Memorial weekend is when many of us begin to think about outdoor cooking. We stock up on paper plates and charcoal and scrape the dirt and old bits of burnt food off the grill. At the Salty Southern Route we want to challenge you to go beyond burgers and hot dogs this summer. Here are a few ideas to get your creative culinary juices flowing.
Grilling fruit might seem like a strange idea at first, but the unique sweetness of fruit from the grill is a special summer treat. Grilled peaches can be especially good topped with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream
Fresh sweet corn is truly a treasure of the summer. While cooking your burgers or steaks on the grill, throw on a few ears of corn. You can simply put the entire un-shucked ears on the grill. If the grill is nice and hot, turn the ears every 3-4 minutes. The outside leaves of the corn will probably burn and turn black, but the corn itself with be just fine. Let it cook for a 10-15 minutes.
If you want to keep it hot throughout your cookout, put the ears of corn in an empty cooler.
Shuck the corn and serve it with butter and salt.
College Run Farms in Surry has pick-your-own corn. Also look for fresh corn at the Farmer's Markets in Surry, Smithfield, Carrollton, Wakefield, Franklin, Suffolk, and Courtland.
Salmon with firecracker marinade slow cooked on a grill or smoker is a little spicy, a little sweet, a little smokey, and just about perfect.
The smokiness is an important part of this dish, so it is preferable to use a smoker or charcoal grill. If using charcoal, cook the salmon over indirect heat and keep the grill temperature between 225 and 275 degrees. Add wood chips to the charcoal throughout the cooking. There is no need to soak wood chips.
If you only have a gas grill, you can certainly make the this recipe work. It will still be great, just not as smoky as charcoal. Simply keep the grill temperature between 225 and 275 and do not place the salmon directly over the flame.
Smoking fish can seem a bit intimidating if you have never done it. This recipe, though, is quite easy, and a fairly foolproof way to cook salmon. The trick is to watch the temperature of the meat, and don’t overcook it.
Smoked Whiskey Sour
There are lots of variations on a whiskey sour. No matter how you like it, the sweet and tart drink is perfect for summer. Making your whiskey sour with smoked lemons adds a a savory, woody depth to the drink.
Smoked Bread Pudding
Bread pudding is a southern classic with as many variations as there are southern cooks. This recipe tries to capture a bit of summer along with the smokiness of outdoor cooking. If you are wary of smoked and dessert, don't worry. The combination of smoke, raisins, apples, and cinnamon is amazing.
This bread pudding can be divided into smaller cooking dishes (as pictured). Small cooking dishes allows you do decrease the cooking time.
Look for fresh eggs, milk, bread and apples at the Farmer's Markets in Surry, Smithfield, Carrollton, Wakefield, Franklin, Suffolk, and Courtland. You can also find great bread at the Smithfield Gourmet Bakery.
The Salty Southern Route
is a joint tourism effort of the towns of Franklin and Smithfield, Isle of Wight, Southampton, Surry and Sussex Counties, and the city of Suffolk, Virginia.