Document Sample
					              grilling: freshness
             makes the difference
                                              by Costas Spiliadis

    Nothing captures the essence         The Barbecue! Bible, Steven                      MINIMAL SEASONING
of summer and Indian summer              Raichlen’s compendium.                       While marinades, spice rubs
days like fresh food prepared and        However, a slightly different set       and the like are great ways to add
eaten outdoors. In Greece, people        of rules governs fish, seafood, and     flavor to foods before cooking,
have been cooking on the open grill      vegetable grilling.                     they are often overwhelming for
for thousands of years. This ancient                                             delicate fish and seafood. Strong
                                                   QUALITY COUNTS
cooking technique remains today                                                  tastes like garlic, chiles, or oil can
                                            The first secret of great grilling
the best way to enjoy the country’s                                              mask the sweet, subtle taste of the
                                         is using top-quality ingredients at
cuisine— simple, virtually unadorned,                                            sea that suffuses fresh fish. For this
                                         the peak of freshness. More than
and full of natural flavor.                                                      reason, I recommend grilling fish
                                         any other cooking technique,
  My cooking philosophy has                                                      and seafood plain and adding just a
                                         grilling draws on and accentuates
always been: find the finest nature                                              bit of seasoning—extra virgin
                                         the flavor already present in food.
has to offer and alter it as little as                                           olive oil, lemon juice and herbs to
                                         Braising can make a tasty dish out
possible. This belief, derived from                                              your taste—after cooking.
                                         an ordinary cut of meat, but items
Greek food traditions, finds its ideal                                            FISH AND SEAFOOD ON THE GRILL
                                         for the grill need to be of premium
method in grilling. A hot grill cooks                                                 Grilled whole fish is a long-
                                         quality. Then only the most basic
food quickly, thereby preserving                                                 standing Greek tradition; a whole
                                         of preparations is needed to bring
the original taste and quality. I                                                fish will retain more of the flavor
                                         out their best.
have introduced the idea of simple                                               than steaks or fillets. Best for
grilling at the Milos restaurants in        GRILLED GARDEN VEGETABLES            whole fish grilling are white-
Montreal and New York City.                   During the summer, home            fleshed varieties, such as pompano,
Fresh fish, seafood, and vegetables      gardens overflow with colorful          red snapper, striped bass, dorade,
are grilled, then simply drizzled        tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants,          pageot, and loup de mer. Or try
with extra virgin olive oil, lemon       onions, peppers and herbs. Grilling     your own catch of the day. The
juice, and herbs. For me this is the     is the perfect way to capture the       ideal weight is one to three pounds.
ultimate way to really taste what        flavor of fresh produce. A lemon             Here’s how I tell when the
the land and sea have provided.          juice and olive oil mixture makes       fish is done: Before cooking I put
  Grilling is an uncomplicated           an exceptional marinade to season       a few insertions by the side of
process that yields amazing results,     and moisten vegetables before           the fin. While it’s on the grill, I
provided a few basic tenets are          grilling. To ensure that vegetables     periodically tug on the fin. If it
followed. While many of us are           cook evenly, it is best to chop them    resists, I know the fish needs more
familiar with steaks, hamburgers         the same size, then place them on       cooking. If the fin pulls off, I
and salmon steaks on the grill,          a skewer. Larger vegetables like        know it’s done. Again, the natural
many other foods can be enjoyed          zucchini and eggplant may be            flavor is such that little or no mari-
this way. Innovative grill and           sliced lengthwise and placed            nation or seasoning is needed prior
barbecue recipes of all kinds            directly on the grates of the grill.    to grilling. Other savories from the
abound in many of the new cook-          Watch carefully for doneness as         sea like shrimp, scallops, squid,
books out this summer, including         vegetables cook very quickly.           and cuttlefish are also tasty on the
grill. However, they generally benefit             THE HINGED GRILL                a less than fresh specimen as
from a light marinade of lemon                For cooking fish whole, a            opposed to poor grilling technique.
juice and olive oil before cooking.      device called the hinged grill is              Summer and early fall present
                                         helpful. Though there are various         a bounty of fresh foods for grilling;
                                         designs available, the hinged grill       if you enjoy vegetable gardening
     Charcoal grilling is the perfect
                                         is basically two metal grates that        and fishing yourself, you can be
complement for meats and other
                                         are joined on one side, coming            your own best source for ingredients.
traditional barbecue items. For
                                         together like a waffle iron. The          You can’t go wrong if you stick
fresh fish, however, gas grills are
                                         whole fish is placed between the          with the recipe passed on through
ideal in order to retain their natural
                                         grates, protecting the delicate skin      centuries of Greek cooks: freshness
taste. The idea is to cook the fish
                                         and flesh from the intense heat of        and simplicity.
quickly with a neutral heat source
                                         direct fire. The hinged grill also
that does not impart strong flavors.
                                         allows you to keep the fish in one        Costas Spiliadis is Chef-Owner
One wants to experience the intrinsic
                                         piece while turning it. Yet another       of Estiatorio Milos in Montreal
goodness of the plump sardines
                                         benefit is that it prevents the fish      and New York City.
being grilled, not the overpowering
                                         from sticking to the grill by keep-
taste of charcoal. Also, gas provides
                                         ing it moist. Usually, however, a
a more consistent heat source,
                                         fish clinging to the grill is a sign of
cooking foods more evenly.

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