It’s well into grilling season for most people. Here in AZ it’s been ridiculously hot. Today the high was 113! It gets to be good grilling weather in September and then again in April next year. How about you, have been using yours? Are you stumped about what to put on there besides hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken breasts? Don’t fear my friends, I have a couple of grilling tips to get your gears grinding! ;)
Grilled veggies are amazing and there are so many ways to go about doing it. You can put them straight on the grill, but some things, like asparagus, try and slip between the grate on the grill… so frustrating! Asparagus usually plays nice when you put it perpendicular to the grates, but it still tries to get away sometimes. Same with slices of potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, anything, really! Especially when your grill’s grates are widely spaced like mine.
One easy way to prevent this is to put a piece of foil across the grates. You’ll still get the great smoky flavor from the grill, but all of your veggies will make it to the plate. :)
Have you tried grilling onions? Keep them whole and slice them into rings, leaving them all together, like onion steaks. Cook it together and flip them with tongs to make sure they stay together. Bell peppers are great on the grill, just halve or quarter them (remove the seeds and stems, of course) and put them right on the grill. I usually brush mine with olive oil and salt and pepper before hand. You can always to a marinade too… yes, for the veggies! You can also make a little foil pouch for your peppers and onions like I did here. This is also a great way to have mushrooms on the grill. A little bit of butter, salt, pepper, and garlic on the mushrooms is the way to go.
Corn can go straight on the grill husked, or soak it in water for about an hour and allow it to steam in its husk on the grill. Either way, it’s delicious.
And don’t forget about dessert… one of my absolute favorite things to grill is peaches (not pictured). Cut them in half, remove the pit, and sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon sugar. Place them cut side up first, and leave them on (lid closed) for a good 10 minutes, or until they’re mostly tender. Then flip them and allow the cinnamon/sugar to caramelize. Serve with vanilla ice cream for an easy and scrumptious summer dessert.
My basic marinade when I grill is usually just olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. You can add any number of herbs to this. I have a rosemary bush out front, so I often add rosemary. Try thyme or oregano. For a Greek twist try oregano and mint. Grilled gyros anyone? ;) Add a bit of acid if you’re craving that bite. I prefer to use lemon, but you could also use red wine, apple cider, or balsamic vinegar. I cheated with the chicken in the photos, though. I had some left-over Zesty Italian dressing from a pasta salad that I made so I marinated them in that. It’s a good way to go, too!
Easy Grilled Chicken and Veggies
4 Chicken breasts
6 Potatoes, sliced
4 Corn in husk, soaked for at least 1 hour
Eggplant or Zucchini, Sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2-4 tbsp olive oil (depending on how much stuff you have to marinate)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp paprika (use with the oregano but not the rosemary or thyme)
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
For the Pepper Packet:
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chipotle chile powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Drizzle of olive oil
Put about 1 tbsp of the marinade on the chicken and allow to sit for an hour or longer. Slice the potatoes and eggplant or zucchini and brush with the remaining marinade and set aside.
Prepare your peppers and onions. Place them in the middle of a long rectangle of foil. Sprinkle with the spices, salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Fold the foil up long ways so it over laps. Roll the ends in until you reach the peppers and onions.
Once the grill is heated through, line one side with foil and lay out all your slices of potatoes. On the opposite side, place your chicken breasts and pepper packet. You can line the corn up along the top rack (make sure you finish it on the grill for a good smoky flavor). Fit the zucchini/eggplant wherever you can, but away from the chicken. Once the chicken is flipped so that none of the raw is showing you can put some of the veggies next to it.
Cook until the veggies are marked. Flip the potatoes once they have browned on the first side.
For the chicken, a meat thermometer should read 165 degrees F. You can also cut one open on the thick part to make sure it’s cooked (I know, it releases some of the juices, but it’s better than eating undercooked chicken!). Enjoy with some pita bread or na’an to wrap up all the veggies and chicken in.
I hope you found some of these tips helpful! What kind of tricks do you use when you’re grilling?
Be Happy! :)