Good Thursday to you, thanks for checking out the CBS 19 Weather Blog! Fresh off my first week of vacation since October 2007 I return with several ideas for blog topics; be sure to check back often to see them as well as Brantley, Stacy, and Myles' entries. It's like four for the price of one. Where else can you get so much important information?
Promotion aside, it's on to the meat and potatoes of the blog. Oddly enough, meat and potatoes are a good springboard into today's topic: outdoor grilling and BBQs. Whether it's steak, burgers, potatoes, or corn, this is certainly the time of year where weekends mean great company and fabulous food. With the Fourth of July rapidly approaching, grills everywhere will be getting used and driving through local housing developments will mean nostrils filled with the many smells only charcoal and LP gas can provide. Although I'll never be as good as our own BBQ man John Atkins (who frequents Good Morning Charlottesville during certain holidays) I can share a few recipes of my own that have been the result of my few years' grilling experience.
Without a doubt, my two favorite things to make on the grill are cheeseburgers and corn. Starting with the first, the key to a good burger in my opinion is in the beef. It has to be as fresh as possible. I purchase mine at an Amish market in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania, but many area supermarkets have a separate meat counter / butcher that sells the high grade stuff (the Kroger at route 29 and Hydraulic Road is the first to come to mind.) I prefer 90/10 lean meat but feel free to go 85/15. As John Atkins told me, it's the fat that gives flavor. Since I'm a huge fan of cheese, I splurge on some Colby from previously-mentioned Amish market and stuff my burgers with it. Simply press two thin - but not too thin - patties, place a lump of cheese in the middle of one, place the other patty on top and crimp the edges. The patties will be thin enough to cook quickly on a grill – roughly ten to fifteen minutes, max. Don't forget to poke a hole in the “cheese-bulge” while grilling; otherwise, you'll get cheese dripping off the grate and a real mess on your hands. If this formula sounds familiar, it's very similar to the burgers made by the Nook, which was featured on an episode of Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. I guarantee you'll never make burgers the same way again after this!
Corn is easy to do on the grill. De-husk and de-silt each ear, then butter it. Last, wrap each piece in foil and grill for roughly twenty minutes. I've been told olive oil works too but it's all a matter of preference. Simply phenomenal, I tell you.
How about chicken? Italian dressing as a marinade is quality, though I seek out something a bit different. There's a brand of salad dressing called Gazebo that makes a fantastic Greek dressing. So far, I've only been able to find it at the Giant Foods near 29 and Hydraulic. Let the chicken soak in this stuff for at least twelve hours and then grill. Perfection to the n-th degree, my friend.
Since I've opened my recipe book to you, what are some of your favorites? Vegetarians, what items do you like to grill? Any variations on the basics that are simply magnificent? Seasonings? Marinades? BBQ sauces? I open the forum to suggestions; good ones will hopefully be shared on upcoming episodes of Good Morning Charlottesville. Just please, one thing – don't get in trouble by sharing family secrets. It may not stay a secret very long!
Over and out-
Note: Grocery stores, markets, specific food items, and other TV shows mentioned in this blog are solely for the sake of reference. They are not necessarily mentioned as any affiliation or endorsement by the Charlottesville Newsplex. No money was received by any entity for any influence on this post.