This time of year, as Spring is just starting to give way to Summer, we all want to be outside. But in most families’ busy lives, important things like making dinner keep us from enjoying the weather and even our families. So tonight, instead of turning on the stove and heating up the kitchen, kick everyone outside, fire up the coals (or the gas) and grill an entire healthy dinner for your family in the cool comfort of your backyard.
This menu serves 4-6 but can be modified to suit your family.
- Grilled Onion Salad
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
- Maple Glazed Salmon
- Baked Apples on the Grill
Grilled Onion Salad
- 1 head iceberg or Romaine lettuce (the crunch is good)
- 1 large red onion
- 1 large red pepper
- 1 large yellow pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2-1 cup of Vidalia Onion Salad dressing (or your favorite vinaigrette or ceasar dressing)
- Slice the onion in half (top to bottom) and then into thin rings. Slice the peppers into thin ribs.
- Combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder. Toss with the cut vegetables in a plastic bag or bowl.
- In a grill basket or pan, grill onion and peppers until they are soft with some charring. Allow to cool.
- Cut up or tear lettuce. Combine lettuce, grilled vegetables, and salad dressing (amount to your taste) in a large bowl. Chill until ready to eat, up to 30 minutes.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
- 6 ears fresh corn in the husks
- Do not shuck the corn. Soak the ears in water for at least 30 minutes.
- Put corn on the grill over indirect heat for about 20 minutes (line the outsides to leave space for additional grilling). Some of the husks will char but this is ok and helps with the flavor.
- To serve, peel back the husks and eat whole. The grilled corn has a naturally butter flavor so it’s best eaten as is.
Maple Glazed Salmon
- 2 lbs salmon
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup
- 4 Tbsp soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 pinch dried ginger (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except the salmon. Ensure that the syrup and soy sauce are fully combined.
- Lay the salmon in a baking dish, skin side down, and pour the marinade over the salmon. Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes, turning the salmon at least once to distribute the flavors.
- Grill the salmon, skin side down, for 10-15 minutes or until done, turning once near the end of cooking to produce grill marks if desired.. You may use a fish basket but usually the salmon skin holds up nicely to grilling.
Baked Apples on the Grill
- 6 apples, peeled and cored (granny smiths are best but any will do)
- 3/4 cup oats
- 3 tbsp butter softened
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup apple juice
- Combine oats, butter, brown sugar, flour, and 2 Tbsp apple juice in a small bowl (toss into a food processor if it’s easier).
- Pull off 6 sheets of aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Set each apple on a sheet of foil and fill with an equal amount of the oats mixture.
- Fold the foil around the apples and top each with 1 Tbsp of the apple juice before sealing.
- Put the apples on the grill on medium heat and allow to cook for 20 minutes. They should be slightly soft.
- Cut the apples open and serve in bowls with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Don’t lose the juice in the foil, pour it over the ice cream.
- Use 1/4 cup good rum instead of the apple juice for a more adult dessert.
- If your coals are starting to cool, set the apples on the grill, cover, and allow to cook longer as you enjoy dinner.