There are many serious chefs with definite ideas on grilling. Jeff Blank and Jay Moore are serious chefs and they take their grilling equally seriously, however, they also have a take on it that is decidedly different from others. Read on:
"Grilling is one of our specialties and here's where we're gong to let you in on the secret of grilling success. First of all, don't he afraid to get your hands dirty. And don't he afraid to get your face dirty.
As meat cooks, the juices and moisture are reduced and it becomes firmer. Beginners frequently cut into a piece of meat to check the doneness. Not a good idea, since the juices that provide so much of the flavor run out into the grill instead of onto your tastebuds. Experienced cooks punch the meat with the fingers to check the temperature and to know when it's ready to eat. Yes, it takes a little experience, but the secret is as plain as the nose on your face. Try this method of "face" testing as you cook your meats.
With a "straight face" (no smiling or you'll be overdone), touch your cheek—that'll be "rare." The internal temperature of the steak will be between 110-120 and have a cool red center.
Still poker faced, touch your chin. This is "medium rare" with the internal temperature at 120-130-and a warm red center.
Now touch the end of your nose. This will coincide with the texture of a "medium" steak, internal temperature 140-145 with a hot pink center.
The area just above the bridge of your nose on your forehead is the tactile equivalent to a "medium-well" piece of meat-internal temperature 155-160 with just a thin line of hot pinkness still left in the center. The bottom of your shoe is well done. The internal temperature is 180 and there is no turning back (180, get it?). Visually there is no pink. However, even though a piece of meat is well done, there should he some juices left. Remember, it's a well-done steak, not beef jerky."
Roasting peppers is yet another area that has many methods: in the oven, on the stove top, steamed in a brown or plastic bag to remove the skin. Go figure or to your own taste. Once again, Blank and Moore have their own unique style. Prepare yourself:
"The gourmet shops are selling fancy, cute propane torches for caramelizing sugar on crème brûleé and they will work just fine for peppers. But we prefer the higher BTU-output of the hardware store variety. Besides it being a more fearless toy-there are several culinary advantages. It burns the skin off so quickly that the pepper body does not soften or cook, and because of this, has a fresher flavor and color, as well as firmer pepper meat, which will be less likely to rip or tear when stuffing or dicing."
Recipes and Other Adventures from Hudson's on the Bend
By Jeff Blank and Jay Moore
with Deborah Harter, photographs by Laurie Smith,
Chef Portraits by Shanny Lott
Fearless Press, Publication date: November 1999
Hardback, 180 pages, $32.95
Reprinted by permission.
This page created November 1999
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