Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You Go, Grill

Yay - it's finally grilling season. Now, I know what you're thinking; dude, grilling season just passed - it's called "summer." You know, from Memorial Day to Labor Day in these parts. Bull, I say. In my opinion, there's actually no better time to grill than when the weather starts getting cooler; after all, do you really want to stand over a blazing grill when it's 100 degrees out? (If I did, I guess I'd still be in the restaurant biz). And all those years that I lived in California, football season was when I most enjoyed my barbecues - grilling and watching the 49ers beat everyone in existence...those were the days.

My biggest problem when it comes to grilling? I don't own one. Well that, and the fact that we live on the 15th floor of an apartment building, leads to very little grilling. Sure, I can get my cast-iron grill pan screaming hot and pretend grill in our 98 square foot kitchen, but it's just not the same. And no matter what I do, the 49ers suck.

But just this past weekend, Significant Eater and I were invited to a friend's house - yes, house - where there are two, count 'em, two grills in the backyard. And, I got to play on them. My buddy and I both shopped with the grill in mind; and then we both cooked on those grills.

First off, we had some beautiful fish and shellfish from the farmer's market. Assorted clams (cherrystones and littlenecks), cooked just till they pop open and dressed sparingly with nothing but lemon juice, were a gift from the Atlantic. If you've never had a clam like this, you don't know what you're missing...

Also procured at the same seafood vendor were a couple of beautiful black sea bass; when my pal bought 'em, they were still in rigor (that's a good thing). If you've never had black sea bass, you don't know what you're missing. David Pasternack serves it as part of a crudo platter at Eataly, and that's all you need to know. We decided to cook them, simply stuffing the cavity with fresh herbs and lemon slices, tying a bay leaf around the outside and tossing it right onto the grill - no special equipment needed if your grill is properly prepared, hot enough and you know what you're doing...

10 minutes to a side and we ended with some mighty tasty fish...there was even a slight fight over the facial parts and collar - as there should be...

Of course, man does not live by fish alone, and I had headed over to my butcher at the Essex Street Market to pick up some lamb. He had a few beautiful racks of lamb with my name on them, so I took home two and marinated them in olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Nice and simple and simply delicious after a short stint on the Weber with some apple tree trimmings thrown on for good measure...

So you see, there's nothing to stop you from grilling after Labor Day. Or barbecuing. Well, as long as you've got some friends with a backyard and a Weber, that is. We're lucky - we do. Now, if only the 49ers would stop sucking...


  1. I see not having a fire escape as one of the greatest injustices of my apartment. I would seriously take a miniature Hibachi at this point.

  2. Reminds me of one of my favorite pieces of NY subway graffiti:

    Somebody wrote "I love grils".
    Next person wrote "You mean girls, stupid".
    Next person wrote "But what about us grils?"