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With summer settling upon us, we turn our attention to that age-old American pastime: BBQ.
Below are some easy tips and tricks to get through a slam-dunk soiree before it’s too late.
T E X T BY RYAN JAR R ELL
T ake a look at my life from a culinary lens, and no one
would doubt that I have been blessed. I have had the
pleasure of enjoying freshly caught clams over moonlit
Nantucket Bay, of taking whirlwind tours of the hottest
restaurants pop-up frenzied Portland provides, and wined & dined
at the most refined eateries Miami has to offer. But ask me my
favorite meal, and what, inevitability, comes spilling from the
lips that have once slurped handcrafted sobe noodles in a rural
Japanese ryokan? Ribs, syrupy and succulent, awkwardly clutched
in my 6-year-old claw. The smell of sweet corn freshly husked.
The accent of Fourth Of July fireworks raging over scattered and
stained paper plates haphazardly huddled over a wooden picnic
table. Yes, no matter how far across the globe I flee, my finest
food memories have one venue, easily accessible to even the most
slovenly of patrons: the backyard barbecue.
Eager to make your own backyard bacchanals as memorable
(and mouthwatering) as my own? Here are a few quick tips. First,
anticipate. Much like Rome, fantastical lawn-side lounges aren’t
built in a day. Remember to ready any marinades and rubs at least
24 hours beforehand. Another helpful tip? Ditch the gas grill.
Charcoal adds a depth and dimension of taste you simply can’t
replicate with its easier cleaned cousin. For an especially toothsome
134 treat, spend some extra dough on lumpwood charcoal, a powerful
and appetizing additive endowed with a ravishingly rustic flavor
profile. Finally, if you’re interested in truly being hospitable to all
manner of guests, cordon off a corner of your grill for vegetable use
only. Your plant-food focused friends will thank you!
Social media saturated with BBQ invites? Afraid you’ll
shudder and scream at the next off-brand whitebread bun
and over-charred patty that crosses your path? To help you
add some much-needed variation to your seasonal summer
spreads, we talked to Executive Chef Thomas Connell of the
Fontainebleau Hotel Miami Beach. “Everyone loves steak,
but myself, I love grilling whole fish — but not in the typical
way,” he says. “I take a 20-inch cedar plank and soak it in
water for 2-3 hours, rubbing olive oil on the cedar after it’s
smoked, before taking a whole fillet and pasting it with a
mixture of caramelized onions, whole grain mustard, chopped
rosemary, breadcrumbs and some lemon zest…the smoke
from the grill and char on the cedar create a deep, rustic
flavor that can’t be beat!” Bon appétit!