Chef Isabella Says, “Let’s Cook Outside!”.

grilling timeGrilling, in my opinion, is one of the easiest and stress-free ways to prepare a delicious and healthy meal and summer is the perfect time of year to take it outside!

Of course, just like any good meal, you have to plan. That means shopping for the ingredients ahead of time. Keep in mind that fresh is best, so hit the farmers market or produce aisle at the grocery store.

Prep work is 95% of the job. It doesn’t have to take long or be tedious, though.  Turn up the music, and start by cleaning, peeling, cutting, and marinating the meat and produce that you’re going to need to toss onto the grill.

Get your tools ready, too.  I’m talking tongs, spatulas, grates, baskets, and skewers. And,  make sure your grill rack and tools are spankin’ clean. (I always clean everything right after I use them so that I’m ready for the next cookout.

Here are a couple of other pointers:

-Preheat the grill for 15 to 25 minutes prior to putting food on it.

400-450 degrees is considered high heat

350 -400 degrees is medium-high

300 to 350 degrees is medium

250-300 degrees is low

-Invest in a good thermometer to keep track of the actual temperature of the grill. It might seem redundant but it’s also important to use a food thermometer to make sure your food, especially meat and fish, are cooked to perfection and safe to eat.

-Never use the marinating liquid to baste your food!. It’s a big no-no! Always make extra marinade, and put it aside to use for basting. There are few things worse than food poisoning, so this is important.

– Let your food rest after you take it off the grill. It allows the juices to even out and enhances the flavor.

Grilling is not only for meat, fish, and vegetables. Fruit is great on the grill. So is sweet bread or cake slices. Just remember to make sure your grill is always clean before placing a new food on it. You don’t want your cake to taste like salmon, do you?

Here’s a Greek-Style Grilled Eggplant recipe from weightwatchers.com that is sure to please!

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