Summer is officially here! In the McDermott household that means family trips, outdoor hangs, and plenty of time in front of the trusty BBQ. While I believe you can cook just about anything on the grill, I do have a few tried-and-true favorites that I thought I’d share with you today. These recipes have been tried, tweaked, taste tested, then tweaked again to perfection.
I’ve also got a few grilling tips for you below, to help you char to perfection. Enjoy!
1. Grilled Veggies
- 1 bundle of asparagus
- 2 green zucchini
- 2 yellow zucchini
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 orange pepper (colors are optional)
- 1 red onion
- 1 bunch of green onions
- 1 lemon for juice and zest
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons pepper
1. Wash and pat dry all veggies.
2. Slice zucchini lengthwise. Cut peppers into 1/8’s and remove seeds and membrane. Cut red onion into 1/4’s.
3. Place all the veggies except the green onions into a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Mix gently and make sure all the veggies get coated well.
4. Set aside to marinate while you prep the rest of the meal. You can also marinate the veggies over night. Make sure to toss the veggies every so often to re-coat them with the marinade.
5. On a clean oiled grill on medium high heat, place all your veggies on the grill. Save the green onions for the end. They need the least amount of time on the grill.
6. Cook the veggies until nice and charred, 3 to 5 minutes a side depending on thickness (you decide the level of char on your veggies. I like ‘em nice and charred). Make sure veggies are still a little firm.
7. Once your veggies are cooked, put them back in the bowl you marinated them in and give them another toss to coat. While you’re doing that, throw the green onions on the grill to char them. They cook quickly, so watch them. About 1 minute 30 seconds a side.
8. Arrange on a serving platter, top with green onions, plus the zest and juice of 1 lemon. A little freshly shaved parmesan cheese never hurts either.
Pro Tip: Use leftover veggies for sandwiches, or dice them and add them to omelets, salsa or pasta sauce.
2. Under Pressure BBQ Ribs
- 2 racks pork spareribs
- 1 liter Dr Pepper, Root Beer, or Cola
- 1 onion, quartered
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 1/2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce
1. Cut the 2 racks of spareribs in half so they’ll fit in the pressure cooker. Sprinkle the ribs on both sides with the salt and pepper.
2. Pour the soda of your choice into the pressure cooker to cover the ribs 3/4 of the way up. Add the quartered onion and garlic cloves.
3. Lock the lid in place and bring the pot to high pressure (15 psi for stovetop or 9 to 11 psi for electric). If using a stovetop pressure cooker, maintain the pressure for 10 to 12 minutes for tender ribs or, if you prefer that the ribs to be falling-off-the-bone tender, cook for 12 to 18 minutes.
4. After 10 to 12 minutes, remove pressure cooker from heat and release pressure according to manufacturers instructions. Set ribs aside and let cool for 30 minutes.
5. Place cooled ribs into large zip lock bag and add 1 1/2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce. Massage BBQ sauce into the ribs. Set aside while you get your grill nice and hot.
6. Once your grill is smoking hot, place the ribs on the grill to get them nice and charred on both sides. About 4 to 6 minutes a side depending on how hot your grill is.
7. Serve with your favorite side dishes, and don’t forget a good coleslaw.
Pro Tip: Whatever you are grilling—be it steak, chicken, or ribs—wait until it is 85% cooked before adding any kind of sauce. If you put sauce on any kind of meat at the beginning of the grilling process, the sauce will burn well before the protein is cooked and you’ll end up with a horrible burnt taste in every bite. So, be patient and add your sauce at the end.
If you do happen to char something a little too much, put about 2 to 3 tablespoons of white vermouth on a cutting board and rub the charred item in a circular, back and forth motion. It will dissolve some of the char and take the bitterness out of the charring.
3. Grilled Peaches and Pound Cake
- 4-5 ripe peaches, pitted and cut into 1/4’s
- 1 loaf of pound cake, sliced into 3/4 inch slices
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 3 Tablespoons of honey
- Fresh, or store bought, whipping cream
- Powdered sugar for finishing
- Zest of 1 lemon
1. Brush peaches with melted butter and place on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle the peaches with cinnamon.
2. Brush both sides of the pound cake slices with melted butter.
3. Place peaches on a clean oiled grill on medium high heat. Cook until peaches start to sweat and have nice grill marks or charring. Again, I like my grilled stuff charred! I love the smoky, subtle bitterness of the char against the sweetness of the peaches, the pound cake, and the honey.
4. Remove peaches from grill. Scrape the grill clean, oil it, and place the pound cake on the grill. Now, watch it, because the pond cake toasts fast. 1 to 2 minutes a side max, or until you get nice crisscross grill marks on the cake slices.
5. When done, place slices on a serving platter or cutting board, add the peaches, dust with powdered sugar, drizzle with honey, top with whipped cream and lemon zest and rock out! This is my favorite dessert.
Pro tip: You can also make this dessert with grilled mango or pineapple. When serving, it’s also delicious with ice cream, crème fraise, or vanilla yogurt.
What’s your all-time favorite thing to grill?