Planning to grill for any of the upcoming holidays? Independence Day, Labor Day, or a special birthday or anniversary dinner — we have some great grilling ideas for you.
Take the day and enjoy the process.
If you choose to start with a grilled breakfast, fire up foods such as grilled pineapple or peaches, or grilled French toast, bacon, ham slices or even Chilaquiles. Easy peasy and unbelievably delicious.
Foods you can grill in advance.
You can also start grilling early for foods that can safely sit around on platters for a good portion of the day before the main event. Many sorts of grilled vegetables fit this bill: sliced zucchini, yellow summer squash, chayote, red or green tomato halves, large mushroom caps, cobs of corn, eggplant slices or small whole eggplants, onion wedges, asparagus, different kinds of sweet or spicy peppers, halved or sliced fennel bulb, and parboiled or blanched firm vegetables such as potato slices, yam or sweet potato, beet, carrot or parsnip.
Make a compound butter from grilled scallions or leeks (or ramps, if they’re still around the market), chopping them finely and mixing them into room temperature unsalted butter. That’d be a nice treat with which to top other grilled foods down the line.
More ahead-of-time grilling possibilities: low-water, so-called “grilling cheeses” such as the Greek or Greek-style halloumi or kefalotyri, Mexican queso panela, some drier provolone, and Scandinavian or American cheeses labeled “grilling cheese.”
Closer to mealtime.
Closer to main mealtime is the hour to begin grilling flatbreads and slices of firm crusted bread, slathered with olive oil and flavored with pepper, salt and herbs. Possibilities for grilled breads are nearly endless.
Shellfish, seafood, freshwater fish, all manner of beast or fowl—whole, or as sausages—and the vegetarian or vegan possibilities of grilled firm tofu, tempeh and seitan. Recipes for all these likewise close to endless.
And last, Dessert.
But don’t forget dessert; it, too, can fly off the grill. Grilled fruits, again, are delicious (bananas or watermelon are especially tasty when grilled). So is grilled pound cake or other sweet firm baked goods.
S’mores are a gimme as a grilled dessert, but consider making small packets of them, instead: two squares of graham cracker sandwiching some semi-sweet chocolate chips or a thin bar of chocolate, and a marshmallow or two, all wrapped in a foot-square sheet of aluminum foil and heated five minutes on the waning embers of the grill.
Enjoy the process and the time spent with friends and family while taking the day to grill and be present.