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Unlikely Foods For The Grill

If you think an outdoor grill is only good for burgers and hot dogs, you're missing out on a lot.

The latest issue of Gourmet magazine (www.gourmet.com) has recipes for grilling just about any food you can think of.

Gourmet's executive editor, John Willoughby, served several up on The Early Show Thursday.

All are easy, yet sophisticated, and show just how versatile the grill can be. And all involve foods you probably wouldn't ordinarily think to grill.

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FOOD TERMINOLOGY

CEVICHE: Ceviche is a preparation common in Latin American countries. Although ceviche most commonly refers to fish, just about anything can be made into a ceviche. A ceviche is a preparation in which the fish is cooked with the acid of citrus juices (usually lemon or lime) and flavored with aromatic vegetables. The dish is believed to originate from Peru. Traditionally served essentially raw after it's been "cooked" by the citrus juice, Willoughby grills it while using a classic combo of the traditional ceviche ingredients.

RECIPES

GRILLED SCALLOP CEVICHE

Serves 6 (First Course)

Active Time: 30 mins. Start to Finish: 1-1/2 hours (includes marinating)

Though it's not a true ceviche, since the scallops are already cooked when they hit the marinade, the classic combination of refreshing citrus acid from orange and lime juice, heat from jalapeño, crunch from cucumber, and sweetness from the scallops themselves becomes even more intriguing with the added layer of flavor from the grill. This is the perfect way to start off this menu, as the bold marinade stirs up the appetite for the substantial main course.

1 1/2 lb large sea scallops (about 20), tough ligament removed from side of each if attached
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 navel orange
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3/4 seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped), halved lengthwise, cored, and thinly sliced (2 cups)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallot
1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh jalapeño chile, including seeds
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: 5 metal or wooden skewers (if using wooden, soak in water 30 minutes)

Toss scallops with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then thread 4 scallops onto each skewer.

Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over high heat; see cooks' notes, below.

Oil grill rack, then grill scallops, covered only if using a gas grill, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cool slightly.

While scallops cool, cut peel, including white pith, from orange with a sharp paring knife, then cut segments free from membranes. Coarsely chop enough segments to measure 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Transfer to a large bowl (reserve remaining orange segments for another use). Stir in the lime juice, cucumber, shallot, jalapeno (to taste), and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

When scallops are cool enough to handle, halve each crosswise (quarter if large), then add to cucumber mixture, tossing to combine. Marinate, covered and chilled, until cold, at least 1 hour. Just before serving, stir in cilantro.

COOKS' NOTES: If you're making the entire menu and using a charcoal grill, the coals will need to be replenished before you grill the steaks and peppers. Instead of grilling the scallops, you can cook them in a hot, lightly oiled well-seasoned ridged grill pan, uncovered. Cooked scallops can be marinated up to 3 hours.

GRILLED RIB-EYE STEAKS WITH ROASTED-PEPPER SALSA

Serves 6

Active time: 35 mins. Start to Finish: 1-3/4 hours

It's made from one of the hottest chiles on earth, so heat seekers can slather the salsa all over their rib eyes with bravado. But those with refined taste buds will appreciate how the peppers" sweet fruitiness cuts through the rich, meaty steaks.

FOR SALSA
6 red bell peppers (2 lb)
1 to 2 habanero or Scotch bonnet chiles, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

FOR STEAK
4 (1 1/2-inch-thick) bone-in rib-eye steaks (7 lb)
3 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: an instant-read thermometer

GARNISH: flaky sea salt such as Maldon

MAKE SALSA: Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (moderately high heat for gas); see cooks' note below.

Oil grill rack, then grill bell peppers, covered only if using a gas grill, turning occasionally, until slightly softened and charred, 15 to 20 minutes.

Transfer bell peppers to a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap, then let stand 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel peppers, discarding stems and sees, and cut lengthwise into thin strips. Toss with remaining salsa ingredients.

GRILL STEAKS: Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (moderately high heat for gas); see cooks' note below.

Pat steaks dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Oil grill rack, then sear steaks directly over coals, uncovered, turning over once and moving to area of grill with no coals underneath if flare-ups occur, until well browned, 4 to 6 minutes total. Move steaks to area with no coals underneath and grill, covered, until thermometer inserted into center of meat (do not touch bone) registers 120ºF for medium rare, 8 to 12 minutes more. Transfer steaks to a cutting board and let stand 15 minutes.

COOKS' NOTES: If you're using a charcoal grill for the peppers and steaks, the coals will need to be replenished and rearranged before you grill the steaks. Instead of grilling the peppers, you can broil them on rack of a broiler pan about 2 inches from heat, turning occasionally with tongs, until skins are blackened, 20 to 30 minutes, then proceed with recipe.

Steaks can be grilled in a hot lightly oiled well-seasoned large (2-burner) ridged grill pan, uncovered, turning over once, about 10 minutes total. Reduce heat to moderately low and cook steaks, covered with an inverted roasting pan, turning over occasionally 10 to 15 minutes more for medium-rare.

Salsa, without parsley, can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Stir in parsley just before serving.

ROASTED POTATOES WITH SOUR CREAM AND BACON

Serves 6

Active Time: 15 mins. Start to Finish 1-1/4 hours

Since these potatoes are "hasslebacked," or sliced accordion-style, before baking, the scallions and bacon fat really penetrate; the sour cream and bacon are the icing on the cake. (The dish has been known to elicit marriage proposals from strangers and tears from bacon lovers.)

6 bacon slices (6 oz)
1/2 cup sliced white parts of scallions plus 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallion greens (from
1 bunch)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 medium russet (baking) potatoes (2 1/2 lb)
1 (8-oz) container sour cream

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: 12-inch wide heavy-duty foil

Cook bacon in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning over occasionally, until browned and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, then carefully transfer drippings from skillet to a small heatproof bowl and stir in white parts of scallions, salt, and pepper.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450ºF. Tear off 6 (1-foot long) sheets of heavy-duty foil.

Make deep crosswise cuts in potatoes 1/4 inch apart, leaving bottom 1/4 inch intact (do not cut all the way through). Place each potato on a sheet of foil and drizzle each with 1 tablespoon bacon-dripping mixture, separating slices to allow some to drip into cuts. Gather up foil around potatoes, crimping foil to tightly enclose.

Roast potatoes until tender, 45 to 50 minutes.

Just before serving, stir together sour cream and scallion greens and crumble bacon over mixture.

Carefully open foil packets and transfer packets to a platter. Serve potatoes with sour-cream topping.

COOKS' NOTES: Potatoes can be roasted on a grill prepared for indirect-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (moderate for gas).

Sour cream topping, without crumbled bacon, can be made 2 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Just before serving crumble bacon over topping.

GRILLED SUMMER SQUASH AND ZUCCHINI
Serves 6

Active time: 20 mins. Start to Finish: 40 mins

Grilled and then tossed with a simple mustard vinaigrette, these vegetables turn tender and juicy, providing an idea foil for the heart grilled steak.

6 medium yellow squash and/or green zucchini (3 lb)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons coarse-grain mustard
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Prepare grill for indirect-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (high heat for gas).

Trim squash and/or zucchini and halve lengthwise, the toss with salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl.

Oil grill rack, then grill vegetables directly over hottest part of coals, covered only if using a gas grill, turning over once, until grill marks appear, about 6 minutes total. Move vegetables to area of grill with no coals underneath and grill, covered, until tender, about 4 minutes more. Transfer to a platter.

While vegetables are grilling, whisk together lemon juice, mustard, sugar, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small bowl. Pour dressing evenly over vegetables before serving.

COOKS' NOTES: If you aren't able to grill outdoors, squash and/or zucchini can be cooked in a hot lightly oiled well-seasoned large (2-burner) ridged grill pan over moderately high heat, turning over occasionally, until just cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes total.

If you are making this entire menu, grill squash and/or zucchini while steaks are standing.

GRILLED CAESAR SALAD

Serves 6

Active Time: 30 mins. Start to Finish: 45 mins

Just when the crowd thinks you're done with the grill, surprise them with this; the romaine's leaves char slightly but stay fresh and crisp. With grilled croutons and garlicky Caesar anchovy dressing, this is a salad that event chest-beating carnivores can bet behind.

2 flat anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 (1/2-inch-thick) slices baguette
1 large egg
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
3 hearts of romaine (18 oz)
1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)

Purèe anchovies, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth.

Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (moderate heat for gas); see cooks' note, below.

Brush both sides of baguette slices with some of anchovy dressing, then grill bread, turning over occasionally, until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg and lemon juice to dressing in blender and blend until emulsified, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt.

Cut romaine hearts in half lengthwise, then grill, cut sides down, covered only if using a gas grill, until grill marks just appear, about 2 minutes. Cut romaine crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips and transfer to bowl.

Halve or quarter toasts and add to romaine along with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Toss salad with just enough dressing to coat and serve immediately.

COOKS' NOTES: If you aren't able to grill outdoors, bread and romaine can be grilled in a hot lightly oiled well-seasoned ridged grill pan over moderately high heat.

If you're making this entire menu and using a charcoal grill, after frilling steaks and vegetables over indirect heat, spread out coals across bottom rack for direct-heat grilling (for romaine and bread).

Bread can be brushed with anchovy mixture; romaine can be washed and halved; and dressing can be made 4 hours ahead and chilled separately, covered.

The egg in this recipe is not cooked, which may be of concern if salmonella is a problem in your area. You can use pasteurized eggs (sold in the shell).

STOUT FLOATS (dessert)

Serves 6

Active Time: 10 mins. Start to Finish: 10 min

In these floats, the brandy's luscious fruitiness bridges the gap between the sweet ice cream and bitter beer.

2 pints super-premium vanilla ice cream
6 tablespoons blackberry brandy
4 chilled 12-oz bottles stout, such as oatmeal stout, chocolate-style beer, or
Guinness

Divide ice cream among 6 (16-ounce) glasses, then add 1 tablespoon brandy to each. Slowly pour 8 ounces stout into each glass.

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