Make sum­mer siz­zle with this ad­di­tion to your grill

Cecil Whig - - JUMPSTART -

Last week I broke out my ca­st­iron siz­zle plat­ter and placed it on my grilled grates. Other than an oc­ca­sional wipe down af­ter grilling, it will stay there for the en­tire sum­mer.

Siz­zle plat­ters are great for sear­ing mush­rooms, filet or scal­lops; fin­ish­ing off veg­gies; black­en­ing fish or chicken; and cook­ing any­thing that’s small, like baby shrimp.

Prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant thing to know when cook­ing with a siz­zle plat­ter is to use oil or but­ter. I like herb oil. If you plan to use any kind of bar­be­cue sauce or sauce with sugar, it has to come at the very end. Then you will need to wash the siz­zle plat­ter with wa­ter, be­cause the sauce will burn well be­fore your food is done.

Be­cause a siz­zle plat­ter al­lows the fla­vor of food to shine through, it’s im­por­tant that you fo­cus on small de­tails that add some­thing spe­cial. Here’s a recipe to get your cre­ativ­ity started.

Seared Mush­rooms 20 white mush­rooms, wiped down and sliced in half Herb oil Salt Op­tional but­ter Blood or­ange glaze Place the siz­zle plat­ter on the grill grates. Heat a grill on high heat. Care­fully place the mush­rooms on the siz­zle plat­ter and driz­zle them (lit­tle by lit­tle) with a few ta­ble­spoons of herb oil.

Sauté the mush­rooms for about 10 min­utes, turn­ing them and adding a lit­tle more herb oil to en­sure they are well coated (but not drown­ing). Do not drip the oil over the open grates only on the siz­zle plat­ter. Oil dripped into open grates causes flare ups.

Sea­son the mush­rooms with salt. Cook them for an­other seven min­utes un­til they be­come golden. This might take more time de­pend­ing on the heat. When they are done, you can add a dab of but­ter to top it off.

With a long pair of tongs re­move the mush­rooms from the siz­zle plat­ter and place them in a bowl. They should be ten­der. Cover the mush­rooms with 1/4 cup blood or­ange glaze and serve.

Herb Oil 3 sprigs fresh thyme, about 4” long, rinsed well and pat dry

1 sprig fresh rose­mary

1 cup 100 per­cent olive oil (not ex­tra vir­gin)

Place the herb on a cut­ting board and gen­tly crush the herbs with a wooden ham­mer. Don’t hit too hard, just enough that they be- come bruised.

Pre­pare a dou­ble boiler. Pour the olive oil into the in­side pan and add in the herbs. Heat the oil over medium low for about 20 min­utes. Re­duce the heat to low and cook it for an­other 20 min­utes. Make sure to re­plen­ish the wa­ter as needed.

When it is done, turn off the heat and let the oil cool. Don’t trans­fer it when it is hot.

Once cool, trans­fer the cooled oil (minus the herbs) us­ing a fun­nel into a glass con­tainer or a plas­tic squeeze bot­tle. Herb oil keeps in the re­frig­er­a­tor for up to four weeks.

Blood Or­ange Glaze 4 ta­ble­spoon soy sauce 2/3 cup wa­ter 1 tea­spoons minced gin­ger 1 tea­spoon minced gar­lic 2 ta­ble­spoon honey 4 ta­ble­spoon juice from a blood or­ange

1/2 cup blood or­ange supremes (ba­si­cally the or­ange in­nards with­out the white ribs)

Place all the in­gre­di­ents in a small pot over medium heat and throughly whisk. Cook for 10 min­utes un­til the sauce thick­ens. Turn off the heat.

Cook­ing at Home is a weekly col­umn where Rebecca dishes on what she’s been mak­ing.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF REBECCA BENT

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