Keep grilling interesting with seasonings, marinades

  • Tue Jul 13th, 2010 11:40am
  • Life

By J.M. Hirsch Associated Press

During summer, I’m likely to grill as many as four or five nights a week. It just makes sense for the weeknight kitchen.

Grilling is fast, easy and leaves almost no cleanup. Especially when you do the entire meal on the grill.

The only downside of grilling with the frequency I do is that meals can start to feel repetitive. That’s why I am constantly experimenting with new rubs, brines, marinades and seasoning mixes — all of which are near effortless and versatile ways to add tons of flavor.

Burgers, for example, can be spiked with different seasonings for fresh approaches each night. Perhaps an Asian-inspired blend of fresh ginger, garlic, chives and mustard powder one night, then a mix of diced jalapenos and Jack cheese the next.

Pork and chicken can be brined in a mix of cool water, sugar, salt and whichever seasonings appeal to you. Beef (or in the case of this recipe, bison) does particularly well with rubs, either wet or dry.

For this recipe, a base of balsamic vinegar and tamarind paste (widely available in the Asian aisle at most grocers) add tons of flavor, while also keeping the meat (bison dries out quickly) moist.

And since I like to do the entire meal on the grill, the side of garlic-paprika corn can be tossed on right alongside the steaks. The ears of corn are wrapped in foil to help keep the butter from dripping off.

Bison steaks with balsamic-tamarind wet rub

2tablespoons canola oil

2tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1teaspoon tamarind paste

1/2teaspoon kosher salt

1/2teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2teaspoon cinnamon

1teaspoon smoked paprika

46-ounce bison steaks

In a large bowl, mix together the oil, vinegar, tamarind paste, salt, pepper, cinnamon and smoked paprika. Add the bison steaks and use your hands to slather the mixture evenly over all sides of the steaks. Set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Heat the grill to medium-high. Oil the grates.

Grill the steaks for 5 minutes per side, or until deep grill marks appear. Transfer to a plate, cover and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 252 calories; 85 calories from fat; 10 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 65 mg cholesterol; 2 g carbohydrate; 37 g protein; 0 g fiber; 317 mg sodium.

Garlic-paprika grilled corn

1/4cup (1/2 stick) butter, very soft

2cloves garlic, finely diced or mashed

1/2teaspoon salt

1/2teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika

4ears corn, husked

In a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, salt and paprika. Rub a quarter of the mixture over each ear of corn, then wrap each tightly in foil.

Heat a grill to medium-high. Grill the corn for 5 minutes, then serve wrapped in the foil.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 254 calories; 128 calories from fat; 14 g fat (8 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 30 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrate; 5 g protein; 7 g fiber; 252 mg sodium.