Food blogger Kankan Chakraborty of Playful Cooking fell into cooking as a way to deal with stress, so it's no wonder that her recipes are easy, simple and often feature a fun twist. She's also crazy about grilling and shares her best tips below.
I'm not a grill master but with time and a few mistakes, I've learned that there are a few points that must be taken care of:
1. I always marinate the food before grilling. It enhances the flavor a lot.
2. Even if your grill is clean, make sure to grease it with oil before you put food on it. It not only avoids the risk of food sticking on the grill, but also creates a lovely grill mark.
3. Make sure the grill is hot enough before you place the food on it. It will sear the food and keep it moist inside.
4. If you are using a charcoal grill, a chimney starter makes it easy to fire the charcoal. It’s easier and fuss-free.
5. Don’t get impatient and try to flip the food before it’s done. Depending on what kind of meat or fish you are grilling, use a timer and flip only after it’s done on one side.
6. Always trim off excess fat from the meat before you grill it, as the fat will drip through the grill wire to the charcoal and it might flare up. Better to take precaution rather than calling the fire department.
7. A very important step is to always allow grilled meat to rest for 5 minutes on a plate covered with aluminum foil before you serve it. This resting time allows the juices within to spread through the meat, keeping it moist.
8. Once your food is grilled, scrape off the debris while the grill is still hot. It’s much easier to brush off when it’s still warm rather than when it gets cold.
Check out Kankana's recipe for Grilled Salmon With Corn and Tomato Salad:
Grilled Salmon With Corn and Tomato Salad
For Chili Oil Lemon Vinaigrette
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup chili oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked black pepper
In a glass jar, pour all the ingredients and whisk until they're all mixed into a smooth vinaigrette.
For the corn and tomato salad
1 lb tomatoes
2 corns on the cob
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped fresh mint
Rub a little bit of oil on the corn and grill it in medium-high heat by turning it occasionally. This should take about 30 minutes. In the meantime, throw the tomatoes in a baking pan, drizzle with some oil and roast for about 35 minutes. Once corn is grilled, remove the kernels by allowing the cob to stand on a wide bowl and, using a sharp knife, slice downwards. In the same bowl, add shallots, roasted tomatoes, fresh mint and vinaigrette. Give it a toss and it’s done.
For the grilled salmon
4 slices of salmon fillet
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
Marinate the salmon with yogurt, cumin powder, chili powder and salt. Let it rest for an hour. Once ready, grill it at medium heat for about 6 minutes on each side. Make sure after you place the salmon fillet on the grill, do not move it or else it will tear apart. Once it’s cooked through, it will easily come off and you will get a perfect grill mark, too.
Serves 4 as a main course
Recipe by Playful Cooking