Elegant Edibles Catering
Ah, summer you have finally arrived…and you bring with you warm sunny days, lots of time to relax, and of course, no stress at all. Yeah right! We hope for the warm sunny days, but of late we have seen a lot more rain than sun, and time to relax? No stress? Come on, who are we kidding? Summer means working hard to get the stuff we NEED to do done quickly so we can do the stuff we WANT to do! The stress comes from that silly idea! We need to think ahead, so what we need to do takes less time and effort, and we are able to enjoy ourselves without the guilty feeling of not getting it all done.
Summer time is our favorite time to enjoy “taking our food out to play”! We can get really creative with how we prepare and serve fresh foods. We are no longer limited to cooking indoors when the season turns to summer. Fire up the grill and throw another log on the fire…we are cooking outdoors this season! While we use our grill year round, there is really no comparison to summer grilling, and enjoying the backyard!
Chances are, if you can cook it on the stove or in the oven, you can cook it on the grill. Meats and vegetables are generally the first thing that come to mind when we think of the grill, but why not start with dessert? After all, life is short, so why not enjoy dessert first! Because of the natural sugars in them, fruits cook really well on the grill. Any firm fleshed fruit can be prepared to be cooked over the open flame of a grill. You can cook directly on your grill grate, but if you want to consider an extra kitchen gadget, available in many cookware stores and departments are grilling baskets and sheets that work well for more delicate foods.
I love to grill pineapple and peaches… While they are juicy and sweet to start out, after a few minutes on the grill the sweetness level increases and the tenderness…well they will simply melt in your mouth. Grilling larger pieces of fruit will be easier than doing bite sizes, you can cut them after cooking. I like to cut my peaches in half and brush the cut side lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Similarly, I will cut my pineapple in thick slices and again, brush lightly with EVOO. Grill for a few minutes on each side, turning when grill marks are showing. Another fruit that is great grilled is bananas. As with other fruits, choose firmer bright colored bananas, brush with EVOO and grill lightly. And let’s not forget about avocados! Spilt a ripe avocado in half, remove the pit and brush lightly with olive oil. Place flesh side down on the grill and let cook for about 5 minutes until grill marks form. Grilled avocados will have that slightly smoky flavor and their texture will be extra creamy…you can slice them, dice them or mash them for any use or presentation!
As with anything we eat, you never know how something new will work out until you try, so don’t be afraid to get creative and take your food out to play!
- 3 ripe avocados
- 1 small Vidalia onion
- 1 small tomato, finely diced
- 1 t roasted garlic, smashed
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 t lemon juice
- Dash of hot sauce
Split avocados in half and carefully remove the pit. Brush lightly with olive oil. Slice onion into thick slices and brush with olive oil. Place avocado and onions on grill and cook about 5 minutes (onions 5 minutes per side). Allow to cool; scoop avocado flesh out and mash; finely dice onions. Mix with remaining ingredients.
Cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap to surface (avocado will turn brown if allowed to face air) and chill before serving.
To read more of Vicki McGraw’s commentaries on good cooking, fine recipes and perfect party treats, visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on Join Me in the Kitchen’s own page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.