I’m almost too giddy to even write this post. Every time I look at the picture of grilled buffalo mac-and-cheese I flash back to the first time (of many) that I made it. Oooey gooey creaminess with a slight char, drizzled with a spicy homemade Buffalo wing sauce. Make no mistake about it, this is some fantastic macaroni-and-cheese. There are two things you have to be mindful of when grilling Buffalo mac-and-cheese. First, make sure your mac is set up good before cutting it. You want it a little solid, a little thick. Second, you want to be careful flipping it on the grill. When the cold mac gets hot it’ll want to return to it’s original creamy state, and fast. Don’t mess around, flip it, char it, and get it on a plate. Time’s a wastin’!
For the macaroni-and-cheese (if using made-from-the-box mac, make it per package instructions and skip to step 6)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat cream in a large skillet.
Add cream cheese and salt and stir until cheese is melted.
Add cheddar and American cheeses and stir until melted.
Add cooked pasta and stir to coat well.
Transfer to a container lined with wax paper. Use a container that is small enough that your mac-and-cheese ends up being at least 1" thick (thicker is better here).
Place in the fridge and refrigerate at least an hour. You can also place it into the freezer. You want the mac-and-cheese to set up so it can be sliced.
Fire up your grill for direct cooking.
Carefully remove the mac-and-cheese from the container and slice thick.
Transfer to a grill over high heat and grill for just a minute per side, long enough to get grill marks and a bit of a crunch. Do not play with the mac-and-cheese while it's on the grill or it will crumble. Be careful flipping it. If you lose some, you lose some.
Transfer to a plate and drizzle with plenty of the Buffalo wing sauce.
For the Buffalo wing sauce
Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Once the butter is melted add the remaining ingredients.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and continue simmering for 5 minutes, stirring often.
It was one of those days where I wanted to seriously up my game. I figured (correctly) that a stop at our local fish mongers, Caplinger’s, would inspire me even more. And so I set off to make crab-stuffed shrimp on the grill. Large shrimp are butterflied, the meat separated from the shells but still connected, and then stuffed with an absolutely delightful mixture of crab and seasonings that reminds me very much of crab cake. I cooked the shrimp over charcoal in a cast-iron skillet, giving the shrimp a light smoky flavor. The end result was out-of-this-world delicious. For appetizer-sized crab-stuffed shrimp use smaller shrimp, like the 16 count shrimp I used. For main dishes, get some 6-8 count shrimp. The larger the shrimp the easier they are to butterfly and the easier it is to separate the meat from the shell, which is definitely the most difficult part of making these shrimp. The rest is easy peasy.
As I sit here and remember just how fantastic the crab stuffing was in these shrimp, I recall back to the best crabcakes I’ve ever had, at Timbuktu’s in Hanover, Maryland. Their crabcakes have the largest and most delicious chunks of crab in them… mmmmmm….
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons mayonnaise, plus more if needed
1/2 pound lump crab
Fire up your grill for two zone (direct and indirect cooking). Alternatively, you can cook these shrimp in the oven at 350 F.
Cut a slit down the backs of the shrimp. Do not cut all the way thru.
Butterfly the shrimp and remove the vein.
Separate the shell from the meat but do not remove it. The shell will still be attached at the tail, but the meat will not be attached to the shell.
Lightly butter a 7" cast iron skillet. Add the shrimp, butterflied side up.
Melt 1/2 pound of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat.
Crumble the crackers into a large bowl. Add the bread, Old Bay seasoning, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
Add most of the melted butter. Do not add any of the onion or garlic, you just want to add the liquid.
Mix and add the mayonnaise. Try to squeeze the mixture together. If it holds together, it's ready. If it's too dry add more of the melted butter and a little bit of mayonnaise and mix and try again. Keep adding more butter/mayonnaise until the mixture holds together.
Lightly chop the crab and fold into the cracker mixture.
Working in batches, squeeze a tablespoon or two of the stuffing into a small log shape and place inside the butterflied shrimp. Don't be shy with the stuffing, you'll have plenty.
Place over indirect heat or in the oven and cook 20 minutes or until the shrimp is done. The shrimp will be pink in color on the outside and the flesh is opaque. If cooking on the grill rotate your skillet once to achieve consistent cooking.
Place the lemon halves over direct heat on the grill and grill until seared. If cooking in the oven, just use the halves as is - don't cook them.
It’s bordering on crazy just how many times I made these grilled Brussels sprouts this week. They instantly became a favorite in our household. They take no time at all to make and make for the perfect very-flavorful side dish for a meal of grilled anything!
The original recipe calls for skewering the Brussels sprouts. I find it easier to just dump the sprouts into a stainless steel vegetable grill basket. I don’t have to worry about the sprouts spinning around or falling off. You can use the same approach for grilling Brussels sprouts for other vegetables, such as small red or yellow potatoes or asparagus. Just partially cook (microwave) them first until slightly tender, add the seasonings, and grill until lightly charred and tender. Done!
Not many folks think about grilling radishes. But, they have a certain ‘wow’ factor when you serve them. They look like baby beets or turnips. Grilling them mellows them a bit, making them nice and sweet and really quite addicting. Grilled radishes are a nice change from the way radishes are normally served: cold on top of a green salad. You can also serve grilled radishes cold. Just cook them them put them into a container in the fridge for a few hours to cool. They’re great on salads. You expect that cold, almost spicy, radish flavor but instead get something much more mellow and totally different. It’s a welcome change.
Wow. I grew up eating a lot of canned cream corn. This isn’t that cream corn. This is something completely special and beyond delicious. From the first bite Anita and I just looked at each other. It was the ‘oh my goodness this is fantastic’ look. Grilled cream corn with a creamy Gorgonzola cheese sauce that is incredible. I can’t say enough just how much we enjoyed this dish. If you can’t get fresh corn-on-the-cob you can substitute canned corn. Just drain it well first and spread it out on a baking dish and place under the broiler until it starts to char just a bit. Or you can actually skip the roasting and just use the corn right out of the can (after draining).
Want to surprise everyone at your next picnic or get-together? Bring a jar of grilled pickles. Everyone will want to know how you did it. You don’t have to admit how easy it is. The pickles do get a little char flavor, but not much. They still taste like, well, dill pickles, but with just slightly less crunch. The grilled red onions do add a nice light onion flavor. These jarred grilled pickles are good for 5 days. And don’t feel like you have grill only spears. Sliced pickles or even whole pickles can be grilled just as well. If you don’t want to grill the pickles but still want a hint of grilled flavor, just grill some red onion and then add that to a jar or pickles and refrigerate overnight.
I’m a big fan of flavored mayonnaise on grilled sweet corn. Specially when it is nice and spicy, with just a hint of citrus. Like this Sriracha mayonnaise. All of my favorite things in a creamy sauce slathered over corn. Get a napkin or two, because you’re definitely going to need them. The Sriracha mayo isn’t just great on corn either. It’s fantastic on grilled chicken or turkey burgers. Leave out the lime and slather it on hamburger buns. And if you’re into dipping your fries in mayonnaise, this one will definitely wake you up.
At first I thought maybe I just loved these spicy grilled mushrooms so much because I hadn’t grilled mushrooms in a while. Or maybe it was because of the full moon. But no, it was because these are now officially my favorite mushrooms. They have a perfect light Asian flavor, with a little vinegar tang and, as with everything I make, a little spicy kick. My goodness they were just delicious. I used cremini mushrooms, also known as baby portobellos. You can use any mushrooms you like, even mix a few different kinds in. Just remember that the smaller ones will cook faster, so you might have to move them away from the hottest part of your grill before the bigger ones get done.