1. GRILLED POUND CAKE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE
1 store bought pound cake loaf, sliced into 8 slices
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
Heat an outdoor grill or stovetop grill to medium-high heat. Grease with cooking spray or vegetable oil. Grill the pound cake slices for about 2 minutes per side, or until golden grill marks form on both sides. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool.
Whip the cream in a large mixing bowl until somewhat thick. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Continue to beat until soft peaks form. Do not over-mix, or you'll end up making butter instead.
Assemble the shortcakes by topping half of the pound cake slices with whipped cream and sliced strawberries. Top each with the remaining pound cake slices. Eat right away. Enjoy!
2. CILANTRO LIME GRILLED WATERMELON
2 (2-inch) slices watermelon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 limes, juiced
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt, to taste
Cut each watermelon round into 4 pieces, for a total of 8 pieces*. Brush each side of the pieces with olive oil and a little of the lime juice, reserving at least half of the lime juice for after cooking. Season with a little bit of salt (about ½ tsp total for 8 pieces, both sides).
Heat an outdoor gas grill to high heat. Grill watermelon for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, allowing grill marks to form.
Remove from grill and season with the remaining lime juice and sprinkle with cilantro. Season with additional salt to taste. Salt brings out additional flavor so really do it to taste.
3. GRILLED POLENTA WITH MOZZARELLA AND BALSAMIC TOMATOES
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 kosher salt
18-ounce tube refrigerated, prepared polenta
1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, divided
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into thinly sliced pieces
Preheat your grill on medium heat.
Combine tomatoes, basil, vinegar, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
Using a sharp knife, cut polenta into 16 even rounds. The easiest way to do this is to cut the log of polenta evenly in half, then cut each half in half again, so you have four quarters. Cut each quarter in half and then cut those two rounds in half again, so you have 16 polenta rounds.
Lay polenta out on a baking sheet or large tray and brush lightly with ½ teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle ⅛ teaspoon salt and 1/16 teaspoon black pepper lightly across the rounds. Flip the rounds, brush again with the remaining ½ teaspoon of olive oil, and sprinkle evenly with the remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt and 1/16 teaspoon pepper.
Grill the rounds about 10-12 minutes on the first side. Once they begin to develop some light grill marks, flip them and grill for another 8-10 minutes.
Turn grill to low and top each polenta round with some of the mozzarella. Close grill lid, and continue grilling for just a minute or two, until cheese has started to melt but isn't so melted that it's dripping off into the grill.
Arrange cheesy polenta rounds on a serving platter and dollop each generously with balsamic tomato mixture. Alternately, you can pass the balsamic tomatoes separately and let everyone top their own.
4. GRILLED PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED ASPARAGUS AND PEACHES
Ingredients for 8 wraps:
8 slices prosciutto
4 thick spears asparagus
1 large peach (cut into 8 slices)
3 tablespoons brown mustard (or Dijon)
1 tablespoon sugar free maple syrup (or raw honey)
red pepper flakes (optional)
cinnamon to taste
Place your wooden skewers in water and allow them to soak at least 30 minutes before adding them to the grill.
Fire up the grill! I keep mine at a pretty moderate temperature of 300F because I like for my food items to cook a bit longer and absorb the flavors of the wood pellets I use.
Remove the bottom stems from the asparagus spears and then chop the remaining pieces in half.
Assemble the kabobs. Place a peach slice between two pieces of asparagus and then wrap it in one slice of prosciutto. Skewer the wrap with a wooden kabob stick. Repeat.
Place the kabobs on the grill and cook for at least 20 minutes, but feel free to cook a little longer, just make sure the heat is not too high.
Mix together the ingredients for the sauce and season to taste. Or, here’s a chance to use your own family, light BBQ sauce recipe.
After the kabobs have cooked for about 8 minutes, baste the kabobs in the sauce every 8 minutes until the kabobs have finished cooking.
Allow the kabobs to slightly cool before biting into them, but do enjoy them hot off the grill!