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Grilling and marinating secrets plus a recipe for filet mignon

Posted at 2:16 PM, Jul 08, 2019

Chef Todd Leonard from Utah Valley University's Culinary Arts Institute joined us with some grilling and marinating secrets and mouth watering recipes.

Grilling and Marinating Secrets

Chef Todd Leonard CEC

Understand Heat!

Grilling is a dry heat cooking method, the flavor of the grill we love so much comes from char or caramelizing of the product. Picking the meat to be grilled is very important. Choose meats that have good fat content to them. The Fat will melt as the dry heat cooks the meat keeping it moist, good fatty meats such as a rib eye may not need more than a good seasoning to be a great grilled item. Other meats that may contain less fat and juice need assistance in cooking with “Moping and Basting”. Marinating and seasoning of meat should always be done with the purpose to enhance the natural flavor of the meat or vegetables not to mask or take away from the product itself. It is important to understand heat, bigger pieces of meat need lower heat and longer cooking time or the outside will char or caramelize to quickly leaving it over cooked and the middle still raw. TURN IT DOWN. Low and slow with moping and finishing techniques during the cooking process will make grilling become a love of your cuisine!

The 3 Basics of Marinating

  • Flavor – Rubs, herbs, garlic, salt, pepper and don’t forget the “Pit Seasoning”
  • Acidity – Citrus, vinegar, wine, Worcestershire, hot sauces
  • Fat – Oils, butter, larding, barding

*Using marinades to mop and baste with is appropriate as long as the liquid has a chance to cook thoroughly as the meat cooks.

Finishing Techniques

Generally all meats need to be finished with a flavorful liquid at the end of cooking to help keep moisture and shine to the meats. Simple ideas are as follows.

  • Butter or flavored butters rubbed on meats or served with grilled meats
  • Fresh olive oil marinades not contaminated with raw meat.
  • One of chef Todd’s Favorites is a mixture of butter or olive oil, lime juice and Cholula hot sauce
  • Glaze = BBQ, Teriyaki, Sweet and Sour or savory meat
  • Fruit juices – specially good on fish, or white meats

* Exported from MasterCook *

Caramelized Onion Demi Glace

Recipe By :Chef Todd Leonard CEC

6 each sweet onions -- french sliced
2 tablespoons garlic -- minced
8 sprigs fresh thyme -- stems picked off
1 cup brandy -- to deglaze
2 cups creamed sherry
1/2 gallon good chicken stock -- Enriched
1 gallon good veal stock -- Enriched
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
salt and pepper -- to taste
2 tablespoons Butter

Caramelize the onions and the garlic, add the thyme towards the end.

Deglaze with the Brandy and reduce ausec.

Deglaze with the Sherry and Reduce by half.

Add the stocks and reduce until nappe.

Add the vinegar and seasoning, taste and adjust.

Strain Sauce through chinoise if desired for smooth finish, add butter.

Use strained onions as a topping, stuffing or other component.

Exported from MasterCook *

Gratin Dauphinoise

3 pounds potatoes
butter -- as needed
salt and white pepper -- to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces gruyère -- grated
24 ounces half and half
3 egg yolks

1. Peel the potatoes and cut into very thin slices.

2. Place a single layer of potatoes in a well-buttered, full-sized hotel pan.

3. Season with salt, pepper and a small amount of nutmeg. Sprinkle on a thin layer of cheese.

4. Add another layer of potatoes, seasonings and cheese and repeat until all the potatoes and about three quarters of the cheese are used.

5. Heat the half-and-half to a simmer. Whisk the egg yolks together in a bowl, then gradually add the hot half-and-half.

6. Pour the cream-and-egg mixture over the potatoes. Top with the remaining cheese.

7. Bake uncovered at 350ºF (180ºC) until the potatoes are tender and golden brown, approximately 50-60 minutes.

Yield: 4-5 pounds (1.8-2.2 kg)

* Exported from MasterCook *

Roasted Cipolini Onions

Recipe By :Chef Todd Leonard CEC

15 grams Blended oil
5 each Cipolini -- peeled
17 grams Garlic -- cut in half
3 grams Thyme sprigs
20 grams Oil
1 pinch Cajun seasoning
1 pinch Pit seasoning
1 pinch Salt
6 grams Butter

In a small skillet, saute the onions and garlic with the oil.

Add other ingredients except the butter and cook in oven for 15 minutes at 350.

Finish the onions with the butter and serve.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Summer Squash Saute

Recipe By :Chef Todd Leonard CEC

1 cup Yellow Summer Squash -- small dice - use the outside only
1/4 cup Yellow Onions -- small dice
1/4 cup Green Bell Pepper -- roasted and peeled and diced
2 tablespoons Basil -- fresh chiffonade
2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese -- grated fine

Prepare and cut vegetables.

In a hot skillet saute the vegetables with butter and oil.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Tomato Fondue

Recipe By :Chef Todd Leonard CEC

150 grams tomato -- peeled and chopped (3 roma Tomatoes)
2 grams thyme
15 grams white wine
15 grams butter
1 gram truffle -- chopped

Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Let it cook down. If it needs more liquid then add water. Hold till service.

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