Grilling season is upon us! Memorial Day Weekend is just
around the corner, and as the unofficial start of summer, it’s the perfect time
to fire up the grill if you haven’t already. Whether you have a community poolside
grilling area like we have at New Longview, a patio or balcony grill, or just a
grill pan in your kitchen, food always tastes better with some grill marks on
it. Hamburgers and hotdogs are always a welcome choice, but this year why not
spice things up a bit? Check out these unique twists for some inspiration, or
come up with your own ideas!
Twist on a Classic
There’s nothing wrong with burgers and dogs. They’re
simple, they’re classic, and they’re downright tasty. But if you’re planning on
grilling a lot this season burgers and dogs are going to get old eventually.
The same goes for the more traditional sides like corn on the cob and baked
potatoes. You don’t have to leave tradition completely in the dust, though!
With just a few tweaks you can spice up even the most boring traditional foods.
Go for some unexpected burger and dog toppings, or spring for some nicer cheese
like a smoked gouda or fresh mozzarella. For sides, try something like this grilled
corn with bacon butter and cotija cheese (yes, bacon butter), or go for an
elotes feel. Even the biggest BBQ purist is sure to come around.
Grill Up a Classic
If you’re a little more daring think about other classic
dishes that could be prepared on a grill. For example, what are meatballs if
not tiny, round hamburgers? Grill them! Another food that does well with a high,
direct heat cooking method is pizza. Think brick oven pizza, but with grill
marks and homemade. You could even make your own dough if you want, or ask a
local pizzeria if they sell dough rounds. Most supermarkets have several
options for pre-made dough if you’re particularly short on time and/or baking
skills. It’s a good idea to plan ahead if you’re grilling pizza because once
you start things move rapidly. Get all your toppings ready and beside the grill
so you can top the pizza as soon as you flip. Once you have everything ready it’s
a simple process, but you can check out this recipe and
guide if you’re unsure of what to do.
Don’t Forget the Sides
If you’re wanting to use your grill a lot, you’ll want to
grill as many courses as you can. That includes the sides, too! Most seasonal
vegetables are great for grilling, especially if you have skewers or a basket.
Just a little bit of oil, a sprinkling of salt, pepper, and your favorite
seasonings, then let the grill do its job. While the veggies are on the grill
you could also be cooking some pasta, then combine them for an easy upgrade to
pasta salad. Or grill
the entire salad! When your dinner guests see nice, charred grill marks on
their lettuce they’re guaranteed to be wowed.
Sweet Tooth Heaven
If you’ve grilled the entire rest of the meal, don’t turn
off the fire for dessert! There are quite a few types of fruit that are perfect
for grilling, and the natural sugars caramelize when cooked over high, direct
heat. Stone fruits and firmer fruits are no brainers, just make sure to keep
the pieces large enough that they won’t fall through the grill grates. There’s
nothing wrong with going simple with some grilled peaches and a side of ice
cream, or you could pull out the cast iron skillet and have some fruit
cobbler baking on the grill while you’re letting the main course settle.
The Most Important
What good Midwesterner doesn’t love breakfast? We love it
so much we invented brunch to have an excuse to eat breakfast later in the day!
Give your grill some love by firing it up before noon and add some fire to your
next weekend brunch. Skewer potatoes for a grilled hash, or replace brats with
some breakfast links. Fire up your sweet tooth (literally) with some grilled
vanilla French toast, and even throw some bacon on the
grill! Invite some friends over for a great way to start the day, or surprise
mom with a belated Mother’s Day grilled breakfast in bed!
Have you grilled yet this year? Show off your food by
finding us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!