Grilling recipes that will make you flip

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There’s nothing like the sizzle of meat as it hits the grill and the aroma that wafts through the air. It’s grilling time, so grab your tongs and get ready to enjoy summer.

Grilled Vegetables with Chimichurri Sauce
Makes 4 servings.

Chimichurri Sauce

1 bunch parsley
½ cup cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried)
2 large garlic cloves
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin                                           
2/3cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
3/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)

Vegetables

16 ounces button mushrooms
1 zucchini
1 small red onion
1 yellow squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat grill to 450.

To make the sauce: Place parsley and cilantro leaves and the rest of the chimichurri ingredients in a food processor and chop for 45 seconds. It’s best to make this 30 minutes in advance.

To make skewers: Slice vegetables and skewer them. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

When the grill is hot, add vegetables and lower the lid. Cook 3-6 minutes per side, depending on how crisp you like your vegetables (3 minutes will produce crisp veggies, and 6 will be tender). Only flip the skewers once.

When the vegetables are done, liberally drizzle with chimichurri sauce and serve.

Tips: You will have leftover chimichurri sauce, and it will keep for several days in the refrigerator. Here are some ways you can use it: stir 1-2 tablespoons in store-bought hummus; brush it on grilled chicken, shrimp or flank steak; spread it on French bread, top with cheese and bake for a twist on herb garlic bread; use it in potato salad; use it as an oil dipping sauce with soft Italian bread.

In terms of flavor, the mushrooms are amazing with this sauce, so I use extra mushrooms. You can also use other vegetables in these kebabs, such as bell peppers or grape tomatoes.

Grilled Pork Chops with Apple Butter BBQ Sauce & Granny Smith Salsa

Makes 4 servings.

4 pork chops (1/2 inch thick)                                     
1 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Salsa

2 Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons red onion, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons apple juice
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce
¼ cup apple butter
¼ cup barbecue sauce (Kansas City-style recommended)

Place pork chops in a large dish and add the apple juice. Marinate for 10 minutes, then flip the chops and marinate another 10 minutes. Remove from the juice. (Do not over-marinate or it will make the pork tough.)

Drizzle olive oil over pork and then heavily salt each side and add pepper. Set aside.

To make the salsa: Core the apples and then place them in a food processor. Chop and transfer to a bowl. Add all remaining salsa ingredients and stir. Set aside.

To make the sauce: Stir together apple butter and barbecue sauce.

Heat grill to 400. Place pork on grill and cover with lid. Grill 6-7 minutes, then flip the pork. Cover and cook 4 minutes. Open the lid and cook another 1-2 minutes, or until pork is done.

Serve with apple salsa on top and barbecue sauce on the side.

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

Makes 4 servings.

4 thin-sliced chicken breasts                                 
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
Pepper to taste
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
Salt to taste
8  basil leaves, thinly sliced
2  table-spoons red onion, minced

It is important to buy the pre-packaged thinly sliced chicken breasts (or use a meat tenderizer mallet to pound chicken to evenly thin portions) for this recipe because they cook quickly and the chicken stays moist.

Heat grill to 425.

Rub chicken breasts with olive oil and season both sides with seasoned salt and pepper.

Place chicken on grill and cover with the lid. Grill 4 minutes 30 seconds on first side. Flip over and grill 4 minutes with the lid open. Test the chicken to be sure it’s done. Place on a platter and cover with foil for 5 minutes.

Season tomatoes with salt. Top chicken with tomatoes, basil, onion and serve.

Yum Yum Asian Burgers
Makes 3 servings.

Yum Yum Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise                                 
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Burgers

1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
¾ teaspoon salt, divided in half
1 bag chopped Asian salad
3 hamburger buns

Yum Yum sauce is the pink sauce served at Japanese steakhouses. For the sauce, stir together all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Heat grill to 400.

Mix together the beef, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic powder, pepper and half the salt. Form into three patties. Sprinkle remaining salt on the outside of the burgers.

Place burgers on grill and close the lid. Grill 5 minutes, then check the burgers. It should be time to flip. If not, cook one more minute. Grill 5-6 minutes on the other side for well-done burgers (shave off 2 minutes for a little pink center).

Prepare Asian salad according to package directions and put a heaping serving on each burger. Spread Yum Yum sauce on the bun and serve.

Juliana Goodwin is a food columnist, cookbook author and avid traveler. If you have a question, email julianalovesfood23@gmail.com.

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