(BPT) - Every grilling season presents a new opportunity to add recipes and tricks to your routine. This year, kick up your cooking skills with advice from the ultimate grill master, Chef Michael Symon, co-host of ABC's 'The Chew,' and author of three best-selling cookbooks and owner of several restaurants.
'With the right techniques and ingredients, any home chef can grill foods that are seasoned to perfection and overflowing with melt-in-your-mouth goodness,' says Chef Symon. 'With some simple techniques, great meat or veggies, and my favorite topper - Castello(R) cheese - every dish will burst with flavor.'
The following tips from Chef Symon will help you make the most of every grilling occasion.
* Judge proteins by their appearance.Red meat should appear red, not gray, with plenty of marbling; the fat melts to add flavor and create a wonderful mouth feel.
* Pay attention to temperature.Heat up your grill, with the lid down, for 20 to 30 minutes prior to grilling. This is a good time to take out your meat or poultry, which should be at room temperature before it is cooked. Begin grilling your protein on high heat to give it some char and then finish on low heat so it's juicy and doesn't burn. After grilling, let your protein rest to ensure it retains these flavorful juices.
* Don't over-season.Season simply to showcase the meat or veggies: kosher salt, ground black pepper, plus a drizzle of olive oil to help it sear.
* Resist the temptation to flip. Whether you're cooking protein or veggies, you should only turn your food over once when grilling. Allow your food to develop a wonderful char on one side before moving or flipping it.
* Be adventurous with ingredients. Instead of a traditional cheeseburger, make Chef Symon's Bison Burger using Castello(R) Burger Blue cheese, which comes pre-sliced and ready for grilling. Shape ground bison meat into patties, grill three minutes on one side, then flip and top with sliced red onion and Burger Blue.
* Cut protein against the grain. The grain represents the direction of muscle fibers. Cutting slim strips, against the grain, shortens muscle fibers and makes the protein more tender and enjoyable.
* Use vegetables for flavor and texture.Vegetarians and meat lovers alike appreciate properly grilled vegetables, which add a healthy touch and contrasting textures to your grilling menus. Chef Symon's Grilled Eggplant is topped with melted Castello(R) Burger Blue cheese, as well as an arugula salad with vinaigrette, capers, red onion and toasted sliced almonds.
For full recipes from Chef Symon, and more creatively crafted cooking ideas, visit castellocheeseusa.com.