Great Grilling Recipes

It’s time to move cooking outdoors and fire up the grill!

Whether you have the newest model gas grill with all the bells and whistles or charcoal is more your style, grilling is an option all year long. But it’s in the warm summer months that we are drawn to cooking and eating outdoors with family and friends. Not only do we crave the smokey flavor grilling imparts to our food, we also appreciate the very process of grilling, a (mostly) relaxing backyard ritual that has become a rite of passage into summer.

When you stop and think beyond burgers, almost anything can be grilled—fruits, like pineapple and peaches, and salad greens, like radicchio and escarole. Pizza and flatbreads crisp up nicely when placed on a pre-heated pizza stone on the grill.

When using your grill, pivot from barbeque. Breakfast anyone? Sausage sizzles, toasted bread takes on a more intense flavor, and popping eggs into the hollows of a greased muffin tin becomes a fun way to start the weekend. Have you ever thought of baking cookies on a grill? How about a cake, a pie, or muffins? Use your grill like an oven. For me, this is especially handy at holiday time, because it frees up oven space in my kitchen. Thanksgiving turkey is moist and bronzed-looking when spatchcocked and slow-cooked on a grill.

Using a seasoned cast iron pan is one of my favorite grilling techniques, especially with fatty types of meat like hamburgers, spareribs, and steak. When these meats are placed directly on the grate, fat dripping down and hitting the floor of the grill may cause flare-ups that can ruin the food; some research has shown that these intense bursts of flame increase the risk of carcinogens in the food. Another tip: Use a grill brush regularly to thoroughly remove stuck-on bits of food from the grates and to prevent built-up grease fires.

Hamburgers cooked in a cast iron pan get the desired smokey flavor without unwanted flare-ups. To achieve the grill marks we all love, transfer the burgers from the pan directly to the grill for the last few minutes of cooking. Do the same with poultry. For seafood, cook scallops in the pan until a nice crust has formed. And for firm fish like salmon, add it to the pan skin-side down, then flip it over and cook the other side until the internal temperature is between 140°F and 145°F. Transfer it to the grill for a few minutes until grill marks appear, but do not overcook it.

This summer, take your grilling from good to great!

Jwh 6717Grilled Spareribs with Ginger Spiced Barbeque Sauce 

Serves 2 to 3

No forks allowed! Use your fingers and a bunch of napkins to enjoy these falling-off-the-bone grilled spareribs. Prep the ribs the night before with salt and pepper, being sure to evenly season them. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

1 slab baby back pork ribs (between 8 and 13 ribs)
Coarse black pepper
Barbeque Sauce (see recipe)

Barbeque Sauce

1½ cups ketchup
2 tablespoons spicy mustard
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup sweet pickle juice
Juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt

1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce the heat to simmer and cook for about 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Set aside.

2. When ready to grill, bring the ribs to room temperature.

3. Preheat the grill to 325°F. Add the ribs, close the top and cook them over indirect heat for 20 to 25 minutes. Brush ribs with the barbeque sauce and continue cooking for about 45 minutes or until the meat is easily pierced by a knife.

Jwh 6728Grilled Fruit and Burrata Cheese Salad 

Serves 6

Change out your daily green salad for this summery grilled fruit salad.

3 large plums, nectarines or peaches cut in half and pitted
1 ball burrata cheese, drained well and cut into bite-size pieces
Lemon juice
2 tablespoons warm honey
1 tablespoon sliced almonds

1. Spray the grill with cooking spray and preheat it to 375°F. Meanwhile, line a platter with lettuce of your choice and set aside.

2. Place the fruit halves on the preheated grill, cut-side down. Baste with the lemon juice until grill marks appear.

3. Transfer the fruit to a bowl and set aside to cool until just warm to the touch.

4. Place the fruit halves cut-side up on the lettuce-lined platter, and fill the centers with the burrata cheese.

5. Drizzle the warm honey over the tops, and sprinkle with the almonds.

Jwh 6747Grilled Stuffed Pepper Rolls with Egg and Ham Salad 

Serves 4 to 6

Grilled peppers are so yesterday, but stuff and roll them and you have something to talk about. Fillings can be anything from seafood, meat and poultry to cheese and vegetables. How about a filling of grains like quinoa and farro, flavored with fresh herbs? My favorite: creamy egg and ham salad. Substantial enough to be considered a main course, these stuffed pepper rolls look their best if a mixture of colors is used.

2 large red bell peppers
2 large yellow bell peppers
2 large orange bell peppers
2 hard boiled eggs, mashed
½ cup finely minced ham
½ cup finely chopped Swiss, cheddar or provolone cheese
2 tablespoons chopped sweet pickles
1 tablespoon pickle juice
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat grill to 450°F.

Wash and dry peppers. Cut them in half lengthwise, and remove and discard stem and seeds.

Place peppers cut-side down on the grill and cook, turning once or twice until they soften, collapse and the skins begin to blacken and blister.

Remove peppers from the grill and let them sit until cool enough to handle. Remove the skin and discard.

For the filling, combine the mashed eggs with the ham, cheese, pickle juice, mayonnaise, salt and pepper.

Lay the peppers cut-side up on a cutting board and evenly spread some of the egg-and-ham filling over the pepper. Roll each one up like a jellyroll and place on a serving dish. Drizzle olive oil over the top. Serve the peppers at room temperature.

Grilled Littleneck Clams 

Serves 2 to 4

Grilled clams? Yes! Be sure to use fresh clams and avoid those with cracks or that are open.

18 littleneck clams
3 large sprigs fresh oregano
3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
Pinch of salt to taste (optional)
Black pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Preheat grill to 375°F.

Place clams in a bowl of warm (not hot) water to facilitate the relaxation of the shell muscle. When the shell begins to open along the seam, carefully slide the blade of a small knife into the clam to release the muscle. Carefully rotate your knife tip around the inside of the clam to release it entirely from the shell. Place shell halves on a baking sheet. If a shell cracks, transfer the clam to a whole shell.

Remove the oregano leaves from the stem and finely chop, either by hand or in a mini food processor. Combine the oregano in a bowl with the garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, oil, vinegar and cheese. Place ¼ to ½ teaspoon of this mixture on top of each clam. If you have leftover mixture, you may add more to the clams, dividing it evenly among them.

Place clam shells on the grate carefully. Allow clams to steam in their juice in the shell until bubbling appears. Transfer them to a large, shallow bowl. Don’t stand on ceremony: Grab a bib, a hunk of bread, and enjoy!


Categories: Food & Recipes