A couple of weekends ago, we had some friends over for a little backyard barbecue featuring McCormick Grill Mates products and concepts from the McCormick Grill Mates and Lawry's Flavor Forecast: Grilling Edition. I spent days planning and re-planning the menu. I thought about all of McCormick's trends as I planned: Flavors to Watch, Breads on the Grill, 5-Minute Marinating, Smoke & Spice Pairings, Charred Fruit Drinks, DIY Condiments, and Social S'mores. McCormick offers a lot of ideas and recipes for these different trends.
Sweet tea and white peaches are two of McCormick's Flavors to Watch, and I thought they'd pair well with pork. The new Grill Mates Backyard Brick Oven Seasoning Blend incorporates oregano, another Flavor to Watch, and I liked the idea of making grilled flatbreads with it (following the Breads on the Grill trend). For something to dip the flatbreads in, I looked to McCormick's Classic Hummus. A bottle of Grill Mates Montreal Steak Sauce and McCormick's 5-Minute Marinating technique sounded like a perfect match for steak tips. And the peppery Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning Blend seemed like a great complement to grilled summer vegetables. I really wanted to try a Smoke & Spice Pairing and turn the grill into a smoker, but I opted to save that for another time when I wasn't making so many different recipes. It would be a good concept for a low-and-slow barbecued dish. And I figured since the marinades were already so flavorful, I'd try out the DIY Condiments for burgers another night.
In the end I decided to make McCormick's Classic Hummus, served with cucumber sticks and Backyard Brick Oven Flatbreads; Smokin' Sweet Tea Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Bourbon-Brown Sugar Peaches; Montreal Steak Sauce Marinated Steak Tips; Israeli couscous with corn and scallions, and Grilled Vegetables with Montreal Steak Seasoning, as well as some s'mores cookies for dessert. I wanted plenty of food to please both the meat-eaters and the vegetarians.
Classic Hummus (recipe from McCormick)
Makes 1 1/4 cups
1 (15-ounce can) chickpeas
1 tablespoon McCormick California Style Minced Garlic made from Fresh Garlic
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon McCormick Cumin, Ground
1/4 teaspoon McCormick Red Pepper, Crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Garnishes such as chopped green onions, chopped olives, and chopped tomato (optional)
Drain chickpeas, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid. Place chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, red pepper and salt in food processor; cover. Process until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Add reserved liquid; process until smooth.
Spoon hummus into serving bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with toppings as desired. Serve with pita chips or warm pita wedges. Store hummus in airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 days.
Backyard Brick Oven Flatbreads
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 store-bought whole-wheat pizza dough ball
2 teaspoons Grill Mates Backyard Brick Oven Seasoning Blend
Prepare medium-hot fire in grill. Lightly oil rimmed baking sheet. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Stretch and place dough pieces on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops of dough pieces with oil. Combine 2 tablespoons oil and 2 teaspoons seasoning blend in small bowl. Grill flatbreads until nicely charred on bottom, flip, and carefully brush with seasoned oil. Transfer to cutting board once charred on bottom and cooked through. Cut into strips, place in serving dish, and serve.
Smokin' Sweet Tea Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Bourbon-Brown Sugar Peaches
1 (1.25-ounce) packet Grill Mates Smokin’ Sweet Tea Marinade
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
3 firm white peaches, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon
Whisk together marinade, oil, water, and vinegar. Reserve 2 tablespoons for basting. Trim and butterfly pork. Place pork in large zipper-lock bag. Pour marinade in and turn to coat. Marinate, refrigerated, for about 4 hours.
Prepare medium-hot fire in grill. Grill pork, flipping and basting halfway through grilling, until cooked through. Transfer to cutting board, cover with foil, and let rest until peaches are ready.
Grill peaches, cut sides down, until softened and charred. Then flip and grill on other side until softened and charred. Toss peaches with brown sugar and bourbon in medium bowl.
Thinly slice pork and transfer to serving platter. Slice each peach half into quarters and arrange on platter with pork. Drizzle excess brown sugar-bourbon mixture over peaches. Serve.
Montreal Steak Sauce Marinated Steak Tips
2 pounds steak tips
1 bottle Grill Mates Montreal Steak Sauce (smoky or regular)
Prepare medium-hot fire in grill. Place steak tips in zipper-lock bag and pour in sauce. Squeeze air out of bag and seal. Massage sauce into steak tips, turning bag frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove steak tips from bag and discard remaining marinade. Grill steak tips, flipping halfway through, until cooked to your desired temperature. Transfer to cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice against the grain, transfer to a serving dish, and serve.
Grilled Vegetables with Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 (8-ounce) package white mushrooms, halved if large
1 large Vidalia onion, cut into wedges through root end
1 large zucchini, cut in large chunks
1 yellow pepper, cut in large pieces
1 orange pepper, cut in large pieces
McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning
Prepare medium-hot fire in grill. Thread vegetables on skewers. (For even cooking, it's best to make single-ingredient skewers.) Brush with olive oil and season with Montreal Steak Seasoning on both sides. Grill, turning as needed, until cooked to your liking. Transfer to baking sheet. When cool enough to handle, slide vegetables off skewers. Arrange on serving platter. Serve.
The barbecue was a huge a hit. My friends and I were skeptical but pleasantly surprised by how flavorful the steak tips were after a mere 5 minutes of marinating. The flatbreads were definitely a crowd favorite, and I've already received requests to make them again. The cucumbers and hummus were an easy way to kick things off since they could be prepped ahead of time. All the meat-eaters loved the pork tenderloin with its smoky-sweet flavors. And everyone enjoyed the grilled peaches tossed with bourbon and brown sugar -- how could they not? This is the first backyard get-together I've had with so many people (there were eight of us total), and it was fun to make so many different recipes on the grill and hang out on the deck with friends. I can definitely see how white peaches and sweet tea are great flavors for the grill. And while I'm not opposed to making my own marinades and spice blends, McCormick's are very flavorful and save time, which is especially helpful when preparing so many different dishes for one meal.
Do you love grilling? Be sure to check out McCormick's Grillerhood page on Facebook and visit McCormick's Grillerhood Grilling Guide on Pinterest for inspiration.
What are your favorite things to grill?