Turn Up the Heat
Firing up the grill is a summer ritual, but that doesn’t mean you have to cook the same old thing.
Firing up the grill is a summer ritual, but that doesn’t mean you have to cook the same old thing. Gérard Lopez, chef and cooking instructor at the Elephant Walk, a French-Cambodian restaurant in Boston, Cambridge and Waltham, and a teacher at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, shares some tips for making a smokin’ summer meal.
Know which foods will hold up on the grill. Thinly sliced chicken, sirloin steak, lamb chops and fish such as swordfish, mahimahi and tuna are all grill-friendly, while flounder, cod and thick steaks are best saved for the oven.
The grill isn’t just for meat. Lopez loves grilling green peppers and corn. To give corn a tasty Cambodian kick, brush on a marinade of vegetable oil, sugar, water, salt and green scallions.
“If there’s too much flame when grilling, it will change the flavor,” says Lopez. To get a subtly smoky taste, he sticks by this rule: the thicker the cut of meat, the lower the cooking temperature.
FILL 'ER UP
The fuel you use can change the taste of dinner. Steaks do fine over gas, but charcoal adds good flavor to pork chops.
STEW AWHILEMarinades add pizzazz to standards. Try a lemongrass paste, made from a mixture of sugar, salt and peanuts, to marinate meat and veggies before they hit the flames.
>> The Elephant Walk, Boston, 617-247-1500; Cambridge, 617-492-6900; Waltham, 781-899-2244, elephantwalk.com