Recipes @ Broiling Basics

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Broiling Basics

Basics of Broiling

Broiling is a flavorful and nutritious method for cooking meat, fish, and poultry. Steaks and chops brown in their own juices. Additional fat is often not necessary, although barbecue sauces or well-seasoned marinades are popular for the flavor they add. During broiling, the natural fat within the meat renders out and drips into the broiler pan. Generally, these drippings are not served. Since fish and poultry are relatively low in fat, melted butter or a special basting sauce is brushed over the surface of these foods not only for flavor, but also to keep them moist while cooking and to promote even browning. Broiling is highly recommended as a cookery method when counting calories. Much of the meat fat drips away during cooking and the remainder can be trimmed before serving.

Which Foods Are Best for Broiling?

Meats, fish and poultry are the basic foods for the broiler. Tenderness is the key to selecting foods, especially meats. Tender cuts are essential, because in broiling, food cooks without a cover and the meat does not benefit from the tenderizing action of the steam that is present in a covered pan. Meats are the most frequently broiled foods. Fresh beef and lamb are chosen because tender steaks, chops, and ground-meat patties can be cooked to the doneness you prefer. You can use packaged meat tenderizers and packaged or homemade marinades successfully on meats to increase the variety of cuts, particularly beef, that are tender enough for broiling. Enjoying broiled fish steaks or fillets need not be limited to a camping trip or outdoor grill. An electric broiler or the broiler in your kitchen oven cooks these beauties quickly since there's no need to turn the pieces. Broiled shrimp or lobster make elegant eating, too.

Try this recipe for Broiled Pork Chops with Garlic-Thyme Glaze to experiment with this cooking technique.

Broiled Pork Chops with Garlic-Thyme Glaze

Makes 6 servings

  • 4 loin or rib pork chops (bone in), about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches thick
  • 3 medium red onions, quartered
  • 1 cup dry white wine or apple juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon water
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  1. Adjust oven racks so that the bottom rack is approximately 4 to 5 inches away from the broiler element (use a ruler to measure this distance). Preheat the broiler, but do not preheat the broiler rack (preheating can cause the broiler rack to warp).
  2. Place the pork chops on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Arrange the onions around the pork chops. Broil the pork chops for 9 minutes.
  3. While the pork chops are broiling, prepare the glaze. In a medium saucepan, bring the wine or apple juice to a boil; boil the liquid uncovered on high for 4 to 5 minutes or until reduced by about half. Combine cornstarch with the 1/2 teaspoon water; stir the cornstarch mixture into the wine or apple juice. Cook and stir the basting liquid until slightly thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more.
  4. Remove the basting mixture from the heat. Stir in the oil, garlic, 2 tablespoons of the thyme, pepper and salt. Place 1 tablespoon of the glaze in a small bowl. Set the remaining glaze aside.
  5. Remove the broiler pan from the oven. Turn the pork chops over; broil 9 to 13 minutes more or until the juices run clear. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, brush the pork chops and onions with the reserved 1 tablespoon of glaze.
  6. Remove the onions to a small serving bowl. Place the pork chops on a large serving platter. Stir the remaining 1 tablespoon of thyme into the remaining glaze mixture. Serve glaze with the pork chops.

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