Friday, March 16, 2012

5 Great Grilling Ideas to Fan Your Outdoor-Cooking Flame

I'd prefer to be outside these gorgeous afternoons we're having of late, not only because I love to feel the fresh breeze on my lily-white limbs and soak up the newly-lingering hours of sunlight but also because it's easier to drag my children inside when they're bone tired and scrunchingly hungry than when they're still knee-deep in the joys of friends and fun.

 Staying outside later in the evening translates to either picking up take-out food or cooking outside while I supervise, so yesterday I fired up my grill for the first time since last September and cooked some gorgeous Chicken Kebobs with large hunks of chicken breast red pepper, zucchini, yellow squash and red onion, all marinated for about an hour in simple blend of 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar,  a half teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of salt-free Greek seasoning (I use Cavendar's).  I just skewer the chicken and veggies separately on metal skewers (in case one cooks faster than the other) and then grill them over medium heat for 7-9 minutes on each side.  Bang!  Dinner that smells good enough to tempt my stubbornest holder-outer inside to the table.

I usually serve my Kebobs with whole wheat couscous.  The stuff cooks in 5 minutes!  I mix about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon zest and a handful of chopped green onion tops into the cooked couscous at the last minute to give it a fresh, lively flavor.

1. Easy Chicken Kebobs


Tonight Al's going to grill up some salmon using a recipe he discovered last year. This is easily the best salmon I've ever eaten. He uses a simple little smoke box when he grills the fish that makes the dish taste like it came out of a wood-fired oven. FANTASTIC.  I'll mix up some skin-on mashed potatoes (made with plain yogurt) and roast some fresh asparagus to go with the fish.

2. Perfect Grilled Salmon

Perfect Grilled Salmon


1 1/2 pounds salmon filets
Black pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
lemon pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
salt to taste
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup beer
1/4 cup olive oil


Season salmon filets with black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt.

In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, beer, and olive oil until sugar is dissolved. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal, and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat grill for medium heat, include smoker box with mesquite wood chips.
Lightly oil grill grate. Place salmon on the preheated grill, and discard marinade. Cook salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

I checked in with some good bloggy friends this week to see if they'd share some additional tried-and-true and out-of-the-ordinary grilling recipes to get my grillin' juices flowing, and they didn't disappoint! I got some really fun new ideas to test out along with my family's current faves.

3. Grilled Pizza

Kristin Potler of LoveFeast Table says Grilled Pizza makes her family's favorite list. I can see the FriedOkra family trying this tomorrow night for sure. Just grab some Trader Joe's pizza dough, add your favorite toppings, grill and gobble. I'm totally trying it Saturday night. My kids will think they've died on gone to heaven.

4. Lemon Garlic Chicken

Joy Bennett of Joy in This Journey grills up a delicious Lemon Garlic Chicken to pair with pesta pasta for her family. Just toss up a green salad, and a sunny Sunday dinner's on the table in 30 minutes or less. Miraculous!

5. Grilled Shrimp Salad in Grilled Bell Peppers

And finally, for something super healthy and a bit out-of-the-box, I turned to my old pal Megan Tietz of SortaCrunchy, who packs a mouthwatering Shrimp Salad in Grilled Bell Peppers.   Next week's seafood entree?  Checkity check and check!

Have you fired up the grill yet?  What are some of your favorite grilled go-to meals?

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  1. I love new grill recipes! I'm afraid of my grill and have challenged myself to use it more! BUT, I make "the best dang corn ever" on's super easy and ALWAYS a crowd pleaser:

    Thanks for sharing these recipes. I'll have to add them to the list!

    1. We are HEEE-YUGE corn eaters around here. I'll be trying your recipe for sure come late July!

  2. I just told my husband how long it had been since you grilled. We agree that having to wait that long would make us sad. We grill once a week! He got a fancy grill/smoker in November and he loves to use it. We smoked two chickens about once a month, he just puts a rub on it and uses beer for moisture. We love pork tenderloin too--such a tender, juicy cut.

    1. Al just got a smoker, too! We'll have to trade recipes. You guys are lucky to get to grill year round... And I guess it hasn't really been since September. Al smoked our turkey on his new smoker in November. :) But I do think that was the last time.

  3. We had grilled hamburgers when Andy was home but nothing else yet. I love kebobs and have always wanted to try grilled pizza, but so far haven't dared to. We need a Trader Joe's near us for that crust!