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Barbecue, Rain or Shine
An indoor grilling expert shares her favorite recipes for smokeless electric grills.

Holly Rudin-Braschi
Photography by Alan Richardson
Prop styling by Betty Alfenito
Food styling by Jee Levin
Safeway Select January-February 2001

I have always loved to grill, but I used to reserve making my favorite barbecued goodies for summer weekends when I had time to mess with charcoal and lighter fluid. Then, in 1995, when electric indoor grills became available, I gave one a try and was hooked. Faster and easier to use than traditional charcoal grills, electric indoor grills could be preheated in 10 minutes. And using them gave me results very similar to outdoor grilling—without the smoke. Cleanup was a snap because of the nonstick surfaces and dishwasher-safe parts. I also discovered that using an electric tabletop grill is a very healthy way to cook. All the grills are designed so excess fat drips away from the food as it cooks.

My electric indoor grill soon became my favorite year-round solution for quick and healthy dinners and easy entertaining. I was having so much fun, I purchased all four styles of electric indoor grills available, then started using them in the cooking classes I teach. They were an immediate hit. Since then, I have sold thousands of electric indoor grills on QVC, and recently put my passion on paper in the first book about electric indoor grills, Grill Power. From the book, I’ve selected three of my favorite menus, which showcase the versatility of indoor grill cooking.

MENU
Orange-Teriyaki Tuna Kushiyaki
Sticky Rice
Japanese Cucumber Salad

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Electric grills can handle it all. Orange-Teriyaki Tuna Kushiyaki with Sticky Rice and Japanese Cucumber Salad.

Tuna Kushiyaki
Prep and cook time: 40 minutes, plus at least 20 minutes marinating time

Notes: In Japanese, “kushi” means skewer and “yaki” means grill. Unless your grill comes with skewers, you’ll need 16 8-inch wooden skewers for this recipe. If you’re using an infusion grill, pour the leftover marinade into the infusion cup for more intense flavor. This is delicious on a bed of “sticky” rice, made using 2 cups water for every 1 1/2 cups medium-grain white rice.

Makes: 4 servings

2    tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1    tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1    tablespoon orange marmalade
1    teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 1/4    pounds tuna steaks
2    medium navel oranges
1/4    pound sugar pea pods (optional)
Hot, cooked rice

1. Preheat grill to medium-high or 350 to 400 degrees.

2. In a small bowl with a fork, mix soy sauce, orange juice concentrate, marmalade, and ginger. Pour into a 1-gallon heavy resealable plastic food bag.

3. Cut tuna into 1-inch squares, then place in bag with marinade. Turn pieces to coat with marinade, then squeeze air from bag and seal. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or up to 1 hour.

4. Cut oranges into quarters (do not peel), then cut those quarters in half. Set aside. Remove strings from pea pods, if using.

5. Remove fish from marinade; discard marinade unless using an infusion grill (see Notes). Thread fish, orange pieces (first through flesh, then through peel), and pea pods onto two parallel bamboo skewers, leaving about 1/4 inch of space between foods. Spray each skewer with cooking spray.

6. For a two-sided contact grill, cook 4 to 5 minutes for medium, until tuna is tender, evenly opaque, and no longer translucent in the center (a thermometer inserted in center of thickest part reads 135 to 140 degrees). For all other grills, cook 8 to 10 minutes for medium, turning skewers halfway through the cooking time. Serve with rice, Orange Teriyaki Sauce, and Japanese Cucumber Salad.

Per serving: 261 cal., 25% (63 cal.) from fat; 34 g protein; 7 g fat (1.8 g sat.); 14 g carbo (1.7 g fiber); 356 mg sodium; 54 mg chol.

Orange Teriyaki Sauce
Prep and cook time: About 10 minutes

Notes: This sauce will keep in your refrigerator for 3 weeks and may be frozen up to 1 month.

Makes: 1 cup, enough for 2 recipes Tuna Kushiyaki

1/3    cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4    cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4    cup orange marmalade
2    tablespoons granulated sugar
1    to 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1/2    to 1 teaspoon prepared wasabi mustard or other hot mustard or hot sauce (optional)
2    teaspoons cornstarch

1. In a small saucepan using a wire whisk, mix soy sauce, orange juice concentrate, marmalade, sugar, ginger, and mustard, if using, until sugar dissolves.

2. Place pan over medium heat and cook, whisking occasionally, until sauce begins to boil, about 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water. When sauce boils, whisk in cornstarch mixture. Return to boil, whisking constantly until lightly thickened (about 1 minute).

4. Cover and set aside until ready to serve. If sauce becomes too cool, warm in pan over low heat. If it becomes too thick during reheating, add a few teaspoons of water.

Per serving: 60 cal., 0.1% (0.1 cal.) from fat; 0.8 g protein; 0.0 g fat (0 g sat.); 15 g carbo (0.1 g fiber); 396 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Japanese Cucumber Salad
Prep and cook time: About 10 minutes

Notes: This salad can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated airtight. Daikon, or Japanese radish, is large, white, and carrot shaped. It has a mild, slightly juicy, sweet taste and crispy texture. For the freshest daikon, choose very firm radishes that have a smooth, almost luminous skin. Daikon will keep up to 1 week in your refrigerator if it is thoroughly dry and stored in an airtight bag.

Makes: 4 servings

2    cups thinly sliced hothouse cucumber
1    cup shredded carrot
1/2    cup shredded daikon radish or thinly sliced red radish
1/2    cup thinly sliced green onion
1/4    cup seasoned rice vinegar
3    tablespoons sugar
1/2    teaspoon light salt

1. In a medium bowl, combine cucumber, carrot, radish, and green onion.

2. In a small bowl, using a fork or small wire whisk, mix vinegar, granulated sugar, and salt until sugar is dissolved.

3. Add vinegar mixture to cucumber mixture and combine. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

Per serving: 81 cal., 1.5% (1.3 cal.) from fat; 0.8 g protein; 0.1 g fat (0 g sat.); 20 g carbo (1.7 g fiber); 393 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

MENU
Smart and Saucy Rosemary-Cherry Lamb Chops
Toasted Pecan Couscous with Brussels Sprouts

Smart and Saucy Rosemary-Cherry Lamb Chops

Smart and Saucy Rosemary-Cherry Lamb Chops

Electric-Grilled Lamb Chops
Prep and cook time: 30 minutes, plus at least 20 minutes marinating time
Makes: 4 servings

1    teaspoon light salt
1/2    teaspoon white pepper
1    tablespoon minced or pressed garlic
2    teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 1/4    pounds loin lamb chops

1. In a small bowl with a fork, thoroughly mix salt, pepper, garlic, and ginger. Smear mixture on all surfaces of the lamb chops. Place chops on a plate or dish. Cover tightly and refrigerate 20 minutes or up to 1 day.

2. Preheat the grill to the highest setting.

3. Remove chops from refrigerator and spray lightly with cooking spray. Place chops on the grill. For a two-sided contact grill, cook 8 to 10 minutes for medium, until a thermometer inserted in center of thickest part reads 140 to 150 degrees. For all other grills, cook 10 to 14 minutes for medium, turning the chops halfway through the cooking time. Serve with Rosemary-Cherry Sauce and Toasted Pecan Couscous with Brussels Sprouts.

Per serving: 296 cal., 67% (193 cal.) from fat; 23 g protein; 21 g fat (8.9 g sat.); 1.2 g carbo (0.1 g fiber); 347 mg sodium; 91 mg chol.

Rosemary-Cherry Sauce
Prep and cook time: 30 minutes

Notes: Make this sauce up to 2 days ahead and refrigerate airtight.

Makes: 1 cup, enough for 2 recipes Electric-Grilled Lamb Chops

1    teaspoon olive oil
1/4    cup finely chopped white or yellow onion, or shallots
1    teaspoon pressed garlic
1/2    teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2    teaspoons finely chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried, crushed, rosemary
About 1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth
1/2    cup all-fruit cherry jam
1    tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2    teaspoons cornstarch

1. In a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan over medium-low heat, warm olive oil. Stir in onions, garlic, ginger, and rosemary. Cover, turn heat to low, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent and tender.

2. Using a wire whisk, mix chicken broth and cherry jam into onion mixture. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.

3. While broth heats, in a small bowl or a 1-cup measure whisk balsamic vinegar and cornstarch. When broth comes to a boil, add cornstarch mixture to pan, mixing with a wire whisk until sauce is thickened (about 1 minute).

4. Remove pan from heat, cover, and set aside until serving. If sauce cools, warm in pan, covered, over low heat. If it thickens, use a wire whisk to mix in a few tablespoons chicken broth. To serve, drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons sauce over each Electric-Grilled Lamb Chop.

Per serving: 56 cal., 9% (5 cal.) from fat; 0.6 g protein; 0.6 g fat (0.1 g sat.); 12 g carbo (0.1 g fiber); 6 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Toasted Pecan Couscous with Brussels Sprouts
Prep and cook time: 30 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

1/3    cup chopped pecans
2    cups fresh or frozen brussels sprouts, rinsed
1    tablespoon olive oil
1    teaspoon minced or pressed garlic
2 1/4    cups fat-free chicken broth
About 1/2 teaspoon light salt (optional)
1    box (10 oz.) couscous

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and position rack in center of oven.

2. Place pecans on a nonstick baking sheet. Toast in preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from oven and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, trim and discard stems from sprouts. Slice sprouts in half.

4. In a 2- to 4-quart pan over medium-high heat, bring olive oil to sizzling. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in sprouts and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes to coat with oil and garlic.

5. Pour in chicken broth, turn heat to high, cover, and bring to a rolling boil (about 5 minutes). Stir in couscous; cover and remove pan from heat. Let stand at least 5 minutes.

6. Stir in toasted pecans and the light salt, if using (add more to taste, if desired). Cover immediately until ready to serve.

Per serving: 396 cal., 23% (90 cal.) from fat; 16 g protein; 10 g fat (1 g sat.); 61 g carbo (5.4 g fiber); 198 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

MENU
Bistro Burgers
Warm Tarragon Potato Salad

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Bistro Burgers with Warm Tarragon Potato Salad

Bistro Burgers
Prep and cook time: 40 minutes

Notes: If you have a small grill, cook onions first, then burgers. When onions are done, keep warm until serving time on a foil-covered plate.
Makes: 4 servings

1/3    cup finely crushed nonfat or low-fat garlic croutons
3    tablespoons honey or regular Dijon mustard, divided
1/3    cup thinly sliced green onions
1    teaspoon pressed garlic
2    tablespoons chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1/4    teaspoon salt
1/4    teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1    pound extra-lean ground beef or poultry
1    medium onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings
4    leaves butter lettuce
2    medium-ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil
Tarragon or white wine vinegar
Sourdough bread, thickly sliced

1. Preheat grill to the highest setting.

2. In a large bowl, using a fork, evenly mix the crushed croutons, 2 tablespoons of the mustard, green onions, garlic, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Add meat; using your hands, generously fold crouton mixture into meat until evenly distributed.

3. Divide meat mixture into 4 equal portions. Using wet hands, shape into burgers about 4 to 5 inches in diameter and no thicker than 3Ž4 inch. Set burgers on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until ready to grill, up to 1 day.

4. Spray onions and burgers lightly on both sides with cooking spray. For a two-sided contact grill, cook onions 7 to 10 minutes, until tender, and burgers 6 to 8 minutes, until a thermometer inserted in center of thickest part reads 160 degrees. Halfway through the cooking time, baste each burger with about 1 teaspoon of the remaining mustard. For all other grills, cook onions 14 to 20 minutes and burgers 14 to 16 minutes, basting meat and turning both halfway through the cooking time.

5. On each of 4 plates, place a lettuce leaf and top with one-fourth of the sliced tomatoes. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and tarragon vinegar. Place a burger next to the lettuce and top with one-fourth of the grilled onions. Serve immediately with thick sourdough bread slices.

Per serving: 309 cal., 47% (141 cal.) from fat; 23 g protein; 16 g fat (6.6 g sat.); 16 g carbo (1.8 g fiber); 433 mg sodium; 71 mg chol.

Warm Tarragon Potato Salad
Prep and cook time: 20 minutes

Notes: This salad can be made 1 hour or up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap. Heat in the microwave oven on medium (50% power) for 3 to 5 minutes to warm just before serving.

Makes: 4 servings

1 1/2    pounds small, thin-skinned potatoes
2    tablespoons tarragon or white wine vinegar
1/2    teaspoon garlic powder
2    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Light salt and freshly ground pepper
2    tablespoons capers, well-drained
1/2    cup thinly sliced green onions

1. Cut potatoes into 1-inch chunks.

2. Fill a 4- to 5-quart pan with 2 to 3 cups of water. Place a steamer basket in the pan; bring water to a rapid boil over high heat. Add potato chunks and cover. Steam for 7 to 10 minutes, until potatoes are tender but not falling apart. Drain well; place in a large mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to keep warm until other ingredients are ready.

3. In a small bowl, using a wire whisk, mix vinegar, garlic powder, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

4. Uncover bowl with potatoes. Using a large spatula, evenly mix vinegar mixture, capers, and green onions into potatoes. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and set aside until ready to serve.

Per serving: 204 cal., 31% (65 cal.) from fat; 3.8 g protein; 7.2 g fat (1.0 g sat.); 33 g carbo (3.0 g fiber); 222 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

GRILL GUIDE
Indoor grills have become so popular that if you don’t own one already, it’s hard to choose which one to buy. To make it simpler, here’s a little information about the four basic styles:

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Hibachi-Style Grills
are smokeless, charcoal-free versions of traditional hibachi grills. Either oblong or round, these grills have open grilling racks that allow the fat and juices to drip down from the food. But instead of dripping onto hot coals and creating smoke, the fat drips into a shallow basin, usually in the housing or base of the grill. In some models, you fill the basin with water to catch the fat and to regulate the grill’s temperature.

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Combination Grills are shallow one- or two-inch-deep electric fry pans with tall, evenly spaced grilling ridges. The ridges create deep channels that lift the food off of the bottom of the pan and carry excess fat and juices to a one-inch rim around the outer edge. Round or rectangular, these grills come with lids, so, in addition to grilling, you can use them like electric fry pans to pan-fry, sauté, simmer, steam, and keep food warm.

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Two-Sided Contact Grills
have two grilling plates hinged to open and close like a book so they can simultaneously “contact” and grill food on two opposite sides. Special channels or spouts carry excess fat away from the grill plate and into a heatproof bowl or drip tray. These grills are a great choice for super-busy cooks because they grill food in half the time it takes on any other grill (electric, gas, or charcoal).


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Infusion Grills
come in two styles. One is circular with a lid, and the other is a hibachi-style grill without a lid. Each of these grills has a small cup in the center that can hold liquids flavored with everything from fresh garlic to hickory wood chips. As the cup heats, the liquid steams and infuses the grilled food with moisture and flavor.


Holly Rudin-Braschi
has been teaching cooking for more than 20 years and has used every electric grill on the market. To find out more about Rudin-Braschi and electric grilling, visit her Web site at www.grillpower.com.
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