I am kind of obsessed with barbecuing. Nate and I don't have a grill, but the state parks here have small grills that anyone can use, provided you bring your own charcoal. We went to the Santa Monica Airport Park after a long day of lounging at the beach and to our surprise there were open grills - that were clean! Usually the grills are caked with charred food remains and various debris, so it felt like quite the treat to not have to spend the first 15 minutes scraping and brushing it clean.
The sun was just starting to set when I fired up the grill. I had marinated the chicken thighs and steak since the morning (for about 10 hours), and I also had some yellow globe summer squash that I cut into rounds and marinated in olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt, fresh parsley, pepper, garlic, and dried oregano (basically Italian dressing).
As you can probably tell from the many matches in the charcoal pile, there was a pretty fierce wind and I had one heck of a time getting it to light. It did after about 10 minutes, and I waited until the coals were gray and ashy before spreading them out and putting on the chicken, skin side down.
In the mean time, Nate and I polished off half of a watermelon and a tub of homemade, classic-style macaroni salad. I usually make fancy macaroni salad with pesto and nuts and cherry tomatoes and tortellini or whole wheat pasta, etc etc etc but I woke up with a fierce craving for the mild, creamy pasta salad of my youth.
|Keeping it classy and eating our comfort food out of a recycled "whipped topping" container.|
I cooked the chicken for about 40 minutes total. I wanted to make sure it was cooked all the way through, which can be tricky on an uncovered grill, but it ended up being perfectly cooked and really juicy on the inside, with a caramelized, crispy skin. I cooked the steak over the hot part of the grill for about 5 minutes per side. Sadly I have no pictures of the steak or summer squash, which I cooked it over the hot part of the grill for about 4 minutes per side, just until it had some nice grill marks.
By the time the food was ready, the sun was setting in earnest. Bathed in the orange-pink light, we ate and drank freshly-brewed iced tea, entirely satisfied with our leisurely Sunday.
Orange-Ginger Marinade for Chicken Thighs
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice wine or dry sherry
1/3 cup orange juice
zest of one orange
1 inch of ginger, grated
1/4 cup honey
dash of dry mustard
dash of sesame oil
Mix ingredients and adjust to taste; marinate for at least 4 hours.
Honey Soy Garlic Marinade for Steak (or Chicken...or pork)
1 part Soy Sauce
1 part Honey
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
Mix ingredients; adjust to taste. Marinate meat for at least 4 hours.