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Broaden Your Horizons This Weekend By Throwing Some Of These Unexpected Items On The Grill

Though it may seem like it on a day like July 4th, the grill isn’t solely a place for holiday cookout staples. In fact, there’s a whole world of possibilities as far as what can be thrown on and cooked up on the grill. For those of you looking to add the element of surprise to your grilling game, we rounded up some of the Uproxx staff’s favorite non-burger/hot dog/chicken ideas to try out over a flame this holiday weekend.

Grilled Guacamole

A photo posted by James (@jamesnimmer) on Jun 27, 2015 at 2:16pm PDT

 

Starting off, this might sound complicated, but it’s your basic guacamole recipe with a couple extra steps, which will add a tremendous amount of flavor for just a little bit of effort. First, cut the avocados in half and remove the pit, then cut up the tomatoes and onions as you so choose, then skewer them separately. When your grill is good and hot, throw a handful of pre-soaked wood chips onto the charcoal to create a little bit of smoke, (or if you’re using gas, wrap them up in foil leaving a little hole at the top). Once that gets going, put the onion skewers on until they start to sear, turning them occasionally. Same with the tomatoes, but they’ll only need a few seconds a side — any longer and they’ll start to fall apart.

Now onto the avocado halves. Some people peel them completely and leave them on the grill for several minutes each side. I’m not one of those people, as I prefer to leave the skin on and grill only the one side for a couple minutes, rotating frequently until you can see visible grill marks. Remember, this is all done for flavor, so err on the side of caution and don’t overdo it with any of these veggies.

After you’ve got all your veggies grilled to your liking, start cutting them up and mix it together like a normal batch of guacamole, along with all the cilantro, jalepenos (these can also be grilled), and lemon juice you’d normally use. It might not look that different, but those few minutes on the grill will add a rich, smokey flavor. Christian Long

Grilled Cheese

 

I remember hearing grilled cheese and thinking I was going to get a sandwich from a grill top — all buttery and cheese-y. I was very mistaken. One: I was outside, in a city park at a BBQ, no diner grill top in sight. Two: I was about to get a piece of cheese that had been grilled on said BBQ. Halloumi is a Turkish semi-hard cheese that is made to be grilled. It sears perfectly and has a high melting point, with the taste somewhere between a hard mozzarella and an edam. The hot cheese came off the grill and went into a piece of bread that had been dipped in olive oil and lemon juice. It was quickly topped with a little broad leaf parsley, cherry tomatoes, and thinly sliced red onion. It is a cheese sandwich I love to this day — hot, funky, and acidic, full of crunch. Zachary Johnston

Gilled Lunchmeat

Grilled-Lunchmeat
Shutterstock

If you’ve never tried it, grilled lunchmeat can be a surprisingly tasty burger topping. You’ll have to move quickly, and probably do it over foil for the floppier meats, but it can get a nice char lightning fast. – Dan Seitz

Grilled Oreos

Back when I was fat (i.e. this morning), I used to grill Oreo cookies on the grill for a quick dessert item at Fourth of July barbecues with friends and family, or any other occasion for which a grill was needed, really. Seeing as how these highly processed foodstuffs are already good to go, it doesn’t take much to cook ’em. They taste just like s’mores, albeit burnt Oreo-flavored ones. – Andrew Husband

Grilled Pound Cake

A photo posted by Albie Robles (@albierobles) on Apr 24, 2016 at 10:29pm PDT

 

The pound cake is one of the oldest desserts in existence, so-named because original recipes called for a pound of sugar, a pound of flour, a pound of butter, and a pound of eggs. But the pound cake has weathered the test of time as a dessert, and modern chefs are always coming up with wild ways to reimagine it without having to change it completely.

Enter grilled pound cake. With either an indoor or outdoor grill, in only minutes you could be enjoying a crispy, buttery twist on one of the most basic desserts. It’s a great way to use up leftover pound cake, though no one would complain if you baked up a pound cake just for the occasion. (Alton Brown’s recipe is great, or I suppose you could get store-bought…)

Fire up your grill to medium heat. If it’s a charcoal grill, make sure to use a relatively flavorless heat source. Make sure the grill is totally clean — you don’t want your dessert to taste like hot dog drippings. Cover the grates with foil if they are too wide. Take thick slices of pound cake and butter both sides, then place on the grill — about two minutes on each side should do it.

Serve with grilled peaches, grilled pineapple, berry compote, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, your favorite flavor of ice cream, or any combination thereof. The slight smokiness will taste amazing with the sweet flavors of fruit and vanilla and the crunchy, grilled exterior will give you a tantalizing new perspective on what pound cake can be. – Jennifer C. Martin

Grilled Knishes

My love affair with square potato knishes (aka The Coney Island Knish) was challenged when I had my first bite of a flakey baked potato knish from the Carnegie Deli when I was a kid. But at a barbecue, if I want to mix it up and add a surprising starch that is closer to being hand food than a knife and fork entry (which makes me a hero), then a grilled square knish is a fantastic treat.

First, I brush a little melted butter onto the knish and add a light sprinkle of salt. The whole thing will get super hot, so I always ventilate the knish by stabbing it with a fork a few times before cooking. 

I let the knish rest on the grate and cook. I’m all about eyeballing — everything I grill is done by feel and instinct to determine when things are done. That’s why I make amazing grilled food once every 7-12 sessions and burn everything else rather than roll the dice with food poisoning. You want the knish to get a little charred up and hard. Anyway, once it’s done, you need to let it cool down before trying to eat it. It’s a pocket of flaming potato, for goodness sake. – Jason Tabrys

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