Fatherly Stuff: Summer Sizzling on the Grill

Jul 2, 2013

Summer Sizzling on the Grill

As the 4th of July approaches, I'm sure most of you (like myself) are going to be out there in your backyards and local parks grilling. The following article has been passed along to me and was written by Chef Marshall O'Brien, for Produce for Kids. It contains some great advice about grilling and how to get your children involved. I sincerely hope that you enjoy it as much as I did!

 

Summer Sizzling on the Grill

By Chef Marshall O’Brien

 

The weather is heating up and summer is right around the corner. It’s time for outdoor cooking once again. When it comes to getting kids involved with cooking, grilling offers a great opportunity to experience fruits and vegetables in refreshing new ways. Asparagus, zucchini, and yellow squash offer a tasty change to the normal routine. How about grilled broccoli or cauliflower? Maybe sweet pineapple, cantaloupe, peaches and pears? Read on to see how to enjoy these favorites all summer long.
Preparing the Grill - Make sure your grill is ready for those succulent delicacies. Scrub down the grill top using a steel brush. Depending on your child’s age, this can be a great lesson for them in taking ownership and care. Wipe the grate with an oiled cloth (an old piece of shirt bundled and tied works great) to remove any dust residue. If you have a gas grill, make sure the burner airways are clean and clear of cobwebs and debris. It’s critical for safety sake to first have the gas disconnected if you are taking your grill apart. Using mild soap and water and a skinny brush (that should be able to get inside the burner tubes), clean burners as needed. Essential items to have on hand when you’re grilling are: a pan with oil to keep grill top clean, steel brush, tongs (make sure they actually hold the food when being pinched), metal spatula and a serving dish.
 
Broccoli & Cauliflower – Take whole heads of cauliflower and broccoli, wash, then slice 1/4 inch cross section. Most children enjoy helping drizzle veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper. Once grill is hot and grate is cleaned and oiled, add broccoli and cauliflower and cook until there are grill marks, and pieces are slightly tender, about 2-4 minutes per side. Remove from grill and serve.
 
Pineapple, cantaloupe – Cut fruit cross-section, about ½ inch, so it’s a circle piece. Slice in half, like a half moon. Remove seeds from cantaloupe. With grill on medium high heat, add fruit and cook until there are grill marks, and pieces are slightly tender, about 1-3 minutes per side. Remove from grill, and serve with vanilla ice cream.
 
Peaches nectarines, plums – Slice fruit in half, stone removed. Once grill is hot and ready to go, lay fruit cut side down and cook about 2-3 minutes each side, or until fruit is tender with light brown grill marks. If you want to add an extra “wow” to this, simply reduce some balsamic vinegar until it’s a syrup and drizzle on top.
 
Grilling presents the perfect opportunity to get any child to connect with what they are going to eat by asking them questions.
Here are a few ideas:
1. Why does the color change when it’s cooking?
2. Why does the texture change?
3. Why does the shape change?
The below delicious, family-friendly grilling recipes are perfect for any upcoming BBQs you may be hosting:  
 

Serves 4
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Ingredients:
·   1 lb. ground turkey
·   1 cup panko breadcrumbs
·   1 egg
·   1 Tbsp. fresh basil, (or ⅓ Tbsp. dried) chopped fine
·   1 cup mushrooms, washed/dried, sliced
·   ½ medium sweet onion, sliced
·   2 Tbsp. butter
·   4 slices, deli style mozzarella cheese (¾ oz. each)
·   1 large tomato, sliced
·   4 whole grain burger buns
Directions:
1. In large bowl, mix breadcrumbs, egg, basil, and salt. Once mixed, add ground turkey and mix well. Make patties about the size of the bun.
2. In frying pan, on medium/high heat add butter, mushrooms and onions and cook about 10 minutes until tender and brown. Turn heat to low and keep warm.
3. Pan-fry or grill, on medium heat, burgers until firm (about 4-5 minutes a side).
4. Assemble bun with burger, cheese, tomato and onion/mushroom mixture.
Serves 4
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Ingredients:
·   1 apple, cored, sliced
·   4 rainbow peppers, seeded, sliced
·   ½ mango, skinned, diced
·   ½ fresh lemon, juiced
·   2 Tbsp. olive oil
Directions:
1. Thoroughly toss apples, peppers, mango, lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl.
2. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.

Steak & Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Serves 4
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Ingredients:
Steak: 
·   ¼ cup olive oil
·   3 Tbsp. fresh garlic, minced
·   1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
·   4 (5 oz.) chuck eye steaks
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes:
·   2 large potatoes, chunked
·   1 head cauliflower, chopped
·   ½ cup half-and-half
·   ⅛ tsp. paprika
Directions:
Steak:  
1. Combine olive oil, garlic, and rosemary to make a paste. Cover with steaks and let marinate until ready to cook (at least 15 minutes.)
2. Once marinated, broil, pan fry or grill the steaks (to cook medium rare, cook 4-5 minutes per side.) Remove from heat, and let stand for 5 minutes.
Cauliflower:
1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in medium saucepan; add potatoes and cauliflower, and boil 15 minutes, or until soft. Remove from heat and drain. 
2. Mash potatoes and cauliflower in large bowl. Add half-and-half, paprika, and season with salt and pepper, as desired.
 

Pineapple Pork Kebobs

Serves 4
Preparation Time: 25 Minutes
Ingredients:

Rosemary Garlic Marinade

·   ½ cup olive oil
·   2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced 
·   4 cloves garlic, minced 

Pineapple Pork Kebobs

·   1 lb. pork tenderloin, cut 1-inch chunks
·   1 cup pineapple, cut 1-inch chunks
·   1 cup sweet onion, cut 1-inch chunks
·   1 cup rainbow peppers, cut 1-inch chunks
·   10-inch skewers, soaked

Rosemary Veggies

·   2 cups broccoli, chunked
·   1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
·   4 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
Directions:

Rosemary Garlic Marinade

1. Mix olive oil, rosemary and garlic in small mixing bowl. Divide in half.

Pineapple Pork Kebobs

1. Thread pork, pineapple, onions and peppers onto skewers.
2. Brush skewers with half of Rosemary Garlic Marinade, season with salt. Let stand 5 minutes.
3. Place skewers under preheated broiler 5 inches from heat; broil 10-15 minutes or until meat is firm and lightly browned.

Rosemary Veggies

1. Heat remaining marinade in large skillet on medium-high heat.  Add broccoli and cherry tomatoes, cook for 5 minutes, or until broccoli is bright green and tender.
2. Remove from heat and add cheese.