Remembering Dad's Best Grilling Recipes - moved from General Chowhounding board
- GrillGrate Jun 9, 2010 06:32 PM
To commemorate my dad and his grilling legacy, I decided to grill up Dad's signature dish- London Broil marinated in Catalina Dressing. It was fabulous and the taste and flavor was just as I remembered.
Happy Father's Day dad! And thank you for your great grilling!
What did your dad cook on the grill that remember the most?
Grillgrate, that is an amazing roast, and what a good idea for a topic. My Dad is an immigrant from Taiwan so the "classic" American grillout foods were never that good at my house. Frozen burger patties with all the juice cooked out of them, rump steaks roasted to an even sheen of gray through and through, and mystery meat hot dogs which were boiled before grilling. Oh, and don't forget to cover the grates with aluminum foil, can't have the food touching the dirty grates after all. Of course as a kid I enjoyed the hell out of all that stuff. Really, the sight of Dad stuffing the old charcoal grill with briquettes was enough to get everyone excited for the meal to come (except for maybe Mom).
He did grill one thing which was objectively pretty good. Chicken legs and thighs marinaded in a mixture of soy sauce, cooking wine, sugar, ginger, scallions, and a little cornstarch. Shake them dry and cook them over a low flame for about 20 minutes per side. I guess if I stumbled on this recipe nowadays I would call it teriyaki, but no one called it that back then. Sticky, juicy, and slightly sweet, this is the Dad grilling recipe that dominates my childhood memories.
My father never cooked anything more exotic than liver and onions. He was a meat and potatoes guy. He was also a guy who expected his children to eat whatever was put in front of them, with the grill being the exception. The grill transformed my father from a stern 'He Who Must Be Obeyed' type into a benevolent giver of cooked meats. Like Santa, with tongs in one hand and a Pabst Blue Ribbon in the other.
The meat was never anything other than ribs, chicken, burgers and hot dogs, but you could have whatever you wanted, as much or as little as you wanted, cooked to your specifications. I can never eat barbequed chicken without remembering how he would laugh as I scrutinized what was on the grill, asking him to turn pieces over so that I could find 'my' piece of chicken. There was no recipe (just Open Pit and a little salt and pepper), but when my father was at the grill, we were all happy.
Oh, that sounds almost like my dad's recipe for london broil, except with real beer, and mom banging pots in the kitchen because dad was ruining all that expensive meat.
Oh, and add in the dinner delay when he brought the smoking charred chunk to the table and sliced into it to see it was completely raw in the middle, and into the broiler it went with mom muttering curses the whole way.
My Dad made delicious BBQ chicken. He made his own sauce out of ketchup, onions, brown sugar, vinegar and a sprinkling of crushed red pepper. He also made his own basting sauce with oil and vinegar, salt, pepper and worcestershire sauce. He'd baste the chicken throughout the cooking process and add the BBQ sauce at the end, being careful not to char the chicken. Sometimes he'd add a link or two of kielbasa to the grill.
We all loved it when he BBQed his chicken and he loved cooking it.
My dad has a double sided gas grill and one side is for meat, the other for cakes and pies. He has mastered the latter and his angel food cake is fabulous.
When I was little I think the best thing he did was rotisserie chicken, and in the days before the gas grill his steaks over coals were great.
Dad did Oat-Burgers.
Charcoal Grill was lit.
Out came the mixing bowl. First came ketchup and mustard, then dried onions, then Quaker rolled oats at a 1 to 3 ratio of the beef to come.
It was all about hand mixing. Stirring the slurry of ketchup mustard onion oats. Then adding the ground beef (70/30 for sure). We would grin as our wrists entered the cold fatty meat and our fingers searched deeper to bring up and incorporate the other ingredients.,
Once mixed, it was patted into 8 ounce slabs, then grilled.
Heck yes the oatburger hung way outside of the bun, but Dad's chorus was "The bun is just the place where you can grab it.!" We had fun, and we loved it.
In the later grad school days, when poor and time stressed, I would buy 2 tubs of the smiling Quaker and make up a monthly allotment of granola and 4 ounce frozen oatburgers.
Call me Ishmael... nay.. Oatmeal-al
I grew up on a farm and we raised cattle and hogs, as well as other crops (tobacco) so we always had great meat. Every year we slaughtered a steer which had been finished on corn and grains. A local butcher cut it to our order and we also had our own hogs cut to order.
Daddy would grill steaks, cut thick, and always cooked "an extra one" in case someone got one that was not up to his specifications. That never happened, so we all got a few bites of the extra. He would brush the steaks with butter after grilling, and he had never set foot in a Ruth's Chris or Peter Luger. They were fabulous. Also cooked hamburgers and would sometimes throw a few hickory chips under them for extra flavor.
His pork specialty was center cut thick pork chops, marinated in a soy/ginger sauce. The crisped fat was the best. He would put a little "red sauce" on them, which was similar to a barbecue sauce. I miss those chops but miss him even more.
Just a good, charcoaled hamburger. Growing up in the sixties, it was a simple pleasure with remarkable flavor. I still remember sitting in a folding chair, rotating around the fire, because the wind was always blowing smoke in your face, no matter where you sat.