Yes, it’s barbecue season. But even the most die-hard grill-masters get a little tired of the same old burgers ‘n’ dogs all the time. Want to fire up your culinary creativity? Check out these surprising—and unexpectedly delicious—things you can cook on the grill.
Remember that chain Mexican restaurant that used to serve deep-fried ice cream? Indulge your 1980s nostalgia with this grill-friendly recipe. Roll well-frozen balls of ice cream repeatedly in beaten eggs and coconut, then skewer and grill. It’s time consuming, and a little fussy, but imagine how invincible you’ll feel when you pull still-frozen ice cream out of your barbecue and your guests are struck speechless with awe.
This is the unfussy person’s method of baking a pie—pile fruit tossed with sugar and flour in a round of pastry, fold in half, seal, and chuck on some foil placed on your grill. To prep your barbecue, preheat it with half the elements on and half off. When it’s nice and hot, place your foil and pies on the side that’s turned off, turn off the gas and close the lid. Once the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbly, you’ve got pie.
Halloumi, a sheep’s-milk cheese, is ideal for grilling because it has a high melting point. In fact, it’s the same cheese that’s often lit on fire with great flourish in Greek restaurants.In this iteration, it’s grilled (grilled cheese—get it?) and added to a fresh summer salad.
Grilling your cucumbers before making them into pickles lends a smoky sophistication to a standard summer snack. These pickles, made spicy with red pepper flakes and sweet with sugar, are perfect for nibbling or slicing onto a burger—and would also be a great garnish to a kicked-up Bloody Caesar.
Your university go-to dinner has grown up right along with you. Ramen is all the rage these days, and by marinating and grilling a block of ramen in (super-convenient) teryaki sauce, you’ll end up with a delicious chewy-crunchy topping for an Asian-inspired salad (think greens with sesame seeds and mandarin segments) or a side dish for teryaki salmon. Change up the marinating liquid for a different meal—jerk sauce for a Jamaican feast.
Those expanding foil packets are great fun, but you can save a little money by making your own packet out of an aluminum baking pan and popping your kernels in the barbecue.
Finishing cooked pasta in an oil-coated grill basket on the barbecue crisps it up and lends an irresistible smokiness that pairs well with a rich tomato sauce. It’s even better if you’re incorporating bacon or another smoked meat into the sauce.
This recipe incorporates grilled chickpeas to make a spicy, smoky hummus, but be warned—you’re going to have to rig up a pan to make sure your chickpeas don’t end up in the flames. If you do, you’ll find that a little charring is a great flavour booster.