Let the grilling season begin this weekend

Cooking food over an open fire adds a smokey flavor to everything from main dishes to desserts

It’s Memorial Day, the unofficial start to the summer grilling season.

But instead of simply using the grill to make brats, burgers and hot dogs, try something a little different.

Try a grilled pizza, a simple soup made with grilled veggies or a new take on barbecue sauce.

Instead of steak, try a stuffed pork tenderloin. Instead of a simple hamburger, use new seasonings and meats to create a new burger.

Or instead of grilling meat, make a vegetarian entree or side dish on the grill. The same smoky taste will be infused into the veggies, adding depth to your food.

Zucchini, squash, asparagus, peppers, corn on the cob and mushrooms are well suited to the grill and are delicious marinated, drizzled with oil or seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper.

You can even use the grill to make your dessert.

Try grilled pineapple, brushing wedges of the fruit with a mixture of 3 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper. Grill the pineapple on an oiled rack for about 4 minutes on each side, taking care not to overcook the fruit. If you want, you can add one more touch of the glaze before eating. It’s delicious by itself, but even better with ice cream, perhaps served on a  slice of grilled pound cake.

Other fruits are equally delicious grilled.

As for the age-old question of which is better, charcoal or gas grills, that one’s up to you.

Just remember to follow a few safety rules. Grill meats to safe internal temperatures. Discard leftover marinade or boil it for 2 minutes before serving it as a sauce, and never place cooked meats on the platter that held raw food.

Following are recipes for the grill from foodnetwork.com.


Marinated Chicken Thighs

2 cups fresh parsley leaves, chopped

8 large sprigs fresh thyme, chopped

4 large sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small shallot, diced

2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns

2 tablespoons cracked pink peppercorns

1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil

8 skin-on chicken thighs

Flaky salt, such as Maldon


Mix parsley, thyme, rosemary, garlic, shallots, black peppercorns and pink peppercorns together in a bowl. Add enough olive oil to cover. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the marinade.

Place chicken thighs in a resealable plastic bag. Add marinade and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Remove chicken thighs from the marinade, pat dry with a paper towel and place, fleshy-side down, on a grill preheated to medium. Grill 7 to 8 minutes per side, turning once, until cooked through.

Finish with the reserved 2 tablespoons marinade and some flaky salt. Serve on top of your favorite salad.

Makes four servings.



Spice-Rubbed Grilled Port Chops

For rub:

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon allspice

Four 8-ounce boneless center-cut loin pork chops

For sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

1 shallot, minced

1 tablespoon flour

1/2 cup pomegranate juice

1/4 cup low-sodium beef stock

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon raspberry preserves

Fresh pomegranate seeds, optional

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Heat a grill to medium-high heat and brush the grill grates with olive oil.

Whisk together 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, cumin and allspice in a small bowl. Sprinkle pork chops with the rub. Grill pork chops for 6 to 7 minutes per side Remove the chops to a plate and tent with foil.

In a small saucepan, melt butter. Once the butter starts to foam, add the shallot and saute until tender. Add flour and stir until pasty. Stir in pomegranate juice, beef stock, red wine vinegar and raspberry preserves. Bring to a simmer while stirring. The sauce will thicken when it begins to simmer. Taste, then season with salt and pepper.

Serve pork chops over rice with sauce ladled over top. Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds.




Asian Grilled Salmon

1 3-pound side fresh salmon, boned with skin on

For marinade:

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons soy sauce

6 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

Light charcoal briquettes in a grill and brush grilling rack with oil.

Lay the salmon, skin side down, on a cutting board. Cut it crosswise into four equal pieces.

Whisk together mustard, soy sauce, olive oil and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle half the marinade onto the salmon and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.

Remove salmon from marinade and discard marinade. Place salmon, skin side down, on grill. Grill four to five minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the fish, turning fish carefully with a wide spatula. The salmon will be slightly raw in the center.

Transfer fish to a flat plate, skin side down, and spoon reserved marinade on top. Allow fish to rest for 10 minutes.

Remove the skin and serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.




Grilled Shrimp Scampi

12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup canola oil

10 cloves garlic

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon ground fennel seed


Freshly ground black pepper

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large lemon, zested and juiced

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon leaves

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus sprigs for garnish

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves, plus extra for garnish

Put the shrimp in a large baking dish.

Combine canola oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and fennel seed in a small food processor and process until the garlic is somewhat paste-like. Pour over the shrimp and let marinate for 30 minutes.

Strain shrimp from marinade and season with salt and black pepper. Grill shrimp over high heat about two minutes per side, until slightly charred and just cooked through. Transfer shrimp to a plate.

Melt butter in a large saute pan set on the grates of the grill. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, tarragon and thyme leaves and cook about 30 seconds. Add shrimp and cook, tossing once, about one minute. Finish with the parsley and adjust the seasonings, if necessary.

Transfer shrimp to a serving platter and garnish with thyme and parsley.





Antipasti Stuffed Flank Steak

For steak:

1-1/2-pound flank steak

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic, grated

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces sliced deli ham

3 ounces sliced mozzarella

4 ounces sliced Genoa salami

4 ounces marinated mushrooms, sliced

4 ounces roasted red peppers, sliced

8 small hot pickled cherry peppers, stemmed

For herb paste and sauce:

1 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves

1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic, crushed

Kosher salt

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Set steak on a cutting board. Starting at the thin, narrow end of the steak, slice it in half horizontally to within 2 inches of the opposite wide end. Open it up like a book so you have one long piece. Pound the steak with a mallet to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch.

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, red pepper, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Combine marinade and meat in a large resealable plastic bag and flip over several times to make sure the meat is well coated. Marinate in the refrigerator for two hours, flipping several times.

To make sauce and paste, combine basil, parsley, red pepper, garlic and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour in 1/4 cup oil.

Remove 2 tablespoons of the herb paste from the processor and mix with the remaining 1/4 cup oil in a small bowl. Reserve this sauce for finishing.

Prepare an outdoor grill for direct and indirect grilling. If the grill has a thermometer, aim to keep the temperature at about 350 degrees.

Remove steak from the marinade and pat dry. Spread meat flat on a work surface. Cover with the remaining herb paste, leaving a 1-inch border along the edges. Layer with ham, mozzarella and salami, then sprinkle with mushrooms and roasted peppers. Arrange the hot peppers in a line along the edge of one of the short ends. Roll the steak like a jelly roll, starting at the short end with the hot peppers. Tie the roll closed with butcher’s twine at 2-inch intervals. Tie one more piece of twine lengthwise around the meat.

Put steak on the direct heat side of the grill and cook, turning, about 2 minutes per side, until browned on all four sides. Move steak to the indirect heat side of the grill, cover and cook 25 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until the very center reads 115 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Test frequently because the time will vary based on the temperature of the grill.

Let steak rest 5 to 6 minutes, then untie and cut into six thick slices. Serve with the reserved herb sauce.




Grilled Pineapple

1 large ripe golden pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into eight to 10 wedges

Olive oil

1/4 cup honey

Prepare a charcoal grill with a single layer of hot coals.

Brush the pineapple wedges lightly with oil and place on the grill. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes per side, until nicely charred and lightly colored. Remove to a serving plate and drizzle with honey.





Garlic Grilled Lamb CHops

1 head garlic

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves

1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary

1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme

Three 1-1/2-pound lamb racks, frenched and trimmed

Cut top off the garlic head. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with salt and pepper and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes, then remove and let cool.

Squeeze roasted garlic cloves from the skin into a small bowl. Add remaining olive oil, red pepper flakes and fresh herbs. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Mix well to make a paste.

Season lamb racks with salt and pepper, then rub the garlic-herb mixture evenly into the meat.

Grill the lamb racks, meat side down, on a medium-high grill for about 3 minutes on the first side. Turn, then let the second side grill for 5 minutes. Cook slightly longer for medium.

Transfer lamb from the grill to a platter and tent with foil. Let meat rest 10 minutes before slicing between each rib to separate them into chops. Serve.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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