June 21st is the first official day of Summer, though with how hot it’s been around here lately, you probably figured it already happened. The kids are off from school, the air conditioners are running, and the pool covers are finally coming off. It’s the start of beach and concert season, you’ve got your big blockbuster movies coming out and, most importantly, it’s cookout season! Summer means good times, good fun, and good food. From bright and sunny afternoons to warm Summer solstice nights, there’s nothing like rounding up your friends and loved ones all together and sharing a satisfying meal around the beloved grill. But before you go run out the supermarket and stock up on plain old burgers and hot dogs by the bulk, you grillmeisters and outdoor cooking aficionados have waited all year to fire up the pit. Now’s your time to shine! Check out some of our new favorite Summertime recipes that’ll make every weekend a Summer cookout party.
STARTERS & APPETIZERS
You’ve called whole gang over to your joint for eats. While they wait for you to work your magic on the grill, serve up these simple and easy-to-make starter dishes to help ready your guests for the feast.
Recipe and photo courtesy of runningonrealfood.com
Normally, when you think of outdoor grilling,
salads aren’t exactly the first thing that spring to mind. On the other hand, it is Summer and a salad full of fresh veggies and other wholesome garden goodness is a wonderful treat in the warmer season. You’ve got your traditional garden salad, chock full of red ripe tomatoes, raw onions, and crisp cucumber slices and topped with a lite vinaigrette. The chef’s salad, loaded with deli-thin slices of turkey, ham, and roast beef and garnished with hard-boiled egg wedges and cheese chunks can be a full meal in itself. Then, of course, you have your picnic favorites like potato salad, macaroni salad, tuna salad, egg salad, chicken salad, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
But out of all the salad choices there are to make, this Vegan Broccoli Salad, straight from Deryn Macey’s Running on Real Food, is a uniquely appetizing Summer salad selection. It’s a new and healthy twist on the classic deli staple. Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, important fiber, valuable proteins, and flavorful deliciousness in every bite; this salad is sure to be a hit, regardless of herbivorous or carnivorous dietary preferences.
- 8 cups of finely-chopped, fresh raw broccoli
- 1 cup of raisins
- 1 ¾ cup of diced red onion
- ½ cup of chopped almonds
- 1 package of soft tofu
- 4 cloves of fresh garlic
- 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 3 packets of stevia or, as an alternative, sweeten with maple syrup or honey
- a pinch of sea salt
- Add salad ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
- Bled the dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy. Add to the salad and mix.
- Store in the refrigerator until serving time.
Recipe and photo courtesy of seriouseats.com
CAJUN CHICKEN WINGS
Who doesn’t love chicken wings? They’re the trusty, reliable go-to for every tailgater, backyard barbecuer, and grill guru. But, instead of staying within the bbq and buffalo wing comfort zone, why not try something with a little more “kick”? These
Grilled Cajun Chicken Wings from seriouseats.com will satiate your hot, spicy, and smoky chicken cravings.
- 3 pounds of chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats (no wingtips)
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon of dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon of cumin
- ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- Mix the baking powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl.
- Dry the chicken wings by patting them with paper towels. Place the wings into a large bowl and sprinkle the spice seasoning mixture, toss for an even coat. Arrange the wings in a single layer on a wire rack inside a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Leave a little space between each wing to prevent them from sticking. Place the baking sheet in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight.
- When you’re ready to grill, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the hot sauce and the Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.
- Preheat the grill for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling plate and then place the wings skin side up over the cool side of the grill. Cover and cook until the skins are crisp and browned. This should take about 45 minutes.
- Take the wings off the grill and put them in a large bowl. Add in your hot sauce/butter/Worcestershire sauce mixture and toss to evenly coat the wings. Serve on a platter and dig in!
Recipe and photo courtesy of allrecipes.com
GRILLED GARLIC & HERB SHRIMP
Oh, wow! THESE are absolutely delectable! You could spend good money at a fancy restaurant ordering
Grilled Garlic and Herb Shrimp but thanks to allrecipes.com, you can make them from the comfort of your own backyard grill and not have to deal with too-small portions--you can make as many as you’d like!
- 2 teaspoons of ground paprika
- 2 tablespoons of minced fresh garlic
- 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning blend
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons of dried basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, packed
- 2 pounds of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Add paprika, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, lemon juice, olive oil, ground black pepper, basil leaves, and brown sugar together in a bowl and whisk together. Continue to mix until thoroughly blended. Add the shrimp and stir, toss to evenly coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, turning once.
- Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Lightly oil the grill grate and place about 4 inches from the heat.
- Remove the shrimp from the marinade, drain, and discard the leftover marinade.
- Place shrimp on the preheated grill and cook. Turn only once until shrimp meat is opaque in the center (if doing the poke test, shrimp should feel firm), 5 to 6 minutes is all that’s needed.
TIP: Serve the grilled shrimp on a platter or on wood skewers.
THE MAIN COURSE
Continuing on with the theme of spicy surf ‘n’ turf, for our main course, we’re going to do
Blackened Salmon Fillets and Peppered Ribeye Steaks.
Salmon is a fatty and oily fish, like trout, tuna, and mackerel. But unlike mackerel, which can sometimes have a strong and disagreeable flavor, salmon’s light flavor and firm texture appeals to those who, otherwise, might not necessarily enjoy fish. As cliche as it is, it’s almost comparable to white meat chicken breast. Plus, its high Omega 3 content makes it a heart-healthy meal choice.
This salmon recipe comes to us from slenderkitchen.com. Delicious, nutritious, and only takes a total of 15 minutes to prepare and cook, you may find yourself fixing this recipe on a regular basis. Surprise dinner guests might be a more common occurrence, as well!
Recipe and photo courtesy of slenderkitchen.com
BLACKENED SALMON FILLETS
- 24 ounces (1½ pounds) of wild salmon fillets, preferably skinless
- 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of pepper
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- ½ teaspoon of dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon of chili powder
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Rinse the salmon under the sink with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Mix your spices in a bowl. Lightly apply the olive oil onto the salmon fillet and then press into the spices. Do both sides so that the salmon is fully coated.
- Over a medium heat grill, cook the salmon for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until thoroughly cooked. The meat will flake easily with a fork.
Recipe and photo courtesy of tasteofhome.com
PEPPERED RIBEYE STEAKS
This classic Southern-style recipe from
Taste of Home magazine is the shining example of pure Americana. The heartiness and flavor captures everything great about Summertime outdoor grilling and is the star attraction at every backyard cookout. Best part is, this recipe allows for so many variations. Serve as-is or make sandwiches, wraps, salad garnish, or combine with fresh vegetables for shish kebabs hot off the grill. Go wherever your grilling expertise and culinary creativity takes you!
- 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- 2 tablespoons of dried ground thyme
- 2 tablespoons of dried ground oregano
- 1 ½ teaspoons of kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons of pepper
- 1 teaspoon of lemon pepper seasoning
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 beef ribeye steaks (1 ½ inch thick, 8 ounces each)
- Combine all seasonings and sprinkle over the steaks. Press the mixture into both sides to help it stick. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. For maximum impact, refrigerate up to 24 hours.
- Remove the steaks from the refrigerator. Blot the steaks with a paper towel to dry any surface moisture, but take extra precaution as to not accidentally wipe off any seasoning. Sprinkle with additional kosher salt, if desired.
- Grill steaks, covered, turning occasionally, on a greased grill rack over medium indirect heat. Using a meat thermometer, when the temperature reads 110 degrees, move the steaks to direct heat. Continue cooking until the meat reaches the appropriate doneness. For medium-rare, the thermometer should be at 135 degrees. Medium steaks at 140 degrees and medium-well at 145 degrees.
- Once off the grill, let steaks stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Cut across the grain so that each slice is tender.
Bon appétit, everybody!
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