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Grilling Recipes

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Grilling Recipes
By Lori Ross


All recipes serve four people.
Miniature Grilled Eggplant Parmesan
Grilled Seafood Salad
Mediterranean Brined and Grilled Pork
Bacon, Figs, and Cheese

Miniature Grilled Eggplant Parmesan
1/4 c. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 t. dried hot red-pepper flakes
8-oz. jar tomato sauce
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 large eggplant
16 thin slices mozzarella (not fresh)
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook garlic and red-pepper flakes, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in basil and Parmesan. Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over moderate heat. Slice eggplant into 1-inch-thick rounds. Brush slices with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Grill eggplant, covered, turning over once, until tender, about 5 minutes total. Remove from grill. Spread each slice with about 1 tablespoon tomato sauce and top with a slice of mozzarella. Transfer to a cookie sheet or grill pan and place on grill, covered, until cheese is just melted, about 4-5 minutes. Serve two mini eggplant Parmesans per person.

Grilled Seafood Salad
6 T. oil
4 T. lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for garnish
1 T. chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 t. paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
3 lb. mixed shellfish (shrimp, scallops, squid, clams) and fish (1-inch-thick firm fillet of tuna, swordfish, salmon, or halibut, cut into 2-inch strips)
Whisk 3 tablespoons of the oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, and paprika in small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Oil grill rack and prepare for medium-high direct heat. Arrange seafood on baking sheet and drizzle with 3 tablespoons oil; turn to coat, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer seafood to grill. Cook until just opaque in center, about 4 minutes per side for fish, 2 minutes per side for shrimp, and 30 seconds per side for squid. Arrange hot seafood on platter and drizzle with dressing. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Mediterranean Brined and Grilled Pork
A seasoned brining solution causes meat to absorb liquid, making it juicier and tastier when cooked. It is especially good for today's lean pork, turkey, and skinless, boneless chicken. Six to 12 hours is the optimal time for brining. Slightly less time is fine; brining for longer than 12 hours will change the texture of the meat. If you don't want to cook brined meats immediately, drain the brine, place meat in a baggie, and refrigerate up to several days before cooking.
1/2 c. salt
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. maple syrup
1–1/2 T. mustard
1 t. hot red-pepper flakes
1/4 t. whole cloves
1/4 c. chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 T. dried)
1 T. chopped fresh thyme (or 1/4 t. dried)
6 garlic cloves, smashed
4 c. water
4 center-cut loin pork chops (1–1/2 inches thick) or 2 whole pork tenderloins
Coarsely ground black pepper
Oil for grilling
Mix all of the brine ingredients together in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes, stirring halfway through to ensure that the salt, sugar, and maple syrup have dissolved. Let the brine cool, then place in a plastic or glass container and add the pork. Cover and refrigerate for 6-12 hours.
When ready to cook, prepare grill with hot and medium cooking areas. (For gas, set one burner on high and one on medium; for charcoal, bank charcoal to one side of grill and leave an area without coals on the other side.) Remove meat from the brine and pat dry (without rinsing). Season the meat with pepper (not salt, because the brining solution is salty), and brush with the oil. Sear meat directly over the hottest part of the open grill for about 2 minutes on each side. Then move the meat to the medium-heat area of the grill, cover the grill, and cook to desired doneness (about 25-30 minutes total for chicken and 20 minutes total for pork). You may also want to use an instant-read digital thermometer to check the internal temperature (145-150°F indicates medium, and 160°F indicates well done). Remember that the meat continues to cook for 5 minutes after you take it off the grill, so you may want to take it off before it is well done. Make the Mediterranean vinaigrette (see recipe below) to serve with the cooked pork.

Mediterranean Vinaigrette
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T. chopped fresh rosemary (or 1/2 t. dried)
1 t. dried hot red-pepper flakes
1 t. salt
1/3 c. oil
Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, hot red-pepper flakes, salt, and oil until blended. Transfer cooked pork to bowl containing the vinaigrette and turn to coat, then transfer to a serving platter and keep warm, loosely covered with foil. Serve pork with remaining vinaigrette on the side.


  • Brine and grill chicken using recipe above.
  • A simple brine consisting of 2 quarts cold water, 1/8 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup salt is plainer but equally effective for brining chicken or pork.
  • Make an Asian vinaigrette to toss on the cooked chicken or pork for a different flavor:

Asian Vinaigrette
1/4 c. lime juice, plus 4 limes, halved crosswise
2 T. Asian fish sauce
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 T. finely chopped fresh mint
1/4 c. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 t. dried hot red-pepper flakes
1 t. salt
1/2 c. vegetable oil
Whisk together lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, mint, cilantro, red-pepper flakes, and salt in a large bowl, then add oil in a stream, whisking until combined. Transfer cooked pork to bowl containing the vinaigrette and turn to coat, then transfer to a serving platter and keep warm, loosely covered with foil. Serve chicken or pork with remaining vinaigrette on the side.