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Grill-Steamed Clams

If your idea of a good barbecue involves holding a cocktail or summer ale with one hand while performing minimal tong activity with the other, this is your dish: the delicious and sophisticated spicy clam (or mussel) broth cooks itself in a disposable foil pouch. You can dedicate most of your attention to the beautiful sunset or discussing the news of the day with friends. These clams are ideal as a casual first course or light meal. Serves 4 as a starter 2 dozen littleneck clams or mussels, scrubbed 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 pinches red pepper flakes 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil cup dry white wine Salt and pepper pound spaghetti, prepared according to package directions, or 4 slices of grilled baguette 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley 1. Heat a charcoal or gas grill until hot. Tear a sheet of heavy-duty foil 60 inches long, and fold in half to double. Place clams, garlic, red pepper flakes and butter or oil in the center. Start to gather up the sides of the foil as you make a pouch. Add wine, leaving ample space inside to steam. Crunch up foil tightly to seal. 2. Place pouch on grill for 12 to 15 minutes (a few minutes less for mussels) or until clams have opened. You can feel this through the foil. Open the package, being careful not to be burned by steam or to let the liquid run out. If not all the clams have opened, reseal and return to the grill for a few minutes. When clams are done, season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide hot pasta or baguette among 4 bowls. Arrange clams atop. Pour broth from the foil packet into a cup, and pour over the bowls. Sprinkle with parsley.
Photo: Ditte Isager

Grilled Corn with Basil Butter

Fresh corn on the cob is among the sweetest of summer pleasures and needs little embellishment, but if you want a change, the grown-up tang of basil is just the thing. Blending it with butter captures its flavor and color, which are released by the heat of the grilled corn. Serves 4 to 6 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature 8 ears corn, with husks Salt 1. In a mini food processor, pulse the basil and butter together until they are thoroughly blended and the basil is in very small pieces. Remove the butter from the processor, and scrape it into a ramekin or form it into a log. Keep it chilled until you are ready touse it. 2. Pull the husks away from the corn, but leave them attached. Remove the silk and rinse the corn. Using a strip of the husk, tie the husk together so that it forms a handle, leaving the cob exposed. 3. Heat a charcoal or gas grill until hot. Lightly oil the grill with tongs holding paper towels that have been dipped in oil. Grill corn for about 10 minutes, rotating the ears frequently and keeping the husks away from the heat, until the kernels are lightly charred all over and tender. 4. Serve corn with the basil butter on the side. Sprinkle with salt.
Photo: Ditte Isager

Smoky Ratatouille

So you went nuts at the farmers’ market, and now you’re wondering how (and when) you’re going to eat all those veggies. don’t panic; throw them on the grill. in this recipe, the classic ratatouille flavor gets a smoky accent. you slice up the large, seared vegetable pieces while they’re still warm and toss them with herbs. Serves 4 to 6 1 yellow or red bell pepper 1 medium onion, cut into thick slices 2 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise 2 small yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise 2 small Japanese eggplants, cut in half lengthwise 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper 6 plum or Campari tomatoes A dash of balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves 20 fresh basil leaves 1. Heat a charcoal or gas grill until hot. Lightly oil the grill with tongs holding paper towels dipped in oil. Roast bell pepper whole, turning frequently until charred all over, about 10 minutes. Place in a resealable plastic bag until cool enough to handle. Peel, seed, and cut into strips. 2. Brush remaining vegetables with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill onion until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Grill zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant until lightly charred on each side. Move to a cooler part of the grill to cook until tender, for a total cooking time of about 15 minutes. Grill tomatoes 2 to 3 minutes on each side. 3. Cut all vegetables into 2-inch pieces. Season with more salt and pepper and the balsamic vinegar; sprinkle with thyme, and stir. Garnish with torn basil leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Photo: Ditte Isager

Caramelized Peaches

Grilled fruits often show up as juicy kebabs, but this luscious dessert is in another flavor league altogether. Nestled on an aluminum-foil tray of double thickness, the peaches cook slowly over a cooling grill while a delicious saucy glaze forms. the grilled pound cake comes from the store, but the peaches are your very own gastronomic creation. Serves 2 to 4 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/4 vanilla bean, seeds scraped 3 tablespoons light brown sugar 2 firm but ripe peaches, cut in half and pitted Vanilla frozen yogurt Your favorite pound cake 1. Tear a 24-inch-long piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, and fold in half to double. Fold up inch on each side, and pinch corners to create a raised edge. Place on a charcoal grill that is starting to cool off or gas grill set to medium low. 2. Melt butter. Add vanilla seeds and brown sugar, and stir to combine. Spread mixture onto cut side of peaches. Place peaches cut side down on foil. 3. When the cut side turns golden brown and the peaches begin to exude juice, turn over. Cooking on the first side will take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the temperature of the grill and the ripeness of the peaches. Cook on the other side 2 to 3 minutes more. Pull off skins if desired-they should slip right off. 4. Serve each half with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt and grilled pound cake cut into 3-by-1-inch rectangles.
Photo: Ditte Isager

Italian Turkey Burgers

The boring burger gets an exciting-and healthy-makeover in this recipe. We’re tempted to give it a fancy Italian name, but it’s just ground turkey mixed with sautéed onions, roasted peppers, garlic, fennel seeds and mustard. the succulent patty is so moist and flavorful, it could happily go bunless. Serves 4 1 small onion, diced 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 pound ground turkey 1 clove garlic, finely grated 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, slightly crushed 1 large roasted red pepper, chopped ( cup) 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 4 ounces Fontina cheese, sliced 4 buns, toasted 4 leaves lettuce 4 slices tomato 1. Sauté onion in the olive oil until translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine turkey, garlic, fennel, red pepper, onion, mustard, salt and pepper. Divide into 4 patties. Chill if not using right away. 2. Heat a charcoal or gas grill until hot. Lightly oil the grill with tongs holding paper towels dipped in oil. Grill turkey burgers for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Top each with 1 ounce cheese, and cover grill to melt. Serve on toasted bun with lettuce and tomato.
Photo: Ditte Isager

Middle Eastern Shrimp with Chickpea Salad

Serves 4 Shrimp teaspoon ground coriander teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon turmeric Pinch allspice ? teaspoon cinnamon ? teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on Chickpea Salad 1 19-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1 ripe tomato, chopped 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced English cucumber, diced (about 1 heaping cup) cup green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped Zest of 1 lemon 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley Extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper 4 tablespoons Greek yogurt, for serving 1. Soak bamboo skewers in water for several hours or overnight. 2. Heat a charcoal or gas grill until hot. Lightly oil the grill with tongs holding paper towels dipped in oil. Combine the spices, salt and olive oil. Add shrimp, and toss to coat. Let the shrimp sit in the marinade while you prepare the salad. 3. Toss together all ingredients for Chickpea Salad except the Greek yogurt. Divide salad among 4 plates. 4. Thread 4 shrimp on each of 4 skewers. Grill until cooked through and well browned, 3 to 5 minutes on each side. 5. Top each salad with 1 shrimp skewer and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
Photo: Ditte Isager

Grilled Salmon with Cucumber-Plum Salad

Serves 4 Salmon 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 1 teaspoon light brown sugar 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/4 teaspoon 5-spice powder 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger 4 6- to 8-ounce skinless salmon fillets Salad English cucumber 2 plums, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar (or ume plum vinegar) Pea shoots or watercress for garnish 1. In a large shallow dish, mix the marinade ingredients, and coat the salmon with it. This can be done just before grilling or up to one hour before. Refrigerate salmon while it marinates. 2. Heat a charcoal or gas grill until medium hot. Lightly oil the grill with tongs holding paper towels dipped in oil. Grill salmon 4 to 6 minutes on each side. 3. Slice cucumber lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Thinly slice crosswise. You should have about 2 cups. Combine with plums and vinegar. Place a salmon fillet on each of 4 plates and top with the cucumber salad. Garnish with pea shoots or watercress. Chicken Paillards with a Big Salad Serves 4 Chicken 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 pinch red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin, or thinly sliced cutlets 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper Salad 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4- to -inch-thick slices, rings kept intact Extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper 5 cups loosely packed baby arugula 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half 1/4 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and halved 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar Parmesan cheese shavings 1. In a large shallow dish, combine garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, olive oil and rosemary. Marinate chicken for 15 minutes or up to 2 hours, refrigerated. Remove excess marinade from chicken, and discard. Season with the salt and pepper. 2. Heat a charcoal or gas grill until hot. Lightly oil the grill with tongs holding paper towels dipped in oil. Brush the intact onion pieces with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Carefully place on grill. Grill 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until translucent. Alternatively, use a grill basket to cook the onions. The point is to keep them from falling through the grates. Set aside in a bowl to cool slightly while you cook the chicken. Grill chicken breasts 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly charred and cooked through. 3. In a large bowl, combine arugula, tomatoes, olives and grilled onions. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss well. Place a grilled chicken breast on each of 4 plates, and top with the salad. Top the salad with shaved Parmesan. First published in MORE, July – August 2010. For more grilling tips and tricks click here
Photo: Ditte Isager

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