When grilling outdoors isn't an option, bring the barbecue inside. No, we don't mean bring your gas or charcoal grill into the garage (you should never do that). Instead, try an open face grill, folding contact grill or grill pan.
Folding contact grills are very true to their namesake. They fold in half, cooking both sides simultaneously. AKA: a Panini maker. These are perfect for sandwiches (obviously), and thin cuts of chicken and fish.
Open face grills are typically electrical and stand uncovered on your counter. They provide an authentic outdoor grill flavor and require flipping to cook food evenly. Open face grills work for about any cut of meat or vegetables, as long as they're sliced thinly as to not over or undercook.
Grill pans are open faced and are heated by your stove or cooking unit. Grill pans work well for thicker cuts that require searing then finish cooking at a lower temperature, since you can easily control the flame on your stovetop.
The smoky smell of an outdoor grill is part of the allure, but it's not so cute in your kitchen. No matter what type of indoor grill you choose, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Always trim excess fat. When you grill outside, the fat renders and drips onto the grill flame, usually causing a flare up. Inside, the smoke doesn't have the great escape of the outdoors. The same applies to marinades. Use a wire rack to drain off extra marinade and make sure there are no "bits" of marinade - like garlic, onions, ginger, etc. When choosing a seasoning, go for dry powder rubs over coarse ground seasonings. Finely ground powders stick to the meat better and don't burn like coarse rubs.
No metal utensils. If your grill has a nonstick surface, use wooden or heat-resistant plastic cookware. Scratching the surface of a nonstick grill causes the same sticky problems it would to a nonstick pan. ------------------------
Grilled Parmesan Chicken Makes 4 servings Total time:
Ingredients 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, fileted very thin 1 ½ tsp. olive oil Black pepper, to taste ½ cup marinara or pizza sauce 2 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese 2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions PREHEAT indoor grill according to manufacturer's directions. Lightly COAT both sides of chicken with oil and SPRINKLE with black pepper. GRILL chicken and lower lid (if using a contact grill) and COOK for about 6 minutes per side (6 minutes total on contact grill) or until chicken is lightly brown and juices run clear (internal temperature should read 165°F). PLACE chicken breasts on a foil-lined cookie sheet. TOP each breast with sauce and cheeses. BROIL in a reheated oven until cheese is melted, about two minutes.
Nutrition information per serving: 216 calories; 8 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 81 mg cholesterol; 239 mg sodium; 4 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 31 g protein --------------------------------------
Balsamic Marinated Flank Steaks Makes 4 servings Total time:
Ingredients 1 beef flank steak (1 - ½ pounds) Salt and pepper For marinade: ¼ cup balsamic vinegar 2 Tbsp. olive oil 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh bail 1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard 1 garlic clove, minced ½ tsp. sugar
Directions COMBINE marinade ingredients. PLACE steak and marinade in a plastic bag; TURN steaks to coat. CLOSE bag and MARINATE in the refrigerator for 6 hours or up to overnight. REMOVE steak from marinade and DRAIN on a wire rack for 10 minutes, or until excess marinade has dripped off. PREHEAT indoor grill to medium heat and GRILL 8 - 10 minutes per side, or until internal temperature reaches 145°F (if using a folding contact grill, keep the lid open, cooking one side at a time). REMOVE steak from grSEASONnd SEAON with salt and pepper, as desired. ALLOW steak to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Nutrition information per serving: 183 calories; 9 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 42 mg cholesterol; 66 mg sodium; 1 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 24 g protein
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