To me, nothing says summer quite like the heady smell of smoke, emanating from a grill at a backyard BBQ. Enveloped by that smell, I'm likely to have friends nearby, an ice-cold beer in hand, and a freshly charred meal on the way. This very smell, recurring each weekend from May through August, makes me hope that summer will never end.
But alas, when Labor Day inevitably rolls around, the twilight starts retracting earlier into the evening, and the weekly gatherings begin to slow, the bliss of summer also feels like it's slipping out of reach. And that may well be the case. But there's always time for a final stint outdoors with fire and lots of food.
For this year's BBQ swan song, I'll turn to the newest cookbook by grill master, Texan, and cookbook author extraordinaire, Paula Disbrowe: Thank You for Smoking: Fun and Fearless Recipes Cooked with a Whiff of Wood Fire on Your Grill or Smoker.
In the book, Paula shows us how to add a hint of smoky flavor to all manner of foods, using your grill and a few clever tricks (read: no special equipment needed). You'll find recipes for meats, fish, and vegetables, of course, but also for smoked seasonings and spices; for smoked beans, pulses, and grains; and even for smoked cocktails.
Here are two of Paula's new recipes to add to your Labor Day menu, plus 30 more grilled meats, veggies, sides, and even desserts to round out your BBQ and celebrate the end of the season to the fullest.
1. Grilled herbed chicken breast with radicchio
2. Smoky shrimp with lemony orzo, green olives & feta
3. Grilled Chicken Thighs With Lemongrass Glaze
4. Grilled Ribs With Salt & Pepper
5. Grilled Steak Salad With Fish Sauce Vinaigrette
6. CPK-Style BBQ Chicken Pizza
7. Grilled Salmon Tacos With Avocado Sauce
8. Beef & Kimchi Burgers
9. Chicken and Steak Skewers with a Tahini-Yogurt Marinade
10. Leela Punyaratabandhu's Ghee-Smoked Chicken & Rice With Spicy Mint Sauce
Inspired by South Asian biryani, this chicken and rice dish is anything but traditional—smoked ghee and peppy shallot oil give everything a whole lot of personality.
11. Esteban Castillo's Michelada Ribs
12. Grilled Romaine With Hot Dog Crispies & Pickle-Mustard Vinaigrette
Hot dogs—like you've never seen them before. Their flavor ends up being quite like bacon or pancetta, but you can use them in as high volume or accent-like quantities as you wish (say, sprinkle them over some grilled romaine, or lay them over a bed of yogurt and croutons and other grilled vegetables for a sturdier main dish).
13. Three-Down Ribs From Sylvester & Mary Hoover
Simple, specific, and utterly satisfying. Follow this recipe to a tee and you won't be disappointed.
14. Simple Grilled Seitan
15. Essential Tofu Burgers
16. Black Bean & Corn Burgers
17. Early Summer Panzanella
18. Grilled Peach and Apricot Salad
19. A Salad of Grilled Vegetables over Crisp Lettuce with Halloumi Croutons
20. Grilled Vegetable Pasta Sauce
21. Grilled Bread Salad With Broccoli Rabe & Summer Squash
22. Grilled Baby Bok Choy With Miso Butter
23. Grilled Young Carrots with Pickled Mustard Seed Dressing and Arugula
24. Grilled Zucchini With Big Beans, Kale & Mustard Vinaigrette
Broad beans are marinated in a zingy mustard vinaigrette, then mix and mingle with smoky planks of zucchini and massaged kale. Salads have never been less sad.
25. Bonus: Easiest-Ever Pasta Salad
26. Ottolenghi's Burrata With Grilled Grapes & Basil
27. Grilled Bread With Goat Cheese & Olives
28. Superiority Burger's BBQ Baked Gigante Beans With Polenta & Coleslaw
29. Grilled Foil-Pack Chicken Nachos
30. Grilled Chicken Caesar Lettuce Wraps
31. Smoked Potato Salad
32. Grilled Eggplant With Miso & Doenjang
Silky, tender eggplant gets doused in a sweet-savory-umami marinade, then tossed on the grill till plush and smoky. Serve this with white rice, noodles, or eat by itself.
33. Grilled Strawberries Romanoff
34. Grilled Banana with Chocolate and Crushed Peanut Brittle
Any Night Grilling is your guide to becoming a charcoal champion (or getting in your grill-pan groove), any night of the week. With over 60 ways to fire up dinner—no long marinades or low-and-slow cook times in sight—this book is your go-to for freshly grilled meals in a flash.Order Now