It would appear that I have brought the heat back from Las Vegas. My last day there it was 116 degrees. When we exited the MGM Grand at midnite, the temp on the car (which was parked in a covered garage) was 111.
This week in the burbs it has been high 90s and yesterday hit 104. Its probably closer to 100 today, and the newscasts show that we should get some relief tomorrow, but meanwhile, it is hard to do much cooking in this type of weather. We barbecued every night last week to keep the heat out of the kitchen.
Yesterday we hit the farmers market. Picked up some peaches and plums, green beans, beets, raspberries and blackberries, fresh kalamata olive bread, and field greens. I cooked the beets yesterday on the grill. Just oiled ‘em up, threw them in a roasting pan with some salt and pepper, covered it in foil, and put them on the grill at about 400 degrees. Two turns and 40 minutes later, they were done. So we had a nice salad last night with the field greens, sliced beets, goat cheese, and pistachios. Perfect for my depressed appetite. (If I don’t lose weight through this heat wave, then I never will.)
Tonight I’ve decided Sunday dinner will be beer can chicken, pasta salad, those green beans, and Alexandria will make a peach/blueberry crisp for dessert. All can be cooked on the grill or the burner that is attached. Don’t want to risk breaking our thermostat by heating the house, as it is already pegged all the way to the right. We have so few really hot days here that air conditioning really isn’t warranated. We don’t have a pool, but I did turn the hot tub down, so we can dip in and out of that for some relief. You know, necessity being the mother of invention and all…..
Anyway, the beer chicken is really easy—almost set it and forget it. The recipe I am using is a modification of one in an issue of Cook’s Country magazine and makes 2 chickens, which is enough for our Sunday dinner (6 people), plus some left for lunch or a salad.
2T packed brown sugar
2 T paprika
1 T salt
1T black pepper
1 t cayenne
2 T packed brown sugar
2 T ketchup
2 T white vinegar
2 T beer
1 t hot sauce
Make up the rub in a bowl. Make the glaze and add 1 tablespoon of the rub mixture. Empty out about 1/3 of the beer in the cans (pour it into a frosty cool mug and enjoy while you prep). Clean out the inside of the chicken, rub with the spices and plop the chicken on top of the can.
You can cook this on a charcoal grill or a gas grill. It is preferable to use soaked wood chips with either method for a smoky woody flavor. Chicken should be cooked on indirect heat, with coals on either side of the birds or by using burners on either side of the chickens. Cover and grill for 40-60 minutes until well browned and crisp. Brush with glaze and cook another 20 minutes.
You do have to be careful removing chickens from grill. I use oven mitts with foil in the palms, so that the outside goodies don’t come off on the mitts. Let cool for 10 minutes on the can. Then remove chicken from can and carve.