Saturday, May 4, 2013

Allegro Hickory Smoke Marinade and Homemade Grilled Vegetable Marinade

Allegro Hickory Smoke Marinade

Grilling is one of my favorite ways to cook. It imparts flavor to your meat that cannot be replicated by anything in a bottle.

And if you have a bottle of this marinade on hand, you have the opportunity to make that grilled meat great!

Several years ago I picked up a bottle of this marinade at my local store. I loved it immediately!

Of course, it being gluten-free might have had something to do with that!

See, most marinades have soy sauce in them, and most soy sauce has gluten. Most, but not all.

I went back for several months for a new bottle of Allegro each time I ran out. I didn't want to be without this in my kitchen.

And then suddenly, one of those trips to the store left me disappointed. Allegro wasn't there anymore. No spot on the shelf. No price label on the shelf. No sign of it anywhere. Nothing.

And the next trip to the store was just as disappointing. And the next. And the next. I think you get the picture. The store had stopped carrying Allegro.

Ultimate disappointment set in. Deeply. For years.

Fast forward to near present day. Last month, a new local grocery store opened near me. Allegro is something I went looking for.

And behold! There it was. Bliss once again!

This is, hands down, my favorite meat marinade ever. And it just so happens to be gluten-free!

We snagged some not-too-expensive slabs of beef and started marinating!

You don't want to put this on any very expensive cut of meat. You probably don't want to marinate an expensive piece of meat in the first place. No filet mignon here.

We chose some slabs that were quite thin, since we were short on time. Time is your bestest friend ever when it comes to marinating. The more time, the better.

On this particular afternoon, time was limited, so thin was better for us. We marinated our slabs for about a half hour.

No worries, though. The result was outstanding!

Our daughter boldly announced that this is her absolute favorite way of having beef. Marinated in Allegro and grilled.

What a fabulous combination!

But wait! There's more....

Grilled Vegetable Marinade

If you are going to grill, you are going to need some meat. If you are going to grill meat, you are going to want some vegetables to go with it....

Naturally gluten-free vegetable marinade!

We've been making grilled vegetables with this marinade for years. For many years, even before I needed to be gluten-free.

2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup minced onion
3 or 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp. fresh basil, minced
1/2 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix well. This is where my little wisk shines. Wisk this all together with a fair helping of elbow grease and you'll see it come right together. Your bits of garlic and onion will still sink to the bottom, but your oil and vinegar will be emulsified!

It's now called an emulsion, for you fellow nerds out there. I love my marinades and vinaigrettes as emulsions!

Now, what vegetables to grill, you ask?

Cherry tomatoes. Mushrooms. Red, orange, or yellow bell peppers. Red onions. Zucchini. These are our favorites.

Yours? Well, that depends on what you like.

We next decide whether we are going to make kabobs or use our outstanding stainless steel grilling pan. Time is usually the determining factor: lots of time means kabobs, while not lots of time means grill pan.

Cut your veggies according to whether you are using skewers or your grill pan: slightly larger and with skin for skewers, slightly smaller and with or without skin, depending on the vegetable, for the grill pan.

Note that I am not talking about a grill pan that you use on your range to get grill marks on your steak. No, I am talking about a perforated pan (yes, it has holes in it!) that you use right on top of your outdoor grill. The holes let all the grill's smoky goodness get into the pan and flavor your veggies!

We have two of these, of different sizes, and they have removable handles. This allows the lid of the grill to be closed as needed. You can find the pans here. (Full disclosure: W-S doesn't know I exist and I get no kickbacks for recommending them. These grill pans are just far superior to any of the others we have used over the years.)

How ever you choose to cut your veggies, pour your emulsified marinade over every single vegetable surface available to you. (If yours isn't emulsified, don't fret. Just stir it well before coating your veggies.) The more you coat those veggies, the happier you and they will be.

You will want leave your veggies coated in deliciousness for at least a half hour before they feel any of that glorious grill heat. Longer is better, but don't go overboard and do overnight. That's too long, because you'll just end up with soggy, sad veggies. A couple of hours is plenty.

We want happy, smiling veggies and this marinade will make them smile!

Aren't those flames beautiful?

Don't let those flareups worry you. Yeah, yeah, you are correct if you are going to tell me that they are bad for your meat. Yes, correct. You don't want charred meat.

But these flareups didn't touch our meat. The flareup is from the olive oil in the veggie marinade falling through the holes in the pan. So really, it is only hitting the underside of the grill pan, not even touching the veggies. If the flareups get too big and start to worry you, just close the lid of your grill.

Remember, safety first. Smother a grease or oil fire.

If you need to. But we're not letting it get that far. We want dinner, not charcoal!

No worries here. Besides, those flareups make for great pictures!

Stir your veggies periodically. We had a lot of veggies here, so they took longer to cook than our thinly sliced meat. Judge yours accordingly.

Pair these grilled vegetables with your marinated slabs of beef and you have a big hit! Everyone in our family, even the pickiest (no names, no names!), was thrilled with this dinner!

It's grill time, baby! Get grilling!

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome your thoughtful comments.