[i]. Chemicals known as heterocyclic amines, or HCAs, are created when cooking meats at very high temperatures and might increase cancer risks. These chemicals are created from the amino acids as well, as other substances within the meats that are cooked longer or at these high temperatures. This can occur in grilling, broiling or pan frying. When it comes to grilling meats in a healthier fashion, there are a few tips that you can use.
- Use leaner, less fatty cuts of meat (as I noted above). The fat that drips causes flare ups and smoke that can contain potential carcinogens.
- Placing the meat in the microwave for 40-60 seconds before grilling can eliminate 90% of the HCAs. Just be sure to get it on the grill immediately to protect against bacteria and other food pathogens created from partially cooked food.
- Using tin foil poked with holes on the grate will put a barrier between the flames and meat, while allowing fats to drip through.
Other tips such as keeping the grill clean to reduce mixing burned or charred meats from before with what is about to go on the grill, are among other tips that I follow while grilling.
While the grill was heating up, I laid out the steaks and seasoned generously with fresh cracked black pepper and just a dash of salt as my rub. As in the tips above, I ran the steaks quickly in the microwave before getting them on the grill. I put them directly on the grate at first to get some grill marks, and then transfer them to the tin foil side to finish. I follow suit with the squash cut lengthwise into quarters and lightly coated in oil.
Once the meat and veggies come off, I can switch out the tin foil and place the prepared peaches on the grill. (see recipe below) I grill he peaches for about 2 minutes per side until I get a good grill mark, then I transfer them to the tin foil and sprinkle with the sugars for an additional 2 minutes or until the sugars turn into light syrup. I find it best to turn the foil up around the edges to keep the juices and syrup from heading into the grill. Remove from the grill and let the peaches cool completely.
To assemble the dish, I make a simple salad from Romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, and the grilled squash. Slice the steaks on the bias and fan over the salad to finish. Place the sorbet in a large martini style glass. Place a couple of the peach slices along the side and garnish with a fresh mint spring.
[i] Rebecca Viksnins Snowden, “Eating Charred, Well Done Meat May Increase Pancreatic Cancer Risk,” American Cancer Society Website, http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/news/eating-charred-well-done-meat-may-increase-pancreatic-cancer-risk, date accessed, July 8, 2013