Friday, May 9, 2008

A pretty good argument for why grilling is an outdoor sport.

About a year ago, my mother mailed me a crazy contraption she had located for $5 at a yard sale. The Indoor Grill (left). Fashioned to sit directly on the open gas flame of your stovetop, this nifty kitchen gadget uses steam heat (there is a little water moat thingy underneath the grill surface) to deliver perfectly seared steaks, veggies and fish-- and fast. Up until this point, I have used it to cook many a dinner. It is a true go-to item, perfect for a cold December evening when you are tired of pastas, roasts, soups and lusting for a summer day and perfectly-grilled flank steak. Last night, however, I discovered a glitch in my otherwise perfect plan. The smoke factor. I have 2 kitchen fans, but not even those, plus 2 open windows and an open door could prepare me for the sheer volume of smoke that emerged from this simple dinner. The culprit? Sesame oil. When paired with olive oil, and cooked over an open flame, watch out! We took turns fanning the smoke alarm and making sure the cat didn't escape. After about 5-7 minutes of this we finally sat down to a delicious dinner of grilled shrimp, zucchini and scallions over rice.
QIM's "Outdoor Only" Asian Grill Marinade
1/2 c. olive oil
4 teaspoons sesame oil
2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
Hefty pinch of Chinese 5 Spice Powder
Fresh Ground Pepper
(let sit for a couple hours for veggies/seafood- longer for meats)

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