Calapooia Dental - July 2019

The Grill Master ENJOYING A CLASSIC SUMMERTIME TRADITION

Brian R. Summers DMD, PhD Patrick V. Hagerty, DMD

Calapooia Courier July 2019

I have always enjoyed baking and cooking, but manning the grill is my chance to let my culinary skills shine. When you’re relying on a recipe in the kitchen, you’re dependent on the pan, sauces, stove, and ingredients. But over on the grill, it’s just you, the food, and the fire. It’s a throwback to the primitive methods of cooking. You have to manage temperatures and cook each item precisely, and it takes practice to perfect your technique. For me, the grill is a symbol of a great time and family memories. One of my favorite things to do is to just throw some corn and chicken on the grill for a family dinner. It’s fun and easy. This time of the year is peak grilling season, and we usually have a few barbecues with friends and family. There’s nothing better than enjoying a beautiful summer day and finishing it off with a home-grilled dinner and a beer or two. After years of tweaking, I have finally perfected my grilled sweet potato wedges. The recipe requires a seasoning that I tweaked from a meat rub recipe about 10 years ago. After trying it on steaks, I decided to see what the flavors would do to sweet potatoes. Now, it’s a mainstay in my home, and most visitors won’t even use ketchup when they eat these wedges. That’s the ultimate compliment for an amateur grill master. I would say I’m still learning, but I do have a few strong years under my belt. I’ve also been smoking meat for about seven years, and while this can be more labor intensive, it certainly creates wonderful meals. I always advise any grilling newbie to keep their grill clean, as this is both a safety precaution and a flavor protector. Once, we grilled this delicious peanut butter curried chicken dish that was delicious and full of flavor. The next time I used the grill, we decided to fire up a pizza over its flames. Unfortunately, I hadn’t properly cleaned the bars of the grill before adding the pizza, and there was only one flavor we could all taste: the charred remnants of our curried chicken. These were not the kind of leftovers we thought we would have. After all, in the world of grilling,

smoked and charred flavors are some of the best profiles you can have in your food. But burnt food is not okay. It has taken me years to perfect my grilling technique, and I know I have so much more to learn. But there’s really only one way to get better, and it’s the tastiest option. I’m going to keep grilling what I can and see how it turns out. Hopefully, I will have more sweet potato successes and fewer pizza failures. REALLY ONLY ONE WAY TO GET BETTER, AND IT’S THE TASTIEST OPTION. “ “IT HAS TAKEN ME YEARS TO PERFECT MY GRILLING TECHNIQUE, AND I KNOW I HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO LEARN. BUT THERE’S

Cheers to a great grilling season!

-Dr. Brian Summers

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