Sunday, August 10, 2008

Grilled Potatoes

If there is every a type of vegetable that couldn't be messed up easily it the potato. With millions of variations, the potato has had a long history of not only making, but breaking a society. In fact, 2008 was declared by the United Nations to the International Year of the Potato. With that I thought it right to discover the flexibility of the potato.

When grilling a potato, I will parboil them. To parboil means to boil the item a little before grilling, essentially partially cooking it and then finishing it on the grill. Another food you would do this with is lobster. Anyway, parboil as many potatoes as you want to serve up. There is no science to this. Cut up your potatoes into as big or small a pieces as you want, just don't go to small our you will have mashed potatoes whether you want it or not.

Half way through boiling, fire up the grill to high heat. Use either coals or a gas grill. If you're using coals, start them in a chimney before you cut up the potatoes. With the grill heating and the potatoes boiling, melt 1-2 tablespoons butter in a microwaveable dish. Put a pinch of sea salt in a large bowl (big enough to toss your potatoes in). Accompany that with a equal portions of dried thyme, parsley and black pepper. Finally, if you want a little zing to you potatoes, through in a couple drops of Tabasco sauce. Mix this up with the butter.

When your potatoes are tender, drain them and put them back on the stove for a moment. This will take the excess water out of the potatoes. This is a little known secret that works well for this recipe as well as mashed potatoes. Who wants to dilute their seasoning with water, huh? So get rid of it completely. When the water has pretty much crackled out of it (listen carefully), put the potatoes in the bowl. Mix them well with the butter seasoning.

Place a grill pan on your grill. If you don't have one, they are a pan with holes in them and are wonderful for these kinds of applications. As opposed to foil bagging your food, these pans allow the flavor of the charcoal to come through. Now your potatoes are essentially cooked, what you do from here on is icing on the cake. Cook them on the grill until you have sufficient char marks to your liking. Here is another important part. When you take them off the grill, put them back in your seasoning/butter bowl and cover them will tin foil until you are ready to serve. At meal time, just plate them up. Your potatoes will be smoky and moist. If you prefer them crunchy, just skip the tin foil. Here is the best part, this recipe is so flexible. Try Cajun spices, or lemon pepper.

Any way you go, enjoy the grilled potatoes.

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