Grilling is like driving -- everyone thinks he's great at it.
But just as some people smoothly ease into a parallel space with an inch between the bumpers of the cars in front and in back, some cooks take grilling to an art.
This is evidenced on Travel Channel's "American Grilled." The episode airing Wednesday (Aug. 27), is in Austin, Texas, where, as always contestants work with local foods and host and judge David Guas presides. Among the challenges in Wednesday's episode are chefs cooking beef heart, cactus and cowboy bread, which is essentially a type of biscuit.
Talking from Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery, his restaurant in Arlington, Va., Guas enthusiastically chats about his menus, the shows, cooking and, especially, grilling.
For those who have never grilled, Guas tells Zap2it that they should, "Start tomorrow. Get out there. I don't know what they are waiting for. There are so many entry levels. It is more of a lifestyle than anything. I don't want to cheapen it by saying it is just another way to cook.
"I started by watching my dad grilling," he continues. "We all have a little pyro in us. There is something very mesmerizing about that."
He recommends buying a grill to fit your space, whether a tiny balcony in a high-rise apartment or a huge grill in a large backyard.
What is always in your refrigerator?
"A jar of Duke's mayonnaise, a southern brand. Duke's is top notch. Zatarain's Creole Mustard, I collect mustard. I probably have seven different mustards. I've got to have creole and Dijon, and an array of hot sauces, Louisiana-style Texas Pete or Crystal Hot Sauce, and I have like 15 others. Crystal's is my most versatile. Always in my refrigerator always, is a good block of New York sharp cheddar, some chicken stock or some form of stock. Onions, bell pepper and celery."
What did you have for dinner last night?
"Chicken kabobs on the grill, grilled by yours truly, a quinoa salad with Brussels sprouts and Craisins, toasted almonds. I had seared salmon, grilled baguette. It was a smorgasbord. Last night we had seven or eight people over to watch the show at the house. And, Maryland tomato salad with crumbled feta."
What are you cooking lately?
"Seasonally, I look forward to so much in this region. Green peanuts are in, fresh peanuts right out of the ground. When they are green, they are crunchy and chewy. If you are going to boil peanuts, take them from the green stage."
Could you make what is on the show?
"When I am watching those guys and gals cook I am constantly saying, 'What would I do?' I don't say it out loud because it is not that kind of show. That's how our brains work anyway. 'Dude, did he just do what I think? I would never combine those flavors.'"
Photo/Video credit: Travel Channel