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Girls Can Run The Grill, Too! A Spicy Rub & Malta RibEye a la Parrilla

It is the Fourth of July and I know you are going to eat really well today! But are you going to be grilling!? This post is a bit biased and slanted for the ladies. Fellas, feel free to read (because there’s something in this for you, too), but ladies, I woke up with you in mind on this hot day when we’re deciding what we’re going to cook and how that’s going to happen.

Sometime last year I briefly touched on girl’s grilling out in my LATINA column. The theme was more or less a pictorial  proposition that we can grill and so I shared a few enticing images with my suggestion of  ideal tools that would get us started at the parrilla.

I don’t know that I convinced many women that grilling was their thing or even something they could remotely find interest in doing. And in all honestly, even after I wrote that piece and bought some really nice grilling goodies, I was not so keen on standing in front of a hot ass grill, patiently waiting for carne or any other food to be ready for consumption.

I like using my stovetop grill pan.

But, things have changed…

If I had to think about it, and I have, my active memory would take me to my childhood where we used to go camping every weekend. Our entire family would get thick in the experience. Fishing (hooking worms and all), canoeing, hiking, hitching tents and later cranking up campers, starting fires at a late and starry midnight hour for us to enjoy roasted marshmallows and the required dive into the mossy lake.

And, grilling of course because we had to eat and there was no kitchen. We’d either bring our own portable one or the respective campsite would have one of those standard park ones that bear nada. Caveman like grills. In any case, papi usually did all the grilling when we took our weekend excursions. He’d gather would or buy charcoal, and in his macho man like stature, set everyone back while he lit up the fire. As kids, we were curious and wanted to help but it was too “dangerous.”

The food we ate during our camping trips, and we took hundreds of them, were great. There was something special about eating food that was prepared outside without all the fancy utensils we had back at home. Very rustic if you will.

Pero ahora, mami is the one that grills. Not at the camping sites, rather at home. She dominates our  huge and powerful ironclad machine. I’ve subconsciously watched her over the years and I realized that she knows what she’s doing. It’s not just about slapping a piece of steak or pollo on the grill. It’s more than that.

There’s buying the gas tank. Refilling it. Hooking it up. Knowing when to light the charcoal and carefully igniting it. I won’t bore you with those logistical details that must be learned if you really want to be grill master.

I’m simply using her skill as an example that we women can grill, too! If you’re not into all those prerequisites I just mentioned, at least do the cooking part! After all, that’s where the fun is! Let the fellas hook it all up and then step in there and get right to it.

There’s so much you can cook on the grill. I’ve enjoyed making grilled vegetables, fruits (like platanos maduros — OM!) in addition to the known staples. And, I promise  you it’s not that complicated–actually, sometimes it’s simpler than conventional cooking.

I found for myself that once I’ve decided what I’m going to cook, it’s all a matter of embracing the method as you would stovetop cooking; only your outside and you’ll probably end up smelling like a smokey piece of meat by the time you’re done. If you’re okay with that, then I guarantee you’ll find extreme satisfaction in grilling!

Plus, who doesn’t like eating grilled foods! It tastes so good! All that smoke, all the rub (cause you have to make your own, but that’s another post for another day).

So, I urge you, as my sister in cooking to break out of your box, fears if any and go for it. Start simple so that you’re not intimidated or discouraged. Here are my suggestions to easily segue into the process, which will ultimately put you in charge. Well you already are, but this just adds another dimension!

1. Buy (or even borrow) a decent grill– note that it doesn’t have to be a fancy one with the gas tank which you’d have to learn how to use since it’ll have ignitions and temperature dials. A basic one just has a pit for charcoal and a grill top. Go for that latter if you’re just starting out.

2. Buy some charcoal. Because real grilling requires charcoal. And lighter fluid. And aluminum foil (great for wrapping up stuff like corn).

3. Buy some grilling basics (pictured below-thermostat being an important one if you don’t know how to gauge cooked meat).

4. Choose your foods for grilling (steaks, chicken, vegetables, shrimp, etc…).

5. Marinade your proteins with adobo, seasoning, mojo or homemade rubs (or your vegetables).

6. Light your grill and let it heat up.

7. Slap your meats and other foods on the grill and let the monster machine do its job!

8. Yes, you must watch it on occasion to make sure you’re getting the right amount of smoke and that you’re food is not over-cooking. You want to avoid drying your food out, which can happen since it’s on direct flames.

(grilling essentials: brush, scraper, spatula)

Remove your food and eat up! Sure, I could go into more detailed chatter on how to grill, but this my friends is all you need to know to get you foster some confidence, get you started and on your way to mastering the grill! In fact, in a super quick query I posed this morning to some girlfriends, I learned a lot of us  love to grill certain foods and aren’t afraid. I’m talking basics like hotdogs, hamburgers, corn, skewered shrimp, chicken kabobs, and more yumminess. So fret not! Plus it’s way sexy. Any many I know loves to see a woman man-handling the grill.

Know that it’s initially on how you season your food–that will make all the difference. The other stuff will come as you practice, standing there and flipping your goodies. Trust me, there are endless ways to grill and endless enjoyment in learning new things.

In the meantime, here’s a great semi-homemade rub and marinade I made for a caliente rib eye steak a la parrilla. I served it with a grilled tomatillo sauce and grilled corn with a bleu cheese butter — all made on the grill!

And all so damn delicious. Now only if I had a grill of my own (because yes, I cooked in D.C. at my parent’s house)! For now, my stovetop grill pan will work!

Here’s to girl grilling power! Happy, safe, sexy and delicious 4th of July!

*this post is part of my Latina Smart ambassadorship and as such is sponsored. However, the topic, thoughts and recipe are my own, as always! 


Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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Spicy Rub & Malta Marinated Rib Eye Grilled Steak With Tomatillo Salsa


  • 2.5-3lbs. boneless rib eye steak
  • ½ cup Malta drink (any brand will work)
  • ½ cup Worchestire sauce
  • 1 ¼ tbs. spicy rub
  • 1.5 tbs. sage honey
  • 2 tsp. whole ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp. salt

For Tomatillo Salsa

  • 2 lbs. fresh tomatillos (husked)
  • 2 small white onions
  • 4 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 4 tbsp. fresh limejuice
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cumin



Rinse steak, pat dry and place in large platter. Using your fingers even distribute the spicy rub. Add salt and pepper. Add Malta and Worchestire sauce. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Light up the grill.  Remove steaks from refrigeration and stir in honey to marinade. Using tongs, place steak on grill and baste with the juices from the marinade. Insert the thermostats in each steak. Turn heat on grill to medium and close. Cook on each side for 10-12 minutes. Open grill and flip steaks using large spatula (you can use tongs here, too). Check needle on thermostat for doneness). Baste other side with the remaining marinade, making sure to saturate them well.  While grill top is open, rinse tongs (or using a different pair, place tomatillos and garlic on grill, around the steaks. Close grill and cook steaks for another 10-12 minutes; and tomatillos until charred around, but not too soft. Using tongs or spatula, you can flip steaks one more time or until your desired doneness is achieved (as indicated by your thermostat*). Remove steaks and place back into another large platter. Remove tomatillos and garlic from grill and place in bowl.

Tomatillo Salsa.

Once you’ve roasted the tomatillos and garlic, cut tomatillos half and add to a food processor or blender. Add onions, salt, cumin, olive oil, and limejuice. Pulse for 3-4 minutes until you have a nice chunky salsa.

To serve, use a large steak knife to cut pieces of carnita. You can alternatively, serve single filets. Pour 3 tbsp. of tomatillo sauce overtop steak. Serve with grilled corn and other vegetables, as desired.

95 thoughts on “Girls Can Run The Grill, Too! A Spicy Rub & Malta RibEye a la Parrilla

  1. Girl…..how about Mr. BBQMAN is putting me to the challenge on the GRILL….does he not know that after all these YEARS of watching him I’m going to out do him. Love, Love Love this piece! I’m already incorporating this concept in our BZ…we will chat about that latter…LOL. BBQMAN wants to try that Turn Up the Heat Spice!

    In Beyonce voice…Girls rule the Grill!!!

  2. Hope you’re having a chill July 4th, Bren. Next time, save yourself some money and skip the lighter fluid. Wet some newspaper with vegetable oil and it’ll do the trick!

  3. Girl you are always cooking it up! I love it. Thanks for cooking dinner for us the other night! I’ll have to have Alex make this for us! Looks so juicy.

  4. Grill master for sure. Well-written, informative and some sweet photography!

    Of course, digging the use of malta.

    Be well

  5. More great pictures, and wonderful flavor ideas, but since I don’t want to smell like smokey meat, I’d love to hear more about the grill pan… And does a George Foreman grill in the kitchen count? What do I need to do different? Fodder for another post, perhaps. 🙂

  6. Yo, Yo, Yo!!! I am the mami who knows how to work the grill, which is how I learned to cook. Yes, I first learned to grill and then learned to cook! I’m grilling tonight. Fish and vegetables.

    Love this, Bren. Great inspiration.

  7. Great Post! Im definitely going to try the recipe soon. I happen to know how to use the grill and i think i do alright, however, I decided to marry, I mean hire, my own personal GRILL MASTER Oct. 3, 2009!!!


  9. I am a fruit, veggie and seafood champ on the grill. No one can challenge me! Is it bad for me to say that I’ll leave the steak to the boys? I mean, I’ll eat it if it’s there… 🙂

  10. Rosa: It was sooo good. All kinds of juicy!

    Joi: hahaha. I knew you’d like this post. Did you share it with C!?!? He’s gotta see it. I enjoy grilling but no where near as much as you two!

    Bellini: I did! very quiet until later in the evening.

    Melanie: YUP! Hope you enjoyed ur day!

    Peter: I totally agree with you. But, no one learning now to grill will think about that. Gotta make it easy for them! 🙂

    Michele: Thanks chica… glad you enjoyed.

    Laz: Yup! Preciate you acknowledging my chops! : haha. My photography is so inconsistent, I think. I need to work on that. I took those pictures last year! If I could always get them to look like that, I’d be rocking it out!

    Aurelia: Girl, who wants to smell like that! Ha. But it’s true. I went to a cookout tonight and wasn’t near the grill and still walked out of there smelling like it! But the food was so good!

    Carrie: Ha. I saw that and love it! You went the opposite way first—but hey, what ever works best, no! A cuban in TN, grilling it up. Fly!

    Tiffany: Hire?? Classic.

    Mami: mima, no te recuerdas cuando hice todo eso en la casa? Que rico quedo todo! yuuuumi! Me alegro que lo pasaron bien esta noche.

    Sujeiry: That’s what I’m here for! Food and sexiness!

    DuoDishes: Really!?!?! I had NO clue. I smell a challenge. Uhm, you DO know I’m coming to L.A.!

  11. Awesome post! It’s 2:00 am, and I should be sleep but I’m up craving a piece of steak. Your pics have me salivating. I’ve made various butter recipes for corn but never blue cheese butter. Sounds delish and def goes on my must make list. oh btw…I really hate I can’t make the BWB conference. I’m a track coach and have a meet this weekend:(

  12. Grilling is definitely my one cooking weak point but I think you’ve given me the confidence to get to it! Next time I go over to my parents’ house…I’m taking it over.

  13. Hmm, for the sake of accuracy I’m gonna have to set a couple of things here straight! One: mami has ALWAYS done a lot of grilling, even back then during our camping days. It is true that getting the charcoal or gathering deadwood would be part of my routine (happily accompanied by you guys), but, Two: nothing macho about taking over the grill. I did my share and loved it, but mami alwyas gave the masterful final touches. More recently, yet a matter of many years, mami has been the queen of grilling at home; I would not dare compete with her. BTW, she outdid herself this 4th of July and prepared the most scrumptious baby ribs I can remember!! Not difficult to see where your talent comes from. Girls (my girl in particular -don’t get excited, I’m talking about your mother-) can make the grill sing!! I know 🙂 Happy belated 4th to all!!

  14. Yum!! Michael pretty much does all the grilling around these parts, but i serve as assistant. =)

    Hope you had a great 4th!

  15. Looks absolutely divine — and I’m not surprised your mama is the grillmaster for your family. The only reason I haven’t grabbed those tongs from my hubster’s hands is because I’m usually in the kitchen working on other aspects of dinner. I’m thinking we’d have fewer meals with flames if I was out there 🙂 We had some ribs I think you’d have liked, Bren. Spicy!

  16. OMG! Nenita that Carne looks amaizing…. Rib eye is my favorite oh so good! Ono food :~)

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