What Are You Waiting For? Have an Indoor Barbecue!

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

The weather in Charlotte is pretty weird, especially on the cusp of seasonal changes.  We had an unseasonably warm weekend last week – it reached close to 78 degrees!  We walked out of our front door on Saturday afternoon greeted by the aroma of charcoal grills, which usually fills the neighborhood starting in May.  We said, “tomorrow we’ll grab some steaks and light the grill!”  And Sunday was equally as beautiful for most of the day, but we ran out of time and steam before I could get to the grocery store for our backyard barbecue supplies.  Then, the next day it was cold, rainy and in the 40′s!

Well, I do not accept defeat easily.  And I will admit (against my better judgment) that once I get my taste buds set on something there is a real danger that I will throw a temper tantrum reminiscent of my terrible twos  if I don’t get to eat it!  My husband also was a bit disappointed on Sunday night when I told him I forgot to stop at the store on the way home and didn’t want to go back out.  Nothing makes me happier than to make him (and my tummy) happy, so I decided to surprise him with an indoor barbecue.  On Monday, I bundled myself up with umbrella in-hand and went to the store to pick up our favorite – ribeyes – and some corn on the cob.  We didn’t miss the charcoal one bit!  Everything was awesome, but I cannot believe that I am about to say this…my favorite thing on the plate this time was the grilled corn!

This weekend we are in for 40-50 degrees and rain. If you’re in for a cold one too, try having an indoor BBQ of your own.  It’ll definitely brighten your weekend and maybe change the face of your table during cold months in the future.  Here are some tips and pics.  Happy (indoor) grilling!!

Indoor Grilled Corn on the Cob: I love sweet white corn.  I bought the corn with the husks already removed, to make it quicker and more simple for a weeknight meal.  I boiled the corn first for about 5 minutes:

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Then, I heated my grill pan over high heat, sprayed the pan and corn with butter-flavored pan spray, and grilled the corn for several minutes rotating it periodically to grill on all sides.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Once grilled, I spread a small amount of butter over the corn while still in the pan to allow the butter to melt over it.  I seasoned the corn with salt.  For a spicy variation, season the corn with salt, fresh squeezed lime juice, and a little cayenne pepper.

Pan-Seared Ribeye Steak: My absolute favorite cut of beef is the ribeye steak.  Review my previous post, I’ve Got My Eye On Another Ribeye, for my recipe and procedure for indoor preparation of the perfect steak.  I enjoy it simply and well-seasoned: just salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Pan-seared in a little vegetable oil in a hot pan over med-high heat to get that delicious browning that is characteristic of grilled meat.  FYI: the browning comes from a chemical reaction known as the Maillard reaction, in which the proteins react with the small amount of carbohydrates in the meat.  This takes place at about 310oF, which is why you need high heat and a dry surface on the meat.  Another FYI: cooking in oil is actually a dry cooking method. Oil might be liquid, but it is not wet.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Sauté onions and mushrooms (cremini and white mushroom mix) in the same pan to add the amazing depth of flavor that comes from the oil and steak fat.  Sautéing is a dry heat cooking method.  To properly sauté, the pan should be pre-heated and the high heat should be maintained to keep the food from simmering in its own juices.  If the pan is too crowded (like mine below), you can remove the steaks until the vegetables are sautéed to prevent them from steaming or simmering.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Add additional salt and pepper to the sautéed vegetables.  Continue to cook the steak on top of the vegetables as they continue to caramelize, this allows the steak to cook to the desired internal temperature without burning or charring too much.  You could also finish the steak in the oven, as described in my previous post, but for a quick weeknight meal this works just as well in my opinion.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Some oven-baked French fries are a wonderful accompaniment if you want to add another traditional starch.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2013 Tonya L. Mercer All Rights Reserved.

Yes, corn is considered a starch, so the addition of the French fries may just be to satisfy the taste buds instead of rounding out the nutritional components of the meal ;-)  That’s why I finished the plate with a small simple salad (shown above): mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and a red wine vinaigrette dressing.  I love the “Justice For Potatoes League” Commercial from Ore Ida.  There aren’t that many calories in a serving of potatoes and oven baking them keeps the calorie count low.  You can also choose a baked sweet potato as an alternative side item.  All are delicious!

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