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Great Fall Grilling Tips

By Jane Butel  October 7, 2020

With fall tip toeing around the corner, and brilliant blue skies and fall foliage just beginning to emerge, it is great fun to be out doors grilling.  You know you can grill almost everything except beverages.  (This week is normally our International Balloon Fiesta--so for memories sake I am showing that image.  It has been cancelled due to the Pandemic.)

For appetizers, it is fun to grill either clams or oysters to order.  Once purchased, just place the shellfish in water to cover,  then sprinkle on some cornmeal or oatmeal over the top of the water and leave for an hour or so, depending on your schedule.  This will get rid of the gritty sand they have within them.   Drain and  grill and have some toppings available such as grated horse radish , fresh lemon, liquid pepper sauce  or chile sauce for the oysters.  For clams, lemon butter always seems best.  Bacon wrapped morsels such as water chestnuts that have been dipped in soy sauce, chicken livers, prunes or what have you are always good grilled.  So is freshly baked Focaccia from the grill (recipe follows).

Grilled vegetables are always yummy.  We love zucchini slivers grilled just plain or you can sprinkle with seasoning salt and some herbs.  Eggplant that has a scored skin, and has been sliced rather thinly and sprinkled with salt and then blotted off is good.  Onions, bell peppers and corn on the cob are simply great grilled.  You can serve them as is or dice them and toss with a vinegarette dressing.

Then there is the center of the plate or the main entree.  Many of us always wish to have a meat of some sort.  A while back, I created an assortment of favorite meat  grilling recipes for my  "Best of Southwestern Grilling" that I am putting on a special sale of $10.00 each, autographed.

When grilling steaks, chops or chicken breast, it is easy to get a criss cross grilling appearance, by placing each side of the meat at a 45 degree angle, then arranging it or turning it another 45 degree angle.  When it is ready to turn--you will have  beautiful criss crossed grilling marks on the meat.  They are actually diamond shapes.  I am attaching a favorite beef and chicken grilling recipe for you to enjoy.

Desserts can also be prepared on the grill.  The easiest are fruit desserts.  You can brush them with a liqueur or liquor for added flavor.   I like Grilled Pineapple with rum and some brown sugar, Peaches with Peach Schnapps, and so on.

We still have a couple of openings for our Thursday Tamale class at 11 AM.  The next class is Red Chile Fiesta on November 19 at 5 PM.  Also we have a weekend class set for October 23-25 and have set our week long class for March 15-19 of next year.

Stay tuned we will be offering some new online classes soon!


 Flank steak tends to be a favorite among the grilling set because it is so easy to serve, it tends to be a pet of the barbecue bunch. Do remember some cardinal rules: Flank steak is very tough unless marinated in an acidic marinade and cooked only until medium rare at most—never well done.

Yield: 4 servings

1/2 cup red wine

1/4 cup finely minced onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons crushed Pecos Valley pequin chiles or other very hot chiles

1(1-1/2-lb.) beef flank steak

1 recipe salsa of your choice (optional)

1. Combine wine, onion, garlic, Worcester sauce, mustard, lime juice and chiles in a shallow bowl or a heavy plastic bag. Trim any excess fat or sinew from outside of steak and then place steak in marinade, turning to coat both sides. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.

2. Preheat grill to medium-high or 450?F (230C).

3. Lightly brush rack with oil and place steak on rack. Place rack 3 to 5 inches above heat.

4. Grill steak 3 to 5 minutes per side or until browned on outside and rare to medium rare on inside. Remove from grill and allow to stand about 20 minutes.

5. Cut on the diagonal into thin slices. Serve with salsa.


Sun-dried tomatoes, dried at their peak, just taste like summer. You can slow roast the tomatoes yourself by cutting out the core, making an X on the bottom, lightl oiling the tomatoes with olive oil, then placing them in a 450 F preheated oven and turn it offf and leave over night.  Then you can use them instead. All you need is a simple green salad, crispy crusted bread and a fruity dessert.

Yield: 3 to 4 servings

1 large skinless, boneless chicken breast, 1 to ½ pounds
Juice of 1 lime
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup good-quality olive oil, preferably Spanish
8 ounces  fusilli pasta
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, reconstituted according to package directions and diced
1/3 cup fresh salsa or commercial salsa
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1. Trim chicken breast and place on a plate. Combine lime juice with garlic and 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a small bowl. Pour lime-garlic mixture over chicken, turning to coat. Set aside to marinate.

2. Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain. In a medium salad bowl, combine pasta and sun-dried tomatoes. Whisk together remaining olive oil with salsa and vinegar. Pour over pasta mixture and toss to combine; cover and refrigerate.

3. Preheat grill to medium-high 400F (205C), adding your favorite wood chips. Place rack 4 inches above heat. Remove chicken from marinade and place on rack. Grill about 4 minutes on first side. Turn and grill another 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and centers register 185F (85C). To serve, divide pasta mixture among plates. Cut chicken into about 1-inch squares and top each salad serving with chicken.




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