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Up your grill game by setting up rotisserie

By Paul Suplee, MBA, CEC, PC-3

There is a certain part of catering that I love even more than payday, and that is knowing that I feed people and make them happy. Sure, there are a few things that I need to work out, like the perfect vegan, gluten-free, carb-free entrée for the smattering of guests who may need it, but I’ll get there.

I’m lucky in that I get to use a portable Brazilian rotisserie called a Carson Rodizio. My buddy Blake in Memphis invented it, and the lucky guy gets to travel to the plant in Brazil a few times a year to make sure things are going smoothly.

These rodizios are modular, so you can buy one for your preexisting grill or you can buy eight to put on top of his mammoth rolling “Roadcase,” inspired by his taste for Memphis Blues. You can definitely feel the love of the barbecue and spinning meat when you play with these things.

If you don’t have a rodizio and have no interest in purchasing one, consider setting up a rotisserie on your grill. It serves the same purpose, but only spins one item at a time. With a rodizio, you can spin six 24-inch skewers at once. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a lot of meat (or veggies if that’s your thing).

If you imagine a rotisserie chicken, it’s easy to see – in your mind’s eye – the crispy outside and the tender, juicy inside. The constant rotation of the production lends itself to the perfect amount of heat being applied endlessly. This creates a beautiful steak that is evenly and uniformly cooked.

Even better, chicken thighs (ones that were never brined) come off of the spinner better than any chicken I’ve ever eaten off of the grill. It’s maddening how perfect it is.

And if you’re still trying to figure out what this all tastes like, just imagine the Brazilian steakhouses; Fogo de Chao and Texas de Brazil are two that come to mind. What you get there is what comes off of these skewers. And it’s all in your backyard. Or in my case, it’s coming off of my skewers when I cater your summer party.

It’s always exciting as a chef to learn new tips and techniques, and I’m thrilled that I’m able to provide these goods to my guests. It’s why I do what I do. I mean, I do it for the money, too, but it can’t all be about that.

Rotisserie Sirloin

serves 4

2 pounds Fresh sirloin cap or New York Strip Steaks

Salt & Pepper as needed

1 Tbsp. Granulated garlic

  1. Slap the steaks on a rotisserie skewer and season liberally. The juices from the meats will make some of the spices drip away
  2. I prefer to cook over hardwood charcoal, but this would certainly work over gas as well. Either way, just fire up your grill and spin that meat
  3. Keep an eye on it to make sure that it isn’t too close to the flame. You will still get an amazing crust, but there’s less of a chance for flare-up from the dripping fat. Ergo, less char
  4. When the meat is at a temperature of your liking, pull it off the fire and keep warm until ready to serve. Slice and go!

Rotisserie Parmesan Chicken

serves 4

16 ounce Chicken thigh, cleaned of all sinew and fat

Garlic butter, softened

1/2 c. Cheap grated parmesan cheese

  1. Skewer the chicken thighs, folding them in half lengthwise and then feed them on like inchworms (that’s the best visual I’ve been able to come up with)
  2. Slather the thighs with garlic butter, and then sprinkle generously with the parmesan

Shore Beans

serves 4

1 pound Fresh green beans, snipped

4 slices bacon, cut into lardons

6 cloves garlic, smashed

2 shallots, sliced thinly

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

Salt & Pepper to taste

Lemon juice to taste

  1. Blanch the green beans in salted water until they are about 3/4 of the way done
  2. Shock in ice water and set aside until ready to fire
  3. Heat the bacon on medium until it releases its fat. It will fry the bits until they’re nice and crispy
  4. When the bacon is ready, add the shallots and cook for one minute
  5. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two, ensuring that it doesn’t burn
  6. Get the pan nice and hot and add the green beans, tossing lightly
  7. Here is the secret: Let them sit on the pan for a few minutes to get a nice layer of crisp (almost burnt but not quite)
  8. Then simply toss in the mustard and season to taste, finishing with the lemon juice

Roasted Fingerlings

serves 4

1 pound Fingerling potatoes

3 Tbsp. Unsalted butter

1 sprig fresh rosemary

2 sprigs fresh thyme

Salt & Pepper to taste

Splash of EV Olive oil to finish

  1. This first step is critical, and the fact that many people omit it drives me crazy: Blanch the potatoes in salted water until they are tender, but not falling apart
  2. Drain and place on a sheet pan
  3. Toss them in the remaining ingredients and roast at 400F until they are nice and toasty on the outside
  4. Allow to cool for a few minutes (at least) before you serve