It’s summertime! The sun is shining and the savory aroma of grilled meat is floating through the air. While down town living is incredibly fun and convenient, it’s lacking in the barbeque department. My apartment’s absence of a patio has rendered me “grill’less,” but I won’t stand for it. I’ve come up with a couple of alternative ways to get my grill on and enjoy the summer!
Alternative Grilling Method #1
At one point or another over the summer, you may be lucky enough to have access to a cottage with a back yard and a fire pit. Start a fire, but be careful not to use any wood that has been painted or chemically treated. Allow the flame to die down a bit and find a spot with red hot burning embers. Place a metal rack over the embers, positioning it clear of large flames. Now you can grill anything you like! For this occasion, asparagus with butter, garlic, salt and pepper took about 6 minutes over the fire. A whole chicken stuffed with figs, garlic, finely chopped mushrooms and onions, salt, pepper, basil and a bay leaf took about 1 hour. Keep an eye on your food and move it around a bit throughout the cooking process to distribute heat evenly. What a delicious grilled meal!
Alternative Grilling Method #2
Indoor Electric Grill
We’ve all seen it. Patio doors in an apartment, but no patio. I haven’t figured out the reasoning behind this structural disappointment, all I know is it leaves me with no patio and no BBQ! It’s summertime and no BBQ is no excuse. An indoor electric grill is perfect for grilling almost anything you would like. A personal grilled favorite of mine is a portobello burger. I found these huge portobellos at Noggins Corner Farm in the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market!
When it comes to grilled portobellos, in my opinion, marinating is key. Here’s my quick marinade recipe.
For each mushroom use:
1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, fresh chives finely chopped, fresh minced garlic (1 clove per 4 mushrooms, or more if you love garlic like me!), 1/4 tsp savory spice and salt and pepper to taste. Allow mushrooms to soak up the marinade for about 5 minutes. The flat brown scales on the under side of the mushroom quickly soak in liquids, so it won’t take long!
Place on the electric grill for about 5 minutes.
Toast and spread a 1:1 mixture of pesto and mayonnaise on some burger buns. I topped my portobello burger with leaf lettuce, onion and shredded carrot from Noggins Corner Farm and Ran-Cher Acres Goat Cheese also found in the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market! A delightful grilled meal without the BBQ!
By Julie Hallett