Enjoy these top grilling tips from mar’sel Chef de Cuisine Andrew Vaughan at your table:
Dry rubs and marinades
- Some of my favorite ways to grill are with marinades and dry rubs. Fresh herb and vinegar marinades help denature the proteins in meat to give it a softer, more tender texture infused with strong flavored herbs. I prefer marjoram and rosemary (try my recipe below!). If you’re not a fan of fresh herbs, a marinade heavy in garlic packs a great aromatic punch. Depending on the cut of meat, you can marinate from 12 to 24 hours. And if you’re patient, some meats can be marinated up to 48 hours to intensify the flavors and help break down the structure of your favorite cuts. My favorite cuts that hold up to such marinades are skirt steak, pork chops and even chicken.
- Dry rubs are for the impatient who want immediate results and instant gratification! Rubs tend to be more concentrated and paste-like in texture and are truly all-purpose. For best results, I love flavoring seafood with rubs and throwing them on an open grill and giving them a really nice char. Rubs add lots of flavor and provide a unique texture to all grilled dishes – even vegetables. Rubs work best with dried herbs and spices; you can add mustard to them – even horseradish – for an added level of spice and complexity.
Marjoram Rub Recipe:
½ cup fresh marjoram, chopped
¼ cup fresh thyme, chopped
½ cup smoked paprika
2 TB chopped garlic
2 cups ground fennel seed
2 cups red wine vinegar
2 cups water
2 cups olive oil
Make paste with ingredients and rub on preferred meat. Works well with beef or pork. Allow to set for 24 to 48 hours on meat. Season with salt and grill.
Compound butters and aioli
- Two of my favorite things: BUTTER AND AIOLI! What I love best about these two condiments is their versatility and the full flavor they have in complementing dishes, especially items coming from the grill. Compound butter and aioli help soften strong robust flavors and you can add strong acids like lemon and lime that will help cut through rich fatty flavors to help enhance smoky nuances that you can achieve from the grill. Flavored butters and aioli lend themselves well to fresh herbs and spices. Butters in particular can serve an additional role in grilling your favorite meats and vegetables by slowly basting them while they are still on the grill. They also act as a great finishing component to grilled breads you may have around; my favorites are naan and pita. Get creative—you can make some amazing bites and sandwiches too.
Salads and vegetables
- I can’t say enough about the fresh vegetables in California, and the grill lends itself well to developing flavor and robustness to vegetables from your garden or local farmers market. Not much is needed for your garden beautis—a little olive oil, salt and lemon can do the trick. I love finishing grilled vegetables with a nice Spanish olive oil and sea salt with a bit of lemon zest shaved with a microplane. Some of my favorite vegetables to grill are cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus and cabbage. Save a little of that aioli and compound butter from above to complement these vegetables.
- Ceviches are wonderful and amazing on their own. I love to take them to the next level by throwing a little charred flavor and smokiness to the dishes. A great example for this application is grilled scallops. I like to mark them on a really hot grill, ensuring they are still raw, then rough chopping them, tossing them in a little tequila and lime juice, lime zest and red onion. Finished with a little cilantro and grilled diced pineapple, you have a dynamic ceviche. Go crazy and throw a few corn tortillas on the grill and you have a truly creative taco variation. This works great with any of your favorite seafood or shellfish.
Salt, pepper and oil
- If all else fails and your time is too valuable for spending the day in the kitchen, then just fire up the grill, hand-select your favorite top-quality meats, seafood and veggies and just toss them in some nice olive oil, your favorite salt (like Terranea Sea Salt) and fresh cracked black pepper. Grill to your heart’s desire and enjoy!
Try Bobby Flay’s crostini recipe with your favorite Terranea sea salt!
About the Chef
Chef de Cuisine Andrew Vaughan oversees mar’sel, Terranea’s signature restaurant, and one of Los Angeles’ top dining destinations. A Louisiana native, Vaughan hails from two of the most iconic restaurants in the nation, working alongside Emeril Lagasse at NOLA in New Orleans, and Daniel Boulud at Restaurant Daniel in New York City. Most recently, Vaughan served as the Chef de Cuisine for Nelson’s, as well as masterfully executing VIP dinners for the resort, and aiding the development and execution of the successful Chef’s Table Dinner Series, which showcases the resort’s renowned “Farm-to-Terranea” cuisine, alongside featured wines, to benefit a select charity.
Under Vaughan’s leadership, the mar’sel menu exhibits a strong focus on the respect for culinary tradition and technique. He collaborates with local fisherman, ranchers and farmers to source local and sustainable ingredients to complement what is growing in Terranea’s hilltop garden and in the mar’sel garden beds. Vaughan spearheaded the 2017 launch of mar’sel dining series Farm and Vine, five-course wine pairings featuring a guest farm, such as Weiser and Coleman Family Farms.
For more information or to make a dining reservation, please contact (855) 416-3928.