Posted on: 12 July 2016
When the summer heats up, there's nothing worse than standing in a hot kitchen cooking over a hot stove. Luckily, there are so many things that taste delicious on the grill that there's virtually no reason to cook inside during the summer months. Burgers and steaks are great, but summer outdoor cooking can be taken up a level with a little imagination. Check out all the things that can be grilled, but aren't often.
Veggies cubed and skewered for grilling is expected. Try instead grilling whole veggies. Any vegetable that is large enough to not fall through the grill grate will work. Pull carrots from the garden, toss them with a little olive oil and favorite seasonings -- cumin is a good choice -- and place them directly on the grill. Turn them until all sides are slightly charred and they can be pierced with a fork. The same concept works for portobello mushrooms and asparagus. Vegetables that take a little longer to cook also can be grilled, as long as they're parboiled or popped in the microwave for a couple of minutes first. Sweet or white potatoes can be parboiled, sliced, tossed with oil and seasonings and placed on the grill. Who needs fries? Brussels sprouts also cook well using this method, though they should be skewered whole if they're small enough to fall through the grill grates. Gardeners who have lettuce flourishing but are sick of salad can put those greens right on the grill. A whole head of romaine can be sliced down the middle, rubbed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and placed on the grill for two or three minutes on each side. No need to break up the head after it's done grilling. Dressing can be drizzled right on top for a gorgeous presentation.
Summer desserts should be fruit-heavy. Tons of gorgeous fruits are in season and fruit makes for a lighter dessert, which is welcome in the hot summer months. Grilling fruit brings out its sweetness and adds a different complexity to flavors. Try grilling whole peaches, a pineapple sliced in half or watermelon slices. For a fun twist on a banana split, slice open the peel of a banana and stuff the peel with chocolate chips, coconut flakes, marshmallows and caramel. Close the peel, wrap the whole thing in foil and toss it on the grill for no more than 10 minutes. Dump the contents of the foil packet into a bowl, get rid of the peel, and top the whole thing with a scoop of ice cream. Delicious!
Outdoor chefs who give the grill a workout in the summer must maintain it well so that it doesn't give up its job in the middle of an August heat wave. Invest in a good grill cover to protect it from the elements and keep it clean. After each grilling session, the grill should be turned on high for 15 minutes so that cooking oils from veggies, grease from meats and little bits of marshmallow from banana split packets burn off. Then the grill grates should be brushed vigorously with a long-handled, stiff-brushed grill cleaning brush. Purchase grill cleaning tools online or anywhere grills are sold. Happy cooking! Contact a business, such as Grillbots LLC, for more information.Share