Hello Tuesday and the 1st of November! I cannot believe that the next holiday is Thanksgiving! Wow…what happened to October?! I can tell you one thing that happened in October…Halloween Madness at the Bunkycooks last night!
I think there was a bit of inspiration from our friends Denise and John at There’s a Newf in my Soup! when it came to the Halloween craziness. They are the ultimate Halloween party people! We had not decorated like this in about 6 years, but yesterday, we went wild and really got into it. The decorations at the house were so frightening that the children would not come to the door and we had to go out in the driveway to give the kids their candy. This picture says it all. Pretty creepy, huh?
On another note – my good friends (and one of my site sponsors) at Metro Kitchen asked me if I would review one of Emeril’s new products, so I chose this indoor grill. Mr. B is not a grill master. He will cook on the charcoal grill, but he is not a huge fan of the smoke and trouble of preparing the grill and cooking outdoors most days. Even the gas grill is not a favorite, so, I thought this might be an option for us when he’s just not that into it or it’s too cold outdoors.
We have been using the Emeril XL Grill for several months and have cooked many items on the grill including chicken, meats, seafood and vegetables. The grill has two independent heating elements so that you can cook at two different temperatures at the same time. The cooking area is large enough that you can prepare grilled meats for 6 people comfortably and up to 8 with smaller pieces of meat. It also is very simple to clean after use.
It is perfect for people that either do not have an outdoor area where they can cook, are restricted from using gas or charcoal grills, who do not like cooking outdoors (Mr. B on occasion) or for those months when it is too cold to cook outside or snow is covering your grill.
We found that thinner to medium cuts of meat work best and cook more evenly on the grill. This is of particular importance when you want your meats cooked through (like chicken and pork chops). Thicker cuts of meat required lower temps and more time to cook properly. Steaks work well if you like your meat rare to medium. You can set the grill on a high temperature to give the meat a nice sear on the outside.
We cooked a whole chicken cut in to eight pieces and then marinated it. We found that the skin browned very quickly and unevenly (since not all sides are touching the grill). It was hard to get the chicken to cook through entirely. The chicken will cook, it just takes awhile. The pieces with bone-in that worked best were the chicken thighs since they are flatter and more consistent in the thickness. It was more difficult to get the pieces with bone-in that are a more uneven shape (leg, breast) to cook evenly.
One big difference between the outdoor grill and cooking on the Emeril Grill is that the outside grill has a cover to hold the heat for more even cooking. The Emeril Grill cooks on one side at a time. Additionally, some of the dishes we prepared on the grill generated lots of smoke and we recommend that you have a vent fan to evacuate the smoke and odors of cooking.
If you are preparing meats with a high fat content, like burgers, or that have a marinade, you will want to be prepared to contain the splatter on your countertop or cooking area. While there is a splatter guard at the back of the grill, there will still be some splattering around the grill.
We also made skewers several times and found that although they cook well on the grill, it was best to make sure that the pieces of food were even in size so that the larger pieces don’t prevent the smaller pieces from coming in contact with the grill.
The Emeril Grill will not replace the outdoor grill for those that prefer the smoky taste of charcoal or those that enjoy cooking outdoors. However, the grill did a good job on bone-in pork chops, steaks, pounded chicken breasts, burgers, large shrimp, grilled vegetables and skewers (that are properly sized).
One thing that you will need to consider if you decide to purchase one of these grills is the size of the grill and where you will store it. The dimensions of the grill are 21 x 14 inches. They do make a smaller grill, so you might want to consider that if you are interested in an indoor grill and have minimal storage space. I have not reviewed that product, so I cannot tell you how it compares to this larger version.
We have put together a short video that shows you the grill in use in our kitchen. I thought that might be more helpful than just talking about it.
This recipe for Thai Shrimp has been adapted from a recipe by Emeril Lagasse. I skewered the shrimp with pineapple and served it over Jasmine rice. I would cut the pineapple pieces a little smaller next time. While the flavors in the shrimp were very good from the marinade, I would definitely serve it this with Chili Garlic Glaze on the side. We enjoy the addition of more sweet and sour flavors with our Thai dishes.
Disclosure – Metro Kitchen supplied me with this Emeril XL Grill for this review. They are a family owned company located in Marietta, Georgia (which is local to me). If you are interested in purchasing any products on their website, they will price match any prices that you see elsewhere.
Thai Marinated and Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
This recipe can easily be halved for 2-3 servings.
24 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used local Georgia shrimp that were 21-30 count size)
2 cups coconut milk (I used lite coconut milk)
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
4 tablespoons sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Fresh pineapple chunks (I used about 3 slices of pineapple for 1 pound of shrimp)
6 (6 or 8-inch) bamboo skewers
Vegetable oil or cooking spray, for oiling grill
Hot cooked Jasmine or Basmati Rice
Chili Garlic Glaze
Place the shrimp in a large, 1-gallon re-sealable food storage plastic bag. Place the rest of the ingredients (coconut milk through salt) in a non-reactive medium bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the marinade over the shrimp and seal in the bag. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning the bag occasionally to ensure even marinating. Soak bamboo skewers in warm water while you marinade the shrimp.
Preheat the grill to medium-high. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and skewer 4 per skewer, alternating with the pineapple chunks, and set aside. Brush the grill lightly with a bit of vegetable oil or spray and place the shrimp on the grill. Cook the shrimp for 3 minutes, basting with the marinade as it cooks, then turn and cook for an additional 3 minutes, while basting, on the second side. Serve while hot with cooked Jasmine or Basmati rice and Chili Garlic Glaze.
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagssse