Lesson 29: Grilling..take 2!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Today we continued (and finished) our lesson on grilling.  The proteins and recipes for today's class were definitely a lot more interesting than yesterday's.  

I was very very surprised that my favorite dish of the day was the grilled shrimp brochette.  I usually do not like shrimp at all!!  A combination of the grilled, smoky flavor, the marinade, and the charred cherry tomatoes made it taste amazing!  I will definitely be making this for upcoming family events/cocktail hours.  Here's how we made it:

For 3 skewers:
9 shrimp, peeled, de-veined
3 rosemary stems (reserve sprigs for the marinade)-- our rosemary stems weren't long enough, so we used soaked skewers instead
1 sprig rosemary, minced
9 fresh bay leaves
9 grape tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt & pepper

Skewer the shrimp to a rosemary stem or skewer, alternating with bay leaves and tomatoes.

Combine garlic, evoo, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Coat the skewers in the marinade and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Grill, while basting with the olive oil mixture until the shrimp is no longer opaque.

Also pictured on this plate is the grilled lamb loin chop with mojo and a slice of compound butter.  The mojo marinade was made with sliced garlic, thyme, parsley, mint, chili powder, evoo, and salt.  We put these same ingredients in the compound butter.

We marinated the veggies the same way as yesterday, with a different assortment including yukon gold potatoes, asparagus, green onions, fennel, and red onion.

My second grilling of the afternoon did not go as well as the first :(    I grilled a salmon tranche, simply seasoned with salt and pepper.  This was difficult to grill because it kept sticking and the skin side was coming off.  I ended up cooking it very well even though it didn't look so pretty.  I gave it to the guy that was observing the class because I'm not a huge fan of salmon.  

The pork chop that is also pictured on the grill was rubbed with a chile spread consisting of toasted, dried ancho chili and chili pasilla, along with toasted cumin and canola oil.  Everybody had problems grilling this pork chop.  We had to finish cooking it in the oven and Matt and I quickly learned that our oven definitely was not working (gah).. I put my chop in another group's oven, which was already crowded with 3 other chops.  Scott assured me that if we got confused whose is whose, his is the perfect one!  Hahaha  we had some good laughs in the kitchen today!

Anyways, I think that the oven still wasn't working right and wasn't high enough.  We ran out of time and all of our chops were slightly underdone.  I didn't try my pork, but I brought it home to heat up so that it can cook through.. we shall seeee

I plated my chop with some roasted poblano cactus salad.  Yup, I said cactus.  I read over this recipe before class and was soo excited to see how cacti taste grilled.  It's hard to explain how they taste because they don't taste like anything I've ever had.  The texture was similar to a pepper.  I really liked it mixed in with the other ingredients of the salad: roasted poblanos, red onion, cilantro (I'm starting to like cilantro now!!! No longer tastes soapy to me!), garlic, tomato and lime juice.

Overall, another successful day!  When I got on the train I was EXHAUSTED.. Being in the kitchen really takes a lot of you.  We really hustle during the entire 4 hours between prepping, cooking, and cleaning.  I love the adrenaline rush though and look forward to every day's new experience!


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