An adventurous griller can produce more than basic burgers and hot dogs — grilling has become so versatile that there’s virtually nothing you can’t cook on it that you can make indoors. The smoky flavors that grilling imparts say “summer” like nothing else.
Adding herbs and spices to familiar condiments such mayo and ketchup makes delicious toppings for anything from meats or veggies to grilled breads.
Lemony Herb Mayonnaise
Prep time: 5 minutes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
— Mix all ingredients in small bowl until well blended. Cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
— Per serving: 90 calories, 90 mg sodium, 10 g fat, 0 g carbohydrates, 5 mg cholesterol, 0 g protein, 0 g fiber.
Smoky Tomato Ketchup with Poblano Chile
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
1 cup pecan wood chips
4 pounds plum tomatoes, cored, halved and seeded
1 medium onion, cut into thick slices
1 medium poblano chile, seeded
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon smokehouse maple seasoning
— Soak wood chips for 1 hour in enough water to cover; drain. Fill smoker box with wet wood chips. Place smoker box under grill rack one side of grill. Close lid.
Heat grill on high heat about 10 minutes or until smoke appears from chips. Reduce heat to medium. Place tomatoes, onion and poblano chile on grill rack. Close lid. Smoke tomatoes, onion and poblano chile for 5 minutes. Remove from grill.
Coarsely chop tomatoes, onion and poblano. Place in large saucepan. Stir in brown sugar, cider vinegar and smokehouse maple seasoning. Cook on medium-low heat 45 minutes to 1 hour or until mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally. Spoon into blender or food processor; cover. Pulse until mixture is chunky. Store ketchup in clean covered container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Tip: If your grill does not have a smoker tray, place wood chips on a large sheet of heavy duty foil. Fold up sides to form a pouch. Poke several holes in foil. Continue as directed.
— Per serving: 36 calories, 69 mg sodium, 0 g fat, 8 g carbohydrates, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 1 g fiber.
Arugula and Pine Nut Pesto
Prep Time: 15 minutes
1 package (5 ounces) arugula leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1/3 cup olive oil
— Place arugula, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic powder, seasoned salt and pepper in food processor; cover. Process just until smooth. Gradually add oil with machine running. Process until well blended and smooth.
Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator up to 1 week.
Serve with grilled bread, chicken, pasta or potato salad. To serve, brush naan or other flat bread with olive oil. Sprinkle top with seasoning of your choice. Grill over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes per side or until grill marks appear. Top with pesto.
Tip: Pour pesto into ice cube trays; freeze until firm. Place pesto cubes in freezer-weight resealable plastic bags. Store in freezer up to 2 months. Thaw cubes in refrigerator before using.
— Per serving: 243 calories, 431 mg sodium, 23 g fat, 3 g carbohydrates, 10 mg cholesterol, 6 g protein, 1 g fiber.
Peach, Sweet Onion and Whiskey Chutney
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia, chopped
1/3 cup raisins
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/2 teaspoon chile pepper ancho
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons bourbon whiskey
3 ripe peaches, diced (2 cups)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
— Heat oil in medium skillet on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 5 minutes or until just caramelized. Add raisins, sugar, cinnamon, ancho chile pepper and salt; cook and stir 1 minute. Add bourbon whiskey; stir to loosen browned bits in bottom of skillet.
Mix peaches, lemon juice and vanilla in medium bowl. Add onion mixture; mix well. Cover.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Serve alongside grilled biscuits, sausages, pork chops or chicken.
Tip: Store chutney in clean covered container in refrigerator up to 1 week.
Per serving: 100 calories, 150 mg sodium, 2 g fat, 16 g carbohydrates, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 2 g fiber.
For dessert, set out a buffet of ingredients for your guests at a “s’more bar” and let them layer their own choices in a parfait or other glass to make a clever spin on the traditional s’more trio of graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars.
For your next summer cookout, try these flavor combos:
Chocolate Pretzel S’mores: Chocolate-covered pretzels, vanilla marshmallow creme, caramel sauce, chopped peanuts.
Peach Melba S’mores: Shortbread cookies, vanilla marshmallow creme, raspberry jam, chopped grilled peaches.
Banana Split S’mores: Vanilla wafers, vanilla marshmallow creme, chocolate sauce, chopped grilled bananas and strawberries.
Peanut Brittle S’mores: Peanut butter cookies, vanilla marshmallow creme, caramel sauce, toffee bits and chopped peanuts.
Raspberry Lemon Bar S’mores: Sugar cookies, vanilla marshmallow creme, lemon curd, raspberry halves.