Grill And Chill This Fourth Of July Weekend With These 3 Mouthwatering Dishes
As the Fourth of July approaches and grilling season is officially underway, it's time to think of some new ideas. Sure, you can serve burgers and hot dogs this holiday weekend (millions will) — but why not think outside the grilling box?
Like this Indian-inspired chicken kebob. Boneless chunks of chicken are marinated in yogurt, coconut milk, and spices like turmeric, ginger, cumin and chile powder. The chicken is placed on metal or wooden skewers (which need to be soaked in cold water so they don't burn!) along with very thin slices of zucchini or summer squash and cherry tomatoes. It's a simple dish that can be made ahead of time and served with cool, refreshing yogurt, rice and Indian-style bread or pita.
One of the fastest, easiest grilling dishes imaginable is a packet made with fresh clams, scallions, garlic and tomatoes. Simply wrap littleneck or cherrystone clams in a large piece of foil and top with chopped tomatoes, garlic, scallions and a touch of olive oil. You can also add chunks of spicy chorizo sausage. The packet is tightly sealed and placed on a hot grill. The clams release their briny liquid and mix with the aromatics and olive oil to create an instant sauce. You can serve everyone their own clam packet along with grilled French bread or serve the clams on top of pasta.
Although most of us don’t think about grilling when it comes to dessert, there are many interesting ways to grill summer fruits. Here I take the first summer peaches, cut them in half, remove the pit and sprinkle them with a touch of sugar. They go on the grill cut side down and cook until just soft and the sugar has caramelized — just a few minutes on each side. The grilled peach is then cooled and filled with creme fraiche, yogurt, whipped or ice cream and topped with edible flowers.
Hot tip: Whatever you grill, you want to make sure your grill is thoroughly clean. If you heat the grates properly and clean them off thoroughly, your food will not stick and you won't need to oil the grill or baskets.
Indian-Spiced Chicken Skewers
Chunks of boneless chicken thigh and breast are marinated in yogurt, coconut milk and a variety of Indian spices. The yogurt tenderizes the meat and the spices and coconut milk create a thick, aromatic paste.
The chicken is skewered with zucchini and/or summer squash slices and cherry tomatoes. You can easily add fresh snap peas, slivers of onion or any other vegetable you like. Serve with a bowl of plain yogurt, rice, warm bread and chutney.
The chicken and marinade:
Clam Packets With Scallions, Tomatoes, Garlic And Chorizo
You can put these clam packets together a few hours ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to grill. Add chunks of spicy chorizo sausage if you like, but this dish is every bit as flavorful without the meat. This clam dish makes a great main course or first course and can be served as is with grilled crusty bread or poured over pasta.
The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a crowd. You can also substitute fresh mussels for the clams.
Serves 2 to 4.
Grilled Peaches With Crème Fraîche
Grilling fruit brings out the natural sugars and lends itself to all kinds of experimentation. Here I keep it simple by pitting the peaches and sprinkling them with a touch of sugar. The peach half is grilled, sugar side down, for a few minutes and then grilled on the other side.
Once the peach has cooled you can fill the cavity with crème fraîche, whipped cream, yogurt or even ice cream. Sprinkle with edible flowers. This recipe works well with all stone fruit — plums, apricots, even cherries.
Serves 2 to 4.
Other Grilling Ideas:
Editor’s note: In the segment, we suggested using a steel wire brush to clean the grill. However, doctors have warned that using wire bristle brushes could be hazardous to your health.
This article was originally published on WBUR.org.
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