True grill masters work their culinary magic year-round over charcoal or wood fire grills and smokers.
For the rest of us, grilling season gets underway with the arrival of Father’s Day. Whether it’s burgers and hot dogs or steaks, chops, or kabobs, cooking over a grill offers much more than flavor.
Grilling is equal parts cooking, socializing, and entertainment. That’s the reason folks gather around whenever someone fires up the grill. It’s a veritable symphony where sizzling meat or fish take center stage, accompanied by the sound of spits as melting fat drips onto hot coals.
As with any symphony, all eyes are on the conductor – in this case, the grill master, who deftly coaxes the best flavors, textures, and colors from the ingredients with every flip, turn, or repositioning.
Add chilled beverages and tasty apps, and standing around the grill takes on the excitement of culinary theater.
When it comes to grilled meats, a thick ribeye steak cooked to perfection is hard to beat. Well-marbled with flecks of fat throughout and a simple seasoning of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, the flame-kissed flavor imparted by charcoal, wood, or even a gas fire ensures every bite is sublime.
But why stop there? Grilling heightens the flavor and mouthwatering appearance of vegetables, too.
For this grilled ribeye steak with charred peppers, onion, and bok choy, I lightly brushed olive oil over yellow and red sweet peppers, red onion, and baby bok choy, grilled them over a hot flame until charred, then brushed on Asian sweet chili sauce during the final minute of cooking.
While grilling a complete meal of steak and vegetables, I used leftover space to blacken poblano peppers for chicken enchiladas I plan to prepare later in the week. Other times, I’ve used excess space to grill chicken legs and thighs for another meal. This double-duty grilling saves cooking time and fuel, and there’s nothing like knowing another savory meal awaits in the fridge for the next day.
Grilled Ribeye Steak with Charred Peppers, Onion, and Bok Choy
1 ¾ pounds boneless ribeye steak, 1 ½ inch thickness
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Smoked sea salt flakes for garnish
2 yellow sweet peppers, rinsed
1 red sweet pepper, rinsed
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 6 wedges
3 baby bok choy, rinsed and cut in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
Season the meat generously with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper and set it aside. Slice the yellow and red peppers in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and slice each half into three wedges. Brush the peppers, onion wedges, and bok choy halves lightly on each side with olive oil and set them aside.
Preheat the grill. When it is hot, transfer the meat and vegetables to the grill. Cook the meat 4 minutes, then turn it over and cook 4 minutes more. Turn the meat over once more, rotate it one-quarter turn to create crosshatch grill marks, and cook 1 to 2 minutes more on each side, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 130 degrees. Transfer the meat to a large platter, garnish it with smoked sea salt flakes, and set it aside to keep warm.
Meanwhile, cook the vegetables until they are crisp-tender and begin to char, flipping them over once. Just before removing them from the grill, brush with sweet chili sauce. Cook 1 minute more, then remove them from the grill and arrange them on the platter next to the meat.
Yield: 4 servings