Friday, September 9, 2011

I’ve been forbidden

By my wife from entering upon the premises alone of Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, Le Gourmet Chef, or my personal favorite Sur la table. The second person is apparently supposed to keep me from actually buying anything while in these stores. Apparently she thinks this is like letting a child loose in a candy store. One of my daughters often will go with me as that voice of reason. With her along it is much like sending the wolf to watch the chicken coop.
Professional Grill Griddle
Now I know that what is inside isn’t what my mother would have used and probably can’t be called “old school,” but it does have that warm and fuzzy feeling. As I said earlier I have worked as a short order cook in my younger years. Last summer I received an email from Sur la table ( featuring a stainless steel professional grill griddle that fits on the top of your outdoor grill. The griddle turns your gas grill into a flat-top griddle that allows you to cook many things just like a real short order cook. I just had to have it.

Serious griddle cooking time griddle temp approx. 350 °F 
In this case I had to go to the store to see it before actually buying it. I went to the store with my wife in tow and when I saw it, instead of getting excited with me she said, “why do I need that?” “Because I’m writing a cook book and also a cooking blog, and brings back fond memories of my earlier cooking years.” If that wasn’t enough to seal the deal, it was also on sale! Now this is something my wife can understand.

Place sliders on a  hot grill

So I bought the griddle top, brought it home and placed it in the closet with my other gourmet treasures and left it there for over one year. Finally as my wife was cleaning she found it and asked “what do I do with this grill top that you just had to have?” OMG am I turning into a gourmet tool hoarder? I told her to leave it out and I would use it this Labor Day weekend, just after I finished with Lobsterpalooza (see 9-7-11 post).

Start flipping sliders over

You’re probably wondering what can you cook on an outdoor griddle? Anything! Fried eggs, poached eggs, hash browns, corned beef hash, roast beef hash, eggs-in-the-nest, pancakes, potato pancakes, French toast, hamburgers, hot dogs and many other things. With this griddle it is possible to duplicate the Japanese style of cooking called “Teppanyaki style” cooking. If you’ve ever had a chance to visit Ron of Japan, or Benihana you know what I’m talking about. 
Add bratwurst to grill
If you have a Wok at home then you probably have a dome shaped lid to put over it to steam vegetables. This dome lid is a critical tool when mastering the flat top griddle. You can actually poach an egg by frying the first side until half way to sunny side up eggs. Take a shot glass with 1/2 ounce of water in it. With the domed lid in one hand pour the water just over the egg and immediately cover with the dome. Depending how you like your poached eggs cook with dome on for about 30 seconds or less until the egg is poached.  This water method also works for melting cheese.
To get going you need to place the griddle on the gas grill and close the lid until the temperature reaches 350°F. At this time shut off the burners directly under half of the griddle leaving the burners on the other half to the on position.   

Pâte à choux  Lobster Puffs
Every time you take the time to cook outdoors you're just going to get hungry. As I mentioned in my last post, if you have any leftover lobster, you better make some lobster dip. Then go to the freezer where you should always have a supply of "Pâte à choux" on hand for just this reason. Pâte à choux dough is the same dough used for eclairs, cream puffs, profiteroles, and make a nice appetizer with savory fillings.
Teppanyaki style vegetables
Teppanyaki style shrimp
As you can see this grill griddle could be used to recreate your favorite Japanese restaurant at home in your backyard and on your grill. Look for a future post where I will experiment with Teppanyaki style cooking. Until then does anyone know how to make the egg sauce that they put on the shrimp.
Teppanyaki style shrimp with egg sauce

Yes all of this and more is possible with a flat top griddle. Don't forget that playing with fire should be left to professionals.
Teppanyaki style shrimp on fire
Now go get your griddle on! If you're looking for recipes just send me an email and I'll try to accomodate your request.

© TMelle 1998-2011


grasshopper said...

Great post Tim. Hey, I was wondering if you're going to print more of you recipes. everything looks so good. Thanks

Tim M said...

Yes I will soon but concentrating more on sparking memories like your mom's "Birds." The lobster is easy just heavily salted water like the sea where they come from, drop them in the boiling water, while the lobster is cooking for 9 minutes, clarify some butter, or lust melt it. The hard park is breaking up the whole lobster and getting the meat out of the legs. As for the lobster dip it is nothing more than soft cream cheese, tabasco sauce, a couple drops of milk to smooth out the cream cheese, and a hole lot of lobster. You can buy small puff pastry cups and fill them. How's that?