Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Perfect Grilling Sides


Rather than pairing the normal chips or fries with our grilled food, we like to get the use out of some veggies from the garden.  And yes, these are easy enough to pick up at the store regardless.  As a matter of fact you may already have them in the house.  But think outside the box (or potato chip bag in this case) and choose your favorite vegetable to put on the grill.

We usually slice up a Vidalia onion and a couple potatoes for our grillin’ sides.  With a little oil, a touch of seasoning and some time on the grill you’ll come out looking like a real grill master.  Never mind the fact that these can be healthier for you.  I say can because sometimes we heap up the butter on the potato rather than using oil – it’s all a matter of what you want to eat.


Grilled Onion
Ingredients
1 Large Vidalia onion
2 TBLS Olive oil
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp Black pepper, ground
2 tsp Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning

Directions
Slice the onion (or onions if you have a more than 2 – 4 people) about ¼ - ½ inch thick keeping the rings intact.  Place the onion rings in a shallow bowl.  Pour olive oil over the onion slices and then add your seasonings.  I just mix these by hand until all have oil and seasoning on both sides.  This can be done at any time so they are ready to put on the grill when the coals are hot.

Place aluminum foil on the grill (enough to hold all the onion rings flat).  You can place the onions directly on the grill but they do have a tendency to fall in to the coals.  This can be over direct heat or to the side of the coals so you can put something else on the grill.  It is perfectly fine for the onions to blacken as long as you don’t let them blacken more than the surface. 

Flip the onions when they are charred on one side (time depends on whether they are over direct heat or not as well as how many coals you have in the grill).  It can take up to 30 minutes total grilling time on a grill that is only 350 - 400°F.

Remove from grill when charred on both sides and translucent.  If they are finished before the main course transfer them to the warming shelf of the grill until you need them.  These are so good I plan for one onion to feed 2 – 3 people.


Grilled Potato
Ingredients
1 Medium potato
2 TBLS Olive oil
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Parsley flakes

Optional:
Butter - Replace the olive oil with the same amount of butter
Seasoning – Use your favorite seasoning, such as:
Black pepper
Rosemary
Thyme
Cayenne flakes
Chili powder
Curry powder
Etc, etc and etc – you get the idea!

Directions
Slice the potato into ¼ inch slices.  Place these in a shallow bowl.  Pour olive oil over the potato slices and then add your seasonings.  I just mix these by hand until all have oil and seasoning on both sides.  This can be done at any time so they are ready to put on the grill when the coals are hot.

Place aluminum foil on the grill (enough to hold all the potato slices flat).  This can be over direct heat or to the side of the coals so you can put something else on the grill.  It is perfectly fine for the potatoes to blacken as long as you don’t let them blacken more than the surface. 

Flip the slices when they are charred on one side (time depends on whether they are over direct heat or not as well as how many coals you have in the grill).  It can take up to 45 minutes total grilling time on a grill that is only 350 - 400°F.

Remove from grill when charred on both sides.  If you’re not sure, take a bite out of one of the slices.  If they are finished before the main course transfer them to the warming shelf of the grill until you need them.  Each medium potato can feed 1 – 2 people each depending on how hungry and how many sides you fix.


By the way, you may want to see my thoughts on charcoal grilling - if so, click here.


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