Summer Grilling with Mark Purdy

Summer Grilling with Mark Purdy

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Summer Grilling with Mark Purdy

Edited by Molly S. Wales – Photos by Dry Creek Kitchen



Parsley and Garlic Crusted Quail
with Heirloom Tomatoes

Marinated Vegetables for the Grill


Renowned chef Mark Purdy’s education began early, on the small island of Nantucket where he and his brother caught blue fish at the beach down the street from their summer home. His father, a surgeon, removed the filets with elegant precision, and grilled them on an old charcoal grill with nothing but lemon. Bartlett Farms provided fresh produce from the back of a truck on Main Street each morning. Dinners on Nantucket were simple, rustic and great fun.

Chef Mark Purdy



Chef Mark Purdy



At Charlie Palmer’s famed Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, California, Chef Purdy has re-focused on that purity. He uses only Sonoma County products, including produce, cattle, oysters, salmon, crab, cheese and wine. Every dish has a star ingredient which is selected at the farmer’s market, and the menu is edited daily to reflect weekly changes in availability.

Dry Creek Kitchen recently turned over its patio to the Thrill of the Grill, for which Chef Purdy created a menu that shows off the versatility of grilling. “We want to showcase the incredible variety of fresh ingredients that come off the grill with wonderful flavor and clarity,” he said. “Grilling also encourages creativity and it makes a great platform for experimenting with a wide array of ingredients.”

According to Purdy, the basic premise of grilling is caramelizing. It is more than black burgers and hotdogs, as he demonstrates in his recipes for Parsley and Garlic Crusted Quail with Heirloom Tomatoes and Marinated Vegetables for the Grill. To help us recreate his simple and inspiring grilling style, which he uses at the restaurant and at home, Purdy has assembled The Art of Grilling, providing tips guaranteed to make any BBQ sensational. And remember, as Purdy suggests, “One of the secrets to a great BBQ is turning ingredients only when necessary.”

The Art of Grilling:

   Barbecue Tips

      from Chef Mark Purdy

           of Dry Creek Kitchen

Grilled Steaks

  1. Always start with a clean grill. Light your coals or turn on the gas 30 minutes prior to cooking. Have everything you need for grilling ready for use by the grill—meat, marinade, basting sauce, seasonings, etc.

  2. Keep a small but active hot fire. Do not let the fire smolder or starve for air.

  3. Use high quality wood (or chips or pellets) for smoke. Use only hardwoods for smoke. Hickory, oak and cherry are fine traditional woods and easy for beginners to use. Mesquite is also good but must be used with more care because it tends to burn hotter and can be strong and bitter if overdone.

  4. To keep food from sticking on the grill, brush the hot grill with vegetable oil, fat from the meat or chicken, or spray with oil away from the flame.

  5. Always use tongs or a spatula when handling meat. Piercing the meat with a fork allows delicious juices to escape and makes the meat less moist.

  6. Use patience. Don’t wander off and get involved with something besides tending the grill. Keep your heat high and turn your cooking items just once to sear in flavor.

  7. To cut your cooking time, partially pre-cook slow cooking food such as chicken, ribs, potatoes, carrots, etc. in the oven or microwave before you place them on the grill. The secret to evenly cooked vegetable kabobs is to parboil solid or starchy vegetables before they are threaded onto skewers for grilling.

  8. Brush the foods you are grilling with sauces during the last 20 minutes of cooking to prevent burning. When using sugar-based barbeque sauce, apply it at the end of the cooking time.

  9. Almost anything off the grill will taste better if you let it stand on the cutting board for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices, which have been driven to the center of a roast or chicken by the heat, to return to the surface and gives your meat a juicier flavor.

  10. Serve and enjoy. Remember to take a few seconds and scrape the grill with your cleaning tool. It is easier to scrape while still hot and cleaning it later will be a lot easier.



Parsley and Garlic Crusted Quail with Heirloom Tomatoes

The Quail:

  • 12 semi boneless quail

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 shallot, minced

  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ cup white wine

  • Salt

  • White Pepper

  • Chipotle Powder

The Tomatoes:

  • 4 heirloom tomatoes, mixed variety

  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced

  • 2 stems basil, chiffonade

  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt

  • White Pepper

Begin by placing the quail in a shallow dish to marinate. Rub them with the parsley, minced garlic and shallots. Add the white wine and olive oil and allow to marinate for at least four hours.

On a cookie sheet or shallow baking dish, drizzle enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Distribute ¼ of the garlic, shallots and basil. Slice the tomatoes into discs or wedges according to the shape of the tomato. Lay them over the garlic, shallot and basil. Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper. Repeat the marinating process until all of the tomatoes are marinating. Allow to marinate for at least one hour.

Preheat the grill as high as possible to get the grill grates hot. When you are ready to begin grilling, turn the flame down one quarter. Remove the quail from the marinade. Season generously with salt, freshly ground white pepper, and chipotle powder. Allow the olive oil to run off, as it will flame up on the grill, turning the quail black and bitter. Place the quail on the grill and cook until the desired temperature, about five minutes per side.

While the quail are grilling, distribute the tomatoes evenly among six large plates. Remove the quail from the grill and place two on each plate. Serve immediately

Yield: 6 servings

Heat Scale: Medium

Marinated Vegetables for the Grill

Use these delicious grilled vegetables with anything from a burger to beef or lamb.

Grilled Vegetables



Delicious: Grilled Veggies



  • 2 bell peppers

  • 1 yellow squash

  • 1 zucchini

  • 1 eggplant

  • 1 bunch asparagus

  • 1 stem rosemary, minced

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 shallots, minced

  • 2 cups hot chile oil

  • Salt

  • Pepper

Clean the bell peppers, being careful to remove the white pith. Cut the peppers into sixths lengthwise. Quarter the squashes lengthwise, and slice the eggplant into one-inch discs. Remove the woody stems from the asparagus. Place all of the vegetables in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients. Allow to marinate for at least one hour before grilling. When you are ready to grill, remove the vegetables from the bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Place them on a preheated grill. Grill them to the extent you prefer. Serve immediately.

Yield: Accompanies six main course dishes

Heat Scale: Mild

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