Pat and Gina Neely, hosts of the Food Network’s Down Home With The Neelys, were in town last July 31, to grace the Asian press launch of their show’s fourth season.
In a luncheon held at the EDSA Shangri-la Hotel, Mandaluyong, the couple—known as the hometown king and queen of barbecue of Memphis, Tennessee, USA—showed Filipinos what Southern style home-cooking and entertaining is all about.
They did a quick cooking demo and prepared three varieties of simple kebabs—the shrimp and lime, the chicken and pineapple, and the beef with bell peppers—that virtually anybody can try at home.
As they showed the step-by-step process for preparing the dishes, the husband and wife duo also shared some of their kitchen secrets (and tricks) on grilling food the right way.
GRILLING BASICS. While grilling can be considered the oldest cooking technique in the world, many, especially beginners, are still intimidated by it.
Pat says it doesn’t matter whether you’re using a restaurant-grade contraption, an old-school backyard barbecue pit, or a tiny stove top grill to cook your food.
The key is in applying the slow-cook method.
“Always cook with the indirect heat because this keeps your meat from burning.
“Never put your food directly under flames, unless you’re cooking burgers or chicken, maybe. But then, you’ll have to watch it very closely.
“When my flame starts to come up, I immediately extinguish it with a little water or add more wet wood chips.”
Back home in Memphis, Pat prefers to grill with charcoal and flavored wood chips.
Among his favorites are teak and apple, which give the meat a more appetizing aroma.
He says, “Once you get your flavor on with your charcoal, soak your chips in water because it will cross the charcoal.
“It’ll create a smoke or smolder that will allow the flavor of the wood chips to be infused in your meat.”
Pat also suggests alternating meat pieces on the griddle to get evenly cooked portions all the time.