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A grill can never have too many accessories.
Cooking outside doesn’t have to mean meat! There are lots of ways to use the high heat and interactive nature of a grill to satisfy a craving for fresh veggies and fruit or even dessert. With a bunch of new stainless steel grilling accessories around the office, we couldn’t help but head to the store for fresh things to flame. Here’s how we barbecue!
Put it all on the vegetable.
Nothing kicks off the flavor of fresh vegetables like a little blackening and a pinch of salt. Grilling your green stuff can get tricky, though. Smaller pieces can fall through and sensitive stalks stick to the grates. A grilling grid is the perfect solution, providing a surface with smaller holes that keeps your vegetables together as they grill. You can toss in a whole bunch of one favorite or make a mélange … you’ll start wondering why you ever steamed.
Here’s one of our favorites – take fresh asparagus stalks, preferably nice and thick, and cut off the whitish-purpley ends. Then, roll them around in a mixture of 50% olive oil and 50% lemon juice. Throw them all in a grill basket and put it right on the grates over high heat – in 5 to 7 minutes, when the tips begin to blacken, you’re ready to take them off the grill and generously apply the kosher salt.
You know what rocks? A pizza stone.
Almost everybody loves the idea of grilling pizzas and breads … you can emulate your favorite brick-oven pizzeria, right? But, in practice, putting flat breads directly on the grates can make a mess. Things heat unevenly, so your crust has both black spots and mush points, and delicious cheese and toppings often fall through the cracks. It’s a sad sight. Enter the pizza stone! A ceramic surface takes the heat created by your charcoal or burners and distributes it evenly, creating a zen surface for your ‘za.
Sideshow kebob – grilled desserts are evil genius.
Dessert on the grill? You bet. Put a set of high-quality stainless steel kebobs to new use and make gourmet s’mores after a meal! Make a batch of homemade marshmallows (it’s okay if you use storebought, too), and get ready to get sticky. Cooking a marshmallow over an open flame is a lot like playing chicken … the sweet spot happens just before disaster. Once you get some right, pull them off the skewers – use a fork! – and combine with graham crackers, dark chocolate, berries, and anything else your indulgent heart desires.
See? With the right accessories, your grill is much more than a hot dog-maker. So, stock up on fun tools, head to the market to find some fresh ingredients, and get ready to unleash your inner grilling gourmand.
– John, hayneedle.com editor