Friday, August 13, 2010

Establish The Baseline

I'm not coming into this as a rank amateur. I'm pretty handy with a grill and people enjoy what I make. But I have a haphazard approach to how and what I make. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not.

Case in point - This meal was done July 14th. Kristen was out of town and I was in the mood for some barbeque chicken. We'd picked up some maple syrup flavored sauce at the Bath County Farmers' Market a few days earlier.

While getting things ready, I saw some ranch dressing in the fridge and thought, "Why not add that to the sauce?"

Previously I'd treated barbeque sauce like a marinade. This caused the sauce to scorch, and not grill well. This time I grilled the chicken almost completely then brushed on the sauce on near the end.

By the way - I usually drink wine, beer, or something else tasty while grilling. I'll let you know what I'm drinking and how well it goes with the food. Tonight's drink is a Riesling by Rapidian River that we got at the winery at Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville, VA. It's a great balance between dryness and sweetness.

I did cheat a little bit - the book I'm going through (which will be discussed in the next post) has a section on grilling fruit and I had to try it. I had an orange available so I halved it and cross seared it.

The corn I made was also another example of random experimentation.  I mixed in some parsley, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

The good news is that pretty much everything worked this time.  The grilling technique worked much better.  The ranch in the sauce added a really nice flavor.  The spices in the corn were great.  The oranges turned out great especially for my first attempt.  And the wine paired better than expected, especially considering rieslings are usually sweet.

What I didn't like is that I got lucky.  I want to be more confident going into the meal that it's going to be good, rather than just hoping it will.

But overall, yum!  =o9


  1. I've never had a grilled orange. And now I want one!! :)

  2. If you do, I'd recommend cutting them into quarters instead of halves. It was much easier to eat in quarters and they'd be cooked more thoroughly.