Celebrations Catering has me going all sorts of great places; from famous inventor’s million dollar homes to regional airport runways to grilling on the back yard decks of our clients. Some of my favorite places to cook and create are at places that take advantage of New Hampshire’s amazing views. The food always seems to taste better when we cook outside, for some reason. Must be that clean, fresh New England air combined with the freshest ingredients and our passion for cooking!
Check out this hand-laid stone wall and view from Curtis Farms in Wilton, New Hampshire.
Not only are the views incredible, but the smells we conjure up from our house-marinated meats grilled over natural wood charcoal is some serious salivation creators. How can one resist!
You see, the secret to great grilling, besides great coals, is heat and temperature control. My preference is strong, consistent, long-term heat which is a result of good planning. Grilling is a time commitment. You can’t just pour a bunch of lighter fluid on some charcoal and then start tossing chicken on the grill. You have to be patient and loving. Celebrations Catering believes in this same concept. So, that being said, we lay out the coals, add a decent soaking of lighter fluid, wait a good 10 minutes before lighting (otherwise it won’t soak into the wood and when you light it, you could lose a few eye brows and no one wants that!) then light the coals. At this point, you can start gathering your Mise En Place (which is chef-speak for “stuff”). Once the coals have turn to white/ gray ash and give off a nice red hue then you’re ready to start cooking. One little tip, before you start throwing meat on there, you should rub the grates down with some cooking oil (nothing expensive, canola oil will be fine) with a clean bar towel and a set of tongs. Roll the towel into a fat sausage shape, pinch the towel with your tongs, dip it in a little oil and rub the grates. This will not only clean them a little but will also help make them a little non-stick.
For this skirt steak, I cooked it about 10 minutes on each side, let it rest for about 10 minutes more, slice it against the grain to insure tenderness and served it with our famous brown sauce. As you can see, that nice hot flame resulted in nice char. Char is good, char is flavor and we like flavor, right?!
Yes, being a chef is pretty awesome. When you’re someone like me who loves to live life to the fullest, doing what I love with a great view is icing on the cake!