It’s Summer Grilling Season

July 11, 2016
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By Debra Morris | PCFMA

Ah, the wonderful smell of summer, the sound of children playing and dogs barking, the garden awash in color with summer flowers, and the mouth-watering smell of food grilling on the barbecue. Yes, summer is here with warm evenings spent outside and friends visiting for good conversation and good food on the patio. Grab a picnic basket and head for the nearest park or campground, or walk out your back door to the patio and fire up the grill. 

What is the difference between barbecuing and grilling, you ask? The confusion lies in the fact that people often use the same equipment for both.

Grill:  Grilling is a high heat cooking method.  Food is directly cooked over hot coals and ready in minutes.  Grilling temperatures usually exceed 500°F, which seals in juices and creates a smoky caramelized crust.   

Barbecue:  In contrast, barbecue is a long, slow, indirect, low heat method that uses smoldering logs or charcoal and wood chunks to smoke-cook food. Barbecue temperatures are usually between 200°F and 300°F. This low heat generates smoke, and the smoke gives barbecue its characteristic flavor. Barbecue is ideally suited to large pieces of meat, whereas grilling is better for vegetables and fruits.

Stop by your local farmers’ market pick up summer fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats and fresh fish to toss on the grill. Never grilled fruits and vegetables? Here’s a basic guideline for cooking them, but check your own cookbooks for details.

Bell Peppers: Cook 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until they begin to shrivel.
Corn on the Cob: Remove husks, wrap in foil. Grill for 20 minutes.
Mushrooms, whole: Grill 7-10 minutes. 
Onions: Slice in half, grill for 3-5 minutes directly on the grill. 
Summer Squash: Slice thick, grill for 5-6 minutes.
Stone Fruit: Cut in half, remove pit. Cook 10 minutes, turning once.
Melons:  Remove rind and cut into eighths. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, turning frequently. Baste lightly with butter to prevent sticking.                                                       

Burnt Stone Fruit with Mascarpone
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup local honey
3 peaches, halved no need to remove the pit at this point, it’ll remove much easier once the stone fruits are cooked through.)
3 nectarines halved (no need to remove the pit at this point, it’ll remove much easier once the stone fruits are cooked through.)
3 apricots halved (no need to remove the pit at this point, it’ll remove much easier once the stone fruits are cooked through.)
Mascarpone, for serving
Balsamico to taste
Two mint stems to use as a brush as a baster

Light grill to medium high heat. In a small bowl, stir the melted butter with the remaining 1/4 cup of honey. Grill the halved apricots, plums and peaches over moderate heat, turning once, until the fruit is tender, about 6 minutes. Baste the apricots, plums and peaches with the butter/honey mixture and continue to grill, turning once and basting again, until caramelized and slightly charred, about 2 minutes or so longer.

Transfer the grilled fruit to plates and add a dollop of mascarpone and top with balasmico and zest of lemon to taste.
Recipe & Photo: Chef Mario Iishi Hernandez, PCFMA Cookin’ the Market Chef

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