Skills: Basic Grilling guidelines
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Last week I was talking about reasons to cook for your family. I think this quote from Julia Childs sums it all up: "You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients."

Now, on to the email I received from Anna of Richmond: it reads as follows: as summer is here and the grills are fired up, I was wanting to know some good simple ways to do fish on the grill and how long one should cook them.  My husband especially loves tuna (more on the med. to med. rare side) so any ideas in that area would be great!  Also, are there types that you just donít recommend for the grill?

Let me start with some basic guidelines for grilling in general:

1.      donít start testing the food as soon as you put it on the grill.  Give the food a chance to cook, allowing it to sear on the bottom so that it will naturally pull away from the grate and not stick

2.      donít cut into the food to see if it is done.  This allows some of the natural juices to come out and the food dries out more

3.      (chefís tip) the best way to test most food is by pressing on it with your finger.  If you do this every time you grill, you will quickly learn what a perfectly cooked piece of meat or fish fillet feels like.- you can poke your food with  your fingers as many times as you want, and it wonít dry out the cooking food, but again, if you cut into it, the food will dry out more quickly.-this is why you should use a pair of tongs or a spatula to flip the meat or fish

4.      as meat, poultry and fatty fish like salmon and tuna cook, they become firmer and firmer to the touch.  A rare steak/tune fillet feels squishy, medium feels springier and well-done feels taut.  White fish is different because is becomes flaky when done.

5.       let your meat and poultry rest before cutting and serving.

          -remember that most cuts of meat and poultry continue to cook once taken off          

            of the grill.  The larger the cut, the longer the interior heat continues to cook the   

            meat.  I suggest removing the meat and covering it with foil for up to 10 minutes.

-         resting also allows the meat to draw the natural juices back into itself, so that

more of the juices stay in the meat when cutting instead of on your cutting board.

          - serve boneless poultry and fish immediately since they lose their heat quickly

 6.    it is better to under cook than over cook.  You can always put the food back on  the grill         




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