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|June 4- June 10, 2009
• Rough hewn and down home
Tortilleria El Rey provides the authentic Mexican fare Boulder needs
by Clay Fong
• The Dessert Diva
A local chef shares her sweet secrets
by Danette Randall
Your guide to gearing up your grill
by Bill Daley
So, you’re eating in way more than you’re dining out these days. Don’t get too down about it. Just move the action out to the balcony, patio or backyard. Pop a can of something cold, ramp up the sound on your iPod and fire up that grill. Even the grayest day on Wall Street isn’t going to seem so bad when there is something juicy sizzling near your waiting plate.
You’ll have plenty of company. Three out of four American households have an outdoor grill or smoker, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, an Arlington, Va.,-based trade group.
“Consumers feel the food tastes better cooked outside,” said Leslie Wheeler, the group’s communications director. “It’s more fun to cook outside, and it’s easier to cook outside.”
Having the right grill and gear for your needs can give a big boost to your outdoor dining in terms of flavor comfort and style. Here are a few fun must-have’s we found for summer grilling. Look for these and other grilling products locally at McGuckin Hardware (2525 Arapahoe Rd., 303-443-1822).
Glowing coals may add a touch of romance to a nighttime cookout, but they don’t throw much light on whatever is cooking. Get a good look at what’s going on with a clip-on LED grill light such as this one from Maverick Industries. Stainless steel, battery-powered, adjustable neck.
Get sauced with this fun and useful shaker from Grill Friends. Emblazoned on the shaker are recipes for high-octane marinades ranging from the “Bodacious Bloody Mary” to “The Cosmo.” It holds 16 ounces with room to shake. The product was developed by Elizabeth Karmel, who began using such shakers while working on a cookbook, “Soaked, Slathered and Seasoned.”
As heavy as a marble slab, this Himalayan Salt Plate imported from Pakistan heats up as hot as stone on the grill, making it a good if unusual choice for cooking smaller or more delicate items. The plate also lends some salty flavor to food. From SaltWorks Inc. Salt slabs, bricks and rounds in various sizes are available at the vendor’s website, saltworks.us.
Take that grill wherever you’re going with Weber’s folding Q Rolling Cart.
Weber-Stephen Products Co. expands its line with the sleek Weber Q 140 electric grill. Electric? Well, yes. The idea is nothing new; Weber introduced an electric grill back in 1973, but the concept quickly fizzled. The company promises this new electric model will cook food as close to a small gas grill as one can get. This electric grill could be a boon for those who live with gas or charcoal grilling restrictions.
Seven sizzling new grill books
America’s Best BBQ (Andrew McMeel, $19.99), by Ardie A. Davis and Paul Kirk. These two Kansas City, Mo., barbecue veterans offer, as their subtitle tells you, “100 recipes from America’s Best Smokehouses, Pits, Shacks, Rib Joints, Roadhouses and Restaurants.”
Grillin’ With Gas (Taunton Press, $19.95), by Fred Thompson. The North Carolina resident offers recipes for and techniques using gas grills that he says will make you forget charcoal. Clear instructions, knowing advice.
Low & Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons (Running Press, $19.95), by Gary Wiviott. The Chicago barbecue pro insists you’ll be cooking “low and slow” in no time. Recipes come three ways, for kettle grills and two types of smokers.
Serious Barbecue (Hyperion, $35), by Adam Perry Lang with J.J. Goode and Amy Vogler. This New York restaurateur and award-winning ‘cue champ offers ambitious recipes that stress meat quality and layers of flavor.
Soaked, Slathered & Seasoned (Wiley, $19.95), by Elizabeth Karmel. Splitting time between Chicago and New York, this chef and owner of the Grill Friends line of grilling products tells you all about marinades, rubs, sauces and mops.
Weber’s Way to Grill (Sunset, $24.95), by Jamie Purviance. The California-based chef teams up again with the Weber-Stephen Product Co. to create a detailed yet glossy guide to all things grilling the Weber way. Clear, instructive photos.
Wood-Fired Cooking (Ten Speed, $27.95), by Mary Karlin. Fascinating exploration of the ancient art of wood-fired cooking with recipes and tips for the grill, fireplace and campfire from this Sonoma, Calif., cooking teacher. Stunning photos.
Before buying a grill
Thinking of buying a grill? The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association suggests asking yourself these questions:
—Decide on the grill type: Charcoal, gas or electric? Determine what grill options, such as side burners, rotisseries or infrared burners you need for the foods you like to cook. Do you ace the basics or are you a gourmet griller?
—Give a nod to style. Will the grill be the focal point of your backyard or patio, or will it just be a side fixture?
—How much can you spend? Grills can range from less than $100 to thousands of dollars.
—Consider the size of the grill’s cooking area. Do you grill just for the family, or do you often host larger groups?
For more buying information, check out the website of barbecue expert Craig Goldwyn at amazingribs.com.
Grilling by the numbers
—1.1 billion: Pounds of charcoal sold in food, drug and mass merchandise stores in the U.S. over the 52-week period ending March 21
—983 million: Pounds of hot dogs sold in U.S. stores over that period.
—690 million: Pounds of ketchup sold in U.S. stores over that period.
SOURCE: The Nielsen Co.
—MCT, Chicago Tribune
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