Cookbook: Grilling goes ‘Prime Time’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 18, 2001

New York City is filled with extraordinary restaurants, caterers, cookbook authors and grocers. Faster than you can learn the names, new ones pop up amongst the venerable old guard. For this reason many (myself included) take high praise for anything that involves food in New York with a grain of salt until it has proven it can last the change of seasons. But what if the new cookbook comes from a venerable institution and is based on the summer institution of grilling?

That institution would be Lobels. The generations-old butcher shop is located on Madison Avenue and 82nd Street and is currently run by four generations of the Lobel family. Unlike mass-produced supermarket meats this butcher shop still ages and cuts meats for patrons one steak at a time. The new cookbook, &uot;Prime Time,&uot; is a soon to be classic on grilling. Each chapter, from burgers to birds, covers that meat in great detail. Different meat – even different cuts -require different treatment. And the chapter on sauces, marinades and rubs provided me with some great ideas.

These next recipes are just a few of the ones my family has enjoyed from &uot;Prime Time.&uot;

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Bacon-Mushroom Burger

6 slices of bacon

1 pound ground beef sirloin

1 pound ground beef chuck

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped onion

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped white mushrooms

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Cook the bacon over medium heat in a skillet until cooked but not crispy. Drain on paper towels and when cool enough to handle, tear or chop into small pieces.

Combine the beef, bacon, onion, mushrooms and seasonings. Using your hands, mix well. Form into 6 patties. Refrigerate until ready to grill.

Prepare your charcoal or gas grill. Lightly spray the grill rack with the cooking spray. The coals and grates should be hot. Grill the burgers for about 5 minutes. Turn and grill 4 or 5 minutes longer for medium-well burgers.

Citrus Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and halved or 6 boneless, skinless halves

Salt to taste

1 1/4 cups fresh orange juice

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons soy sauce

4 tablespoons plain dried breadcrumbs

Nonstick vegetable spray

Sprinkle the chicken lightly on both sides with salt and put the chicken in a glass or ceramic bowl. Combine the juices, ginger, thyme, soy sauce and breadcrumbs in a bowl, stirring to make a thin paste. Pour the paste over the chicken and rub it into the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for no longer than 6 hours.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. Lightly spray the grates with the nonstick spray. Put the chicken on the grill and cook for 12 to 16 minutes, turning with tongs several times or until cooked through and the crumbs are browned. Serve immediately.

Christina Hall writes a weekly food column for The Democrat. For more recipes and information, visit our cooking Web site at