Urban Farmer, Denver, CO
Chef Chris Starkus’ Tips for Summer Grilling
Tip #1: Ensure your grill is hot enough. The trick to the perfect char is a piping hot grill. Let it heat up for approximately 15 minutes. For most meats from skirt steaks to kabobs, you want the grill to hit at least 450° before going for the sizzle. For a juicy, medium-rare burger you can stick between 350° and 450°.
Tip #2: Oil your grill. The worst thing while grilling? Flipping the burger only to realize half of the meat patty is stuck to the grill grate. Oiling your grill will keep your meal from sticking. Just be sure to use neutral oils such as canola oil or grape seed oil that have a higher smoke point. A surefire way to coat your grill? Cut an onion in half, dip it in oil and rub it along the grates.
Tip #3: Season well. So, you’ve achieved the perfectly cooked, medium-rare skirt steak with a nice coat of char, only to realize after the first bite its flavor is lackluster. Most likely, all your seasoning fell off as soon as you placed it on the grill. The trick is to over season. Use coarse, kosher salt instead of table salt, and season more than you think necessary.
Tip #4: Use a thermometer. We all know things like chicken and turkey need to be cooked to 165° or you could put your health at risk. Which is scary! But it shouldn’t cause you to cook your piece of meat until its dry, leathery and inedible. Instead, use a thermometer and ensure each piece of meat is cooked to perfection, every time.
You don’t eat meat? No problem! The same rules apply to our beloved Cauliflower Steak. And if you’d like to give it a go, we’ve even included the recipe below:
Cauliflower Steak Recipe
1 head Cauliflower
5 each Sprigs of Thyme
1 QT Coconut Cream
Cut head of Cauliflower in half right in the middle of the core in the bottom. Then square off the rounded edges so that you have two flat sides to grill off. Reserve to marinate. (see Marinade recipe below) With the excess cauliflower, Rough chop into medium/large diced chunks. In a large rondo; add thyme and coconut milk. Infuse for 30 minutes then remove. Cover with coconut milk and reduce heat to low. Cook low and slow for 30 minutes until cauliflower is soft to the touch. Strain of the cream mixture and reserve for blending. Add solids to the Vitamix blender (Only fill halfway!) and about 2 ounces of the coconut milk mixture to the blender. Puree until smooth but still thick. Add salt to taste.
Cauliflower Steak Marinade Recipe
2 ounces Tangerine Oil
½ cup Champagne Vinegar
1 cup Veg Stock
¼ cup Golden Raisins
1 TB Kosher Salt
4 sprigs Parsley
Mix all ingredients together with a whisk. Marinate in a food saver bag over night.