As your summer(ish) grilling issues multiply, MBQ&A returns to address your every question. This week’s panel:
“Any recommendations for grilled fish tacos? Maybe a good slaw?”
– Anthony Bauza
JB Mays: I like to sear a lightly seasoned tuna steak on a super-hot grill for just a half minute per side to go with a simple cabbage/citrus slaw. The trick with seared tuna is to forget everything we constantly tell you about resting your meat. You slice that stuff STRAIGHT AWAY off the grill to maximize the area of delicious dark-red salmon. If you try for the five-minute rest, the carryover cooking will leave you with a big ‘ol chunk of cat food.
Just the tuna, the slaw, and a warm tortilla. Give it a squeeze of lime if you’ve got one around. You don’t want to cover up the flavor of a good piece of fish.
Tomax: Tilapia with a mango pineapple salsa. Get the fish, salt pepper oil and grill. Mango, pineapple, cilantro, onion all chopped up… Heaven. Get corn tortillas – flour ones are for amateurs.
JB Mays: I strenuously object to the prior statement. We are going to have a passive-aggressive fight about this in public, so that we can make the table next to us extremely uncomfortable.
The Godfather: A lime-marinated tilapia topped with jicama/mango salad is a great summertime dish.
“The place down the street from me started selling bison. I’m thinking of trying it, but what’s the difference between that and beef?”
– Ed White
The Godfather: I saw bison in the wild at Yellowstone park, and I swore then that I would never eat bison, because they were such magestic beasts … until I had a bison burger for the first time. It was delicious. Just be careful cooking then because they are way leaner than beef. You don’t want to overcook them and end up with some dry bison pucks. (Related to pucks: Go HAWKS!)
Tomax: It tastes just like beef but is as healthy as chicken. Go for it, I eat bison all the time.
JB Mays: Absolutely buy it. It’s pricier than beef per lb, especially as demand has increased over the past few years. You’ll certainly want to make the best use of it you can.
It takes a better cook to succesfully use a very lean meat – bison, venison, wild turkey – so my recommendation is to use an instant-read thermometer when you’re getting used to working with it. Honestly, if you can afford one, there’s no reason not to use one every time you’re cooking. I like to take the human element out of cooking as much as possible. If that sounds soulless of me, then just try and think back to the shittiest lighter fluid-burned steak or carbonized chicken you’ve had at a backyard cookout.
“What’s your least-favorite beer that you’ve ever tried?”
– Jessica Oldham
JB Mays: Everyone remembers their first taste of beer and wondering how on earth adults could drink something that tasted so awful. Specifically, a High Life Light in a can spirited away from a garage fridge during a youthful summer that I’ll leave unnamed. Beer is certainly an acquired taste, which isn’t a bad thing.
On a secondary note, any time a brewery tries to get smoke flavor into their beer, I recommend running for the hills. It’s always a better-sounding idea than it ends up tasting.
Tomax: I was at the Godfather’s house once and he had a six pack in the fridge with a note that read “Jesse’s Zima, don’t drink” so I had to try it. #neverforgetneverforgive
The Godfather: The worst tasting beer is always the one you have to pay for. Free beer always tastes delicious. (BTW, that Zima wasn’t mine. I just got mad because … dammit, you shouldn’t drink another man’s Zima, ESPECIALLY if there’s a note that says not to!)