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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Fire up the Grill

Spring is in full swing now and hopefully D.C.'s snowy season has come to an end. And, with a good weather forecast for Memorial Day, it's time to fire up the grill. No matter if you use charcoal or propane, here are some tips to spice up your grilling.

Tip #1: How hot is the grill? Carefully hold your hand just above the cooking grate to gauge the heat level and start counting how long you can take the heat:

    5 Seconds - Low
    4 Seconds - Medium
    3 Seconds - Medium High
    2 Seconds - High
    1 Second -  Sizzling

Tip #2: Spice up your food a good hour before you grill.  While there are always exceptions, a good rule for marinades and rubs is the longer you marinate/let the rub sit, the better. This za'atar marinade is great on chicken, tuna, or just about anything:

Za’Atar Marinade: (prep time: 10 min)
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbs  Za’Atar blend
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs garlic
1 tsp pepper

Tip #3: Once on the grill, watch carefully! Meats with sugary sauces or marinades have a tendency to burn easily.

Tip #4: Fruits and vegetables love to be grilled too! Season eggplant, zucchini, or peppers with salt while cooking to draw out excess moisture. Quickly grill chard, kale, or romaine before tossing into a salad.

Tip #5: When grilling fruits, add a simple flavorful touch simply by brushing grilled fruits near the end of cooking with melted butter, brown sugar, or honey and a light dusting of cinnamon, ginger, or allspice. For the more experimental types, try pink peppercorns or cumin, or herbs like thyme, rosemary, or mint.

Tip #6: Add a great smokey flavor to your foods by using organic wood chips, available at Bazaar Spices. Never used wood chips before? Check out these guides for charcoal and gas grills.

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