New Castle News

July 13, 2012

Culinary Conversation: For a treat, grill more than meat

Lugene Hudson
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Grilling has come a long, long way since dad or grandpa threw those steaks or lamb chops over the coals.

It’s not just meats that grill to perfection.

Fruits and vegetables get a distinct flavor from grilling.

Already this season, we’ve had zucchini on the grill at least six or seven times. Basted with a little olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, it’s simple and a quick side dish. Eggplant also fares well cooked this way.

Wrapping vegetables and meats in foil is another fool-proof way to preserve flavor and moisture.

Grilling has been around for a long time. It’s one of the earliest methods of cooking food.

And it actually requires very little equipment other than some type of grill — whether it’s gas, electric or charcoal — tongs and potholders.

There’s one nice component about the marinade for the grilled chicken included in today’s Culinary Conversation. You may prepare large batches ahead of time and freeze in recipe-size amounts to have on hand whenever you’re ready. You can also precook the chicken in the microwave to save time and ensure that the chicken remains tender and moist.

And for a less spicy version, use ketchup instead of the chili sauce and omit the horseradish.

Take advantage of the warm weather and grill often.

Somehow, everything tastes better when cooked in the outdoors.

Vegetable Medley in Foil

Toss the vegetables and olives together in the center of a large square of heavy-duty aluminum foil; gently mix in remaining ingredients. Bring edges of foil up over mixture and seal tightly to avoid leakage when packed is turned.

Place on grill and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Turn packet over occasionally to cook vegetables evenly.

Grilled Asparagus

Preheat grill for high, direct heat.

Prepare the asparagus by breaking or cutting off any tough bottom ends (Can save for stock or discard.) Place asparagus in a pan (To contain the spears while you put them on and take the off the grill.) Coat them with olive oil and sprinkle salt all over.

Grill asparagus spears for 5 to 10 minutes until nicely charred and fork tender, turning evenly every few minutes so they brown evenly.

Grilled Chicken

Mix chili sauce, vinegar, horseradish, garlic and salt in a bowl. Reserve 1/2 of the marinade. Add chicken to bowl; turn to coat. Cover; marinate in refrigerator for about 5 minutes.

Preheat grill or broiler. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade in bowl. Place chicken on grill or on broiler pan.

Grill or broil chicken, turning and basting frequently with half the reserved marinade until juices run clear when meat is pierced with a knife; about 30 minutes.

Heat remaining reserved marinade in a small pan, stirring occasionally. Serve hot with the chicken.

Grilled Pineapple

Drain pineapple, reserving 1/3 cup of juice and six pineapple slices (Save remaining juice and pineapple for another use.)

In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and reserved juice. Microwave, uncovered on high for 1 to 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Brush half of the mixture on both sides of pineapple slices.

Grill, uncovered over medium heat or broil 4 inches from the heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once and basting with remaining butter mixture.

Place pineapple in dessert bowls; top with ice cream. Drizzle with caramel topping and sprinkle with granola. 6 servings.