Citrus-Inspired Summer Meal for the Grill

Summer is clearly upon us, and that means outdoor entertaining and grilling, grilling and more grilling. If you’d rather not heat up your entire home to cook dinner for your family, why not cook an entire meal on the grill? From appetizer to dessert, with these recipes you can have an entire meal cooked on the grill.


Appetizer – Grilled Citrus Shrimp

Shrimp cooks up quickly on the grill, and it’s an easy finger food to give your guests while you’re working on the main dish. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1/2 c. each of fresh lime, pineapple and orange juice
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 star anise pods, broken
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 stick of cinnamon, broken
  • 1 lb shelled and de-veined large shrimp
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Start by lighting the grill. Then, mix the juices, sugar, star anise, cinnamon and rosemary together. Toss in the shrimp, cover and put in the refrigerator to marinade for about ten minutes.

Set aside the shrimp. Place the marinade in a saucepan, adding the red pepper, and reduce by boiling over high heat. Keep cooking until you have 1/3 cup of sauce. This should take about eight minutes. Strain the sauce.

Now you’re ready to grill. Brush the shrimp with olive oil and top with salt and pepper. They won’t take long, just one minute per side, but you need a hot fire to char them. Toss them in the sauce and serve.

Main Dish – Peppers, Corn and Citrus Chicken

Your main dish includes cheese-stuffed grilled peppers, grilled corn with mango habanero butter and grilled chicken with Peruvian marinade. For the peppers, you will need:

  • 8 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 4 Anaheim peppers
  • 4 baby bell peppers
  • 4 small poblano chilies
  • olive oil

Mix the cheeses and season with salt and pepper. While the grill is heating, cut the stems from the peppers, but don’t discard them. Discard the membranes and seeds, then fill the inside of the peppers with cheese. Place the tops back in place and rub with olive oil. Grill over medium-high heat for about seven minutes, until blistered and hot through.

For the corn you will need:

  • 1 peeled, chopped mango
  • 1/4 c. mango nectar
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 habanero chile, seeds removed
  • 3/4 c. butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 8 ears of corn

Mix the mango, nectar, chile and honey in a small saucepan, and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. The mango will be very soft. Place in a food processor and puree until smooth, then strain. Allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Return mixture to the food processor with the salt, butter and cilantro. Puree until smooth, then scrape the butter into a bowl, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Light the grill and expose the corn leaving the husks attached. Pull out the silk, then tie back the husks with butcher string. Place the corn in a salt water bath for 10 minutes. Drain, and grill over medium heat, turning occasionally, for about eight minutes. Spread with the butter before serving.

Finally, for the chicken, you will make a marinade out of the following:

  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. white wine vinegar
  • 8 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. Cumin

Marinade the chicken in this for at least 30 minutes. You can marinate it for up to four hours. Season the marinated chicken with salt and pepper and grill.

Dessert – Grilled Pound Cake with Peaches

Yes, believe it or not you can make dessert on the grill. For this, you’ll need to bake a pound cake or purchase one. Then, cut it into 10 slices. Oil your grill grate, and grill the slices until toasted, about two minutes. Cut four large peaches into 1/2-inch wedges, and grill until lightly browned and tender. Serve with the pound cake and some whipped topping for a fresh summer desert.

There you have it. With these easy recipes, you can have a light, citrus meal straight from your grill. So get out there, dust off the patio furniture and start grilling. Your friends will thank you!


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  1. That grilled pound cake recipe sounds AMAZING. I will for sure be making it for some friends next week.