Diane Morgan puts gals in charge of the coals in her new book,"Dressed to Grill: Savvy Recipes For Girls Who Play With Fire." Try these recipes at your next outdoor bash and lead a backyard coup!
Cedar-Planked Salmon (serves 4)
Preparation Time: 5-7 minutes
Cedar Plank Soak Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
• 4 salmon filets (about 6 ounces each), skin on and scaled, pin bones removed
• Olive oil, for brushing
• Kosher or sea salt
• Freshly ground pepper
• 8 sprigs fresh thyme
• 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
• 1 lemon, cut into 8 thin slices
• Vegetable oil for brushing grill
• 1 untreated cedar plank, measuring 15 x 7 by 3/8 inches
1. Light grill using Kingsford® Charcoal with Sure Fire Grooves™.
2. Generously brush salmon filets with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
3. Lay 2 sprigs of thyme and 1sprig of rosemary over each filet, pressing them lightly to help adhere.
4. Arrange two slices of lemon, slightly overlapping over top.
5. When ready to grill, place the soaked plank on grill grate directly over the fire and close lid.
6. After a few minutes, the plank will begin to smoke and crackle. Turn the plank over and "toast" the other side, about 2 minutes.
7. Uncover grill; transfer salmon filets to plank. Cover grill. Grill-smoke the salmon until filets are almost opaque throughout, but still very moist, or an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers between 125º and 130ºF, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the filet. Keep a spray bottle with water nearby just in case the plank gets too hot and begins to flame. Extinguish the flame and continue grilling the salmon, adjusting the heat level of the grill if necessary.
8. Using a spatula, transfer salmon to warmed dinner plates. Use tongs, heatproof gloves, or a spatula to remove the plank from the heat. Set aside to cool. Serve immediately.
Grilled Corn with Hot Lips Chili Butter (serves 6)
• 6 fresh ears of corn
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
• ½ teaspoon chili powder
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
• ¼ teaspoon sugar
• ½ teaspoon kosher salt
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
• Vegetable oil for brushing
1. Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill.
2. Pull back the husk from each ear of corn without actually removing it. Remove the silk, then re-cover the corn with the husk. Run water into the ears of corn, drain the excess, and twist the husks at the top to close.
3. To make the chili butter: In a small bowl, combine the ingredients thoroughly and set aside.
4. When ready to grill, brush the grill grate with vegetable oil. Place the corn directly over the hot fire. Grill for about 20 minutes, turning several times to grill all sides. Remove from the grill and pull back and discard the husks, or knot them for that oh-so-rustic-chic look. Generously brush the corn with the chili butter. Serve hot.
The Skinny on Coleslaw (serves 6-8)
• 1 small head green cabbage (about 1½ pounds), halved, cored, and sliced into thin shreds
• 2 ripe papayas, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into ½-inch dice
• Zest of 1 lemon
• 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
• 2/3 cup olive oil
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1 teaspoon curry powder
• ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
• Freshly ground pepper to taste
1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage and papaya. Cover and refrigerate.
2. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the dressing ingredients. Imagine some hot rumba beat and shake the ingredients like a wild night on a forbidden beach. (OK, you can stop now.) Taste and adjust the seasonings. Set aside.
3. One hour before serving, shake the dressing well and pour over the cabbage-papaya mixture. Toss until thoroughly combined. Serve at room temperature.
Real Girls Eat Their Vegetables (serves 6)
• 2 medium zucchini, sliced diagonally into ¼-inch-thick ovals
• 2 medium summer squash, sliced diagonally into ¼-inch-thick ovals
• 3 Japanese eggplants, sliced in half lengthwise
• 1 large sweet onion, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
• 1 sweet red bell pepper, quartered, seeded, and deribbed
• 1 sweet yellow bell pepper, quartered, seeded, and deribbed
• ½ cup olive oil
• Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Pesto Oil (optional)
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• ¼ cup store-bought pesto, at room temperature
• Vegetable oil for brushing
1. Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill. Lay the vegetables in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush on both sides with the ½ cup olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the top side of each vegetable.
2. If you are using the pesto oil, in a small bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons olive oil with the pesto. Set aside.
3. When ready to grill, brush the grill grate with vegetable oil. Place the vegetables in a single layer directly over the hot fire. Grill, cut-side down, just until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes. Turn and grill until tender, but still firm, about 2 to 3 minutes longer.
4. Serve warm, drizzled, if desired, with the pesto oil
• For more information, visit: www.dianemorgancooks.com