EATS & DRINKS

Thrill of the Grill

With shrimp, scallops, a signature cocktail and more

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By Case Dighero | Photos by Kerri McMahon

It’s our favorite month for grilling out, and this year’s Thrill of the Grill menu is designed to WOW your friends and family with little effort on your part. Happy Grilling!

Sausage Mixed Grill with Sweet Peppers and Onions

Serves: 4 to 6 | Prep: 30 minutes | Cook: 20 minutes

 

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INGREDIENTS

  • 12 small breakfast sausages

  • 4 bratwursts

  • 4 Italian sausages

  • 4 Polish sausages

  • 16 multicolored mini bell peppers

  • 2 red onions, sliced thick

  • Olive oil 

  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Light a grill. Pierce the larger sausages in several places with a knife. Thread each type of sausage onto two skewers, alternating colors and types of sausages accordingly. The smaller breakfast sausages can be skewered together due to their size. Thread the peppers onto separate paired skewers, but no need to skewer the sliced onions. Cover the sausages and vegetables with a generous amount of olive oil. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.

 

Grill the sausages over moderate heat, turning until cooked through, roughly 8 to 10 minutes for the breakfast sausages and 15 to 20 minutes for the larger sausages. If the sausages begin to burst or break while cooking, move them to a section of the grill with less direct heat. Grill the peppers and onions, turning until lightly charred, roughly 10 to 15 minutes. Serve all together on a large tray.

 

OPTIONAL WINE PAIRING

This dish pairs nicely with Elouan Pinot Noir, Oregon – a robust and well-balanced pinot noir with solid structure and intense flavors of cherry, cocoa, candied cranberry and boysenberry that presents superb depth and rich tannins with a smooth-medium finish.

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Grilled Shrimp with Garlic-Turmeric Vinaigrette

Serves: 4 to 6 | Prep: 25 minutes | Cook: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed

  • 1 5-inch piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice

  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 cup olive oil, plus more for grill

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • Jasmine rice, cooked 

  • Flaky sea salt

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare the grill for medium-high heat. Pulse garlic, pepper flakes, ginger, lime juice, orange juice, sugar, vinegar and turmeric in a food processor until well combined. Slowly add olive oil into the processor on high, until emulsified and thickened.

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Add shrimp to a medium bowl, then pour half of the sauce over the shrimp to marinate for 5 minutes before grilling. Take care to only allow the shrimp to rest in the sauce for 5 minutes; any longer will be too much due to the citrus. Set the remaining sauce aside for plating.  

 

Be sure to oil the grill grate, then immediately add shrimp. Cook until bright pink and slightly charred on both sides, total time should be under 4 minutes. On a platter, create a small tower with the cooked jasmine rice. Then, arrange shrimp to cascade around the tower, finishing the dish with more reserved sauce, fresh herbs and flakey salt.  

 

OPTIONAL WINE PAIRING

The dish shines when paired with Onward Pétillant Nature, Suisun Valley – a sparkling expression of floral and fruit, refreshingly bone-dry with opening aromatics of a fermentation vat, with yeasty brioche notes and lively freshness.

Charred Apricots with Burrata, Prosciutto & Arugula

Serves: 4 to 6 | Prep: 20 minutes | Cook: 5 minutes
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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds fresh apricots, halved and pitted

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing 

  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 8 ounces baby arugula

  • 1/2 pound burrata cheese, shredded 

  • 8 ounces shaved prosciutto

  • 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the apricots with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, cut sides down, just until lightly charred, around 5 minutes. Then let cool.

 

In a bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the 1/2 cup of oil and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss in the apricots and arugula. Transfer to a platter and top with the burrata, prosciutto and balsamic vinegar. Serve.

OPTIONAL WINE PAIRING

This dish pairs well with Z. Alexander Brown Uncaged Red Blend, California – with aromas of blueberry, caramel and toasted oak that preview a bold, mouth-filling palate with concentrated layers of ripe dark fruit, black cherry and milk chocolate, finishing robust with a smooth, round and full finish.

Nori Seared Scallops with Lime-Green Curry Mayo

Serves: 4 to 6 | Prep: 15 minutes | Cook: 5 minutes
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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

  • 1 10.6-ounce packet of Blue Elephant Green Curry Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 toasted nori sheet

  • 1 ounce bonito flakes

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander 

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grill

  • 12 large sea scallops, side muscles removed, patted dry

  • 1 lime

       4 to 6 fresh pea shoots, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Mix mayonnaise, Blue Elephant Green Curry Sauce, lime juice and a pinch of salt. Then, set Green Curry Mayo aside.

 

Finely grind nori in a spice mill or food processor. Transfer half to a small bowl and set aside for serving. Transfer remaining nori to a large bowl and mix in bonito flakes, coriander, ginger and 2 tablespoons oil. Toss patted-dry scallops to coat in the nori-bonito mixture.

 

Once the grill is hot, sear scallops for 90 seconds, turning once for an additional minute or until slightly caramelized, but still cool in the center. Spread green curry mayonnaise on a platter and add scallops on top. Top the plate with finely grated zest from lime, then the juice from the same lime. Top with pea shoots and sprinkle with bonito flakes and reserved nori.

 

OPTIONAL WINE PAIRING

We recommend serving this dish with Castoro Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand – this dry, yet fruity, wine has flavors of key lime, tangerine and white peach bouquet, and it is highly aromatic and lush.

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Signature Cocktail: Silver Fox Martini

Serves: 4 | *recipe courtesy of Fox Trail Distillery

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 ounces Boxley Vodka*

  • 4 ounces Artanical Gin*

  • 2 ounces Apertura Limoncello*

  • 2 ounces aromatized wine (such as Cocchi Americano)

  • 12 dashes of orange bitters

  • 6 ounces filtered water

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all ingredients, pour into a sealable glass bottle and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with lemon peel or fresh thyme. Pro tip: Transfer the bottle to a freezer about 15 minutes before serving for a silkier texture. 

 

*Boxley Vodka, Artanical Gin and Apertura Limoncello are all produced at Fox Trail Distillery in Rogers. While Apertura is available exclusively at the distillery, Boxley and Artanical are now available across Arkansas.

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Special thanks to: Homeowners Jeff and Julie Fackler for opening their beautiful home for this year’s Thrill of the Grill photo shoot; Hillfolk for the outdoor seating throws; Shindig Paperie for the creative menu design; Blue Elephant Royal Thai Cuisine for the premium green curry sauce prepared with our grilled scallops; Fox Trail Distillery for creating a refreshing cocktail to complement our menu; and Melody Lane for her fantastic food styling!

Case Dighero is a culinary and cultural influencer, and contributing food editor for Citiscapes, working and residing in Northwest Arkansas for more than 20 years. Join Case for interactive cooking lessons as he guides participants through these recipes and more ! This virtual experience includes a Zoom link as well as recipes and locations to purchase ingredients. Visit www.edibleculture.net to learn more.

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