Prisco’s Family Market

1108 Prairie Street, Aurora, IL 60506 | 630-264-9400

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Tips for Grilling Peppers- Tuesday, July 11, 2017
  • You will want to seed and stem your peppers before grilling.

  • Next, toss them in a very light coat of olive oil. This helps protect the skin and even out the heat.

  • Set up your grill so you can roast the peppers directly on the heat source – if using charcoal, make sure you have an even layer of coals. Or you can use a rack directly over the heat source.

  • Peppers should be roasted on high heat – over 450 degrees F, or with bright orange charcoals.

  • Grilling the peppers for about 5 minutes on each side should produce a nice char – watch carefully and adjust for your level of char preference.

  • Decide whether you want to eat your peppers with skin on or off. If you want to remove the skin, let the peppers sit in a bowl under plastic wrap right off the grill for about 15-20 minutes. This loosens the skin and you can peel it easily.

Here is our recipe for Grilled Assorted Peppers

Serves 4

Preparation: 5 min. Cooking: 10 min. Total: 15 min.

Ingredients

      • 2 sweet peppers - red, yellow, orange, purple

      • 2 hot banana peppers

      • 2 Gypsy sweet peppers

      • 3 Tbsp. olive oil

      • 1 tsp kosher salt

Heat a grill to medium-hot. You can core and halve or quarter the peppers, and remove the seeds, or grill smaller peppers whole. Brush the skin side of each piece with olive oil, place the peppers on the grill skin-side down, cover and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove skin, if you like, or let diners do it themselves. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

 

Great Steaks at a Family-Friendly Price – Top Sirloin- Tuesday, February 28, 2017

This crazy spring-like weather we have been experiencing throughout February has us all thinking about getting back outdoors, and that leads to thoughts of warm weather grilling.

When we think of steaks, often times we jump to the conclusion that we are talking about an expensive cut of meat -- which can be the case, but doesn’t necessarily need to be. If you have a food budget that you need to balance in order to feed the entire family, consider picking up some delicious sirloin steak, featured at a great price this week.

Our USDA Choice Prisco's Angus Beef Top Sirloin is a family-sized steak that offers lean, well-flavored, and moderately tender beef at an affordable, every day price. Convenient and a great value with no bones and little fat. Versatile, juicy and delicious. Carved from the center of the sirloin, these steaks are naturally lean and bursting with bold, beefy flavor. Boasted as one of the most flavorful steaks for the money, top sirloin steaks are great for grilling, but you may also prefer to broil them in your oven or sauté them on your stove. Here are a few simple-to-follow instructions for each method...

Broiling

Preheat broiler according to oven manufacturer’s directions. Oven rack should be 3 to 5 inches from heating element. Season your steaks with salt and pepper (or, perhaps, your favorite seasoning rub) and place them on a perforated broiler rack, without overcrowding. Place the broiler rack in oven.

When juices begin to rise to the top surface of the steaks, flip them one time with a pair of tongs. After steaks have cooked a few minutes on both sides, check doneness with an instant-read thermometer. It should be inserted through the side, with the tip in the center of the cut, not touching any bone or fat.

Remove your steaks from the heat when the thermometer registers 5°F lower than the desired doneness, as the temperature will continue to rise while resting. The USDA recommends steaks be cooked to 145°F (medium) and then rested for at least 3 minutes. Be sure to check with a thermometer, as color alone is not a foolproof indicator. Remove steaks and place on a clean plate; allow them to rest approximately 5 minutes before serving.

Grilling

Preheat grill until very hot (about 500 - 550°F). While the grill is heating, season your steaks with salt and pepper (or your favorite seasoning rub). Place steaks on preheated grill – they should sizzle as the cool, raw steak comes in contact with the blazing hot grill.

After a couple minutes, once juices begin to rise to the surface, use tongs to flip your steaks over just one time. Continue grilling steaks to desired doneness (see above). Use an instant-read thermometer for accuracy. Want to impress your guests with your advanced grilling skills? Make professional diamond grill marks by placing your steaks on the grill with the ends at 10 and 4 o’clock. Once the meat has seared, turn them clockwise (but don’t flip them yet), with the ends at 2 and 8 o’clock. After a minute or two, flip the steaks over and cook until they reach the desired doneness.

Sautéing

Sautéing is a cooking process using high heat that quickly browns and sears beef in a small quantity of oil in a skillet. Sautéing is best suited to thin, tender cuts of beef that cook quickly, such as thinly sliced tenderloin steaks or cuts that have been pounded and tenderized. Sautéing requires high heat, so it is best to use an oil that will not burn or smoke at high temperatures such as olive oil, corn oil, or canola oil. Butter can be used, but it burns easily with high heat, so it is best to use it in combination with a bit of oil.

Preheat large sauté pan or frying pan over medium-high heat. Season your steaks with salt and pepper or desired seasonings. Add a small amount of the oil that you have chosen to the pan and heat. When the oil shimmers, use tongs to very gently place the steaks in the pan, without overcrowding. When juices begin to rise to the surface of the meat, about 2-3 minutes, flip the steaks with tongs. Cook steaks another couple minutes and check doneness (see above) with an instant-read thermometer. When the steaks reach 5°F less than the desired doneness remove them from the pan onto a clean serving plate and allow them to rest approximately 5 minutes before serving.

 

Fruits that go "grate" on the grill- Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Grilling season is in full swing, and throughout our store you will find an abundance of foods that will go "grate" on your grill: Everything from the traditional hotdogs, burgers and brats, to delicious steaks and seafood. But don't limit yourself to protein only... certain varieties of fresh fruits also lend themselves to grilling, and can be served alongside the main entrees.

If you aren't sure which fruits are appropriate for this style of cooking, here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Peaches, nectarines or apricots

Grilling these summer fruits deepens their natural sweetness, and it’s oh-so-easy to do: simply slice them in half, remove the pits, and put them facedown on a grill that’s been preheated to high. Remove when golden brown, about 5 minutes. Try brushing them with honey, sprinkling them with cinnamon, or topping them with Greek yogurt.

Pineapple

Grilling pineapple cuts the fruit’s acidity and turns it into a treat that’s as sweet as candy. Cut your pineapple into wedges or rings and place it on the grill for about 3 minutes per side.

Watermelon

Sure we all know how delicious a cold slice of fresh watermelon can taste but grilled watermelon brings a whole new dimension to this fruit. To grill, cut your watermelon into big wedges or 1-inch-thick rounds. Place the fruit on a very hot grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Tomatoes

Add a smoky flavor to pasta dishes and salads by grilling your tomatoes over high heat. Just slice the tomatoes in half, brush the cut sides with olive oil, and place on a grill heated to high for about 3 minutes.

Bananas

Give your banana split a summery twist: slice banana in half lengthwise, coat with cooking spray, then grill over medium heat for 2 minutes per side.

Cooking fruit on the grill requires different preparation and a slightly different method than cooking meats, so before you you start tossing your produce onto the grate, here are a few useful tips...

  • To avoid messy grilling, you will want to make use of skewers or a grill basket to prevent small chunks from falling through the grate. Using two skewers will help prevent vegetables from spinning while turning on the grill. It’s ok to use bamboo skewers but be certain to soak them in water for 30 or more minutes before using to prevent them from burning.
  • Use a light brushing of oil on fruits to prevent sticking.
  • Ideal grilling fruits are firm and barely ripe. Watermelon, pineapple, plums and peaches can all take the heat. Soak them in liquor or drizzle with honey before grilling for an added burst of flavor.
  • To enhance the flavor of the fruit, try brushing cut fruits with melted butter and sprinkling with sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar, or lemon juice while grilling. Sugar tends to burn so it is best to apply it toward the end of cooking time.
  • Caution, most fruits contain a high level of water which will get extremely hot when grilling. Be certain to allow the fruit to cool slightly after removing it from the grill, or the fruit may cause serious burns to the mouth.

 

Grilling Seafood- Tuesday, July 7, 2015

There is more to summer grilling than burgers, brats, steaks, and ribs. We hope that at least every third or fourth time you light your grill it is seafood that you have selected as your main course. The USDA MyPlate and American Heart Association recommend consuming two servings of fish per week, so we don't want to forget about seafood during summer grilling season.

Grilling seafood can be tricky if you don't know how to do it correctly, so we consulted a couple of experts on the subject in writing this blog entry: Red Lobster Executive Chef Michael LaDuke, and food industry consultant Derrick Riches, a freelance writer for About.com and an avid backyard chef.

Preparation

  • Prior to igniting the grill, make sure it’s clean.  You also may want to brush the grill grate with a light coat of oil or nonstick cooking spray to prevent fish from sticking.
  • If you’re going to use a marinade or sauce, soak the fish/seafood for approximately two hours to infuse it with the flavor.  Be careful when selecting the marinade, because a marinade heavy with sugar can cause the pieces to stick to the grill as the sugar caramelizes.  Before putting your fish/seafood on the grill, drain off the excess marinade or sauce and pat the fish dry.
  • While cooking, you can baste the fish with the marinade or sauce to create a deep, rich glaze, but make sure to avoid using the marinade or sauce the meat was soaking in, as it can contain bacteria.  Instead, set aside some extra marinade or sauce for basting.
  • Another way to season is to brush it with a light coat of olive oil and then add your favorite seasonings.  Try using black pepper, kosher salt and a touch of lime juice.  For a more intense flavor, add ground celery seeds, crushed capers, garlic, marjoram and thyme.

Cooking

Derrick Riches says that he gets a lot of requests for information on how to grill fish properly.  Fish is meant to be grilled, he claims.  The direct heat cooks fish fast, easy, and without removing moisture.  Grilled fish is quite flavorful and juicy.  The second rule about grilling fish is to make sure it doesn't stick.  Whether you oil the cooking surface or brush the fish itself with a little oil, make sure that you have a non-stick surface to work with.

The most important part of grilling fish is knowing when it's done.  This is generally the trickiest part of grilling, but don't worry:  When fish is fully cooked the meat will flake easily with a fork and will appear opaque all the way through.  If any part of the meat is still glossy and partially translucent, then it's not done.  Don't ever serve under-cooked fish.  Not only is it unsafe, but you might turn someone off fish for life.  To make this easy, always start out with a steak or fillet that is evenly cut.  If one part is much thicker than another it will be difficult getting the thick part cooked before the thin part dries out. 

If you have a fillet that is uneven consider cutting it in two.  Put the thick half on the grill first and when it's about halfway done, put the thin half on.  This way you will get the fish cooked to perfection without burning anything.

Generally, you want to buy fish either whole or in fillets or steaks.  Fillets will give you the most trouble because they tend to fall apart a little easier.  This takes us back to the two rules:  With an oiled surface, put the fish on the grill and leave it until you are ready to flip.  Flip gently and leave it there until it is ready to leave the grill.  You can tell when a fillet is ready to flip because the edges will become flaky and opaque.  Steaks and whole fish tend to hold together better but take longer to grill.  If you are grilling whole fish, stuff it with something like lemon slices.  This not only adds to the flavor but creates a space to let the heat through.

Also, keep some fresh lemon juice and maybe some melted butter handy while you are grilling.  You can brush this on as you grill to add flavor and keep the fish moist.  But remember, that butter will burn...so be careful with it!  Try dripping lemon juice over the fish while you grill it.  The steam and the sizzle add to the show and makes everyone appreciate the meal just a little bit more

With respect to grill time for various types of seafood, here is what Executive Chef Michael LaDuke of Red Lobster had to say:

  • The meat should sizzle when you put it on the grill.  Fish cooks fast, so make sure you keep an eye on it.  Cook it until it’s about 60 percent done, then use a wide spatula to turn over each fillet.  Remove from the grill when it’s medium rare because it will continue to cook as it sits.
  • Oysters, mussels and clams cook even faster.  To prepare them, place them on the hottest part of the grill.  They’re done when the shell opens up.
  • To grill shrimp, place them on a skewer, one on top of the other.  Watch them closely, because they will cook quickly.  To grill scallops, place them on a skewer with the flat side up.  This allows them to pick up more flavors from the grill.

 

Is grilling often a hit or miss venture for you?- Tuesday, June 30, 2015

If so, don’t be discouraged, and don’t be afraid to keep learning. There's no question that messing up a meal because the meat gets over- or undercooked can be costly and disappointing, but most grilling errors are caused by lack of basic grilling principles, something that can easily be remedied. There is too much to cover in one newsletter, so in the future I’ll explain the difference between direct and indirect grilling and when to use each. For today, let’s start with 25 simple, easy to follow DO’S & DON’TS.

  • DO clean out the ash catcher beneath charcoal before lighting. This allows proper air circulation from bottom vents giving you even and consistent heat levels.

  • DO heat up the grill and then clean off old burnt-on foods with a steel brush or wadded up ball of aluminum foil to prep the grill, and then brush it with vegetable oil to help prevent food from sticking.

  • DO get the meat or fish out of the fridge a good two to three hours before putting it on the grill. You don’t want it cold on the inside.

  • DO give your grill time to get to the ideal heat before placing food on it to cook. If you are using a gas grill, pre-heat it with the cover closed for 10 minutes before putting meat on. If you are working with a charcoal fire, allow the coals to get almost completely grey and ashy on their surface.

  • DON'T Skimp on the charcoal. A hot fire is crucial to good grilling. And remember, whatever coals are left over will make you a hero with the kids when you bring out the marshmallows, graham crackers and Hershey bars to make s’mores for dessert.

  • DO Set up zones of varying heat. When using a charcoal grill, bank the coals one side so they slope downward toward the center. This will give you one zone of the grill that is very hot (for “direct heat” cooking) and the other zone can be used for slower cooking (or “indirect heat” cooking).

  • DO marinate meats to tenderize them. This is especially true for your more economical cuts of beef like chuck steak and round steak, and for chicken or pork it adds flavor and helps prevent dried out meat.

  • DON'T press down on burgers or meats while they're on the grill. Tempting as this may seem, it is very counterproductive. This releases juices and will dry out the food. It may also cause flare-ups.

  • DON'T cover the grill when cooking directly over the coals. Experts call this the #1 grilling mistake. When fat drippings hit those hot coals, they turn into puffs of bad-tasting smoke. When the grill is covered, that smoke gives your food bad-tasting flavor.

  • DON'T squirt water on flare-ups. Those spray bottles stir up ash, and it will land all over your lamb chops. You can’t prevent flare-ups, but you can control them; just move your food to the cool part of the grill until the flames calm.

  • DO trim fat from meat before cooking. You should never find an excessive amount of fat on any meat that we cut and package at our store, but use your judgement. If you do find some fat that you don’t feel will be desirable to eat, cut it off to help avoid fat drippings that can flare up and burn the meat or the cook.

  • DON'T use a fork to turn over foods on the grill. Use tongs, which will not pierce the food and release the juices. Save the fork for serving and carving.

  • DON'T forget that you are dealing with a direct and open flame and that wood will ignite and burn. Either use metal skewers which help conduct heat, or if you really prefer wooden skewers soak them in water for 30 minutes prior to use.

  • DO put sweet basting like honey, molasses or BBQ sauce items on the food, but only during the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking so they don't char.

  • DON'T leave the grill unattended. Food can flare up and burn quickly. This is not good for the food and a real safety hazard if young children get curious and too close to the grill. Try to prepare as much of your meal in advance so that you can carefully watch the grill.

  • DON'T try to cook too many different things. It is just too complicated. Getting the timing and heat right for an assortment of burgers, sausages, chicken thighs, and lamb chops is just too much stress, and way too much chance for problems

  • DO Bring on the seasoning. Grilled foods can stand up to bold flavors, so be liberal with the salt, load on the garlic, amp up the chiles, and squeeze out that lemon. Try a spiced mint marinade for lamb, a Cherry Cola glaze for ribs, or a spicy-sweet brine for chicken.

  • DON'T char you meat. Some cooks like the crispy charred bits of meat but this isn’t at all healthy. Without getting all technical, two potentially cancer causing chemicals are produced when meats are charred, especially over an open flame.

  • DO consider precooking meat items. Par-boiling brats and ribs cuts down on cooking time, helps seal in moisture and reduced risk of carcinogens. The microwave will do the same for chicken and beef satays.

  • DON'T be afraid to use a meat thermometer. It is your friend and one of your best used tools. Not only will it assure that each cut of meat is cooked to its proper temperature for food safety, but it will assure maximum flavor and juiciness.

  • DON'T cut into your food to test doneness. This lets those yummy juices escape. Instead, look at your food (it should be golden brown), touch it, again, use an instant-read thermometer.

  • DON'T clean the barbecue after use. Leave the fat on the grill: it will prevent rust forming. Next time you use the grill, wait until its good and hot and then rub off the charred debris with a coarse wire brush.

  • DO let it rest. Give your meat time to rest once you remove it from the grill. The meat will lose less juice when you cut it and when you eat it the meat will be juicier and tastier. The time taken to rest will depend on its size of the cut. A roast is best rested for 10 to 20 minutes before carving. Steaks or chops should stand for 5 minutes (but no less than 3) before serving.

  • DON'T worry so much. Grab a beer (just not too many, at least until the grilling is done), turn up the tunes, and have a delicious July 4th cookout.

So there you have it, nothing difficult... But when you think about it, most weekend BBQ Warriors, if they were honest, would admit that they have done the opposite to what is recommended in the past, or were completely unaware of at least half of these "rules of the road" for grilling.

 

Chris Tope – Prisco’s Meat Manager

 

Vegetarians and Barbecue - How to make everyone feel welcome- Tuesday, June 2, 2015

There's nothing quite like planning for a summer barbecue event. Selecting the types of meats to serve and sauces to feature is one of the most enjoyable elements, especially when it comes time to dig in! From savory and saucy ribs and chops, to steaks, roasts and whole or partial chickens, there's an abundance of options available, and more than enough variety to satisfy your appetite and that of your guests.

However, chances are pretty good that at least a few of your guests will be on a strict, no-meat diet. So how to you plan for such a contingency? It's actually not that difficult, and you don't need to feel pressured to provide your vegetarian friends with exactly the same number of main course options as you have meat options. Most of the time it's OK to serve two or three vegetarian-friendly dishes, which can also serve as sides or supplementary courses for everyone else. The key here is ensure no one is left out when it comes time to sit down and enjoy the meal, and that everyone has a few dishes to choose from.

Tips for the non-vegetarian

  • Don't contaminate the grill or prep area - Respect the tastes ad needs of your non vegetarian guests. Don't think that the juices from that delicious beef burger will enhance the enjoyment of their mushroom burger. Either have two grills going or clean any remnants of meat off the food preparation and grill surface and wash your hands and tools before working on the non meat entrees. Do not serve your vegetarian food on the same plate as meat.

  • Have a wide assortment of vegetarian options but don't make it sound like a big deal. Vegetarian or not all your quests can enjoy a wide selection of meatless items to accompany their chicken, beef, pork or fish Some options include: vegetable kabobs, grilled corn, grilled asparagus, grilled portabella mushrooms, pasta salad, potato salad, fresh fruit, and veggies with dip.

  • Don't sneak in the meat - sometimes it's hard for us meat eaters to remember everything that might be offensive or unwanted by a vegetarian or vegan. You may think using chicken stock is fine since it makes things tasty and there are no chunks of meat in it. Vegetarians would not agree. If there is meat in something and it isn't obvious, let your vegetarian guest know. A better idea is to just use vegetable stock so the dish is vegetarian friendly.

  • Dealing with the unexpected - It happens to everyone, you have unexpected company and meal time approaches so you invite your guest to stay for lunch or dinner. They politely turn you down saying that they need to care of something and can't stay and you insist that chores can wait, we seldom get to visit and that you have plenty of ground beef to make an extra burger or two. Rather than be rude the guest explains that they don't eat meat....pregnant pause.... then you come to your senses and reply, No problem, we have plenty of meatless options. Grab a bagged salad, berries, and nuts. All of those items can be set out without any preparation, and will be enough to make sure your vegetarian guest does not starve.

Here are a few great veggie grilling recipes that will surely please all of your friends:

Grilled Veggie Pizza

Combining fire-roasted vegetables with lightly toasted focaccia bread turns a crowd-pleasing dish into a Mediterranean-style classic.

Chile Lime Sweet Potatoes

The marriage of Southern comfort food laced with smoky Latin condiments is the perfect complement to grilled vegetable sandwiches and cold beers.

Grilled Stuffed Red Peppers

Grilled red peppers filled with fire-roasted vegetables answers the age-old question of what to do with leftovers. Re-grilling adds depth and flavor to already delicious ingredients.

Portobello Bugers

Make extra of this tasty burger as even any of your non-vegetarian guests will be licking their chops for one.

It’s a great time to enjoy your grill... How about some delicious grilled asparagus or pineapple?- Tuesday, June 2, 2015

This week I would like to introduce our customers to a great summertime treat that many people miss out on because they simply haven’t been exposed to it. I don’t want to take anything away from Prisco’s great fresh meat department, and there is no question that outdoor grilling is a time when that department really shines, but there are more things worth grilling than just meat. You don’t need to be a vegetarian to enjoy the great taste of grilled fruits and vegetables, all part of a well balanced summer diet. Grilling gives fruits and veggies a smoky-sweet flavor, and it's amazingly easy. 

Here are a few tips that you will find helpful when considering what and how to grill fresh produce:

  • To avoid messy grilling, you will want to make use of skewers or a grill basket to prevent small chunks of vegetables from falling through the grate. Using two skewers will help prevent vegetables from spinning while turning on the grill. It’s ok to use bamboo skewers but be certain to soak them in water for 30 or more minutes before using to prevent them from burning.

  • Use a light brushing of oil on vegetables and fruits to prevent sticking. The vegetables must be dry before applying oil or the oil will not stick.

  • Don't peel vegetables before grilling — you'll get more nutrients and enjoy a smokier flavor. Leave the husk on corn to act as a natural insulator, keeping the steam in and preventing the corn from drying out.

  • Vegetables should be grilled over a medium heat or use the indirect heat method. Rotate or move them to a cooler part of the grill during cooking as necessary to ensure that the outside isn't cooking too quickly.

  • The length of cooking time will vary depending on the type of vegetable and how it has been prepared. When grilling harder vegetables, such as potatoes with other vegetables, they may need to be par-cooked before grilling to ensure that all the vegetables are done at the same time. Vegetables like eggplant, fennel, onions, mushrooms, peppers, sweet potatoes, summer squash, and tomatoes should be raw when placed on the grill.

  • Vegetables should have browned grill marks and be tender when pierced with a fork or the tip of a knife.

  • Cut vegetables into uniform size pieces so they will cook evenly. The larger and thicker the pieces the longer the grilling time.

  • Prevent vegetables from drying out on the grill by soaking them in cold water before cooking.

  • Seasoning the vegetables with a coarse salt, such as sea salt or kosher salt, before grilling will draw out extra moisture from the vegetables, which will intensify its sweetness and flavor.

  • Experiment by sprinkling different herbs and spices over vegetables while grilling.

  • Some veggies (including artichokes, beets, broccoli, carrots, parsnips, potatoes and winter squash) can be pre-cooked to shorten grilling time and ensure that the inside and outside cook evenly. To pre-cook: Steam or blanch until just barely tender. Pat dry, brush lightly with oil, then grill until completely tender and lightly browned.

  • Ideal grilling fruits are firm and barely ripe. Watermelon, pineapple, plums and peaches can all take the heat. Soak them in liquor or drizzle with honey before grilling for an added burst of flavor.

  • To enhance the flavor of the fruit, try brushing cut fruits with melted butter and sprinkling with sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar, or lemon juice while grilling. Sugar tends to burn so it is best to apply it toward the end of cooking time.

  • Caution, most fruits contain a high level of water which will get extremely hot when grilling. Be certain to allow the fruit to cool slightly after removing it from the grill, or the fruit may cause serious burns to the mouth.

Okay, so much for the do & do not do's. How about some suggestions for great foods to grill.

Eggplant When grilled, eggplant becomes crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside—no breading or cheese necessary. Slice your eggplant in 1-inch thick slices and coat with extra-virgin olive oil. Place on your grill rack, cooking for 6 minutes per side or until eggplant is tender.

Peaches, nectarines or apricots Grilling these summer fruits deepens their natural sweetness, and it’s oh-so-easy to do: simply slice them in half, remove the pits, and put them facedown on a grill that’s been preheated to high. Remove when golden brown, about 5 minutes. Try brushing them with honey, sprinkling them with cinnamon, or topping them with Greek yogurt.

Pineapple Grilling pineapple cuts the fruit’s acidity and turns it into a treat that’s as sweet as candy. Cut your pineapple into wedges or rings and place it on the grill for about 3 minutes per side.

Asparagus Lightly charred asparagus tossed in a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper makes for an incredibly easy and nutritious summer side dish. Place directly on the grill over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

Watermelon Sure we all know how delicious a cold slice of fresh watermelon can taste but grilled watermelon brings a whole new dimension to this fruit. To grill, cut your watermelon into big wedges or 1-inch-thick rounds. Place the fruit on a very hot grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Tomatoes Add a smoky flavor to pasta dishes and salads by grilling your tomatoes over high heat. Just slice the tomatoes in half, brush the cut sides with olive oil, and place on a grill heated to high for about 3 minutes.

Portobello mushrooms Vegans and vegetarians have discovered that a giant portabella makes a great meatless burger. So go ahead you carnivores. swap out your usual ground-beef patty for a Portobello cap and save on saturated fat and calories. Just brush them lightly with olive oil, place them gill-side down for 4 minutes, and then flip and cook for an additional 7 minutes.

Zucchini This easy to grill vegetable is abundant throughout the summer months. Thinly slice the squash lengthwise, coat lightly with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and place on the grill for about a minute, or until marked and tender.

Carrots If you enjoy oven roasted carrots in the cooler months grilling is a great option for carrots. Peel them and put them on the grill over moderately high heat in a perforated grill pan for about 5 minutes.

Romaine Grilling romaine gives your salad a unique smoky flavor. Preheat your grill to medium-high, lightly oil the grates, and grill the lettuce, turning often, until charred in spots (about 2 minutes).

Corn on the cob You can grill the cobs in their husks or brush them with olive oil and place them directly on the grill. Either way, grilling your corn takes this summer staple to a new level.

Sweet potatoes Make grilled sweet potato fries by first pre-cooking the potatoes in a microwave for about 6 minutes. Then, cut them lengthwise into wedges, drizzle them with olive oil, and transfer them to the grill for 3 minutes per side.

Kale This super food is also adaptable to the grill. Blanche the kale before you grill to tenderize the leaves and prevent it from burning. Grill 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes.

Bananas Give your banana split a summery twist: slice banana in half lengthwise, coat with cooking spray, then grill over medium heat for 2 minutes per side.

I do hope that this will get you thinking about grilling lots of fresh fruits and vegetables this summer. I’d love to hear you comments about the new world grilled produce has opened for you and your family.

 

Bill Vella – Produce Manager

 

The Secret to a Delicious Flank Steak- Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Flank steak, often referred to as a London Broil, is a very lean cut of beef. Known to deliver great beef flavor at a low price make flank steak a very popular beef cut. However, it can be a little tricky to grill, because it is easy to overcook. Due to its low fat content and prominent grain, it becomes tough and nearly inedible if cooked past medium rare. Here's a quick guide on how to do it right!

The key to keeping flank steak tender is to first marinate the steak, (be certain to allow plenty for time for this) and once marinated sear it quickly over high heat, so you must start with a hot grill or grill pan. 

Here is a simple marinade that you can mix using common kitchen ingredients:

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced onion

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all of the above in a shallow bowl and place your flank steak in the marinade for and place that in your refrigerator for between four to six hours. After marinating, the flank steak is grilled to perfection.

Take your flank steak out of refrigeration one hour before you plan to grill it.  You want the steak to get close to room temperature. Throwing cold meat on a hot grill will make it seize up, toughening it. Also, it will be more difficult to get the steak to cook evenly if the meat is cold or frozen in the center. Also, make sure the grill is hot - very hot.

Whether you're cutting flank steak when it's raw or after it's been cooked, the best way to do it is across the grain. Slice across the width of the flank rather than the length. "Across the grain" means to cut across the fibers of the meat, rather than with them. Cutting across the fibers makes them shorter so the meat is easier to chew. For most flank steaks, this means slicing across the width of the steak rather than its length.

The next step is seasoning.  All steaks need to be seasoned generously with salt and pepper.  Some chefs recommend rubbing flank steaks with a little olive oil, then salt and pepper both sides heavily. The salt will bring some of the meat's juices to the surface and help to form the brown crust that is the hallmark of good grilling.

Flank steak is a relatively thin cut, usually about 3/4" to 1" thick in the center and slightly thinner on the ends. The natural shape of the meat makes it possible to cook the ends to a medium doneness while the thickest part stays rare, so you can please various palates with one steak. Place the meat on the grill and do not touch it for 3 minutes. Use a kitchen timer if you must, to keep from moving the meat. If you move the meat at all, it will not form that delicious brown crust. After 3 minutes are up, turn the meat over and cook for an additional 3 minutes on the second side, again without moving the meat. Provided that your grill was hot enough, this should give you medium rare on the ends and rare in the middle. If you prefer it a little more done, increase the cooking time on each side to 4 minutes. Do not cook past medium rare, or the steak will be tough.
 
The last step is actually the most critical. When the meat is done, remove it from the grill and place it on a cutting board. Allow the meat to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.  Cutting your steak when it’s hot off the grill will allow all the juices to flow out onto your board and you'll be left with a very dry piece of meat.  Allowing the meat to rest enables the juices to redistribute themselves through the meat, resulting in a juicy and succulent steak. When the meat has rested, determine the direction of the grain - in flank steak, the fibers run along the length of the steak, and you will want to cut across the grain, in thin slices. Cutting thinly across the grain gives you short fibers in each slice, resulting in more tender meat.