I prefer to grill on charcoal and wood, gas grilling is not my style! That’s just how I roll! Nothing beats grilling with natural fuel sources for that added outdoor flavor and control than wood or charcoal. I have grilled on wood, charcoal, propane, natural gas, and electricity, both at home and in professional kitchens, and I always come back to natural ingredients for my fuel sources. Once you learn the tricks to getting your fire and coals right, it is like riding a bike, you never forget!
With the summer heat in full swing in just about all parts of the country, it is the perfect time for outdoor grilling, and a great change up from the typical meat, chicken, beef, pork, or fish and seafood is …..Vegetables! Yes, we are grilling vegetables today, because they taste great, are great for you, and dog gone it, I like em!
I am sharing with you three recipes, two grilled vegetables, and a sour cream sauce for dipping too! First up is my Grilled Eggplant recipe, followed by some Grilled Okra, and finishing out with my Sour Cream Sauce, which is a perfect addition to the grilled vegetables. Enjoy!
Slice the eggplant into 1-inch rounds and lightly salt each side, set them on a paper towel covered pan and allow to rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
Garlic infused olive oil – Prepare a small portion of garlic infused olive oil, typically, for every ¼ cup of olive oil infuse with two cloves of minced garlic. Then add a pinch of salt and white pepper, stirring well to incorporate.
When the coals are ready, brush the top side of the eggplant sliced rounds with some of the garlic olive oil, and grill 6 inches from the coals for about 5 minutes or until nicely browned. Just before turning, brush the raw side of the eggplant with more garlic olive oil and then flip, then grill another 5 minutes or until nicely browned. Reserve to a clean dish and keep warm until service. Serve with the sour cream sauce.
With about 2 pounds of fresh okra, you will need about 30 bamboo skewers. Soak the wooden skewers in cold water for at least 1 hour. Then gently line up about four to five okra pieces per skewer.
When ready to grill, lightly brush all sides of the okra with the remaining garlic infused olive oil and grill 6 inches from the coals for about 5 minutes per side, or until nicely browned on all sides. Reserve to a clean dish and keep warm until service. Serve with the sour cream sauce.
Sour Cream Sauce
The slight hint of garlic in this sauce is just right for the combination of vegetables, along with a touch of rice wine vinegar this adds a mild tanginess that melds well with the sour cream and Dijon mustard.
|2||Tbsp||Rice wine vinegar|
|2||Tsp||Lemon juice, fresh squeezed|
|To taste||Salt and white pepper|
|1.||Combine the oil and vinegar and whisk well to smooth.|
|2.||Add Dijon mustard, lemon juice, sour cream, garlic, and sugar and blend well to a smooth even consistency.|
|3.||Season the sauce to taste with the salt and white pepper.|