Let’s set the scene: You’ve invited close friends over for a barbecue. As they munch on appetizers, the smell of grilled meat wafts through the air, offering a small preview of the delicious entrée you have in store — and making every mouth in the yard water. But why make guests wait until the main course for charbroiled delights? Based on expert advice from the folks at the Culinary Institute of America, we’ve compiled a recipe for the perfect meal — appetizer, entrée, and dessert — all cooked on your grill.
These recipes are taken from The Culinary Institute of America: Grilling, published in 2006 by Lebhar-Friedman Books, 425 Park Ave., New York.
Spit-Roasted Duck with Orange-Ginger-Soy Glaze
Makes 6 servings
• 2 ducklings • 2 cups orange juice
• 1 cup soy sauce • ¼ cup grated ginger
• 2 Tbsp minced garlic • ½ cup chopped cilantro
• 2 Tbsp grated orange zest • Salt, to taste
• Ground black pepper, to taste • 12 thyme sprigs
• 12 cilantro sprigs • 2 parsley sprigs • 2 bay leaves
Trim the excess fat from the ducklings and remove the gizzard bag. Pat the ducks dry. Score the skin in a crosshatch pattern, and set it in a shallow pan.
Combine the orange juice, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic to make a marinade. Pour the marinade over the duck, cover, and refrigerate for at least two and up to 12 hours. Turn the ducklings occasionally to marinate evenly.
Preheat a gas grill to medium. If you are using a charcoal grill, build a fire and let it burn down until the coals are glowing red with a moderate coating of white ash. Spread the coals in an even bed.
Remove the ducks from the marinade and set aside, reserving the marinade.
Bring the reserved marinade to a boil in a small saucepan and boil for three minutes to make a glaze. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Add the chopped cilantro and orange zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Stuff the cavities of the ducks with the thyme, cilantro, parsley sprigs, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Thread the ducks on the steel rod of the rotisserie. Place the rod on the rotisserie according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to center the ducks on the rod properly or they will roast unevenly.
Spit-roast the ducks until browned and nearly cooked through (140°F), about one to one and a half hours. Brush the ducklings with the glaze and continue to spit-roast, brushing with additional glaze every eight to 10 minutes, until the ducklings are cooked through (165°F or to the temperature you prefer) and the skin is crisp and a rich brown, another 30 to 45 minutes.
Remove the duck from the grill and let rest for 20 minutes before cutting into pieces. Serve on a heated platter or plates.
Grilled Sweet Corn
Makes 8 servings
• 2 Tbsp vegetable oil • 8 ears corn, shucked • 2 tsp salt
• 1 tsp ground black pepper • ½ cup butter
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Leave one burner off. If you are using a charcoal grill, build a fire and let it burn down until the coals are glowing red with a moderate coating of white ash. Push the coals to one side of the grill. Clean the cooking grate.
Lightly oil the corn and season with salt and pepper. Grill the corn, covered, over indirect heat, turning as necessary, until the corn kernels are soft and grill marked, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the corn from the grill. Serve immediately with your choice of butter (see flavored butter recipes here).
Grilled Banana Split
Makes 6 servings
• 6 bananas, peeled and cut in half
• 2 Tbsp melted butter
• 3 cups ice cream of your choice (see recipe note below)
• 2 cups sauce of your choice (see recipe note below)
• ½ cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds
• 1 cup whipped cream
• 6 brandied or maraschino cherries
Preheat a gas grill to low. If you are using a charcoal grill, build a fire and let it burn down until the coals have a heavy coating of white ash. Spread the coals in an even bed. Clean the cooking grate.
Brush the bananas with the melted butter and place on the grill. Grill the bananas until lightly marked on the first side, about one minute. Turn them carefully and grill on the second side until lightly marked and hot, one minute more.
Place two banana halves on each serving plate. Top each serving with three small scoops of the ice cream (see homemade ice cream recipe here) and spoon the sauces over the ice cream (see homemade sauce recipe here). Garnish with the whipped cream, toasted almonds, and cherries.