It’s grillin’ time!
While I’m not a huge fan of the Texas heat, I do love that we can grill practically year-round. My basic Weber grill (purchased for $75 back in 2011) keeps us eating delicious and healthy foods almost all the time!
To celebrate my grill’s birthday, I’m sharing some of our favorite recipes for you to incorporate into your grilling repertoire.
Grilled Boneless Leg of Lamb
Everyone in my family loves lamb, and this is their favorite preparation. And there are always leftovers for sandwiches and salads the next day!
1 4-to-5-pound boneless leg of lamb
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
4 to 6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence (this is a magical herb mix, full of rosemary, tarragon, savory, thyme, marjoram, and lavender)
A scant tablespoon Kosher salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
½ cup olive oil (doesn’t have to be the fancy stuff; I use just regular olive oil, not the extra-virgin stuff, for marinades)
Combine all the ingredients in a large zipper bag and marinate for a minimum of 6 hours. Turn the bag every so often so the marinade reaches into all the nooks and crannies of the lamb.
Prepare your grill. If you’re using gas, turn preheat to medium. If you’re using charcoal, as is proper, make a bed of good, hot coals for direct heat grilling.
Remove the lamb from the marinade (discard this), and grill, fat side up, for about 8 minutes. Do not close the lid as you will get flare ups. Turn the lamb over and grill for another 6 to 8 minutes, moving as necessary to avoid huge flare ups. Transfer lamb to a cutting board and allow to rest, loosely covered with foil, for about 20 minutes before carving. We serve this with grilled pita, hummus, tzatziki, and a tomato-onion relish (tomatoes and onions marinated in white wine vinegar with oregano and dried mint). There are always leftovers for sandwiches and salads the next day!
Lemongrass Pork Skewers with Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Dipping Sauce)
Lemongrass is a tough stalk that vaguely resembles a tough green onion. It’s a great thing to use as a skewer, as it will impart a lovely citrus flavor to the meat!
For the pork skewers:
2 pounds pork
1 tablespoon fish sauce (available in most groceries in the Asian section)
1 tablespoon sriracha (or more, depending on your taste)
Pinch finely ground white pepper
Pinch Kosher salt
2 scallions, minced
8 stalks lemongrass, the tough outer leaves peeled away
For the nuoc cham:
Juice of 3 limes
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons fish sauce
2 Thai chiles (you can substitute a Serrano chile), thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced (think Goodfellas here)
For the pork skewers:
Combine all the ingredients except the lemongrass in a large bowl and mush together to combine. Mold the pork mixture on the lemongrass stalks, 2 per person. Allow to sit while you make the nuoc cham and prepare the grill.
For the nuoc cham:
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and let the flavors meld. You can add more acid, sugar, fish sauce, or chiles to taste. This will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
If you’re using a gas grill, preheat it to medium. If you’re using charcoal, prepare a good bed of coals for direct grilling. Grill the skewers for about 4 minutes on all four sides. Serve with the nuac cham for dipping.
Lee’s Grilled Corn
I don’t mess around with soaking the husks or whatever. Just shuck the corn and toss it on the grill. It will turn out fine!
1 ear of corn per person, shucked and annoying silk removed (I make my children do this, heh heh heh)
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon olive oil (not the great stuff)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon hot sauce (I use Cholula or Tapatio for this)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a charcoal grill for indirect grilling. I usually throw the ears of corn on the sides of the grill, surrounding whatever meat I’m grilling.
While the grill is warming up, melt together the butter and oil. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, garlic, hot sauce, and cumin and stir.
Throw the ears on the grill. Turn every minute or so, basting with the butter, until all sides have a nice bit of char. Give the ears a final baste and serve.
With continuing concerns about the coronavirus, having a cookout is a great way to get together outside while keeping your distance. So fire up those grills and get cooking!