Pork Chops, Grill Violence and Plotting

Apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift.  ~Margaret Lee Runbeck

Bitching post aside, sorry you had to hear all that, I was pretty angry.  I meant to make a post about Friday.  So here it is, a few days late but I hope it’s worth it.

I was given $300 by my boss to make a grill appear for a single cookout that we had at the account.  I promptly went online and started looking for the biggest baddest thing I could find.  The only stipulation was through the building that it couldn’t be propane (no problem), and that it had to be able to be cleaned, covered and locked up when not in use.  After much looking, I hopped in my truck and started over to Wal-Mart to get a good look at the grills they had on sale.

After much drooling and wishing that I was able to buy one for myself, I settled on a very sexy Kingsford.  It’s currently on sale here, and I highly recommend it.  I managed to flirt with the sales guy enough that he pushed it all the way to the register, rang me up, walked it out to my car and loaded it up for me, giving me his number in case I needed help unloading it.  And who says chivalry is dead?  I usually do.  But whatever, I managed to get it out of the car and find a spot to store it before I left for the night.  I also purchased a cover tarp thing, a scraper, a gallon of lighter fluid and 100 pounds of Kingsford Matchlight Charcoal.  I know, I probably sound like a commercial, but they really do it for me.

So I get this outdoor barbecue done, and the grill gets cleaned and covered and chained to the fence with a nifty new bike lock I had bought just for it.  And there it sits, cause the weather has been so crappy lately that there’s really nothing I can do with it.  So I’m making my menu for this week and I say hell with it, I’m going to pull this thing out on Fridays during the summer and grill away.  I love working outside when I can, and here’s this beautiful grill, sitting there, just waiting to be used.

I personally hate burgers.  I’m not a huge fan of ground beef.  Sorry, just a personal preference.  So I want to do something a little different from the usual barbecue.  I bought two pork loins, they were beautiful.  I pull them out Wednesday, smother them in oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and chopped onion.  I wrap them tight in plastic and set them in the fridge overnight to thaw.  Thursday, after I finish with my lunch rush, I pull the loins out and slice them, lining them in a pan with the same mixture of salt, pepper, oil, garlic, onion and this time just a splash of lemon juice on them.  Add a few sprigs of cilantro to be pulled out before grilling and I shoved them back in the fridge for another night of marinade.  Friday, I pull them out and get them ready to go.

Lighting this grill in the rain was the biggest pain in the ass ever.  I’m not really good at getting a grill going.  I know, everyone has their method, a pyramid, a scatter bomb, extra fluid.  I do a little of all of them, just trying to get the hot spots evened out.  Not going to lie, I really almost set myself on fire.  No joke.  But I was alone out there and no one saw it, so I threw away my singed gloves and pulled out new ones.  No big deal.  I let the grill get nice and hot and I rubbed oil over the grate and went to work.  I only had 84 servings, not a large amount since I had gotten word that most of the executives had taken the day off and the union folks were having a pizza party for something or other.  That’s cool though, I had pork gumbo on the menu, so it wasn’t going to go to waste.

Grilling takes the formality out of entertaining. Everyone wants to get involved.
Bobby Flay

I grilled them off, just enough to get a light brown on them, shingled them in a pan, added some pork stock and threw them in the convection oven just to get them to temp before they went out to serve.  I had no idea the onslaught of people who were going to skip their pizza party, or come down to lunch before they left for the day.  I ran out shortly before the lunch rush was over, and ended up switching the entrée to a honey glazed pork slice, not nearly as popular.  I had a record day in sales.  Being a subsidized account, I’m able to serve them good food for really cheap, and in addition to the pork chop, they got a handful of kettle chips, a scoop of homemade pasta salad and some seasoned mixed vegetables.  They also got a drink.  It seems like a lot of food, but as everything is homemade, it’s really not all that expensive.  And it’s tasty.

“Grilling, broiling, barbecuing – whatever you want to call it – is an art, not just a matter of building a pyre and throwing on a piece of meat as a sacrifice to the gods of the stomach.”  -James Beard, ‘Beard on Food’ (1974)

So I think the grill out on Fridays is going to be a good thing.  I have leftover ice cream from an ice cream social, and I think we’re going to offer a small sundae for a dollar next Friday with it.  Now that the weather here is starting to heat up, I have a feeling that it’s going to be a good seller.

Now I just have to think of something to grill next week.  I would like to do a short rib, but I think cost may be an issue there.  Any other good ideas are more than welcomed.

Just as a good bitchfest is cathartic, so is talking about good food.  😀

Favorite Link of the DayTop 10 Commandments of Grilling – Seriously, a very cool and well-played slide show of everything you need to know about grilling.  Even though I’m mad at men right now, I totally give them props.  😉

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Lay it on me, stringbean.

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