16 Jun A timely Father’s Day hint: Grills thrill guys
by Sydne George
If you’re anything like me, shopping for the man (or men) in your life for Father’s Day is never easy.
We all know better than to buy a new tie for our guy. And by now both my dad and husband have closets jam-packed with golf shirts.
What’s a girl like me to do?
As luck would have it, we recently attended a graduation barbecue at the California home of a woman named Autumn, who is a friend of my brother Kelly. Not long after we arrived, Autumn grabbed Kelly and put “the grill guy” to work.
Jumping right in, Kelly raised the grill’s lid and poof, as if by magic, a light went on, illuminating the grill. How handy, I thought. Soon after, he was yielding a thermometer fork, helping him check the internal temperature of the chicken without cutting into the meat and releasing the juices.
As our conversation continued, Kelly told me about some of the latest grill accessories, and the wheels in my brain began turning — this is the perfect solution to my Father’s Day shopping dilemma.
As soon as I got home, I launched a quest for the best selection of grill gadgets. I landed at Pizazz at 403 Central Ave., which turned out to be our local barbecue headquarters, with an entire front area of their store dedicated to barbecue supplies.
Sales associate Karen Potts was happy to walk me through some great tools.
Steven Raichlen, Best of BBQ Gas Grill Smoker Cup ($5.99) — A handy cup filled with mesquite and hickory chips placed on the barbecue to smoke foods on the grill.
Charcoal Companion Mini Grilling Burger Basket ($20.99) — Make sliders instead of regular-sized burgers.
Camerons Products Chile Roasta ($16.99)— An aluminum stand used to hold stuffed chile peppers upright on a barbecue.
Magnetic Light for Barbecue Tools by Outset ($15.99) — A battery-operated magnetic light that attaches to tools or the hood of a barbecue for after-dark grilling.
Grilling Planks ($10.99) — In red oak, maple, alder or cedar, the planks are used to cook meat or fish on the grill.
Chef’n Barbecue Branch Skewer ($12.99) — Stainless steel branched skewer that holds more food than a straight skewer and lays flat on the grill.
CDN TempFork ($20.99) — A fork that shows target temperature and current temperature of meat cooking on the grill.
Charcoal Companion Three Level Smoker Rack ($29.99) — Fits on top of the grill, triples the available surface area and achieves the smoked effect on the barbecue.
Accu-Level Removable Propane Tank Gauge ($3.99)— This magnetic strip attaches to the side of the tank sensing the amount of propane remaining in the tank.
From there it was on to Barnes and Noble and their wide selection of barbecue books. Here are a few I thought looked interesting.
“How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques” by Steven Raichlen— 480 pages of step-by-step directions on how to grill almost everything, accompanied by color photographs.
“Weber’s Way to Grill: the step-by-step guide to expert grilling” ($24.95) by Jamie Purviance — Touted as the barbecue book.
“Taste of Home Grill It!” cookbook ($15.95) — More than 300 recipes and tips for success.
Men’s Health “A Man and a Can and a Grill: 50 No-Sweat Meals You Can Fire Up Fast” by David Joachim — I just couldn’t resist mentioning this cookbook. Each recipe consists of three ingredients and very simple directions.
So, whew! No more worrying over what to give the guys for Father’s Day. Now for a hot-off-the-grill Father’s Day feast.
ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE, RED BELL PEPPER AND SHRIMP SKEWERS WITH GARLIC BUTTER OVER SPICY RICE
30 skewers, bamboo or stainless steel
2 pound bag uncooked shrimp (I used EZ-Peel 16-20 per pound), thawed and peeled
4 16-ounce packages andouille sausage, cut into 3-inch pieces
4 red bell peppers, cleaned and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 tbsp. butter
1 large clove garlic, minced For the rice:
2 tbsp. butter
1 sweet onion, minced
1 cup celery, diced
1 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
½ tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. oregano
4 cups Minute rice
8-ounce bottle clam juice (you could substitute chicken stock here)
1 cup white wine
2 cups water
If using bamboo skewers, soak for 15 minutes prior to threading.
On each skewer, thread one shrimp, one red pepper slice, one sausage slice. Repeat so each skewer has two of each ingredient.
Set assembled skewers in 13-by-9-inch tray. Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.
Make the spicy rice. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and cook onion and celery until softened.
Add seasonings and stir. Pour rice into pan and stir to combine.
Add all liquids and cook briefy until most of the liquid is absorbed. Cover and remove from heat.
Make the garlic butter. Add the minced garlic to the melted butter and stir until combined. Set aside until ready to grill.
When ready to grill, transfer rice to a large ovenproof serving platter, spreading it out to make a bed of rice.
Preheat oven to 300° and warm rice in oven while skewers are cooking.
Spray cold grill with grilling spray and then preheat barbecue to 325°.
Lay assembled skewers on the grill leaving a little space between.Cook assembled skewers four to six minutes or until shrimp turns pink on underside.
Turn skewers and cook an additional four to six minutes on the other side until the other side of the shrimp turns pink.
Arrange grilled Andouille Sausage, Red Bell Pepper and Shrimp Skewers atop warmed spicy rice and brush skewers with prepared garlic butter.
Makes 30 skewers.
GRILLED BOURBON-GLAZED PEACHES OVER VANILLA ICE CREAM
8 ripe peaches, pitted and halved
1/3 cup butter
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. bourbon
1 quart vanilla ice cream
Make the bourbon glaze. Melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and whisk to combine. Stir in bourbon.
When ready to serve, spray the cold grill with grill spray. Preheat grill to 325°.
Lightly brush insides of peach halves with bourbon glaze and place face down on preheated grill.
Grill for 5-6 minutes. You want some attractive grill marks to appear.
Brush tops of peaches and turn to grill other sides for 5-6 minutes.
Brush insides of peaches one more time.
Remove from grill and serve over scoops of vanilla ice cream.
Drizzle each dessert with remaining bourbon sauce. Garnish with freshly snipped mint, if desired.