Are You Ready For Some Football?
Hold on female readers, don’t start sulking because I mentioned the word football. Whether you’ve been following my blog from its inception or you’ve only recently stumbled upon it, the one thing that remains constant is that I am in fact, unpolished. That said, it can’t be much of a surprise that though I’m still a woman who comes from the planet Venus, I do ironically, watch football! To be clear, I don’t revolve my schedule around the NFL; i.e., I’m not glued to my couch, my friends’ couches or random bar stools every Sunday, Sunday nights, Monday nights and Thursday nights for seventeen weeks. (and that’s not including the post season!) There are only a few teams in both professional and college ball that I am passionate about, but I’m always willing to catch a good game, check up on all the scores and merely shoot the shit about the current season with whomever wants in!
Don’t Bail Now Ladies… Stick With Me!
Okay gals, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that this post isn’t entirely about football. The bad news is that you might wish it were when I tell you what it’s really about! Super Bowl XLVIII is just days away and even if you won’t watch a second of the game (not counting the awesome commercials) you would have to be living under a rock if you didn’t equate the Super Bowl with a day of massive eating. I equate the Super Bowl with a day that aside from the obvious football game, revolves around a massive eat fest of foods that have been prepared on a barbecue!
Interestingly enough, in my household we have somewhat of a role reversal situation when it comes to manning the grill. By that I mean, in my household, the only one WOMANning the grill, is me! All things barbecue have become my domain. Grilling is off limits to my husband. Weird, I know… but that’s the way it goes.
Anything You Can Do I Can Do (maybe even better)
Newsflash people: It’s 2014… Grilling isn’t just for men! In all honesty, adding the task of grilling to my side of the responsibility ledger happened by accident. Literally. We got a new barbecue (which coincidentally, I had single-handedly done all the pre-purchase research for on my own) but the first night we planned to fire up the grill my husband slammed his foot in a door and was down for the count! Completely. Out. Of. Commission. Grilling was the farthest thing from his mind. Unfortunately, the rest of us were hungry and I was staring at sixty-five dollars worth of raw meat and vegetables that needed to be cooked. God forbid we miss a meal in my house, so you know what they say… “when the going gets tough…the tough get going!” I needed to roll up my sleeves, jump in and take control. It didn’t take long before I officially renamed myself Grill Masteress! The barbecue is my territory now!
C’mon Girls… Show Your Guy You’re Not A One Trick Pony
Relax. There’s nothing to be scared of. If I can do it, anyone can and if you want my opinion, I think a female who knows their way around a grill is super sexy! I bet your man would agree it’s caliente! So on Sunday, when the men turn up their selective hearing for the twenty-something-ieth week in a row and the only thing they can hear is the game on the HDTV that’s blaring out of the surround sound speakers throughout the entire house, how cool would it be for the women to turn up something all on their own? C’mon girls, I dare you to turn up the heat on those grills and get that fire blazing!
Timing (And Organization) Is Everything
The key to successful grilling is all about being organized. I’m a Virgo, so by nature alone my organizational skills are borderline psychotic! Planning your menu ahead of time and prepping your grub is essential. Timing is also a major component. Certain foods take longer to cook than others so it’s important to have the basics down before you get underway or else you’ll be eating corn on the cob for dessert! I’m not afraid to admit that I’m still a novice but I have learned a thing or two. Here are a few basic tips when it comes to organizing and timing:
Be your own sou chef and get prepped first. Slice, salt and season your selections. Marinate your meats. Have your utensils in order and ready to be utilized! Get acquainted with tin foil and large zip lock bags. They will become your best friends.
Veggies take forever so they do not have to pass GO before collecting two hundred dollars! They automatically get fast tracked to the front of the line and earn a spot at the top of the pecking order. The prime (grill) real estate is reserved first for the vegetables!
The only acceptable way to barbecue chicken is WELL DONE. No one wants to attach their name and their grilling skills to salmonella poisoning. As far as I’m concerned, I say get those wings and breasts on the fire and let ’em burn baby burn!
Just because you marinated your meat ahead of time doesn’t mean it’s okay to show signs of neglect while you are actually in the grilling process. In order to bring out the most flavor, don’t be shy. Take a brush and get in there. Don’t stop slathering on the sauce!
Getting Dirty Is Half The Fun
Normally, I’m wearing high heels and drinking scotch but when I’m working the grill I skip the single malt and hit the barbecue barefoot with cold bottles of beer. There’s a time and a place for everything and barbecue and beer is as synonymous as french fries and ketchup. You can’t have one without the other!
Be prepared to get dirty. You should also be prepared to get sweaty. I like to have a roll of paper towels and a garbage bag handy so that I don’t have to run inside and wash up every time my hands touch something uncooked. If you have an outdoor sink your golden, but if not, the towels will suffice.
How Do You Like Your Meat?
I for one, like my meat practically still mooing but not everyone feels the same way! Be courteous to those you are grilling for and remember to ask them their temperature preferences. My preparation depends on what cut of meat I’m grilling. For instance, if I plan for skirt steak, I use a wet marinade and let it soak in slowly overnight so that the meat has time to absorb the flavor. If I’m prepping something like a Bone in Rib-Eye or a Porterhouse, a nice dry rub works best. My goal is always to maximize the juiciness of the meat even if it means I have to get dirty. Hell, getting dirty is half the fun! Is your mind in the gutter yet, or is it just me?
Confession: I actually DO have a dirty mind! Obviously.
There Are No Stupid Questions
I’m totally serious when I say I’m a rookie on the grill. Each time I make a mistake I use it as a learning tool for my next go at it. I’m open to feedback and can handle constructive criticism. I’ll gladly take a compliment if the food’s good, but what I really wanna know is if it sucks so I can figure out how to make it better the next time. I don’t hesitate to call a friend and ask for help if I’m stuck with a question.
How high should the temperature be for the veggies vs. the meat?
Um, searing? How does it lock in the flavor? Can we go over that one again?
I probably shouldn’t keep opening and closing the lid, huh?
Why do I have to keep the grill on for a while even after I’m done cooking?
Cleaning the grill is a real bitch. Can’t I skip that part?
How will I know when the propane tank is empty?
There are no stupid questions so the more you ask the more you learn. The more you learn, the more you know. The more you know, the more you try. The more you try, the better you get. Before you know it, the better you get the more you love it and eventually you become the household Grill Masteress.
Can You Taste The Love?
If I haven’t lost your attention yet (given the topic is barbecuing) then allow me this opportunity to remind you what a healthy alternative the BBQ can be. Meals prepared on the grill are both nutritious and delicious. There are a ton of different ways to season a steak or a piece of chicken or a lamb chop or a simple burger or whatever you choose to throw onto the flames so that it tastes new and exciting each time. The variety is endless. Some like it hot… Others may not. Some crave it sweet… Others spicy. Some love to infuse that distinctive smell of smoky mesquite right into their food… Others may simply enjoy a subtle blend of garlic, onions and lime. Some opt for a little Asian flare… Others may prefer to transport their taste buds to the Caribbean and get jerky!
Regardless of how you flavor the food or what you decide to cook, you will never go wrong if you grill from your heart. You can’t go wrong because when you grill from your heart, everyone can taste the love!
AND JUST TO LET YOU KNOW… I should probably quit while I’m ahead if you’re still reading this blog entry when after the first paragraph you already knew you had no intention of becoming a football fan! But… since I love to push the envelope, why stop now? I might as well go for the hail Mary! Sunday night, I will definitely be rooting for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos when they face off against the Seattle Seahawks on my original home turf of New Jersey and duke it out in hopes of becoming the 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII World Champions.
Oh, and since we’re talking about smokin’ hot, sizzling meat, there’s one more thing I should mention. Ladies, if you need some extra enticement in order to tune in for the big game, look up Denver’s wide receiver, Eric Decker. Seriously, do it. He’s reason enough to watch the game. Trust me! You didn’t really think I watch football solely for the football, did you?!! [slideshow id= 29]