Don’t Just Grill Meat This Summer

Summer is the time to take your culinary academy coursework outside. As you prepare the charcoal or propane for the Fourth of July or other summer celebrations, don’t ignore just how versatile a cooking tool like a a grill can be. Here are some side courses and snacks you can prepare alongside your main grilled entree:

Grilled toppings
If you’re serving burgers, the toppings you provide could also benefit from being placed on the grill. Many outdoor chefs grill their buns but why not grill the onions, tomatoes and lettuce that are going to compliment your main course?

This is standard practice at some cookouts but you can take it one step further. Grilled traditional toppers can be included in other dishes. Bon Appétit magazine suggested grilling lettuce to create mesquite salad combinations. Unused grilled tomatoes and onions can be chopped up and used to make a smoky salsa.

Grilled Appetizers
Other vegetables can be thrown on the grill to create wonderful starting dishes. Peppers and avocados can be stuffed with vegetables, cheeses or meats and then roasted on the grill.

If you’re at a waterside summer celebration, try traditional seafood options. Plenty of people grill shrimp but have you ever tried grilling oysters on the half shell? The Savory, a gourmet food resource, stated you only need to place oysters open-side up on the grill for about five minutes before they are ready to enjoy. You can try covering them in barbeque sauce or cheese.

You can grill some of the offerings on your fancy cheese tray, provided you choose a cheese with a high enough melting point. The Side Dish cooking blog recommends Halloumi, a cheese made from sheep and goat milk.

Grilled drinks
Grilling certain fruits offers a tasty treat that can be served as a snack. Grilled fruit can also be used in beverages, allowing you to drink in the mesquite flavor.

You can include grilled tomatoes to make Blood Marys and grilled strawberries to create a one-of-kind daiquiri. Serious Eats, a food news source, provided several recipes for summer bar beverages that include grilled ingredients.

For the kids, you can try making grilled lemonade. Coat your lemons in a combination of honey and sugar, grill and then squeeze.

Grilled desserts
Grilled peaches and pineapple can be used to make drinks as well, but they are pretty delicious on their own or served as pastry toppings. You can create baked goods using grilled bananas, cherries and apples.

You can crisp baked goods like pound cake on the grill. Better Homes and Garden recommend using a cast iron skillet to bake a pie outdoors. By placing the skillet on the grill, you can bake a pie with a crisp, golden crust.

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