Relaxing in your backyard in your shorts, tank and flips-flops is the quintessential way to enjoy a grill-out with family and friends. But that doesn't mean you can't elevate your barbecue experience into a fancy food affair. Whether you decide to don more stylish attire or not, this hot off the grill gourmet meal may just become your new cook-out norm.
Gourmet Duck Hot Dogs
Serves 6 to 8
Forget the usual mystery meat hot dogs you can buy at the store. Order these all-natural gourmet duck hot dogs and sink your teeth into a dog you won't forget. Even simple condiments are enough
to give you a satisfying grilled dog experience – but the sweet orange mustard makes this dog simply divine.
2 (4-pack) D'Artagnan's Uncured Duck Hot Dogs
Cuisine Perel Zinfandel Orange Mustard
8 toasted whole grain hot dog buns
1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat and oil the grate. Grill the dogs, turning every 2 minutes until dogs are cooked through and have distinctive grill marks on all sides.
2. Spread mayonnaise and mustard on buns and top with dogs. Add more mayonnaise and mustard, if desired, and garnish with onions.
*DArtagnan.com carries a delectable variety of other all natural gourmet dogs, sausages and meats, ideal for your next gourmet grill-out.
Watermelon Mint and Feta Salad
Serves 6 to 8
Toss together this unusual salad and you and your guests will never eat coleslaw again. Refreshing and flavorful, watermelon, mint, feta and walnuts give your grill-out a dynamite gourmet side.
4 cups cubed watermelon (or use a melon baller to make bite-sized balls)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 small cucumber, seeded, cut into matchsticks
3/4 cup crumbled feta
1 cup candied walnuts (recipe follows)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate up to a few hours before serving.
Candied walnuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Spread on
a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, using a spatula to turn walnuts every 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool, breaking apart any walnuts that are stuck together. This makes
more than you need for the salad. Set the extra out for munching.
Ginger Peach Semifreddo
Serves 6 to 8
Semifreddo means "half-cold" in Italian and refers to a variety of semi-frozen desserts. This ginger peach treat is frozen and then sliced to show off the pretty red-orange pieces of
peach suspended in milky white cream.
1 cup finely crushed ginger snaps
3 tablespoons melted butter
2/3 cup finely chopped pistachios
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups chopped peaches
1 heaping tablespoon sugar
1. Line the bottom and sides of a 9x5-inch loaf pan with 2 layers of plastic wrap, making sure to extend wrap over the edge of the pan. Stir together ginger snap crumbs and butter in a medium-sized
bowl and pour into loaf pan. Use your fingers to press crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with pistachios and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat sugar and eggs together until doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water and set an instant-read or candy thermometer next to stove.
3. Continue beating egg mixture for 5 minutes. Check the temperature of the egg mixture. If it is 140 degrees F., remove bowl from pan of simmering water. If it less than 140 degrees F., beat for 1
to 2 minutes more or until it reaches 140 degrees. F. Let egg mixture and bowl sit on the counter until it is cool to touch. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
4. In a second large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold cream into cooled egg mixture. Fold peaches and sugar into cream mixture and pour into prepared loaf pan, spreading evenly over
ginger snap crust. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
5. When ready to serve, pull sides of plastic to remove semifreddo from loaf pan. Cut into slices with a sharp knife and set slices on individual-serving sized dessert plates and enjoy.
For more out of the ordinary grilling ideas, check out these links:
Asian recipes on the grill
Grilled salad recipes
Guide for slowly grilled marinated turkey
Grilled Mexican-style Steak
Grilled vegetarian recipes