Authors: Bobby Flay
Copyright © 2008 by Boy Meets Grill, Inc.
Photographs copyright © 2008 by Ben Fink
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
Clarkson N. Potter is a trademark and Potter and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Bobby Flay’s grill it! / Bobby Flay, with Stephanie Banyas, and Sally Jackson. — 1st ed.
1. Barbecue cookery. I. Banyas, Stephanie.
II. Jackson, Sally, 1978- III. Title. IV. Title: Grill it!
For my wife, Stephanie,
whose enduring love and dedication are eclipsed only by her ferocious appetite.
Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill Cookbook
Bobby Flay’s Grilling for Life
Bobby Flay’s Boy Meets Grill
Bobby Flay Cooks American
Bobby Flay’s Boy Gets Grill
Bobby Flay’s From My Kitchen to Your Table
Bobby Flay’s Bold American Food
Stephanie Banyas, Sally Jackson, Renee Forsberg, J.C. Pavlovich, Andrea Toto, Ben Fink, Barb Fritz, Marysarah Quinn, Selina Cicogna, Amy Boorstein, Joan Denman, Viking, Weber, Laurence Kretchmer, Jerry Kretchmer, Jeff Bliss, Stephanie March, Dorothy Flay, and Bill Flay, the staffs of Mesa Grill New York, Mesa Grill Las Vegas, Mesa Grill Bahamas, Bolo, Bar Americain, and Bobby Flay Steak Atlantic City; Food Network;
And to my editor, Rica Allannic…Thanks for all your hard work and dedication.
I have always loved eating almost anything hot off the grill. When I was a kid, I remember there would be smoke billowing out of the backyard as my dad took orders like a polished short-order cook in the busiest diner. “Do you want yours plain or with cheese?” he would ask. There were no other options—you were getting a hamburger or a cheeseburger and it was going to be well done. Period.
Firing up the grill makes every-night dinners with family or simple get-togethers with friends feel like a party or some sort of celebration. Everyone wants to take part in the action, and why not? It’s probably going to involve lots of good tasting, healthy food and a frosty cocktail of some sort, which can only lead to lots of smiles. And as the clean-up is a lot easier than a dinner that involves breaking out every pot and pan in the closet, those happy faces remain long after the eating is done.
Grilling has come a long way since the overcooked burgers of my youth. It’s widely regarded as a healthier alternative to frying in lots of butter or oil and the sweet smoky kiss of hardwood lump charcoal beats the taste of briquettes doused in lighter fluid any day. Today most grill cooks have widened their repertoires from hamburgers and hot dogs to a spectrum of simple but spectacular dishes. Next to the chopped meat there is now a place for fish and shellfish, pork and chicken, and, more popular than ever, a garden full of vegetables.
Not only have our grilling options expanded in terms of what we grill, but how we grill has changed, too. First there were only charcoal grills, then gas, and now, you can easily find one of the great grill pans out there so that you can bring the party inside and onto the stovetop. What was once only for summer you can now accomplish regardless of the season. (And, in fact, all of the recipes in this book can be cooked on a grill pan instead of outside.)
When I was thinking about
I thought a lot about how my friends and I go about putting a meal together on the grill. It all starts with the shopping; often enough the planning of the menu doesn’t start until I arrive at the farmer’s market or grocery store. I want to be inspired by the ingredients before committing to a recipe. I want to walk up to the beautiful tomatoes or sweet corn, the pork chops or rib-eye steaks, and I want to see what looks best, what grabs my eye, what I’m craving.
This is the book to turn to when you know
you want but you don’t know
you want it. Let’s say you’ve passed a roadside stand with fresh corn and you couldn’t resist picking up half a dozen ears. Maybe there was a special on salmon at your fish market—perfect, you’ve got dinner. Except what are you going to do with that corn and salmon now that you’re home? That’s where
Turn to the corn chapter, see what’s in your pantry, and take it from there. With nine recipes for corn—from steamed in the husk to grilled with flavored butters or taken off the cob and paired with other veggies to make a succotash—you’re bound to find just the right way to take advantage of your roadside find. The same goes for that salmon—be it glazed, spice rubbed, or topped with a flavorful relish.
gives you all the options you need to turn your supermarket bounty into an awesome meal from the grill, chapter by simple chapter.
Because no one thinks, “I want to grill a main course and a side dish tonight”—we all think, “I want to do chicken breasts and maybe some summer squash”—the book’s chapters are divided by ingredient. There is a chapter on asparagus, on scallops, one on just pork…. If burgers are what you are craving, then open up the chapter entitled simply “Burgers.” You’ll find not just beef burgers in there, but turkey and buffalo versions, too.
This is the book for the way we grill today with 150 simple recipes to turn to night after night. So go ahead—expand your repertoire beyond hamburgers and cheeseburgers. Now that you’ve got it, grill it! Just don’t forget to light the grill first.
Demo version limitation
The recipes in this book are inspired by a lot of different cuisines, but that doesn’t mean you need to stock your pantry with a hundred different items. In my opinion, if you cook frequently, the following list of ingredients should always be in your pantry. Not only will you be able to prepare any of the recipes in this book, but you can also experiment with the staples on your own and create new recipes. Remember that the refrigerator should be viewed as your pantry, too. I like to refer to it as a cold pantry, where things like fresh herbs, citrus, and ginger should always be on hand to add flavor to any recipe.
—I recommend anchovies packed in olive oil in glass jars, not cans.
—Dried beans are my preference at my restaurants, but the ease of canned beans can’t be ignored at home and I definitely recommend them when time isn’t on your side.
Dried chiles and chile powder
—It’s no secret that dried chiles play an important role in my cooking. They are available in almost every market today and online.
—Look for solid, firm heads. Don’t buy it if it feels light or hollow; it’s old.
Jams and preserves
—I love creating glazes for meat and fish from jams and preserves. I particularly like apricot, orange, and plum.
—I use a variety of oils in my cooking: canola oil (or a canola–olive oil blend), olive oil, extra-virgin olive oil, and sesame oil. I use canola for just about everything because of its neutral flavor and tolerance for high heat. I brush meat and vegetables with it just before putting them on the grill, add it to marinades, and use it the majority of the time in my full-flavored vinaigrettes. I turn to regular, or “pure,” olive oil when cooking a Mediterranean-inspired recipe over high heat. Extra-virgin olive oil is best saved for finishing off a dish and for making simple vinaigrettes where its fruity flavor won’t get overwhelmed by other ingredients. Sesame oil is another fantastic flavor enhancer for finished dishes and marinades. Make sure to get the dark, toasted sesame variety; it has much more flavor than light sesame oil.
—I always have red and Spanish onions in my pantry because most of my recipes include one or the other. I also love sweet onions such as Vidalia for just grilling and eating.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes
—I always have sweet potatoes and a few varieties of white-, yellow-, and red-skinned potatoes.
—The flavor of a shallot is a cross between that of onion and garlic. I love using shallots in sauces and vinaigrettes.
—I use a lot of kosher salt in my cooking, which has a milder flavor than iodized salt, so when I create a recipe that calls for soy sauce, I prefer using the low-sodium variety over the regular variety for the same reason.
—I like to buy my spices whole and grind them in a coffee/spice grinder. Not only do they taste better when you do this, but whole spices will last longer in your pantry, too.
—I use brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, and molasses not only for sweetness but to also balance flavors in my cooking.
—I love vinegar and always have at least five varieties in my pantry at all times. If you don’t have the room, make sure to have at least red or white wine vinegar, balsamic or aged sherry vinegar, and rice vinegar.
—I prefer using unsalted butter because it allows me to control the amount of salt in my cooking and the flavor is fresher than that of salted butter.
—Capers are the flower bud of a bush native to the Mediterranean and parts of Asia. After the buds are harvested, they are dried in the sun and then pickled in vinegar, brine, wine, or salt. I prefer the variety pickled in vinegar.
—I love the fresh flavor that citrus juice gives to a marinade or vinaigrette, and I always have fresh lemons, limes, and oranges on hand. Don’t forget to use the zest; it’s more flavorful than the juice.
—These tiny sour French pickles add great flavor to salads and tartar sauces.
—My go-to ingredients are crème fraîche, sour cream, Greek yogurt, buttermilk, and all sorts of cheeses.
—Fresh ginger actually lasts a long time when properly stored in an airtight bag. In fact, you can even break off pieces of it, wrap them, and store in the freezer for months.
—With proper care, fresh herbs will last in your refrigerator for at least 3 days. When you bring them home from the grocery store, do not wash them. Wrap them in dry paper towels and store them in a plastic zip-top bag in the refrigerator. Placing them in the refrigerator wet or even slightly damp will cause them to go bad quickly.
—I can’t be bothered making my own mayonnaise at home so I always have a good-quality one on hand. I like using it to make flavored aiolis and tartar sauces and to add a creamy consistency to some vinaigrettes.
—This is my favorite condiment, hands down. I always have a good-quality Dijon and stone-ground mustard in my fridge.
—I go for green ones such as picholine and black types including Kalamata and Niçoise.
Peppers and fresh chiles
—Fresh chiles, bell peppers, and piquillos can add so much flavor to so many things. I prefer using red or yellow bell peppers over green and always have a few jalapeño, serrano, or habanero chiles hanging around to spice up any dish. Piquillos, a variety of Spanish peppers, come roasted and jarred or canned and have an intense flavor all their own.