I love grilling! Tonight for dinner we had jerk-seasoned porkchops with black beans and rice topped with fresh diced onions, Cuban style, and it was just sensational. Magi considered baking the pork chops, then cooking them sauteed in a frying pan, but I wanted to grill just one more time, before the gas line freezes.
I go against conventional wisdom and use a gas grill. It's just easier and far more convenient. About 15 years ago, in the summer, I was visiting my mother and she had this little gas grill in her closet. She had stopped at the neighborhood butcher shop and picked up some steaks and grilled them medium rare for us. I usually ordered my steaks medium well at the time, and this was the first time I had tried steak this way and I thought that I had wasted a lot of steak in my life eating them too well done. I eat them this way all the time now! The next Christmas, she got me my own gas grill, and it still stands as one of the best presents ever!
I lived in a small apartment at the time, and I grilled every single day for at least six months. I took that little grill out in the snow and cooked. I didn't mind getting a little cold. I tailgated with it, took it everywhere, and generally got pretty good at using it.
One of the true joys I get in the summer is cooking for my family on the grill. Sera's not really excited about the flavor of grilled stuff yet, but that's natural. I love coming home from summer school at 12:30 and just firing it up for hamburgers. We have a butcher shop on our way home from work and cooking their fresh hamburger is just amazing. It has just the right fat content to make them tasty.
This summer, while Magi and Sera were visiting her family, I grilled every day and night. This meal remains one of my favorites of the summer. That's a 16-oz. Porterhouse with a baked potato (margarine, pepper, no salt) and a pasta salad I made myself with tri-colored pasta, Italian dressing, pepperoni, roasted red peppers, and onions.
Over the years, I have experimented with my grill quite a bit. Did you know, for example, that frozen pizza on the grill is fantastic? I cook DiGiorno's pizzas on my grill all the time. They get a real smokey flavor and very crispy crusts. I cook hash brown patties on it, as well as egg rolls. I cook vegetables in a metal bowl, with a little olive oil-flavored cooking spray and Paul Pruddhome's Vegetable Magic on them. For meats, I just think you can't go wrong with Lawry's Seasoned Salt. Heck, I eat it (sparingly, because of high blood pressure) on popcorn, too.
When I think about it, there's very little that I won't cook on the grill. If I could find a way to do a turkey, I'd take care of the main course for Thanksgiving. Okay, maybe I'll try sweet potatoes next. A little butter and brown sugar, and wow, I'm starting to get hungry again!