Friday, July 8, 2011

Grilled Dessert? Yes!

Grilled Desserts can be delicious, superbly simple, and crowd pleasing.  With supplies from Reading Terminal Market you can't miss.  Honest.

The only absolute here is to beware of what preceded the dessert on the grill.  We're sure that your garlic glazed salmon was delicious, but its lingering flavor won't do your sweets any good.  Either use foil to cook the dessert, keep a "dessert section" clear of savories in a corner of your grill, or (least temptingly) clean the grill between courses.  That said, here are two easy, yet impressive desserts...

Pineapples from Iovine's

We hit up our friend Chef Bill Beck of Beck's Cajun Cafe in Reading Terminal Market again, and as usual, he came up aces.  Bill offered up a grilled pineapple sundae:  Soak sliced, cored fresh pineapple in rum, brown sugar and vanilla for about an hour.  Grill slices on high heat til just charred and slightly caramelized, about 2 minutes per side.  Place slices in bowl, and top with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce if desired.  Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Our other recently discovered grilled summer sweet came from the Philadelphia Inquirer's food editors:  Dessert "Quesadillas".   They suggest grilling flour tortillas filled with mangoes and dulce de leche, brushing the outside with melted butter, sprinkling with cinnamon sugar if desired and and topping the concoction with vanilla ice cream.

Yum, say we, but why stop there?  We offer the following combos, which we think are similarly tempting.....(and suspect that fresh whipped cream, or  mascarpone whipped cream would make an equally lovely garnish).    Or, keep it simple--quarter the quesadillas and pass them around as finger food, omitting the topping altogether.

Try these, they're sure to please....

Dark chocolate and sliced strawberries
Nutella and sliced bananas
Caramel and sliced apples or pears
Milk Chocolate and marshmallows
Blueberries and Lemon Curd
White Chocolate and pitted fresh cherries
Butterscotch and cashews
Chocolate and peanut butter
Mascarpone Cheese and raspberry jam

The chocolate selection at Jonathan Best is staggering; you'll be sure to find one that suits your taste for this simple dessert.

Set these up as a buffet and have guests make their own; kids, especially, will love it.

Invent your own fillings; what's your favorite flavor combo?

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