Saturday, June 20, 2009

Beer Can Chicken

1 (12 oz.) can of beer

1 (3-4 lb.) chicken for roasting

2 tsp. garlic salt

2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper

2 T fresh thyme, coarsely chopped

1 T fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped

2 T olive oil

Juice of one lime.

Prepare grill to medium heat for indirect cooking.

Rinse chicken inside and out and dry with paper towels.

Rub the olive oil all over chicken.

Mix salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary.

Rub chicken inside and out with savory mix. Gently push some of the rub under the skin.

Remove entire top from beer can and pour out about one-third of the beer.

Place chicken cavity down over beer can and sit can in aluminum pie pan.

Pull coals to side, leaving a cleared center indirect heat area.

Place chicken on grill and cover. Cook for about 1 ½ hours, or until meat thermometer placed in thigh part of chicken registers 180 degrees and juices run clear.

Carefully remove chicken from grill. Remove chicken from beer can and place on separate plate (be very careful when discarding hot beer). Pour any drippings from pan over chicken. Drizzle with lime juice. Cover with foil and let rest for about ten minutes before slicing.

Grilled Fish Fajaitas with Slaw and Salsa

~2 lbs. mild, fleshy fish (ie Tilapia, mahi, flounder)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil to coat fish

1 tsp. Each salt and pepper

flour tortillas


1 cup fresh basil

1 cup fresh cilantro

Three-fourths cup orange juice

One-fourth cup lime juice

1 tsp. salt

One-half tsp. pepper

1 T honey

One-half cup extra virgin olive oil

Coat each piece of fish with oil, then sprinkle both side with salt and pepper.

Prepare grill for medium heat. Scrape grill top to clean, and brush with oil. Grill fish over direct heat on each side for about four minutes, depending on thickness of fish.

Put all sauce ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth.

Remove fish from grill and top with a little of the sauce. Lightly cover the fish with foil and let it rest while you grill the tortillas.

Serve fish in tortillas with more sauce, Cilantro Slaw* and Avocado Salsa*.

*Cilantro Slaw

One-fourth cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 cups shredded red cabbage

2 chopped green onions

One-fourth cup seasoned rice wine vinegar

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1 T sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour over cabbage, cilantro and green onions and toss to mix.

*Avocado Salsa

1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes

One-half cup chopped sweet onion

One-fourth cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 Avocado, peeled and diced

zest and juice of one lime

salt to taste

Gently stir all salsa ingredients together.

Grilling Favorites for Father's Day

Do you need a new grilling recipe for Father's Day? I have a few tried and true recipes and some grilling tips for guaranteed success. Mix and match menus by using the basic recipe as the entree, the main ingredient in a specialty sandwich (quesadilla, taco, etc), or the foundation of a full meal salad.

Grilling is by far my favorite way to entertain during the summer months. From a grilled flank steak (London broil or skirt steak) it's easy to go to a layered steak salad, sliced beef on grilled flat bread with a complimentary salsa, or a steak quesadilla--several different meals from one basic recipe.

The same holds true for grilled fish. Grilled Fish Taco with Cilantro Slaw and Avocado Salsa could certainly be served more formally by adding cheese polenta or grits to the plate as the base for your fish. Top with avocado salsa, and add a little marinated red cabbage on the side to finish the dish. For a casual get together, have all the ingredients ready along with grilled flour tortillas, and let your guests become creative.

Grilled pork tenderloin is equally versatile. From the more formal presentation to the delicious salad meal incorporating orange slices, avocado, and salad greens, or a cubano sandwich featuring the thinly sliced pork, provolone cheese , and plenty of pickles, you have a variety of meals from one basic recipe.

And then there's the humble chicken. Beer Can Chicken continues to be high on my list of favorite ways to grill chicken. I don't know the history of this grilling technique, but I do have a mental image: friends camping together, enjoying a beverage, with a chicken to cook for dinner, and no clear idea of how to accomplish the task. Coudos to those friends! Propping the chicken on a half filled can of beer resulted in a deliciously moist chicken with wonderful grilled flavor. And the uses for the cooked chicken are limitless.

Don't forget dessert! Grilling fresh fruit caramelizes the fruit giving it a more concentrated sweet flavor. Sliced peaches and pineapple are my favorites. Serve with the ice cream of your choice for a grilled fruit parfait. Or lightly grill flour tortillas, brush top with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and add grilled fruit for a grilled fruit fajita.

Choose your favorite recipes, perfect the techniques, and make this an easy, grilling summer.