As Bobby Flay dashes around the television set of Iron Chef America, hes a man in his element. And as he hauls a side of elk to his workstation, hes intent on reducing it to skewers and burgers. But Flay is interested in much more than meat. Not only does he have a soft spot in his heart for vegetables, he isnt afraid to use his trademark bold flavors to season them. Hes the kind of a guy who cheerfully moves a steak to the side of his grill to make room for portobello mushrooms crusted with Parmesan, or Vidalia onions rubbed with chili powder, mustard and cayenne pepper.
To this chef, cookbook author and restaurant owner, grilled vegetables are more than side dishes for meats and fish, a concept he explores during his Iron Chef America appearances and on his Food Network shows Boy Meets Grill and Throwdown with Bobby Flay. His Parmesan portobellos are great as a vegetarian entree. And his idea for marinating zucchini after its cooked is a revelation. For his potato salad, a couple of minutes on the grill give the spuds a golden crust, adding an extra dimension to the dish. In mid-summer, it can serve as a meal accompanied only by thick slices of ripe tomatoes, a hunk of crusty bread and some really good cheese.
Grilling in American used to be about hot dogs, hamburgers and lighter fluid. But now anything goes on the grillif you like it you can grill it, Flay says.
Grilling is the best way I know to keep cooking fun and adventurous.