Grilled recipes wanted for volunteer meals
January 15, 2008 9:11 PM   Subscribe

I need new recipe ideas for our grilled volunteer meals

After our volunteer trail-building outings we provide a complementary grilled meal (aka BBQ in some circles, but we're grilling, not smoking). The food has typically been burgers or brats with a few side dishes such as potato salad, beans, chips and cookies. We also bring a few veggie-burgers along. I'm getting tired of the same food and would like to spice things up.

A few requirements for our meals-- 1) we need to cook things relatively quickly with minimal preparation, as we're tired and hungry after working on the trail all day; 2) we have about $5-$7 per person to spend; 3) we're in the middle of nowhere and our grocery options are limited (think WalMart-type stores).

We've got a 5' grill and typically cook for 15-20 people.
posted by F Mackenzie to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Boneless chicken breasts are quick and easy to grill, and would give you a break from the burgers and brats.
posted by amyms at 9:15 PM on January 15, 2008

Mmmmm..... grilled volunteers.

Boneless pork loins. Marinate with .25 cup soy sauce, .25 cup hoisin sauce, 3 tbs sugar, 2 tbs vegetable oil. Mixing the marinade takes all of 30 seconds. (Adjust quantities for the number of diners--this does a 1.5 pounds of boneless pork with plenty of marinade to spare.) Put pork in a ziplock bag with the marinade in the fridge or in a cooler while you go do your thing.

I kid you not--this is crazy delicious.

[Longer prep: I usually make in the over at 500 degrees, 10 minutes per side, then 10 minutes to rest out of the oven. Sprinkle with scallions and toasted sesame seeds. You can reduce the marinade on the stove (and kill the pesky trichinosis bugs), and put that as a sauce on the pork and on some sticky rice.]
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:23 PM on January 15, 2008

Foil packet meals? You can make them up ahead of time, even freeze them if you need to.

I like to do mine with hamburger patties, sliced onions, thinly sliced potatoes, and maybe some green beans or bell peppers. A little salt and pepper and a squirt of ketchup between each layer, wrap it all snugly in a couple layers of foil, and it takes maybe a half hour to cook them directly in the hot coals. If someone could skip ahead and get the fire going, by the time everyone got to the trail's end you could start getting them seated and dining.
posted by padraigin at 9:33 PM on January 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Salmon or trout? A skinned fish that'll stand up to grilling, at least. Marinated and cooked indirectly, so as to become deliciously smokey, yet still moist and unjerky-like. Could be too expensive, but then again, I hear WalMart has insane prices.

Boneless chicken breasts are lovely when grilled and topped with a piece o' ham and melty monterey jack cheese, served on a bed of spinach with a thousand-islandy dressing.
posted by mumkin at 9:44 PM on January 15, 2008

For a dessert - grill peaches or pineapple. So good!

I can't believe I'm suggesting this but maybe catch a few episodes of Boy Meet Grill? I just died a little inside.
posted by spec80 at 10:16 PM on January 15, 2008

If you've been eating burgers n' brats (hope the brats begged for mercy) you gots to get some seafood on that grill. I seem to recall sam's club, etc. selling a grillable bag of frozen shrimp, shark or skate might be available if you are on either coast (foil method for the skate, i think) but striper or tuna is sublime. Sirlion tips and vegetables marinated and skewered at least gets some veg in there, and that can be done with pork, lamb, chicken breast...anything cubeable. And an old friend of mine had a trick for grilled scallions with oil and fresh lime that was like citrus popcorn.
posted by vrakatar at 11:08 PM on January 15, 2008

If you're near a Costco-Type store, $5-$7 will get you sirloin, baked potato, and some doctored baked beans. They have some great carne asada, and tons of other stuff that needs little no prep, aside from the actual cooking/warming. You asked for spicy; tacos or fajitas are a great way to go. You can really stretch some quality meat making these. Warm the tortillas in foil while the meat's cooking. There's tons of boxed rice that are very good. Doctor one; add onion, corn, poblanos...whatever floats your boat. And you don't need Costco to make tacos.
posted by JABof72 at 11:14 PM on January 15, 2008

Yeah, rereading the question, I reckon saltwater seafood is right out. But prowl the local seafood market if there is one. Trout, crawfish, perch...freshwater fish are grillable, i am led to belive. I like to course out the meal then throw a few random beer marinated lamb chops on the fire, and let people share. Side dish- have you tried chili warmed over the grill in a cast iron pot? It takes a while but it is sure to please.
posted by vrakatar at 11:22 PM on January 15, 2008

You don't mention whether you want side dish recipes as well, but this Asian cole slaw is super easy and tasty. It can be made ahead but wait until the last minute to add the crispy bits so they won't get soggy. You can also use different vinegar, oil, flavors of noodles than what is called for and I like to add a package of broccoli slaw when I make it. In other words, it is a pretty adaptable recipe.
posted by TedW at 4:59 AM on January 16, 2008

I'd grill beef or chicken and some peppers and onions for awesome tacos/fajitas off the grill. Bonus points if you grill the tortillas for a few seconds too.
posted by advicepig at 8:20 AM on January 16, 2008

Italian sausage grilled with green peppers and onions served on a hot dog bun.
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:26 PM on January 16, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the ideas! I'm going to try fajitas for this Saturday and pork loin in a couple of weeks. I'll work in some of the other ideas as the season unfolds.

I'll keep checking back here, so if anyone else has more ideas or recipe links...
posted by F Mackenzie at 1:28 PM on January 16, 2008

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