CANNES, France (AP) — Steven Spielberg will close out the 66th Cannes Film Festival with a nail-biter of a finale.
My summer foodie resolution is to get comfortable behind a grill. While I'm pretty savvy in the kitchen, there's something about a grill I find intimidating. With barbecue season officially upon us, it's time to conquer my fear. I called on grilling goddess Elizabeth Karmel, Executive Chef of Hill Country Barbecue Market in New York City and Washington, DC., as well as Hill Country Chicken in NYC, to share her tips for novices like me. With this cheat sheet in hand, I think I'm ready to give it a try. Check it out! OK! News: Octavia Spencer Shares Secret to Her Recent Weight Loss • Indirect vs. Direct Heat "Know the difference between direct and indirect heat and how to use it," advises Elizabeth. "Direct heat means there’s either grey ash charcoal or lit gas burners underneath the food. If you preheat the grill with all the burners on high and cook something that takes 20 minutes or less, you’re going to use the direct method, reducing the heat to medium across the board. If you’re cooking by the indirect method there’s no heat directly underneath the food. You usually put the food in the center of the cooking grate, turn the burner off underneath the food to just have heat on either side of the food, always keeping the lid down. That allows the hot air to rotate around the food, creating that wonderful roasty, toasty crust that we all love on grilled food." OK! News: Celebrate Memorial Day With These Delish Cocktails • The Grilling Trilogy "All you need to make great tasting food are the best quality raw ingredients and then olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (also known as Elizabeth's Grilling Trilogy)," she says. "Once you master that you can go on to many other flavoring options. In fact I wrote a whole book called Soaked, Slathered and Seasoned that’s nothing but hundreds and hundreds of ways to flavor your food. But I like people to start with the Grilling Trilogy. The salt is essential, the pepper is optional if you don’t like pepper, but the olive oil is really important because it has a thick viscosity so it doesn’t drip off the food and create flare-ups." • Estimate Cooking Time "Here’s a little tip: In case people don’t know how long it takes to cook something, because you have to know if it’s going to take 20 minutes or less to use direct heat or 20 minutes more if you use indirect heat, think about it this way, the larger it is, the denser it is, the heavier it is, the longer it’s going to take to cook," says Elizabeth. "You have to really think about it and that’s why I try to drill it down to these common sense tips. If it’s heavy, it’s going to take longer to cook, if it’s lightweight it’s going to take less time to cook." OK! News: Ashley Benson Kicks Off Summer With a Slurpee • Preheat the Grill "If you have a gas grill the first thing you do before you start cooking is you preheat the grill," says Elizabeth. "That’s very important. Most people don’t do that and that is key to getting a good result. When you’re using a charcoal grill, if it’s direct heat, just have one layer of gray ash charcoal. It’s essential to let the charcoal burn until it’s covered with a white gray ash because you don’t want to start cooking your food while the charcoal is still burning and has flames on it. It will make your food taste funny and the heat won’t be consistent." • Not All Proteins Are Forgiving "Bone-in chicken pieces with the skin on are pretty forgiving—they need to be cooked with indirect heat because they can take up to, depending if they’re huge, up to an hour to cook," she explains. "Anything with a lot of fat is pretty forgiving, the leaner the food the less forgiving it is." OK! News: Jennifer Hudson Signs On To Judge New Season of 'American Idol' • Oil Your Food " Oil the food, not the grates," instructs Elizabeth. "If you oil your cooking grates you’re essentially going to be gluing your food to them because you’ve preheated the grill so it’s hot and the oil burns really quickly and becomes sticky. If you oil the food it keeps the juices inside the food, it promotes caramelization and it prevents sticking." For additional information on grilling, head to Elizabeth's website Girls at the Grill—it truly has everything you need to know! What's your summer foodie resolution? Tell me in the comments below or tweet @OKMagazine. Photo credit: Flickr
Even though the series finale of Smash airs Sunday, Megan Hilty will never forget the star-making experience. “The show has changed my life in a million ways,” she tells me during Dr. Scholl’s Active Series Countdown To Summer Fitness event held at The Sports Center in Chelsea Piers in NY. “Getting to work with the people I’ve gotten to work with through the show, I’m so grateful. Folks on the creative team, the cast and the crew. I’ve made lifelong friends, like Katharine McPhee. “ OK! GALLERY: KATHARINE MCPHEE, MEGAN HILTY AND JENNIFER HUDSON FILM SCENES FOR SMASH IN NYC She continues, “I got to do things artistically that I’ve never done before. I’ve never played a real mean girl like this [laughs]. I behaved badly, and I got to sing, dance, put on amazing costumes and work with incredible people. It really has changed my life.” The Broadway veteran, 32, who has starred in Wicked and 9 To 5: The Musical, compares and contrasts Smash to the actual theater world. OK! GALLERY: KATHARINE MCPHEE AND MEGAN HILTY CELEBRATE AT THE PREMIERE OF SMASH “It’s similar in some ways, but of course, we have to embellish a lot to make it a TV show,” she says. “There is very stiff competition, and very big personalities. What you didn’t quite see on Smash is there’s an awesome community in the Broadway world, too. You do these shows and you become a family, which, I would assume that if we’d gotten another season, they would’ve explored that.” The Washington native finds that performing together—whether on Smash, on Broadway, after school or even at summer camp—helps form deep connections. “There’s a level of intimacy that you develop with the people you perform with because you’re so vulnerable onstage,” she says. “You’re giving a piece of yourself when you’re out there, so inevitably you’re going to build incredible bonds with the people you’re doing it alongside.” OK! GALLERY: SEE PHOTOS OF KATHARINE MCPHEE, KELLIE PICKLER, CARRIE UNDERWOOD, TAYLOR SWIFT, MIRANDA LAMBERT AND MORE IN THE VALERIE GALLERY What’s next? “I’m not quite sure,” she says. “I just got released from my contract [laughs], and I’m trying to figure it out. I released an album, It Happens All The Time, so I’ll be promoting that, and I’m doing a workshop of a musical this summer. Who knows after that. I’m excited to find out myself.” Catch the series finale of Smash, which airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. What will you miss most about Smash? Tweet us @okmagazine. Photo credit: Getty Images
The season 13 panel is starting to take shape with the former finalist close to coming onboard, says a source.read more
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