Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I love to grill out. As soon as it's warm enough, I fire up the grill and keep using it until it's so cold and dark I can't stand to be out on the deck. Once we get the chance to wash off the furniture we usually have dinner on the back porch, soaking up the vitamin D sunshine and spending some time not in front of the TV.

Before I met Brian, I had a little tabletop grill. It was the perfect size for my itty bitty, teeny tiny, two-people-and-one-shared-cigarette balcony at my apartment, and was great for camping. I actually went through two or three of them in the years before I met Brian. When we moved to our hovel old house, we put the grill in the cellar because we had no real place to grill out without stray cats stealing our meat. When we moved here to the Square, we bought a brand-new, cobweb-free tabletop grill for our deck, and it's served us very well.
That is, until I lit it on fire last year. Twice. I don't remember if I blogged about it or not, but last summer while Brian was gone for work I grilled some chicken with the skin on. Big mistake. The grill lit up like some manner of burning bush, and the flames threatened to burn down our deck. There are slight black burn marks on our deck wall (why do our decks here have walls? Anyone?) to memorialize my grilling prowess. I am deathly afraid of fire, and was completely terrified by the idea that I nearly burnt our house down. Those flames were four feet high, and the baking soda was inside the house. I finally grabbed it and put out the conflagration. The grill caught on fire again later in the summer, albeit in a much smaller manner. There was an insane amount of residual chicken grease in the bottom of the grill, and I've never really felt safe about it since.
What I didn't know was that when something catches on fire, it often rusts. Like rusts out. You can see how traumatic the fire(s) was by the fact that the top of that grill used to be red. The paint burnt off. O-F-F, ya'll. Burnt. it. off.
So, we were in need of a new grill. $40 would get us a new tabletop grill at the local Wally World.

But then! My amazing husband called! From work! Where they had received a shipment of Holy Cow Amazing How I Lust After It grills. For an insanely reasonable price and the benefit of an additional employee discount. He asked me to come out and look at it, and we brought it home to live with us forever.
**insert a choir of angels singing here*
Brian put it together last week and then helped me light it up. I love to grill, and I have never been afraid of propane or my grill. But read about that fire again...and know that I was terrified. Which disappointed and embarrassed me. Brian helped me, and I'm totally okay with it now. I just had this irrational fear of setting our deck alight. Can't imagine why.

I marinated up some chicken thighs in our favorite marinade, and tossed some asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

A few minutes of hot, searing, yum-inducing heat, and viola'! Let there be dinner!
Here's the recipe I used for the marinade. I use it pretty much weekly in the summer, and it's wonderful. I can't take a bit of credit for it, though. I got it from Recipezaar about two years ago. It's basically idiot proof. Enjoy!
California Marinade
Combine the following in a jar and shake vigorously:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 TB Worcestershire sauce
1-3 dashes of Tabasco sauce
2 TB apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 cloves of crushed, minced, or pressed garlic
Marinate meat or vegetables for a few hours. Brush over meat while grilling.


Samantha said...

I think we have the same grill! (the new one, not the torched one!) E's parents bought it for us when we bought our house.

Andrea said...

Isn't it awesome?! We're still crazy over it :)

Arinne said...

This looks so delish, Andrea! What's your take on Stevia as a substitute for sugar?