Molecular gastronomy be damned - sometimes food just tastes best when grilled over an open flame. Doesn’t matter if you’re a hardcore carnivore or a staunch vegetarian: a little bit of smoke, a touch of char and a few cold brews passed around in the great outdoors has all the makings of a delicious dine-out.
The Stanley team loves BBQing so much we’re always looking for an excuse to fire up the grill, shake up a few cocktails and get down. We recently threw an end of summer BBQ blowout at Stanley HQ, encouraging everyone to bring their favorite dish. In true Stanley fashion we went BIG for this occasion - so big, the other departments were sad they weren’t invited. Maybe next year, Accounts Receivable!
Some of the delicious vittles featured were a herb stuffed cedar plank salmon; smoked grilled flank steak, served thinly sliced; fresh roasted root vegetables, and all of the fixings’ you could want at a blowout cookout. Of course, we had a signature drink, the Stanley Cider Mule, the perfect mix of sweet, spicy and strong to kick things into high gear. Between the ever-flowing refreshments and all the gorging and gabbing going on, we put the summer to bed in style. Events get a little hazy after those first few cocktails, but one things for sure: Ain’t no party like a Stanley party, because a Stanley party pops off.
Bummed you didn’t get an invite? Don’t fret: We’ve selected a few of our favorite recipes, designed, tested and tried by the those who love to grill at Stanley. Dig in:
Recipes To Help You Party Like The Stanley Family:
Fresh Grilled Vegetables With A Dijon, Olive Oil, And Lemon Glaze
Forget boring, limp veggies thrown in as an afterthought: This recipe is designed to convert even the staunchest meat fanatics.
- Get yourself some good organic carrots, asparagus, fingerling pomme de terres (that’s taters, for the less continental), onions, etc. Whatever you’re in the mood for really. Cut them plant bits into your desired shape, though we suggest a ‘long aspect ratio’ for good, even roasting.
- Take a drink of your cocktail.
- Whisk together liberal amounts of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, lemon juice, and dry Italian herb mix. Don’t sweat the exact measurements, just make sure it tastes good. Glaze, check!
- Add the veggies and the glaze to a large mixing bowl and toss.
- Cocktail break. Hey, you gotta stay hydrated.
- Grill the glazed veggies at medium high heat on the top rack (in the lid) of a gas grill. This step is important! The hot/dry/indirect heat at the top rack is the only way to get a good even roast without turning your veggies into a less-than-appetizing charcoal briquette.
- Turn the veggies at the 6-8 minute mark or once they start to get a bit black at the edges. Then roast for another 6-8 min or until they look roasted, nicely roasted. Finish cocktail. If not serving veggies immediately, toss into a crock to keep warm for hours!
One Side Grilled Broccoli
End up with extra veggie glaze? Perfect, you can make these flavorful florets with the remainder.
- Make a second cocktail, take a sip.
- Cut your broccoli into long stem style bits and blanch in a pot of water seasoned with kosher salt and a smashed clove of garlic. Boil for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove broccoli and quickly cool the running cold water over it in a colander. You want to completely halt the cooking effect.
- Coat the broccoli with the same glaze you made for your veggies, described above.
- Now, we aren’t roasting these evil green bits, we’re grilling them on high heat. Broccoli is beefier and can stand up to direct heat better than less robust flora. Preheat your grill on high, and slam the broccoli down directly on the lower main grill surface for 5-10 minutes (or until they look right). DON’T flip them, just pull ‘em off when they look ready to go. Only charring one side is a Michelle Fleming (our Marketing Manager) trick, and it’s clutch.
- Finish with a spritz of fresh lemon juice.
Slow-Smoked Dry Rub Cured Flank Steak
Don’t worry, we didn’t forget the meat.
- Take flank steak(s) out of the fridge and make very slight cross hatch slices on both surfaces of the steak with a SHARP knife (is there any other kind?).
- Rub your favorite seasoning on to the surface of the meat. Massage it into the cross hatching that you created in the step above. Be liberal with the seasoning since, y’know, seasoning tastes awesome.
- Smoke the steaks at 180-200 F in a steady hickory or apple smoke. This can be done in a smoker or on a grill with a wood chip box. Total cook time 3-4 hours. Yeah, we know it’s a long time, but trust us, it’s worth it.
- Pull the steak off the grill, slice into pieces. Cut perpendicular to the grain of the meat. Cutting it the wrong direction will lead to large amounts of regret and embarrassment, with all your friends and coworkers pointing and laughing at you.
Smoke Finished Herb Stuffed Chinook Salmon Fillet
Grilled fish can be a minefield, but this recipe is perfect even for BBQ newbies.
- Go fishing (or to the store) and obtain salmon fillet(s). Also, obtain cedar planks that are approximately the same size as aforementioned fish bits. If local fishing hole/forests do not provide required salmon or planks, I guess you can just buy it. Just not as fun.
- Rinse off fillet and lay out on a large cutting board. Carefully - bordering on sensually - pat both sides of the fillet dry with paper towels. Ignore the confused and horrified stares of those around you who don’t understand the connection you and this fillet share.
- With the skin facing up, roll the fillet into an arch shape and put a roughly ½ inch deep perpendicular slice every 2-3 inches down the length of the fillet. These slices will serve as pockets for our fresh herb stuffing and will also relax the fillet so that it stays flat on the grill.
- Chop a seafood fresh herb mix, stems and all. If the old Norse Vikings could eat herb stems, we can too. Take a sip of aquavit or mead, contemplate entry to Valhalla, repeat.
- Stuff the herb chop into the slices that you’ve made in the fillet.
- Flip the stuffed fillet so that it is flesh side facing up. Coat the flesh with a liberal amount of olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper.
- Soak cedar planks in water for 10 to 30 minutes prior to cooking.
- Heat grill to medium high.
- Put fillet, flesh side down, onto grill. This will sear the flesh, lock in some moisture, and give a nice crispy texture.
- Keep searing until the fish starts to free itself from the grill surface. It will stick if move it too early. Once the fish frees up, turn the fillet 45 degrees to get a nice gill hatch pattern. Once you’ve shifted the fillet, only sear for a minute or two.
- Put cedar plank down on grill surface and flip the fillet (skin down on wood, flesh towards the heavens) onto the plank.
- Cook until plank catches fire around the edges, this will provide a nice finish smoke. Might need to keep an eye on things with a meat thermometer to make sure you don’t overcook it. Overcooked salmon is the worst.
- Finish with a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice
Got a recipe you think belongs in the BBQ pantheon? Tag #Stanelyness so we can share your grilling innovations (which we call grillivations) with the world!