It pains me to say it, but the “summer” is just about over this Labor Day weekend. I quote summer because, honestly, its not really over… I think September is the best month of the year around here. Especially for going to the beach! (and I’m in NJ!)
Well, if you haven’t mastered the grill just yet and want to try to squeeze in the last few burgers and steaks of the season, here are a few tips from one of my favorite chefs, Bobby Flay. Below, is a recipe for Ribeye & Anaheim Chile Quesadilla you cannot miss from his fabulous steakhouse, Bobby Flay Steak at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, NJ (I have to get there too…). Happy grilling!!
9 Tricks for Mastering the Grill from Chef Bobby Flay
1. DON’T BE INTIMIDATED BY THE GRILL. A grill is just a source of heat. Just like a stove, it is very user-friendly.
2. CHOOSE THE RIGHT GRILL FOR YOU. Charcoal or gas. Both give excellent results, so choose the one that best suits your style of cooking.
3. GIVE YOURSELF ROOM. Don’t underestimate the importance of having enough room to work. Grilling is much more relaxing when you are not trying to juggle a whole collection of plates and bowls as you do it. If your grill doesn’t have enough workspace – and they almost never do – set up a table right next to your grill.
4. ORGANIZE & PRIORITIZE. Organize your tasks: plan a menu, make lists, do the shopping. When it’s time to hit the grill, get everything out in front of you: food, spices and tools. Everything you are going to need should be within easy reach.
5. MAKE SURE IT’S HOT. Most of the time, I grill over high heat. I like things to move fast. I like the sound and smell of a very hot fire. I gravitate towards dishes that you can get on and off the grill as quickly as possible. After a while, you’ll know without thinking about it how hot the fire is – high, medium-high, etc. Until then, you can use the time-tested method of holding your hand 4 inches above the grate and seeing how long you can keep it there. It may sound a little dangerous, but you’ll pull your hand back at just the right moment.
◦ High: 2 counts
◦ Medium-high: 4 counts
◦ Medium: 6 counts
◦ Medium-low: 8 counts
◦ Low: 10 counts
6. KEEP THE LID CLOSED WHEN COOKING ITEMS THAT TAKE LONGER THAN 10 MINUTES. Items like ribs, whole chicken, bone-in chicken breasts, etc.
7. DON’T PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD. The more you touch the food on the grill, the more it will stick and begin to fall apart. Brush your burgers, fish, vegetables with oil and season with salt and pepper and place on a hot grill. Don’t touch it for at least 2 minutes! It needs to form a crust so that it can naturally pull away from the grill. If you begin to turn it before the crust has formed, it will stick.
8. DON’T FLATTEN BURGERS, STEAKS & CHOPS WITH THE SPATULA. It will only press out flavorful juices and cause flare-ups. Flip the food only once if possible.
9. GRILLING MEAT: WHEN IN DOUBT, IT’S BETTER TO UNDERCOOK THAN OVERCOOK. You can always put food back on the fire if you need to.
RIBEYE & ANAHEIM CHILE QUESADILLA
8 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
2 Anaheim Chiles, stems removed and coarsely chopped
3 Tablespoons Oregano, finely chopped
½ Cup Canola Oil
1 (1 ¼ inch thick) Boneless Ribeye (about 1 lb)
Salt and coarsely ground Black Pepper
1. Stir together the garlic, chiles, oregano and oil in a medium baking dish. Add the steaks and turn to coat in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours.
2. Heat grill to high. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling to take the chill of it. Remove from the marinade and season liberally on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the steak on both sides until golden brown and slightly charred and cooked to medium-rare (130 degrees on an instant-read thermometer) – about 9 minutes. Remove from the grill and let rest, loosely tented with foil, for 10 minutes. Slice into ¼-inch thick slices.
Anaheim Chile Vinaigrette
3 Large Anaheim Chiles, grilled, peeled, seeded and diced
4 Cloves of Roasted Garlic, peeled
3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
1 Tablespoon Honey, or more if needed
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
¾ Cup Canola Oil
¼ Cup chopped fresh Cilantro
1. Combine the Anaheim chiles, garlic, vinegar, lime juice, a few tablespoons of water, honey, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until emulsified. Add the cilantro, blend 5 seconds longer. There should be flecks of the cilantro in the vinaigrette.
12 Flour Tortillas, 6-inch in diameter
1 ½ Cups grated Monterey Jack Cheese
Marinated Ribeye slices, from above
6 Ounces Soft Goat Cheese, crumbled
3 Green Onions, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Ancho Chile Powder
Cilantro Leaves, for garnish
1. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Place 8 tortillas on a flat surface and divide the Monterey Jack, some of the beef, goat cheese and green onion among the tortillas (in that order); season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Stack the tortillas to make four 2-layer tortillas and top each with the remaining tortillas. Brush the tops of the tortillas with canola oil and sprinkle with some of the ancho powder. Carefully place on the grill, ancho-side down and grill until lightly golden brown – about 2 minutes. Flip the quesadillas over, close the lid of the grill until the bottom of the tortillas are lightly golden brown and the cheese has melted. Remove from the grill, cut into quarters and top each quarter with some of the Anaheim vinaigrette and garnish with cilantro leaves.
ABOUT BOBBY FLAY STEAK:
Bobby Flay puts his avant-garde touch on the quintessential American entrée with his first ever steakhouse, Bobby Flay Steak at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. Showcasing a variety of regional steaks prepared with zesty rubs and seasonal ingredients and a special Lobster Bar that features fresh lobster creations, Bobby Flay Steak was designed by David Rockwell to present a chic, comfortable steakhouse that complements the exciting backdrop of Borgata.
ABOUT BORGATA HOTEL CASINO & SPA:
Located at Renaissance Pointe in Atlantic City, Borgata features 2,000 guest rooms and suites; 161,000 square feet of gaming; 182 gaming tables; 4,100 slot machines; an 85-table poker room; 11 retail boutiques; 6 acclaimed fine dining restaurants by renowned chefs; 6 casual dining options; a 54,000 square foot spa; 70,000 square feet of event space; 4 signature nightlife experiences; and parking for 7,100 cars. The resort also features Atlantic City’s first cosmopolitan hotel experience, The Water Club at Borgata, with 800 guest rooms and suites; a 36,000 square foot spa; 18,000 square feet of meeting space; 6 designer retail boutiques; and 5 heated indoor and outdoor pools.