Crave: New ways to cook outside

photo by: Courtesy of Mother Earth News

Grilled fare doesn’t need to be limited to traditional hamburgers and hot dogs. The grill is an extremely versatile mode of cooking, and it can even handle baked goods like bread with the right preparation. Here are three tasty recipes to make outdoors — a variation on classic kabobs, and two recipes for baked goods.

Three-Pepper Beef Kabobs

Yields 6 to 8 servings.


2 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon water

2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard

1 teaspoon honey

1⁄2 teaspoon crushed dried oregano leaves

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 1⁄4 pounds boneless top sirloin steak, 1 inch thick, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 to 2 medium green, red or yellow bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 to 2 white or red onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

24 large mushrooms, optional


In large bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, water, mustard, honey, oregano and black pepper and whisk to combine. Add beef, mushrooms, bell pepper and onion, and toss to coat.

Alternately thread beef, bell pepper, onion and mushrooms, if using, onto four 12-inch metal skewers.

Place kabobs on grill over medium heat. Grill, uncovered, to desired doneness, about 9 to 12 minutes for medium-rare to medium, turning occasionally.

Remove from grill and allow to cool slightly before serving.

You can use wooden skewers instead of metal, but soak them in a pan of water for 20 minutes before threading ingredients.

Honey-Lemon Scones

Yields 8 servings.


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1⁄2 cups rolled oats

2 teaspoons baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 cup butter

1⁄2 cup chopped pecans

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lemon verbena leaves

1 egg, beaten

1⁄4 cup honey

1⁄2 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla


Rake out thin layer of hot coals. Place 12-inch Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet with lid on top, and cover lid with layer of coals. Allow to heat while assembling ingredients.

In large bowl, mix together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans and lemon verbena leaves.

In small bowl, whisk together egg, honey, yogurt, lemon juice and vanilla.

Make well in center of dry ingredients and pour honey mixture into well. Mix until soft dough forms.

Remove lid from oven or skillet. Coat cooking vessel with nonstick cooking spray or oil. With floured hands, carefully pat dough into oven or skillet. Score top into 8 pie-shaped wedges. Replace lid. Add more coals if needed.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until scones are lightly browned. (Check often so they don’t burn.) Remove scones with tongs and set aside to cool slightly. Serve warm with additional honey drizzled over the top, if desired.

Skillet Flatbread

Yields 6 servings.


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3⁄4 cup water

1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

Olive oil

Pepper, to taste


In large bowl, mix flour, water and salt together to form dough that sticks together but is flaky and dry to the touch.

Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead for 1 to 2 minutes.

Roll dough into 6-inch log and cut into 1-inch slices.

With floured rolling pin, roll out slices very thin. Set aside.

Heat cast-iron skillet on grill over medium heat until hot. Add a little olive oil and swirl over bottom.

Add dough rounds, one at a time, and cook until edges have hardened and bubbles form in center, about 60 to 70 seconds. Flip and cook other side for same amount of time.

Remove from skillet, and season with additional sea salt and pepper, to taste.

Stack flatbread on plate until ready to serve. Serve hot.


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