Grill foods you don’t think of

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This week, let’s take a look at different foods you might not think of putting on the outdoor grill.

If you own a flat top grill, you will find the versatility of using it. If you own a charcoal grill, it’s handy to incorporate pots and pans into your cooking projects. When we think of the grill and its functions, most people think of steaks, hamburgers and hot dogs. But foodies know better and think outside the box. From my last two articles, you have seen the wide range of foods we can enjoy cooking on the grill and sharing with family and friends.

I love unusual or unthought of foods when cooking on the grill in the spring, summer, fall and beyond season.

Here are some ideas to try on the outdoor grill, then combine the ideas on the list with a few select recipes you might want to try.

Here are some fruits and vegetables to consider grilling and when combined with protein they are superb:

· Grapes

Roman

Varieties of potatoes

· Brussels sprouts

Celery

Cucumbers

· Pineapple

· Coconut

lychee fruit

· Watermelon

Figs

· Lawyer

· Oranges

nectarines, etc.

Foods for spring and summer take a turn from the colder months. We may be eating less, our taste buds like lighter dishes, and we may be trying foods cooked differently on the grill in the weather outside.

It is said that no great barbecue was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

As always, I couldn’t agree more!

Jacqueline Iannazzo-Corser is a staff writer for The Monroe News, writing about food and recipes. She is a chef, co-owner of Public House and adjunct professor of culinary arts at Monroe County Community College. She can be contacted at jcorser@monroeccc.edu.

Grilled nectarines, chicken and zucchini salad

For 6 persons

Ingredients:

9 nectarines

3 courgettes

5 to 6 chicken breasts

Bunch of watercress

3 to 4 lawyers

Bandage:

Mint (medium handful)

Basilisk (medium handful)

3 lemons or bottled

4 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Grill the chicken breasts and set aside

· Cut the nectarines in half and remove the core and set aside.

· Thinly slice the zucchini lengthways or in rounds.

· In a frying pan or a flat grill, cook the zucchini then set aside.

· Place the nectarines on a flat top or in a broiler pan and cook, 4 to 5, until they have grill marks. You can return the

nectarines just a moment to heat the skin, and let cool a few minutes.

· Then cut each side of the nectarines into 3 slices, so 6 pieces in total per nectarine.

· Halve and grill the avocado, then set aside.

· Meanwhile, add basil, mint, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste in a food processor and blend until smooth.

· Place the grilled nectarines, zucchini and chicken on a large serving platter.

· Garish with watercress and avocados. You can slice or measure the avocados as desired for presentation.

· Pour the vinaigrette on top.

Serve warm or at room temperature

Note: If you think your dressing may be drier than you like, add extra olive oil at regular intervals.

Guess basil and mint with the size of your hand. I use my hand + another small amount on top of my recipe. The dressing should slide over the contents.

Grilled Pineapple Salad with Whipped Coconut Dressing

For: 6

Ingredients:

A mix of country greens of your choice

1 large pineapple or two smaller ones

· About 3 tbsp. Granulated sugar

1/2 lime or bottled lemon

bagged coconut (optional)

· 1/2 cup hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and other nuts selected for taste. Cut into desired pieces

Fresh mint, to garnish (if desired)

Bandage:

· 2 cans (13.5 ounces) whole coconut milk chilled overnight.

3 to 4 tbsp. Granulated sugar

· ½ to 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

· Cool mixer and whisk for one hour before preparing dressing.

· Place the chilled coconut milk in the chilled mixing bowl, separating it from the liquid portion that you can discard or save for other cooking projects.

· Use the medium-high setting to start. When the coconut milk begins to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla extract. I add the powdered sugar and vanilla slowly, depending on how soft I’m trying to achieve.

· Continue whisking until the mixture is fluffy and fluffy.

· Cover your bowl and refrigerate the coconut whipped cream until you are ready to use it.

· Preheat outdoor grill to medium-high.

· Trim the pineapple by cutting the top and bottom then hollow out the pineapple.

· Slice the pineapple into ¾ to 1 inch thick slices. I can usually get 6-7 slices per pineapple.

· Sprinkle about 1/4-1/2 tsp. sugar on each side of the pineapple slices.

· Place the pieces on the flat top of the grill or on the grates.

· Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side until they become caramelized and begin to soften.

· Remove the pineapple slices and place them on individual plates or a platter.

· Squeeze lime juice lightly over the slices while they are still warm.

· Serve the pineapple slices with a dollop of whipped coconut dressing and arrange them on the greenery of the fields.

· You can sprinkle with walnuts, fresh mint and bagged coconut if you like.

Note: As for this salad, it’s all about more or less sweetness when creating the dressing. I like my dressing less sweet and I adjust it accordingly. I love this salad when served with chicken, turkey or beef burgers. Also, you can find a pineapple corer at any gadget store if you like.

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