Barbecue grills are fired up and there is some good eating going on in the Berkshires and Southern Vermont.
Burgers and hot dogs, steaks and slow-roasted cuts of brisket and pork shoulders slathered with sticky, spicy-sweet sauces are classic fare for a backyard barbecue.
But, how about firing up the grill while the morning coffee brews and head outdoors to grill up a hearty breakfast?
FRENCH TOAST ON THE GRILL
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
Loaf of sturdy bread such as challah, brioche or artisan-style, cut into eight 1-inch slices
Butter and maple syrup for serving
Whisk together eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Gradually whisk in half-and-half until thoroughly blended.
Preheat grill to medium heat. Lightly oil grill grates.
Dip bread slices in egg mixture until saturated. Arrange on grill, close lid and cook 3 minutes. Flip and grill for about 3 minutes longer or until the French toast is cooked through.
Serve with butter and maple syrup.
Opposites attract, and this savory grilled ham paired with the sweet French toast complement each other deliciously!
GRILLED SMOKED HAM
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
fully cooked center-cut smoked ham slice, about 1 inch thick
Combine syrup, brown sugar and pepper. Brush on ham slice and grill alongside French toast until heated through.
GRILLED HOME FRIES
5 potatoes sliced 1/8 inch
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Spread a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil on a work surface. Arrange potatoes, onion, bacon and garlic in the middle of the foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap foil around potato mixture to form a packet.
Place packet on grill and cook until potatoes are tender and bacon is cooked, about 15 minutes.
Fresh fruit, skewered and grilled until the juices caramelize, round out this grilled breakfast menu.
GRILLED FRUIT KEBABS
2 tablespoon butter, melted
4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mixed fresh, but firm, ripe fruits cut into 1" chunks. Bananas, nectarines, peeled peaches, cantaloupe or whole strawberries are great choices.
Wooden skewers soaked in enough water to cover for 30 minute
Greek yogurt to serve
Alternately thread pieces of fruit on skewers.
In a small bowl, combine melted butter, honey and lime juice. Brush on kabobs.
Grill over medium heat about 5 minutes until heated through and fruit begins to caramelize. Brush any remaining glaze over fruit while cooking.
Serve with a spoonful of good quality vanilla or plain Greek yogurt.