Top 10 Fresh Spring Barbeque Ideas
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
March 20, 2011
Filed Under Food
Contributed by Cindy McKie, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
The sun is hot, the drinks are cold, and you’ve got a hungry crowd to feed. The problem is, your typical barbecued fare can get boring pretty quickly.
Start thinking outside the steak and burger aisle, and try some old favorites done up grill-style. These unusual barbecued delights will have your taste buds cheering and your neighbors scaling the fence in hopes of scoring a nibble or two.
10. Fresh veggies
Forget boiling or microwaving, vegetables taste so good when grilled that even your kids will eat them. Try grilling broccoli, peppers or even garden-fresh tomatoes. Simply place your veggies in a bowl, drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, and place the veggies on a grill rack. Set the rack in indirect heat on your barbecue and grill until they’re slightly charred, but firm.
9. Portobello mushrooms
Looking for a vegetarian alternative to the traditional barbecued burger? A grilled Portabello burger gives you something to sink your teeth into. Soak the mushrooms, stem-side down, in a mixture of olive oil, a little vinegar, and a dash of basil and oregano. Don’t forget the salt and pepper. Let those mushrooms marinade for about 15 minutes, then place them on a medium-high heat grill. Grill each side for five to seven minutes and serve on a bun with your favourite condiments. You won’t believe it’s not burger.
Try a new twist on the traditional oven-roasted ham by grilling it on your barbecue’s rotisserie instead. A smoked ham works best, coupled with a glaze for basting at the end. Slide the ham onto the rotisserie skewer and wrap the ham in tin foil to protect it. Mount it to your barbecue and let that baby spin on medium heat (around 350 F) for about an hour and a half. Place a baking sheet to act as a drip tray onto the grill so you won’t get flare-ups. Twenty minutes before the cooking time is up, carefully remove the foil and baste the ham generously with your glaze.
7. Deep fried turkey
Speaking of giving your oven a day off, why wait hours for that roasted turkey when you could be chowing down on a deep fried turkey in a fraction of the time. Throw together your favourite dry rub and massage it onto the turkey’s skin. Fill up your turkey fryer with peanut oil, leaving enough room for the turkey to be added without any dangerous oil spills. Heat the oil to 400 F and slowly lower your turkey, neck end first, into the fryer. Cook that big, bad bird for about 3 ½ minutes per pound.
6. Crab boil
Another use for that turkey fryer is to turn it into the main attraction in a huge backyard crab boil. Just think of how many succulent crustaceans you could fit in a pot that size. To have your own super-sized crab fest, fill your turkey fryer or a propane fish cooker with water and heat until the water is at a rolling boil. Throw a few crab boil spices into the mix and gently place your crabs in the water. Boil for about 12 to 15 minutes. Alternately, you can place a few inches of water at the bottom of the pot and steam your crabs by setting them on a rack above the water.
5. More seafood delights
Can’t get enough of those tasty treats from the sea? Grilling Maine lobsters and oysters is a fabulous way to introduce a little smoky flavour into that tender flesh. For lobster tails, slice open the underside of the tail and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Place the tails shell side down and grill until the tails turn bright red. Oysters can be grilled live, right in their shells. Simply place them on the grill, set to medium heat. The oysters will actually poach in their own juices and the shells will open when they’re done. Serve with a chilled white wine like sauvignon blanc.
Grilled fruit might sound strange, but nothing brings out the natural sugars of fruits like some controlled heat. Indirect heat is the key here, so you don’t burn those delicate morsels. Fresh fruit like peaches, apricots, apples and pineapples all work well for grilling. Cut them in half and lay them directly on the grill, or cube them and make your own sweet kebobs.
If you aren’t one of those bazillionaires that has their own stone pizza oven built in their backyard – right next to the Olympic-sized swimming pool, of course – you can fake it with your barbecue.
Grilled pizza is once you know how. The key is to keep the crust thin and the sauce to a minimum. To make handling the pizza easier, pre-grill the crusts, without toppings, on one side until the dough no longer sticks to the grill and has those lovely grill marks. Remove from the grill, spread the toppings over the grilled side and return the pizza to the grill until the cheese has melted and the toppings are heated (between two and 10 minutes). Remove and enjoy around your kiddie pool.
2. Chicken livers and wings
Skip grilling the entire chicken and stick to appetizer-sized bites of poultry instead. Chicken livers work great as a meaty addition to a kebob, especially if you spice them up a bit with a little soy sauce, salt and garlic ahead of time. Chicken wings can be placed right on the grill. Not only are chicken wings and livers quicker cookers, but the bite-sized nibbles leave room for more barbecued nosh.
1. Just desserts
Think you can’t have your ice cream cake and grill it, too? Think again, my friend. Take a frozen pound cake, cut it in half and set it on a cedar plank that has been soaked for several hours in water and wrapped with tin foil. Spread the cake with a layer of jam and ice cream. Spread meringue over the top and sides of the cake and carefully carry your cake plank out to the very hot charcoal grill. Set the cake on the grill and place the lid on. Peek often and remove the cake when the meringue has browned.