Burgers, ribs, hot dogs — at the height of summer barbecue season, you may be suffering from meat overload. Luckily, there are plenty of other options, thanks to New Jersey’s outstanding range of summer fruits and vegetables. After all, they don’t call it the Garden State for nothin’! The easy recipes below can give your neighborhood cheeseburger stiff competition on the grill. Pair them with any number of wines and beers made in New Jersey for plenty of flavor fireworks.
Perfect Spicy Grilled Corn
4 ears fresh corn, with husks
Butter, as needed
Cotija cheese, as desired
Chili powder, as desired
Lime wedges (optional)
1. Peel back the husks and remove as much of the silk as possible. Next, pull the corn husks back over each ear and place in water for 10-12 minutes to help preserve moisture during the cooking process.
2. Place the corn on the hot grill and cover. Allow the corn to cook, turning occasionally, until the husks are charred on all sides, 15-20 minutes.
3. Remove the corn from the grill and set aside to rest and cool. When the corn is cool enough to handle, strip the husks and place each ear on a platter. Top the corn with butter, cotija cheese, and chili powder. Serve with lime wedges, if desired, and a cool pint of Farmhouse Summer Ale from Flying Fish Brewery.
Yield: 4 Servings
Grilled Jersey Peaches with Balsamic Glaze
4 ripe Jersey Fresh peaches, halved and pitted
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons black or pink peppercorns, whole
Plain nonfat yogurt or vanilla ice cream, as desired
1. Combine the vinegar, sugar and peppercorns in a small saucepan. Cook the mixture, stirring frequently, over medium heat until reduced by half. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Oil the grill and set it to a medium-high heat. Place the peaches on the grill, cut side down, and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the peaches are caramelized.
3. Turn the peaches, and gently brush the tops with the balsamic glaze. Continue cooking the peaches until tender and charred, about 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
4. Serve the grilled peaches with a dollop of nonfat yogurt or vanilla ice cream. For extra indulgence, drizzle a bit of leftover glaze on top. Try it with a crisp glass of 2014 dry Riesling from Alba Vineyard.
Yield: 4 Servings
Grilled Summer Vegetables and Lemon Verbena Marinade
Recipe courtesy of Chef Candy Argondizza, Vice President of Culinary and Pastry Arts, International Culinary Center
For the Marinade
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 lemon verbena leaves, chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3 oz. Champagne vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Vegetables
1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch round slices
2 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices
2 red peppers, halved and seeded
2 green peppers, halved and seeded (optional)
To Make the Marinade:
1. Combine the olive oil, lemon verbena leaves, garlic and vinegar. Mix well, then taste and season as desired with salt and pepper.
2. Cover and set aside for 1 hour.
To Grill the Vegetables
1. Set the grill to medium-high heat. Working in batches, place the vegetables on the hot grill and brush with the marinade.
2. Grill the vegetables until they are tender and slightly charred. This should take about 8-10 minutes for the peppers, and about 6-8 minutes for the eggplant and zucchini.
3. Arrange the vegetables on a platter, and break out the rosé. Try it with the award-winning Jersey Blush from Heritage Vineyards.
Yield: 4 Servings
About the author: Michele Thomas is professionally curious; she likes to learn stuff. A certified sommelier with 15 years of experience writing about food, wine, education and the arts, she chronicles her wine escapades as the Bed–Stuy Sommelier (@BedStuySomm) on Instagram and Twitter.
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