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Help me expand my grilling repertoire

I seem to be defaulting to a few tried-and-true grilling options. Even though they're all yummy, I'm getting a little bored with my limited selections which include steaks/burgers, salmon, turkey tenderloin (my newest grilling discovery), pork tenderloin and marinated chicken breasts (lime juice, olive oil, herbs and garlic). What else should I try that's fairly quick, not too labor-intensive and, most important, delicious? Thanks!

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  1. Fish for starters.

    Edit: I don't see anything vegetable or fruit-related either.

    4 Replies
    1. re: wattacetti

      I was looking for entree suggestions. I grill lots of veggies (corn, zucchini, asparagus and others, and some fruit (pineapple, mango, peaches). I'm not having a problem with the side dishes, just the main dish.

      Fish -- well, except for salmon, I've had terrible (TERRIBLE) luck with fish on the grill. I don't know why. I can't seem to cook fish well indoors, either. I've tried whole filleted (is that how to spell it?) fish, stuffed with herbs -- bland! I've tried swordfish steaks -- yuck! Can you offer a great fish recipe for me to try? I've wasted more money on fish than any other food item in my kitchen.

      1. re: CindyJ

        For fish, I like mine grilled after a rub with shio koji. The shio koji makes the outside caramelize on the grill (watch for burning) and the texture perfect. It is really a fast cook too. I also use a salt block (not as fast) with great results providing the fish goes on it dry so as not to pick up too much salt. Also, delicate fish grilled on a bed of vegetables or on herbs, in foil is easy, fun and foolproof. I open the packets when almost done and close the lid and smoke for few more minutes...tastes like camping :)

        I like shellfish on the grill as entrees. Shrimp in the shell on a salt block needs nothing else for seasoning. Mussels, clams and oysters are quick and make for a nice change. I grill them right on the grates and pick them up with tongs. Don't forget to grill some lemons or limes with them, then all into a big bowl laced with diced tomato, herbs and a splash of sherry vinegar and olive oil, mix it up. Makes a nice entree.

        Flatiron steak is my favorite. Season and grill 5 or 6 minutes on each side, let it sit then slice on the diagonal and serve with chimichurri, romesco or a garlic aioli. Easy dinner.

        Sandwiches or main dish crostini are also a different idea on the grill. I really like grilled vegetables this way, especially grilled eggplant and red peppers (grill marks required :). We often put together weekday dinners with just grilled veg and grilled breads on a platter with cheeses, olives and tomatoes (and wine) for light summer dinners. I made a "summer comfort" dinner the other night on the grill. Grilled cheese prosciutto sandwiches and gazpacho....hit the spot.

        1. re: sedimental

          I'm not at all familiar with shio koji. What is it, where do you get it and how do you use it? The salt block you use -- is that like the Himilayan salt platters that are popping up everywhere these days? I just saw them yesterday at my local butcher and wondered about using them.

          I LOVE your idea about shellfish (clams, mussels, etc.) right on the grill. And flatiron steak -- I've never tried it. I don't even know if I've ever seen it. Is it anything like flank steak or skirt steak?

          Thanks for your great ideas; and you've inspired one more idea -- pizza on the grill.

          1. re: CindyJ

            Shio koji is a Japanese condiment that enhances flavor. It is made from rice and mold (yum, lol). I make my own, but you can buy it all ready to go. It is great on chicken and fish. Umami bomb! A little goes a long way, so it will last a long time for the price.

            http://www.saveur.com/article/kitchen...

            Yes, the salt block is the big thick pink Himalayan salt slab. You heat it up slowly on one side of your grill, makes it easy to manage seafood on it -and meat or veg on the grill beside it. Clean up is easy, just rinse under the tap, no seafood smell lingering on anything. You lose a little of the surface with each use, so if you get one, make sure it is at least 2 inches thick.

            Flatiron is my favorite cut. Very tender and full of flavor. They are usually about a foot long and an inch or inch and a half thick. Because of the large surface area, they take seasoning really well and are perfect for grilling.

    2. Grilled vegetables are great.

      1. Fish.... get a good grill basket. i do either asian style (Saveur has an amazing recipe for the japanese negima yakitori sauce that i've used on ling cod, salmon, etc) or do fish tacos in tikinxic style using a marinade of red achiote paste and citrus juice. Both are super easy and faves of hte family.

        have also experimented with absic japanese skewers, ie cartilage, duck, chicken, beef scallion, enoki bacon, etc.

        4 Replies
        1. re: FattyDumplin

          Would you happen to have a link to the Saveur recipe? And what about a recipe for fish tacos? I like that idea.

          1. re: CindyJ

            http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

            I use the yakitori sauce recipe all the time. it rocks on fish and beef, at least. i'll buy either a big fish collar from the farmers market or a good salmon steak, and just brush it on heavy during the end of grilling.

            the fish tacos i just played around with. http://www.timos.com/restaurant/html/...

            this gives you the base, but in place of vinegar, i use citrus. here, i marinate the fish for a few hours, typically a whole snapper,split down the middle. andjust grill in with the fish basket. I usually slap of some sliced onions and green peppers into the basket so they grill up, make a batch of guac and salsa, get some tortillas and we are in business.

            1. re: FattyDumplin

              One other idea that i executed for first time last night... created marinade of olive oil, parsley, garlic, took a trimmed bronzino (but i imagine a snapper would work well), cut diagonal slats in the body, rubbed salt all over the inside and outside, and marinated for a few hours. Took it out, stuffed the slats and interior with lemon slices and the marinated garlice. Stuck it in the fish basket (I love this thing, can you tell?) and grilled over flame for about 8 minutes on each side. Good stuff and glad i tried it.

        2. Beer Can Chicken - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/beer-can... - variations include uisng different beers or different types of sodas, wines etc -

          Marinated London Broil or beef ribs -

          7 Replies
          1. re: weinstein5

            Funny you should mention Beer Can Chicken -- I just made that on the grill a few days ago. I had just a little difficulty because the lid of my Weber kettle grill rested on the chicken, but we placed some wedges under the cover and it was fine. I shoved some garlic and fresh herbs into the cavity of the chicken after spreading the rub. It was okay -- not spectacular, but okay.

            But london broil -- tell me more. It's such a large piece of meat, do you grill it over direct heat or indirect? What do you use for the marinade? Is it really tender? And say a bit more about how you do your beef ribs. I do pretty well with pork ribs, but I don't think I've ever tried beef ribs.

            1. re: CindyJ

              That is interesting about the beer can chicken - what size weber do you have? I have been successful in doing bc chicken on a 22.5 in weber - what beer did you use? Try using a soda like Coke or Root Beer - also I would recommend getting one of these self-standing roasters like http://www.amazon.com/Beer-Can-Roaste... =

              For London Broil I have done both direct and indirect - I use the smaller piece with direct and cooked almost like a steak but you do need to pay closer attention as it can burn - with a larger piece of meat definitely indirect - either way the marinade I use is a simple on - soy sauce and brown sugar and then before it goes on the grill I put a nice rub on -

              beef ribs is all I know since I keep kosher but watching the cooking shows it seems like I treat them the same way as pork ribs - key thing is to remove the membrane off the back of ribs -when cooked it turns into this almost 'plastic like' inedible piece - I used to grill them over direct heat but very easy to burn if you are saucing them - I have since moved to indirect or I use my smoker -

              1. re: weinstein5

                I have the 22.5" Weber Performer with a gas starter. I used half a bottle of Victory lager poured into an emptied can from ginger ale, and I used a Bayou Classic Chick Can Rack to hold the can and the chicken. http://bayouclassicdepot.com/0880_bee...

                I'm really tempted to try London broil, maybe start it over direct heat to sear it and then move it over to the indirect side until the desired temp is reached.

                For ribs, I remove the membrane and "dock" between the ribs with a fork. I cover them with whatever rub I decide on, put them in a roasting pan and cover the pan with aluminum foil. I cook them low and slow in the oven. Then I put them onto the grill where I slather them with sauce, turning and basting until they look done.

                1. re: CindyJ

                  Interesting I had no problems closing my 22.5" Weber with a 2-3 lb chicken on a can - coals layered on either side and it came out delicious - I like the ones in the link provided - they are dishwasher safe and if I am not in the mood to fire up the grill I can use the inside in the oven -

                  with ribs I do not do any indoor cooking it is all done on the grill - I invested in a grill rack that i can run the ribs down the middle of the of the grate for indirect grilling -

                  1. re: weinstein5

                    Maybe my chicken was a little larger than yours. Or, it might be that with the herbs I stuffed into the cavity before inserting the can, maybe the can extended out of the chicken a little further than yours did, raising the chicken just a little higher.

                    1. re: CindyJ

                      That could be - I do not put anything in the cavity - all aromatics go into the beverage in the can -

              2. re: CindyJ

                We take about a 1.5-2lb London Broil and grill it over direct heat for 5-7 min per side. I do marinate it in oyster sauce overnight or for a few hours. It is wonderful.

            2. Whole trout, zucchini & eggplant slices, lamb shish kebab... and of course, one of my favorite recipes: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/10.... It calls for the chicken to be fried, but I've only grilled & oven-roasted it so far, with fantastic results.

              2 Replies
              1. re: linguafood

                That looks absolutely delicious! So are you saying that you marinate the chicken and then, rather than frying, you just grill the pieces?

                1. re: CindyJ

                  Yep. I use BISO chicken thighs, and add a few drops of sesame oil to the marinade.

                  One of the reasons I am so in love with this recipe (and I don't generally *do* recipes) is its simplicity: 4 ingredients for the marinade, 3 for the dipping sauce. And oh, that dipping sauce..... the sum of all its parts makes this a truly addictive dish. I make it at least 2-3 times a month.

              2. I made this recipe for Peruvian chicken a few weeks ago and it was a big hit,
                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                1. London broil, skirt steak, shrimp, scallops, clams, lobster, sausage, kebabs, boneless chicken thighs, and even whole or butterflied chicken.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Njchicaa

                    The inspiration just keeps coming! With your mention of butterflied chicken, you just reminded me that a nearby farm that raises poultry and other animals will spatchcock chicken on request (and for an additional charge). I've never cooked a spatchcocked chicken, but it makes a lot of sense to me that it would be great on the grill.

                    And sausages... yes! I love the idea of sausages on the grill. I went to the local butcher not too long ago and picked up an assortment of store-made sausages for grilling. Some did better than others on the grill; the Philly cheesesteak sausage split apart in several places and cheese oozed all over. It was still delicious, but not a pretty sight. There was sausage with onions and jalepeno peppers, one with veal and portabello mushrooms and one with turkey and cranberries. It was a mix-and-match meal, rounded out with freshly picked corn and heirloom tomatoes.

                    1. re: CindyJ

                      Spatchcocking is easy with poultry shears and if you do it yourself you have the backbone for making stock. I quit grilling whole chicken any other way.

                  2. Also, pizza on the grill. Not particularly labor-intensive if you make the dough in a food-processor or buy the dough pre-made (e.g., at Trader Joe's).

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: masha

                      You beat me to it. We use prepackaged naan and a variety of toppings for an easy, fun, make-your-own pizza night. We throw just about anything on the grill to try it out. Love grilled sausages, especially chorizo, and grilled seafood - clams, fish, shrimp, etc. All veggies and fruits are game, too. Grilled pineapple with a butter/brown sugar glaze or peaches stuffed with goat cheese and drizzled with honey are out of this world. Grilled cabbage, artichokes, and cauliflower (separately, not at the same time!) seem odd, but are very delicious! Also grilled potatoes of many different recipes.

                      1. re: masha

                        At least in NJ, just about every pizza place will sell you dough they made freshly. Some for only two bucks.

                      2. I'm not sure what kind of grill you're using (charcoal or gas)but I make a smoked meatloaf on either type. If you're using a gas grill you can add an aluminum foil packet of wood chips (hickory, cherry, peach, apple etc., just not mesquite). If you're using a charcoal grill you can add chips or a chunk of any of these woods. Make the meatloaf the way you normally like it and mix in some of your favorite bbq sauce, put it in a loaf pan away from the coals or on a burner that's not lit and cook it.

                        There's also char siu pork. You can use a recipe like the following or buy a bottle of the sauce to marinate your pork in.

                        http://norecipes.com/chinese-barbecue...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: jnk

                          Smoked meatloaf is soooooo good!

                          1. re: jnk

                            I'm using a charcoal grill. I'm not a huge fan of meatloaf, but that pork recipe intrigues me. It looks very similar to a recipe I've been using (and loving) for turkey tenderloin (and sometimes pork tenderloin). I think I'll try it with pork belly next time. Thanks!