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07.31.10 by  

When They Crawl All Up In Your Grill

Serve them a four-course BBQ party.

During a recent BBQ party, some friends schooled the group in grilling seafood and pork on wood planks. Unless you’re looking to score a hot firefighter, soak planks for 1 to 2 hours pre-flaming so they don’t ignite. Coat with oil prior to using to avoid sticking and you’re ready to roll. Note: If you’re grilling vegetables as well, cook them before you plank the seafood or else you’ll end up with ultra-smoky side dishes too.

Maine Grilling Woodsplanks are locally harvested from a family of woodcutters (check out www.mainegrillingwoods.com). Use them off-season in the broiler or oven.

Planked Grilled Scallops

Not technically an aphrodisiac, the smoky saltiness of these tender bites serves as a teaser for round II. Load up a platter of these and some toothpicks to stir the fires while the rest of the meal cooks.

  • 3 scallops per person, depending on size
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Fresh parsley
  • Dab butter
  1. Douse and season scallops in the ingredients listed, except butter.
  2. Grill 6 to 8 minutes over soaked and oiled wooden plank. Adjust cooking time depending on size of the scallops. Hit the scallops half-way through with a dab of butter.
  3. Serve with a killer steak butter, fresh lemon and moonlight. Have a crisp bottle of white wine and a game of Twister handy.

Planked and Drunk Grilled Salmon

This is a basic recipe and can easily be improved by adding more herbs like fresh rosemary or thyme, mustard or shallots, for example. Be creative, it’s just fish. Serve the leftovers the next morning on top of grilled bagels with capers, dill and crème fraîche.

  • 1/2 pound fish per person
  • Equal parts vermouth and orange juice
  • Half that amount olive oil
  • A handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • Dab butter per fish steak
  1. Marinate fish for a few hours, in all ingredients except butter.
  2. Grill 8 to 10 minutes over soaked and oiled wooden plank (cedar or pecan). Hit the fish half-way through cooking with a dab of butter.

Grilled Whole Cauliflower

The expression “like butter” is made for this dish. It’s got an almost candy-like taste that will make you think of this vegetable in a new, highly inappropriate way.

  • 1 whole cauliflower, cleaned and trimmed
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Shredded parmesan or asiago
  1. Coat cauliflower with olive oil and butter.
  2. Season with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
  3. Sprinkle with cheese liberally.
  4. Wrap the entire cauliflower in aluminum foil and then grill 25 to 30 minutes, until cooked.
  5. Open foil and scoop out with a spoon. Yeah, it’s that soft.

Grilled Greens

Spin the notion of a salad by serving yours straight from flame to plate.

  • Several heads of your favorite greens (baby romaine, endive, etc.)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  1. Toss greens in olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.
  2. Place directly on the grill, cooking until slightly charred on both sides.

End the meal with a scotch under the stars. If guests have an actual sweet tooth, swing by your ice cream shop pre-party and nab a few pints of your favorite hand-crafted flavors. Boom, you’re done.