When it comes to summer time – right after mosquitoes – the first thing I think of is the BBQ grill. There is something symbolic about spending an afternoon charring something over the fiery embers of charcoal.
The best part is being able to share your smoked and grilled delicacies with close friends or family. Occasionally you will have a person who has a special dietary need, like being a vegetarian, and it might throw a kink into your plan. “Looks like so-and-so is going to eat a salad instead of these ribs”.
Look, as a former Vegan, there is nothing I am more tired of eating than a salad. I wanted to partake in the grilling! And although meat is the obvious choice, all sorts of other things can be grilled, vegetables, for example from corn to portobello mushrooms – they can all make tasty fare.
So no matter what the case, I have the recipe for you. In fact, I have a recipe for any finicky, specialized, or ethical eater; including the carnivore, omnivore, herbivore; whatever!
The thought really counts when cooking for friends with a different diet, and the most important part is being able to share a delicious home-cooked meal with friends.
THE MEATEATER: Whiskey Grilled BBQ Ribs
2 (2 pound) slabs baby back pork ribs
coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground red chile pepper
2 1/4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring
2 teaspoons whiskey
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dark molasses
1/2 tablespoon ground red chili pepper
Cut each full rack of ribs in half, so that you have 4 half racks. Sprinkle salt and pepper (more pepper than salt), and 1 tablespoon chile pepper over meat. Wrap each half rack in heavy duty aluminum foil. Place on top rack of grill, for 2 hours, flipping them halfway through.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir the onions in oil for 5 minutes. Stir in water, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, honey, and Worcestershire sauce. Season with 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, liquid smoke, whiskey, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, dark molasses, and 1/2 tablespoon ground chile pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 1 1/4 hours, uncovered, or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat, and set sauce aside.
Remove the ribs from the heat, and let stand 10 minutes. Remove the racks from the foil, and place directly on the grill. Grill the ribs for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Brush sauce on the ribs while they’re grilling, just before you serve them (adding it too early will burn it).
THE PESCATARIAN: BBQ Mahi
2 pounds skinned, deboned mahi mahi, cut into chunks
1/4 (4.5 ounce) jar bottled minced garlic
3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon butter, diced
3/8 large onion, diced
5/8 lemons, juiced
3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon dry white wine
5/8 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
salt and pepper to taste
3-1/2 ounces shredded pepperjack cheese
Preheat grill for high heat.
Place the mahi mahi in aluminum foil, and toss with the garlic to coat. Distribute butter evenly throughout the fish. Spread onions, the lemon juice, wine, and diced tomatoes with green chile peppers over the fish. Season with salt and pepper. Tightly wrap up the fish in the aluminum foil.
Place foil directly on the grill grate, and cook fish 35 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.
THE VEGETARIAN: Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Tofu Recipe
1 pound extra firm tofu, well pressed and sliced into 3/4 inch rectangles
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3/4 cup orange juice concentrate
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together the barbecue sauce, sugar, chili powder, pepper and orange juice over medium low heat until well combined, about 3 minutes.
Place the barbecue sauce mixture in a wide flat dish, and place the tofu in the sauce, coating both sides well. Allow to marinate for at least two hours.
Grill for 4 or 5 minutes on each side, brushing with additional sauce.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper just before serving.
Now you have no excuse to not invite over your quirky friends. Enjoy summer, keep cool and don’t forget the bug spray!
Jessica is the founder & managing editor of Modern Day Moms, an award-winning national publication with articles centered around the latest trends, arts & crafts, recipes, must-haves, travel & more. Aside from blogging, Jessica also manages to make time for social media by managing some of the most popular twitter accounts in the country. Wife to a talented artist, she is also mom to an adorable little girl who can navigate electronics like nobody’s business.