Tuesday, June 26, 2012




Grilling is idiot-proof cooking, right? The sort of can't get wrong kind of cooking, which is why men insist on taking charge (and also because there's fire involved).

That is so juvenile. And wrong.

Proper grilling (with charcoal) is difficult, because it's tricky to nail down that cooking fundamental - temperature control. It's easy to sizzle and burn anything to a char; just walk into any Greek restaurant to experience overcooked, blackened food. Perfectly grilled food is difficult to achieve, but completely worth the time to practice, over and over again; food just tastes better when it's eaten outdoors, in the lazy heat of summer, icy glass of Bandol rosé at hand, in all its smoky, charcoal-y glory. The Japanese have perfected it, so there should be no excuse. Seriously, everyone needs to try yakitori once in their lives. Grilled chicken liver is just waves and waves of pleasure in your mouth.

This is the second year of me fiddling around with my charcoal grill, so I wanted to advance beyond fish and octopus and greens, to finally grilling beef. I had the most amazing cut of dry-aged rib steak, so I wanted to eat it with chimichurri. Authentic chimichurri, because a simple Google search on a recipe yields hundreds and hundreds of variations. We want to keep it real here. So, as the Argentineans do . . . garlic, parsley, onion, olive oil. All finely chopped, not slammed into a food processor, because real authenticity takes work, and we want to still readily identify each element. I think I may have gone overboard with the garlic a little, but it smelled (and tasted) divine.

It only got better with more time in the fridge. A blink of the eye, and it's almost the end of June. We're going to have to make the most of the July and August, because before you know it, it'll be time to put the grill into storage again. Here's to a summer of grilling!


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