In the heat of summer, the goal at my house is to keep the oven off as much as possible. One summer I tried to cook and bake everything on and in my grill. I was mostly successful but a few things pushed
the boundaries of what is edible. Ultimately, a new cooking method requires some trial, error and practice. By the end of summer, I felt as if my grill and myself had a better understanding of each other. We had found our groove.
Pizzas, kebabs and grilling all the veggies are on top of our summer grilling list. When cooking for a crowd, nothing beats kebabs and grilled peppers with onions. Simple perfection and easily prepped ahead of time. Of course, the classics make an appearance as well – hotdogs, brats and burgers.
But what about dessert? Last summer, amid all the changes, Square One hosted a virtual cooking class all about grilled desserts. It was an opportunity to do something a little different and at a location where we normally would not host a class. I cleaned up the outdoor grill space at my house and Chef Randall Toenges and myself set up a little outdoor studio. Participants fired up their grills and logged on to take their dessert-making outside.
These recipes utilize mostly pantry staples, fresh fruit and some prepared items (but you can always make your own from scratch if you prefer) such as pound cake and cheesecake.
Now check out these recipes from Chef Randall, fire up your grill and end your summer nights with a crisp beverage and some grilled desserts while breathing in this most beautiful time of year.
1. Grilled Peaches With Spicy Agave-Lime Drizzle
- 1/4c. plain greek yogurt
- 2T. water
- 1⁄8 jalapeno (optional)
- 1 lime
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1⁄4.c agave nectar
- 2 peaches
- 2T. candied almond slices
Combine water, jalapeno (seeds and all) and zest of 1⁄2 of a lime in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Let mixture steep for 5 minutes. Strain and stir in agave nectar. Let cool.
Light your grill to medium heat and halve your peaches, removing the pit. Brush the flesh of each peach half with olive oil.
Place peaches cut side down on the grill and cook undisturbed until grill marks appear – about 4-5 minutes. Rotate the peaches 90 degrees to create perpendicular grill marks and grill an additional 4-5 minutes until peaches are soft. Top with yogurt, drizzle with
2. Grilled Pound Cake With Strawberries, Balsamic Caramel and Rosemary Chantilly
- 4 skewers (if wood, soak beforehand in water)
- 4 – 2” thick slices of pound cake, cut into 1-1⁄2” cubes
- 8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled
- Balsamic Caramel
- 1/4c. balsamic vinegar
- 1t. brown sugar
- 1/4c. prepared caramel sauce
- 1 pinch sea salt
- Rosemary Chantilly
- 1/2.c. heavy whipping cream
- 2t. powdered sugar
- 1/4t. fresh rosemary, chopped finel
Combine balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer until mixture is 1⁄3 its original volume.
Once it’s the consistency of maple syrup, remove from heat. Stir in caramel sauce, sea salt and set aside.
Whip heavy cream and powdered sugar in a chilled bowl to form medium-stiff peaks. Fold in rosemary. Keep cool.
Heat grill to 350F. Place alternating pieces of pound cake and strawberries evenly on the skewers. Lightly oil your grill and place skewers on oiled grill grates. Toast the cake on all sides while basting the strawberries with the caramel sauce, reserving some sauce for garnish.
Once the pound cake is toasted, plate the skewers and garnish with remaining balsamic caramel and whipped cream.
3. Grilled Pineapple and Brown Sugar Relish
- 1 pineapple
- 2T. + 2t. vegetable oil
- 4T. butter
- 1c. dark brown sugar
- 3T. dark rum
- 3/4c. heavy cream
- Couple pinches of sea salt
- Poundcake, cheesecake, biscuits, etc.
Heat grill to high. Peel whole pineapple, core and remove top. Slice into approximately 1” thick slices. Brush slices on both sides with oil and place on the grill. Grill until golden brown and caramelized on both sides – about 6 minutes per side. Remove from grill and cool. Once cooled, rough chop the pineapple to obtain a crushed- like consistency.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over high heat. Add brown sugar and rum. Cook, whisking until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Whisk in heavy cream and cook until it comes to a boil and thickens slightly. Add crushed pineapple and boil the mixture for another minute or so. Add sea salt.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly before topping your chosen dessert.