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Thursday, June 27, 2013

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!

More Grilling Ideas

See Kids Campfire Cooking Ideas
More easy grilling ideas
Grill a complete meal
How to grill efficiently
Chicken Veggie Wraps
Grill beyond meat
Chicken Fajatas



~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer Grilling Series- Complete Grill Meal

Grilled meals are usually pieced together with only a portion of the meal made on the grill while the rest is cooked indoors and then served together. But who wants to be the one stuck in the kitchen while the fun is happening outside around the grill? Today, we have so many gadgets and gizmos on our grills there is no reason we are not able to fix all of our meal on the grill itself. Let's take a look at four complete meals that are made on the grill in the same amount of time, or less, than you would make indoors. 

Grilled Stir Fry
Stir-fry is usually made in a wok or a deep pan on the stove. Been there, done that. You add a bunch of spices and liquids to season it up. Why not develop flavor while you are cooking the vegetables and meat instead of at the end?  By grilling the vegetables, you bring out the hidden sweetness trapped inside as the outside is caramelized over the fire. The meat also takes on the flavors of the grill, so when they are all combined, all you need to add is a little soy sauce at the most and dinner is ready to enjoy. Pick a protein and a few veggies or even fruit and give it a shot tonight. 

Grilled Picnic
Picnics were made so you can enjoy the outdoors. Why coop yourself up in the house to cook for the great outdoors? Grilling is a perfect option for picnics. Think about grilled potato salad, or perhaps a hot grilled cabbage salad with spicy vinaigrette dressing. And grilled sandwiches are a no-brainer.  So, why not invite your grill to the picnic?

Grilled Pot Pie
One great benefit of the grill is that it has a cover. This cover can be lowered or raised to adjust the temperature. When the cover is closed, a grill acts a lot like an oven, which means that pot pies are fair game. A pot pie cooked on the grill not only has all the delicious ingredients that you are used to, but if you cook it on a charcoal grill with a little cherry or oak wood thrown in for kindling, you get a flavor you never would have expected. If you want to take pot pies to a new level, cook them on the grill.

Grilled Packets
One of the easiest ways to make a full meal on a grill is to enclose it in a foil packet. Just about anything goes with this kind of technique. The trick is to combine ingredients that taste good together as well as cooks at the same rate. Fish is an easy choice. Take a nice salmon fillet, put it over a bed of kale, top it with a big wedge of lemon and some sweet onion, and you have one amazing dinner. 

Cut up a sweet Italian sausage and combine with parboiled potato wedges and bell pepper strips.  Seal the packets well and you can even add a little butter or olive oil.  Be sure to cook with the cover closed and turn the packets around a few times during the cooking time.  This is the perfect way to make individual servings at the same time. 

You can even customize each individual packet to suit your guests. Your grill is a great place to create easy meals.  Don't limit your grilling experience to hamburgers and hotdogs, or even steak and chicken.  Imagine full meals coming off your grill so you can grill more frequently, preparing delicious treats for your family. Why not try something new tonight and take your whole meal outdoors!

More Grilling Ideas

See Kids Campfire Cooking Ideas
More easy grilling ideas
Grill a complete meal
How to grill efficiently
Chicken Veggie Wraps
Grill beyond meat
Chicken Fajatas




 
~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cooking with Kids Video- Enchilasagna

~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~