Mr. Borscht and I have yet to really settle down in our newly bought humble home and even with unopened boxes that await patiently their turn to be put away we just couldn't wait to grill in our new and first, very own, backyard, which is hilarious since we do not even own a grill. Even so, it ended up being so simple to do, and cost us less than $20 too!
All we needed to buy was a grill top and a bag of charcoal, all of which they had at our new favorite store, Home Depot. Once these two items were bought grilling was easy. With items in hand we picked a spot in the backyard, dug a very shallow hole about 12" in diameter, lined the outside of the shallow hole with a couple of bricks stacked to make a short wall (the bricks we found lying around the backyard), poured the coal into the shallow hole, laid the grill on top and then waited to start grilling to our heart's content.
We took out whatever we had leftover in the refrigerator that we could grill which was almost everything, for most everything is grill-able. So tonight the menu was grilled salmon, grilled zucchini, grilled arugula and roasted red potatoes! Wiped our refrigerator clean of most everything to eat- must make note to buy groceries tomorrow.
We have yet to get backyard lighting for these grilling and night-time backyard feasts and the sun dared not set on us mid-cookout. With such a short time to prepare I went for the basic seasonings, salt, pepper and olive oil. Salt, pepper and olive oil on the skin-on salmon. The salmon was first set on the grill skin-side down and then flipped half way through when the skin started to cracked and sizzle. Grilling the fish was easy enough since I was able to seen just by looking at the flesh of the fish how much it was cooking through, once the fish was taken off the grill I slowly peeled off the skin and grilled the non-crackled side of the skin to make it nice and crispy- and if you've never tried this before, it's heaven. The fish itself tasted of grilled fish, the smoky flavor was very favorable, not to mention that the fish was done perfectly and moist. And although the fish only had a small amount of salt and pepper it did not matter, the smoky flavors that gets permeated into the fish just by grilling makes it delicious enough.
Let me say for the record, the grilled zucchinis were my favorite of the night.
When it came to grilling the zucchinis my main concern was slicing the zucchinis too thin that they would just end up floppy once cooked through and fall between the grill, thus I sliced the zucchinis in half and if they were still to large I sliced them in quarters, the outcome? None were waisted through the grill :) Salt, pepper, olive oil and Hungarian paprika were the spices used for the zucchinis, I merely tossed them all together in a large bowl, though I must admit that the Hungarian paprika might have been a waste to use since I couldn't taste a bit of it once the zucchinis were done on the grill. I suspect the natural smoky flavor from grilling out-did the Hungarian paprika smokiness. Once again the zucchinis were set on the grill skin-side down first, once the skin was nice and charred we flipped them over until they were nice and tender.
Just like so.
Steamed arugula on the grill. Toss the arugula in a large bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and juice from half a lime. Make a basic bag from foil to hold your arugula, put the arugula plus the used half of lime into the foil bag and then fold and crimp the foil bag shut so there are no openings. Put this foil bag on top of the grill where the heat is medium-low, let sit for 10 minutes and then flip the bag and let sit for another 5-10 minutes if you prefer all around wilted arugula. If you prefer your greens only semi wilted like me, simply grill the arugula for 10 minutes or so on one side.
With the lime juice the arugula was fantastic, just remember to open the foil bag carefully once done since there will be liquid in the bag, which is not to be wasted! Simply drizzle that juice onto your arugula for more added flavor, and who doesn't want more added flavor?!
Red potatoes, Mr. Borscht loves potatoes! I sliced the red potatoes in half to make roasting them faster, I merely wrapped all the potatoes in foil with salt, pepper and two pats of butter, threw them in with the coals and let them roast for about 30 minutes, depending on how large your potatoes are you may need a bit longer possibly 45min to a hour if they are russet potatoes (at which point it might be helpful to bury them in the coals). After hearing my potatoes sizzle and bubble in butter for about 10 minutes I felt it was time to get them out of the grill. They were soft and buttery.
I'm no grilling expert by any means and if you aren't too don't be discouraged to try if you feel it, grilling should be fun!- And by jove it is! Besides, there is nothing that can't be put back onto the grill if it's not quite done the way you like.