdered chiles, or try cumin, with some salt and pepper. It leaves a crunchy, savory coating on the meat, and cuts out the oils and fats and sugars.
--Cut your veggies bigger or grill whole so they don't fall through the grill. You can always cut them into smaller pieces once they're cooked.
--Try fruit! Lightly grill some figs to get their sugars carmelized, or pineapple or peaches. Pair with Greek yogurt flavored with orange zest for a fresh summery all-grilled meal.
Photo: Iowa Beef Council