(Family Features) - It's that time of year again - the time when households across America are eagerly gearing up to put their favorite summertime cooking skills to use over an open flame. According to the NPD Group, the grill is one of only two appliances that continue to grow in usage in America, which is no surprise since grills provide such a convenient and easy way for people to prepare flavorful meals.
As this ever-growing phenomenon gets underway for the season, it's tempting to resort to classic barbecue fare when preparing your grilling menu. Instead of your tried-and-true recipes, consider lighting a fire under the grill for your next fair-weather get-together.
"Grilling is a great way to create new cooking sensations," said Joan Hanson, test kitchen director for Hormel Foods. "This season try combining and grilling common, convenient ingredients, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, for a flavorful and healthy complement to protein."
From bacon-infused burgers to uniquely grilled desserts, below you'll find bold-flavored recipe advice that will make 2008 a grilling season to remember. Break away from backyard boredom by utilizing a few unexpected ingredients that will please any palate.
Surprise Your Senses with a Bit of Bacon
- Smoky Chicken and Bacon Kabobs: Alternate chicken with pieces of bacon on skewers for chicken kabobs on the grill.
- Flavor-infused Bacon Burgers: Add cooked, chopped bacon and chopped green onions to ground beef. Form into burger patties and grill.
- Bacon-wrapped Scallops: Wrap HORMEL® fully-cooked bacon around scallops and secure with wooden picks. Brush with olive oil and grill until bacon is crispy and scallops are opaque.
Create Enticing Aromas with Onion
- Caramelized Onions: Combine butter, sugar and Vidalia onions in a foil pouch. Grill until onions are tender. Smother your favorite steak or pork with the caramelized onions to enhance their flavor.
- Roast Onion Tenderloin: Grill onions and garlic in a foil pouch. Serve over grilled pork tenderloin.
Tempt Your Sweet Tooth with Unique Grilled Desserts
- Grilled Banana Pound Cake: Top slices of grilled pound cake with sliced grilled bananas. Finish with caramel, whipped cream and pecans.
- Grilled Banana Split: Grill bananas, strawberries, and pineapple chunks on a skewer. Top ice cream with grilled fruit, hot fudge and whipped cream.
For more information and recipes, visit HormelFoodsRecipes.com.