Winter Grilling Rules (Part 2)

7 Dec

Driving back home from meetings in Montgomery, I was hopeful that the rain that had set in on Monday had blown through and I could grill tonight’s dinner on the patio – and was deciding which member of the Grill Garden – Patio was going to get the assignment of cooking dinner. I was leaning toward my Genesis Silver B (Weber) when I came out of Publix and into (another) driving rainstorm. New plan. Winter Grilling Rules (see yesterday’s post) were declared in effect, and the decision switched to which member of the Grill Garden – Garage would get the call.

I decided to go with my (RED) Weber Q220. This little grill is the tailgate workhorse – cooking at 5 Auburn home games this season and 3 or 4 games last year, as well as three Trinity United Methodist Church Football season. It is one of my favorite grills to cook on – even if it is a gas grill. The heavy and well-seasoned cast iron cooking grates go a long way toward making up for the fact that the grill isn’t charcoal fueled. Using a 20 lb propane tank, the grill temperature gets to about 450 degrees after about 10 minutes of pre-heating, and can be adjusted downward. A cooling rack and a piece of aluminum foil allows meat to be finished indirectly after searing on the cast iron grill grates. The Q220’s picture is above. This is a bit of an unusual Q220 because the dome of the grill is RED rather than the generic (and boring) beige that Weber paints most of its Q Series grills.

Dinner was a combination of experiments. Boneless skinless chicken breasts (from the Piggly Wiggly, of course) marinated in teriyaki sauce, grilled fresh pineapple slices and for Melissa, grilled talapia seasoned with Cavender’s Greek Seasoning, but grilled with lemon slices to add a bit more flavor. I added a salad and some Uncle Ben’s teriyaki rice to round out the dinner.

The cook went off without a hitch – except for my forgetfulness  – I forgot to take my teriyaki glaze down to the grill to finish off the chicken. Every bite got eaten and I give the dinner about three of five stars.  A few observations: the Q220 rocks (I’m reminded of this every time I cook on it and it makes me glad to have a Char Q as well as a Q 320 in the Grill Garden); the grilled pineapple is good, but the fresh sliced pineapple could use a touch more sweetener to help balance the natural tartness of the fruit (next time I’ll do a honey/brown sugar glaze for the pineapple); the lemon slices grilled with the fish didn’t really add anything (next time, grill lemon halves, and squeeze them on the fish after cooking).

All an all, a successful experiment. An edible and enjoyable meal (Meredith ate two of the three boneless, skinless breasts), and lessons were learned to make the next attempt earn more stars in the grill rankings.

Tomorrow night, its just Melissa and me for dinner, so I’ll need to think up something creative that satisfies my carnivorous desires and yet meets her vegetarian sensibilities….. that will take some thinking!

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