All the Spokane food-related stuff that I can't figure out how to wedge into my other blog.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

High heat

As we eat more meat, I am getting more into cooking. Weird how that works. When it comes to meat, I'm really into the sear, which requires a lot of heat to really pull off well.

I've been obsessed with heat before. Years ago when we lived on the west side of the state, I figured out a great quick super hot grilling solution where I used a camping stove under a Lodge cast iron grill pan. I mainly used it for fish.

Lately I've been trying to figure out how to cook tri-tip steaks quickly and yummily. At heart, I'm a cheap bastard, so tri-tips appeal to me because they're usually around $5/lb. If they're cut thick, I'll butterfly them to around an inch or so.

In my opinion, the tri-tip should be seared over a screaming hot fire for about 3 minutes a side. Then let it rest. And slice it against the grain. Piled on bread or over a salad, it's pretty good.
Click for big: dig that char baby! What a difference serious heat makes.

The problem is that in the last 10 years, I've gotten rid of all of my high-heat-makers: I got rid of a hibachi, a small "brazer" grill, and a small Weber kettle. And I can't find that Lodge cast iron grill pan either.

So, today, I made an inferno cooker in the back yard. I don't think this is a good idea as the weather dries out, but the mulch under the bricks is still damp for now. In any case, it raged. With one measly chimney full of briquettes, I had a super hot surface.
I charred some peppers and made a salsa. Then I made the tri-tips, which I rubbed with salt, pepper, fresh rosemary, and garlic. Then I grilled asparagus, Brady style. And toasted some English muffins.
I love cooking over that kind of heat. The peppers just blistered and crackled as soon as I put them down. Nice.

I may have to do a butterflied chicken tomorrow on the big Webber. Maybe with a Mexican angle so we can stuff it in tortillas and have a reason to eat the salsa we made tonight.

I wish Lodge made a bigger, shallower version of their hibatchi.