Summer Grilling Series -Go Beyond Meat

Ever since man crawled out of his cave and discovered fire, there has been an obsession with grilling. There is just something about slapping a huge hunk of meat on a set of red-hot metal bars that gets men all worked up. The classic stereotypical picture of the man of the house drooling over his grill while the woman of the house is out shopping for shoes certainly can bring on a chuckle.  But then again, the reason this image is funny is because it's often so true. There is, however, more to grilling than just the cave man's hunter instinct. Sometimes the 'gatherer' comes into play.  Let's take a look at a few other things that can be grilled in order to expand the cooking vocabulary of today's domesticated cave man and cave woman.  

More than Meat
While grilling usually goes hand in hand with sports, summer days, and pool outings, that doesn't mean it has to be the same meal over and over – either chicken, steak, hamburgers, or hotdogs. There are tons of other foods you can grill out that will possibly change your perception of what you can do with your grill. A good grill can give you all the cooking surfaces you need. From an open flame to a stove top to an oven and rotisserie, grills are the ultimate cooking machine. The sky is the limit when you begin dreaming about your cookout. Meat need not be the focus of your meal when you can also grill your salad, soup, and even dessert.  

Rise to the Occasion
Bread cooked on the grill is light and fluffy while having an irresistible crunchy crust. Indian breads are great to grill, like naan, which is typically cooked in a tandoori oven over an open flame. Pizzas, tortillas, and even cornbread are other great dishes that benefit from the dry heat and smokey flavor from the grill. Flat breads are the most common breads to throw on the grill since they char easily and cook quickly. Other breads that are common are your artisan styles, like chibatta and focaccia, which are also thinner breads that will cook faster and take on the charred flavor and grilled look.  

Savor your Sweet Tooth
Desserts cooked on the grill bring a whole new flavor profile to your favorite sweet treat. Just take pound cake for example. Have you ever considered throwing a slice on the grill? Maybe you should. And after you do that, top it with a warm espresso chocolate drizzle and a hand full of chopped, roasted pistachios. Your preconceived notions of grilled desserts will be forever altered. If that doesn't get you excited, how about a grilled banana sundae? That's right. Slice a couple bananas in half lengthwise and throw them on the grill.

 If you want to get a great char on them, coat them first with some orange juice. Create your sundae, throw the grilled bananas on and then top with a little orange zest to bring the flavor full circle.  Now that's flavor even a cave man would love! Who would have thought you could grill almost anything! All it takes to create a new spin on an old family favorite is a metal rack and some hot embers. Use your imagination and pretty soon you'll be firing up the grill for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and even a midnight snack!

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