Grilling food can evoke those carnal instincts of fire and smoke and can produce some of the finest foods around, and now that summer is in full flight it is time to dust off the BBQ and try some new recipes. However, grilling doesn’t only need to be done on a BBQ it is also quite possible to use a griddle pan indoors, or if you are especially lucky you may even have a fully functioning commercial kitchen style grill. With all these options to cook grilled food at your fingertips, you are probably asking yourself what can I cook this year that will be different from the usual fare of grilled chicken, burgers, and sausages?
If this sounds like you and you are looking for some inspiration, then read on as we introduce you to 6 delicious things to cook on the grill.
Sweetbreads or mollejas, to give them their Spanish name, are actually the thymus gland or pancreas of calves or lambs and are incredibly popular in Argentina and Spain. They are always served grilled with a touch of salt and a generous squeeze of lemon juice, and that is it! You may be thinking to yourself that you are never going to eat the pancreas of a young animal, but you really would be missing out if you don’t try them. If grilled properly, they are wonderfully tender and have a complex meaty flavor that many people find hard to distinguish from a steak itself. As few people in the US or Europe eat this part of the animal they are incredibly cheap, so they are perfect for those on a low income who are looking to supplement their protein intake in a healthy way. Give them a grill and you will never look back!
Chuletón is the Spanish name for a cut of steak that in English would translate as a T-Bone. It is traditionally found in the Basque Country in the north of Spain and is a bone-in rib steak that oozes flavor. Traditionally it will have come from a working bull meaning that the meat has been tenderized over the years. It must be given a proper sear to lock-in those flavors, so you must use an infrared grill to do so, as they can reach a high temperature very quickly. Once seared the temperature can be lowered and the meat can cook though allowing the fat to render down, keeping the meat itself beautifully moist and tasty. Cooked in this manner, you will be licking your lips for weeks to come until you have worked hard enough to enjoy another of the most impressive grilled foods out there.
You almost read that as sweetbreads again, didn’t you?! Don’t worry, though, this time we are going to look at a healthy vegetarian classic that everybody loves on the grill. Sweetcorn lends itself perfectly to a summer evening as an accompaniment to meat or fish. Covered in butter and salt and then wrapped in foil, sweetcorn can sit on the grill whilst you are cooking your protein. Watch out when you unwrap it as it will be piping hot and there will be melted butter everywhere, but children and adults alike won’t be able to wait to get their gnashers into the tasty corn that just oozes those BBQ flavors.
What’s that phrase that you always hear Australians saying? Toss another shrimp on the barbie mate! Well, why not? Perfectly grilled shrimps or prawns are absolutely delicious cooked quickly on the grill. Make sure you marinate them overnight in your choice of sauce, you have the options to go spicy with chilies or you can go for a more Thai style with flavors of lemongrass and lime, just make sure that there are ample powerful flavors because shrimp is a great carrier. Shrimps only need a matter of minutes on the grill, so make sure you don’t overcook them as they will quickly go rubbery, and if any of your party refuse to suck the heads then there is something wrong with them as they carry all the flavor!
Halloumi is a cheese that many of us had never heard of twenty years ago, yet today it is incredibly popular. It originally comes from Cyprus and is made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk and due to the fact that it has such a high melting point it is the perfect cheese to be grilled. It can either be left in its original state or it can be breaded or even battered, and for the vegetarians amongst us, it is perfect as a meat replacement inside a burger. If you’ve never given it a go, then it is a must this summer as it can be grilled at a high temperature in a matter of minutes and is a delicious alternative to traditional meat and fish.
So far we have looked at savory items to cook on the grill, but after all that meat and veg it is time to take a look at one of the all-time classic grilled desserts: grilled pineapple. No grilled pineapple is complete unless it has been soaked in rum overnight, so make sure that you have a bottle to hand. Slice your pineapple thick, soak in rum, and then toss on the grill. A few minutes of charring will leave the pineapple slightly caramelized with those lovely hints of rum in the background. Slap on a spoonful of ice cream or a touch of clotted cream and then you have the perfect dessert with which to end your meal.
As we have learned it is perfectly possible to cook an entire meal from starters to dessert on the grill. Sweetbreads are a cheap tasty and unusual treat to start off a meal and then the centerpiece can be a chuleton steak that has been given a proper sear at high heat. Sweetcorn is the perfect vegetable and halloumi makes a great vegetarian alternative to meat and fish. Round your meal off with rum-soaked pineapple and you will then be so full of healthy grilled food that you won’t think about eating again for the rest of the week!