“The grilling community has been expanding lately. A few years ago, I saw people shying away from barbecues, but now some of them are grilling,” says the young chef, author of the recently published book “Recipes of a Man Who Nobody Knows: Unexpected Combinations and the (Un) Simple Kitchen of Life” , founder of the kitchen “Petri” (grill creations from home) Aurimas Petrikas.
Trends include the courage to experiment
The chef says he noticed that the farther away people were, the more inclined they were to experiment with food. “Now everyone is opting for bolder and longer cooking processes – they make pulled pork, beef brisket, things that require patience. I’ve noticed that people are grilling pizzas more and more, even though it’s quite complicated. It’s also fun to see,” he says.
Personal album photo/Aurimas Petrikas
Although there is no limit to the number of ways to grill vegetables, people also want to cook them in as many ways as possible, says A. Petrikas. Here is one way – to put vegetables directly on the coals: “Vegetables burn, after peeling off their skin, the taste of burnt smoke penetrates inside and the result is quite good. Everything is very simple with vegetables – you smear them with oil and fry them.”
And the situation is different with fish – grilling it is more complicated. As A. Petrikas says, fish has recently been smoked in special tables: “In this case, many are devoted to experiments – it is lightly smoked fish, it is raw or not smoked at all.”
The main ingredient of the marinade may surprise you
Grilling trends include a wide variety of marinade ingredients. A lot of people pour different ingredients into a marinade because they’ve seen it done somewhere. Petrikas says.
“But many people don’t know what that juice, buttermilk, mineral water, kefir or yogurt really does. Yogurt, for example, provides the acid that softens meat. Others may be afraid to pour mineral water, buttermilk. In fact, when you cook barbecue, chicken, you add buttermilk. You won’t feel it, but you will definitely feel that the meat is different, softer,” says the chef.
Here, instead of the marinade itself, A. petricas uses an unexpected main ingredient – water. “It’s a marinade, as it’s called in English salt water. Chef says I use it mostly for chicken. “When the meat has a bone in it—whether it’s a leg or a wing—a marinade like this helps cook everything to the bone.”
When preparing such a marinade, meat should be immersed in water, salt, sugar, pepper, and herbs should be added accordingly.
“When all this is left for half a day or a day, the salt water penetrates the bone, which matures the meat in the water, marinates it and locks the juice in the salt meat. When I tried this method for the first time, I was really surprised by the effect, although it seems – what is this water and salt?” – says the interviewer.
Recommended recipe: Spanish paella
A. Petrikas also shared his favorite paella recipe, which we present here:
The store had a promotion for shrimp and mussels, so I thought I’d make a paella. It is a Spanish dish with rice. The yellow color that comes from saffron is the main highlight of paella, but, if you don’t have saffron, you can also use turmeric.
I used some Mexican ingredients that are marked with an asterisk: this means they can be left out or replaced with something else! I cooked it with a green grill, but the oven is also possible.
You will need (for 6-8 people):
- 1 kg of risotto rice;
- 500 grams of mussels;
- 500 grams of shrimp;
- 2 liters of water;
- A pinch of saffron or turmeric;
- 2 pcs. onion;
- 1 pc. Red peppers;
- 3 pcs. A clove of garlic;
- 300 ml of crushed tomatoes;
- 2 pcs. Dried Ancho Peppers*
- 3 pcs. Philadelphia Tomatillos*
- A handful of peas;
- olive oil for cooking;
- Salt, pepper;
- the greens;
- 200g chorizo sausage.
Cut the vegetables into small pieces. Heat a paella pan with olive oil and add chopped chorizo. Fry for few minutes and add vegetables. They should be lightly fried but crisp.
Add the chopped ancho peppers and let them cook slowly for the last few minutes. Then add Philadelphia tomatoes (“tomatoes”), crushed tomatoes and mix everything, pour lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and hot pepper or other peppers.
Personal Album Photo/Aurimas Petrikas makes paella
Made an easy stew? Lux, it’s rice time. After adding them, pour boiled water soaked in saffron or turmeric. Stir gently and let them cook. When you see that the water is almost absorbed by the rice, it’s time to add the mussels, peas and prawns.
Arrange everything as your heart desires. Once assembled, wrap it in foil and let it rest for a good 20 minutes. Serve with lots of lemon, lots of greens and salt on top.