Take Your Barbecue Beyond the Basics with these Great Grilling Recipes
July 2023 Issue
By Leslie Rohland
Photography by Lucy Rosen
Nothing says summer like the tastes and smells of your favorite foods sizzling on the grill. In fact, when it comes to summer dining, there are many advantages to grilling outdoors. Not only does grilling meat help lower overall fat content by allowing for excess fat to melt and drip off food, but grilling fruits and vegetables helps to preserve their natural nutrients. Plus, on those steamy hot July nights, when you’d rather not heat up your kitchen with your oven or stove, grilling keeps the heat outside.
In addition to the health and lifestyle benefits of grilling, there’s another big benefit of barbecues: the unique, distinctive, and robust flavor of foods served hot off the grill. Grilled foods usually don’t need excessive seasoning or sauces, and, with the right marinade or dry rub, it’s easy to enhance flavors without using unhealthy ingredients. Grilling also eliminates the need for breading or batters, or added oils, providing a savory feast while enjoying a healthier meal.
While backyard barbecues have long been an important part of summer dining here in the Lowcountry, taking it beyond the basics of hot dogs and hamburgers when it comes to what you put on the grill can help you fire up the flavor. Grilled vegetables can be a delicious and healthy alternative to meat, and there are plenty of flavorful choices that go beyond tried and true grilled corn on the cob. In particular, peppers, zucchini, onions, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes are great on the grill and can be served either as mouth-watering main dishes or scrumptious sides. Fish is also a perfect, flavor-filled, and healthy option for grilling, especially when layered with delicious vegetables like a kabob, wrapped in foil (good for flakier fish), or placed right on the grill.
Whether you’re grilling a small family dinner or planning a big backyard bash, here are some of my favorite ideas to take your summer barbecues to the next level. So, add some sizzle to your summer…and savor the flavors of these great grilling recipes to enjoy all summer long!
SMOKY PAPRIKA GRILLED SHRIMP
8 Bamboo skewers
2 Tbsps Smoked paprika
1/2 tsp Ground cumin
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
2 Tbsps Lime juice
1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil
½ cup Mango, diced
1 lb Large shrimp, cleaned and peeled, tails on
Soak the skewers in water for at least a half an hour before grilling. In a large bowl whisk together the smoked paprika, cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, lime juice, and olive oil. Add the shrimp and toss to coat with the marinade. Keep chilled for half an hour to an hour. Prepare grill for medium-high direct heat. Thread the shrimp onto the skewers. Baste the grill grates with olive oil so that the shrimp doesn’t stick to the grill. Grill or cook the shrimp for about 3 -4 minutes per side, depending on the size of the shrimp, or until the shrimp are just cooked through. Remove from grill and serve immediately.
GRILLED ROMAINE SALAD
3 to 4 Romaine hearts, washed
3 Tbsps Extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp Balsamic glaze
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
Pinch Ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
2 tsps Chopped fresh herbs, such as Rosemary, thyme, oregano
Pull off any old or browned leaves from each heart of Romaine. Leaving the root end intact, shave off the browned part of the root, then chop off the top—1 or 2 inches—of the lettuce head. Turn your gas grill setting to high, or get your charcoal coal grill very hot. Put the oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk with a fork to combine. With a food brush, paint the lettuce hearts with the vinaigrette, or drizzle it with a spoon. Grill the romaine until browned on all sides, turning every minute until done, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately, whole or chopped up. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
GRILLED SHISHITO PEPPERS
1 lb Shishito peppers, preferably with stem intact
2 Tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Flaky salt, such as Fleur de Sel
1 Lime, cut into wedges
Prepare a hot fire in a grill, or turn your gas grill to high heat. Put a grill fry pan on the grill, close the grill, and preheat the pan for 10 minutes. In a bowl, toss the peppers with olive oil. Add the peppers to the preheated grill pan. Be careful! The handle will be HOT.
Grill the peppers, gently turning them with tongs, until the skin is lightly blistered on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl, season generously with salt and serve immediately.
GRILLED SWEET POTATOES
2 lbs Sweet potatoes, sliced
4 Tbsps Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 Tbsps Fresh lime juice
1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
Prepare your grill for hot, direct heat. While the grill is heating up, peel the sweet potatoes and slice lengthwise, or on a diagonal, into ¼-inch pieces. Coat the sweet potato slices with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with Kosher salt. Combine the parsley, lime juice, olive oil and salt in a small bowl and mix well. Once the grill is hot, lay the potato pieces down onto the grill grates. Cover the grill and cook until each side gets grill marks, between 3 to 6 minutes for each side. When ready, remove from grill and place on a serving platter.
Drizzle the sweet potatoes with the dressing and toss. Serve hot.
2 Tbsps Light brown sugar, tightly packed
2 Tbsp Granulated white sugar
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp Salt
4 Yellow peaches, ripe, cut in half, pit removed
2 Tbsps Unsalted butter, melted
8 scoops Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Whipped cream, for serving
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Once hot, clean and oil the grill grates. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit. Brush the cut side of the peaches with melted butter. Place the peaches on the hot grill, cut side-down, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until you see grill marks. (No need to close the lid on the grill.) Flip and cook the peaches cut side-up for 2 minutes. Place the grilled peaches on a platter while still warm and sprinkle them with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and garnish with whipped cream.
Leslie Rohland, owner of the Cottage Cafe, Bakery and Tea Room in Old Town Bluffton, is an award-winning recipe creator who is known for her delicious and ever-changing menu at her extraordinary restaurant. She is also the owner of the popular healthy eatery The Juice Hive and the micro-roastery May River Coffee Roasters. For more information about The Cottage Cafe, visit www.thecottagebluffton.com or call 843-757-0508.