Shaken, Stirred and Grilled to Perfection
From mixed-drink marinades to spirit-spiked proteins, cocktails are doing double duty at the bar and on the grill this year, according to the first-ever Grilling Edition of the annual McCormick Flavor Forecast.
"Traditional cocktails are coming off the rocks and onto the grill. Expect to see flavorful spirits in place of vinegars or other liquids and new combinations like martini marinated mahi mahi," said Kevan Vetter, Executive Chef at McCormick. "Take a cue from the margarita to give chicken wings a tangy twist or shake up steak with a bold kick of tequila."
Tasty tips to give your cookout a cocktail-inspired twist:
* Bring out the essence of the grill in classic seasonal sippers. "Grill" your margarita by rimming glasses with smoked salt.
* Meld spices and spirits together on the grill by infusing traditional spirits like bourbon and whiskey into backyard favorites. Try the Brown Sugar Bourbon Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Cornbread and Peaches from McCormick.
* Create the perfect happy hour garnish by skewering fruit alongside meats. From the grill to the glass, cherry and pineapple kabobs are a fun, fruity accompaniment.
* Use your favorite cocktails as inspiration for marinades and sauces. For example, the flavors of a mojito make a delicious marinade for chicken, seafood and steak.
* Mix contemporary cocktails with savory flavors using spices and herbs such as basil and cilantro or pepper.
Find more grilling trends, recipes and flavors at www.flavorforecast.com. Tips are also available at www.grillmates.com and www.lawrys.com.
Brown Sugar Bourbon Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Cornbread & Peaches
Makes about 60 appetizers
Brown sugar and bourbon can often be found in the barbecue sauce recipes of competitive grillers. Use this flavorful pair in both the marinade for pork tenderloin and in the grilled peaches.
1 package McCormick Grill Mates Brown Sugar Bourbon Marinade Mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)
1/2 cup peach preserves
2 pans (13 x 9-inch each) cornbread
Grilled Peaches (recipe follows)
1. Mix Brown Sugar Bourbon Marinade Mix, oil, bourbon and orange juice in small bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons marinade for basting. Place pork in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add remaining marinade; turn to coat well.
2. Refrigerate 4 hours. Remove pork from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. Prepare Grilled Peaches as directed in recipe below.
3. Grill pork over medium heat 25 to 30 minutes or until desired doneness, turning occasionally and basting with reserved marinade halfway through cooking. Discard any remaining marinade. Cut pork tenderloins into 1/4-inch thick slices.
4. Cut each cornbread into 1 1/2-inch strips, then cut each strip in half. Grill over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear, turning once with a wide spatula. (Do not use tongs as cornbread is fragile and tends to crumble.)
5. To serve, warm peach preserves. Spread evenly on cornbread strips. Cut each cornbread strip into 1 1/2-inch squares. Place 1 slice pork tenderloin and 1 grilled peach slice on each cornbread square.
Grilled Peaches: Mix 1 package McCormick Grill Mates Brown Sugar Bourbon Marinade, 1/4 cup each packed brown sugar and melted butter, and 1 tablespoon bourbon in large bowl until well blended. Add 2 peaches, each cut into 1/4-inch slices; toss to coat well. Let stand 1 hour. Fold the edges of a sheet of heavy duty foil to form a shallow baking pan. Place on grill over low heat. Place peaches on foil. Cover with second sheet of foil. Grill 6 to 8 minutes or until peaches are browned and caramelized around edges, turning occasionally and brushing with marinade.