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Becoming a master of the grill is just like becoming an artist to a tasty masterpiece. It takes time, skill and creativity to learn how to perfect your abilities. This blog will feature the mainstays of what we typically envision about grilling.

Make it HOT.

•  Grilling over high heat is the best way to cook thin & smaller cuts of meat. Be sure to not leave your post at the grill, as your meat will cook quickly and the drippings may cause an occasional flare up. High heat is not recommended for leaner meats such as fish & chicken.

  When questioning how hot your grill is you can use this as a guide. Place your hand above the grate and start counting.

  • 5 Seconds – Low
  •  4 Seconds – Medium
  • 3 Seconds – Medium High
  • 2 Seconds – High
  • 1 Second – might as well considered it charred

Splurge for the best.

•  Look for uniform cuts of meat.

•  Choose a porterhouse, T-bone, top sirloin, filet mignon, Flank, New York Strip when shopping for meat.

•  Pork cutlet, pork belly, pork roast or pork chop are best choices for pork.

Marinade musts.

•  Quality cuts of beef need to only soak for 20 minutes to an hour.

•  For less choice cuts of meat, increase the soak time to tenderize.

•  Always marinate in the refrigerator or run your risk of becoming a food poisoning statistic. Do let the meat sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or so before putting it on the grill.

•  Chicken needs to marinate for at least 20 minutes but generally not more than an hour.

Bake It.

•  Putting your food on the indirect side of the coals on a grill is considered ‘baking’. This is best for those larger cuts of meat such as a fryer chicken, roast or rack of ribs.

Take it easy.

•  Don’t put too much force on the spatula as you will squeeze all those yummy juices out but do feel free to flip often.

•  So when can you call it the finale?

•  Remember, you can always go back to finish cooking.

•  If feeling saucy, save your sauce application for the last few minutes.

Flank Steak with Cilantro-Almond Pesto

Ground almonds thicken this lively herb sauce. The pesto is also good as a spread for burgers and sandwiches, or as a pizza sauce. Most of the fat here is monounsaturated.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces steak and about 1 tablespoon pesto)

Ingredients

3/4 cup fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted

1 tablespoon chopped seeded jalapeño pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 garlic clove, chopped

3 tablespoons plain fat-free yogurt

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed

Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Directions

Prepare grill.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a blender; process until finely chopped (about 15 seconds). Add yogurt and juice; process until smooth.

Grill steak 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.

Serve steak with pesto.

Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving • Calories 209, Fat 10.8 g, Saturated fat 3.9 g, Protein 24.6 carbohydrate 2.4 g, Fiber 0.6 g, Cholesterol 57 mg, Iron 2.5 mg, Sodium 152 mg, Calcium 36 mg