Father’s Day Grilling A La Plancha

Is there anything more quintessentially Dad than a delicious grilled meal? For us, dad loves his grill and this year, I wanted to set him up with some of his favorites. So for Father’s Day, I made my husband (and the rest of our family and some friends) all dad’s favorite dishes grilled a la plancha and rubbed with homemade herbs de provence.

We’ve been dying to try out a new way to cook our food on the grill, and we decided to try out cooking on slate tiles, a la plancha style. Cooking foods a la plancha means to cook on an iron plate (or slate) so your food is heated faster and more evenly than you would normally get on a grill. This method will produce a high enough heat to quickly cook your food, giving you a delicious charred crust, and tender, juicy flavor.

I made a delicious, incredibly easy recipe to make your own Herbs de Provence seasoning salt. My husband loves to cook with herbs de provence – it is our grilling go-to, as it tastes delicious on seafood, poultry, pork and meats. I can’t always find great Herbs de Provence in our small town grocery store, and I really wanted to mix it with salt so it is ready to go as a rub for the grill.

All 3 methods below start off with this rub, so be sure to head to the Sweet C’s Designs blog for the full recipe!

Getting your grill ready

First off, you’re going to want to find dad some clean, untreated slates. You can find them pretty easily at any hardware store in big 16-inch square tiles; and if you can’t, you can use smaller tiles like I did in the photos.

Be sure to thoroughly wash the slate with water only (slate is porous, so don’t use soap) to remove any dirt or dust from the hardware store.

IMPORTANT: Before lighting the grill, you will want to place dry tiles on the grill. This is absolutely necessary – I can confirm that adding the slate tiles after the grill has heated will end in a shattered tile. The tiles must warm with the grill for this to work.

When the grill and tiles have warmed and your coals have turned white (or your gas grill is hot and ready), place well seasoned meat on the tiles. We want the grill to be extremely hot for this so the grilling times can be reduced — leaving in as many juices as we can.

Steak Grilling Tips

For New York or ribeye steak, I like to liberally season both sides with the herbs de provence salt and grill them on each side on the grill for 3 minutes per side for a medium rare temperature. Add an extra minute or two if your steak is bone-in, two minutes per side for medium, and an additional three minutes per side for well. For an extra kick, I drizzled a little pinot noir on the tiles as I cooked. Steaks and game might not be the first thing you think of when drinking Pinot Noir, but the La Crema Monterey Pinot has enough muscle to hold up to the richness of a grilled ribeye — it is actually one of our favorite pairings!

Delicious dinner for dad- a la plancha grilled steak with homemade herbs de provence

Our favorite cuts for this preparation are ribeyes or New York strips.

Salmon Grilling Tips

For a salmon filet, I eased up on the herbed salt a bit and just gave a scant sprinkle. Salmon pairs beautifully with herbs de provence, as well as a great La Crema Chardonnay, but salt can quickly overpower salmon’s delicate flesh. I prefer to cook salmon for about 6 minutes on a very hot tile, or just until you can see the fat releasing. If you live closer to fresh seafood than I do in Colorado, you might want to leave it a little on the rarer side – I find that most fish I cook actually gets more of a “fishy” taste when it is overcooked.

Delicious dinner for dad- salmon grilled a la plancha with homemade herbs de provence

Key to salmon: Easy on the salt and seasonings,

Bonus grilling: Chardonnay Grilled Chicken

For an extra twist, we decided to cook a roaster chicken on a ceramic insert for our charcoal grill, which heats just like the slate tiles would for the meats. We chose using the ceramic insert because ours allows for a can to be inserted to cook the chicken. I decided that instead of beer can chicken cooked on a tile we’d add some La Crema Chardonnay to a soda can I thoroughly rinsed out. Simply add chardonnay to the can and fill 1/2 way to the top. The citrus, pear and apple undertones make this a delicious way to infuse flavor into a roasted chicken- my husband said it was the best chicken he had probably ever had!

La Crema Grilling Guide: A twist on beer can chicken using La Crema Chardonnay

The can of Chardonnay keeps the chicken breast meat tender during cooking.

We’ve started cooking all sorts of things on our tiles – sweet potato fries, mushroom medleys, even puff pastry! Slate tiles pair perfectly with summer grilling, a glass of La Crema, and a toast to our favorite guys in our lives. Happy Fathers Day!

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We've been dying to try out a new way to cook our food on the grill- and we decided to try out cooking on slate tiles, a la plancha style.