Thursday, January 26, 2006

Year-Round Grilling Is Low-Carbolicious

Here we are at the end of the month of January and outdoor grilling is very likely the LAST thing on your mind right now! Some areas have snow on the ground and it is generally frigid because it is the middle of the winter after all!

But did you know there has been a steady rise over the past couple of years in the popularity of grilling throughout the year according to a new consumer survey by the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA).

Grilling isn't just a summertime event anymore!

A representative sample of 8,000 Americans found that more than 60 percent of the population currently likes to grill year-round, including almost half of them grilling from December through February when it is traditionally very cold outside (although this year has been comparitively warmer across the country).

Additionally, there was a 10 percent rise in the number of people who own an outdoor grill compared with 2003 which brought the number of households with either an outdoor barbecue grill or smoker to eight out of 10. WOW, did you know it was that high? I sure didn't.

While it might be stereotypical to consider grill ownership as a rite of passage for the male population, the same survey found that 35 percent of women are now gas grilling, up six percent from 2003. As for electric grills, 42 percent of women and 55 percent of men use this technology.

What better time to fire up that grill in the coming weeks than on the day of the "big game" featuring that Pennsylvania team and that Washington state team (how do you like that for being politically correct about the most watched television event of the year without using the two magic words?!)? :)

To that end, I have an EXCLUSIVE low-carb recipe for the readers of the "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog for you to use during your football party in a couple of weeks. Obviously it's low-carb and will make you smack your lips so much you'll be coming back for more. The recipe is from the brand spankin' new cookbook from the "BBQ Queens" Judith Fertig and Karen Adler, whose Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens book is coming in the Spring 2006.

Check out the BBQ Queens! Aren't they cute?!

Also, be sure to check out their critically acclaimed 2005 release called The BBQ Queens' Big Book of Barbecue.

Here's the recipe from the BBQ Queens (you're gonna LOVE it!):

Wood-Grilled Brie Burgers with Grilled Onions and Tomato-Avocado Relish
Adapted from Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens (Harvard Commonpress, April 2006)

Adding wood chips or pellets to the fire gives you more of a wood smoky taste. Don't be afraid to grill a whole baby brie; it's a lot easier than you think. You just have to pay attention and turn it the minute you see the cheese starting to ooze out of the rind. Once it has started to "ooze" on both sides, take it off the grill. The relish is your vegetable and salad all rolled into one.

Serves 4

Tomato-Avocado Relish - Makes about 4 cups

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup finely minced Italian parsley
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Fine kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup wood chips or wood pellets
1 pound ground chuck, formed into four 1-inch thick patties
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into ½-inch thick slices
1 small wheel of baby brie
Olive oil for brushing
Fine kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. To make the relish, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (The avocado will darken over time, so make this right before you wish to serve it.)

2. Prepare a hot fire in your grill. Oil a perforated grill rack and place on the grill. If using a charcoal grill. Enclose the wood chips or pellets in a foil packet with holes poked in the top; place the packet on the grill grate over the heat source and make sure the chips or pellets are smoldering before you begin to grill the burgers.

3. Place the patties on a plate on a baking sheet. Brush the red onion slices and the brie with olive oil on both sides. Place on the baking sheet. Season everything to taste.

4. Grill the onions on the prepared perforated grill rack, turning once, for 8 minutes. Grill the burgers, turning once, for 7 minutes for medium. Grill the brie on the prepared perforated grill rack, turning once, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until both sides get good grill marks and the cheese is just beginning to ooze out of the rind.

5. To serve, top each burger with the grilled onions. Cut the brie into 4 wedges and place a wedge on top of each burger. Serve with the relish on the side.

OOOH LA LA! Can you imagine livin' la vida low-carb any better than this with your grill on that SUPER day?! Mmmmmm!

THANK YOU to the "BBQ Queens" Judith Fertig and Karen Adler for giving us a sneak peek at their upcoming book, Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens. I can't wait to check their cookbook out for myself! I'll be sure to write a review of it when it is available.

Now I guess I need to get with the 80 percent of Americans and get a grill myself! Ya think?! LOL!


Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

We had BBQ lunch at work today. I cooked! We have a Barbie just outside the back door in a court yard! At work there is only 5 of us so it's great! Great part about being in Australia eh! it was about 37 degrees celcius here in Melbourne though!

Oh, my point is, I love BBQ! That Brie Burger recipie looks divine Jimmy! My Fiancee is going to flip when she sees it!

1/27/2006 1:16 AM  

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