There aren’t a lot of grilled sides that I prefer just as much as the grilled main dish at a meal. The mustard-garlic dressing on these grilled potatoes really hit a tone for me. Tender, buttery potatoes contrasted with tangy mustard and vinegar. I found the combination to be perfect, and easy to make to boot. Anita and I recently ran across The Mustard Man at an event at the Jungle Jim’s market in Fairfield, OH. After sampling each of the mustards I instantly picked up a bottle of each one. They are truly fantastic. Instead of whole grain mustard, I used The Mustard Man’s Simply Peppered mustard in the dressing for these grilled potatoes. The light peppery flavor brought a nice little bite.
Boy, where have I been that I haven’t grilled cornbread until now? Grilling adds a nice lightly smoky flavor, but more importantly it adds a terrific crunch. Add in spicy and sweet jalapeno honey butter and you have some fantastic tasting cornbread. I’m not sure I’ll ever eat ‘normal’ cornbread again. I started with a big pan of already-baked thick (I used two packages of Jiffy) cornbread. You can also make muffins. You do have to be careful handling the cornbread on the grill since it will want to fall apart on you. The moister and thicker your cornbread is, the less problems you’ll have.
You can make extra of the jalapeno honey butter and keep it on hand for more than just cornbread (I recommend it on biscuits!). It’s delicious and not overwhelmingly hot.
Grilled Twinkies are a great thing. Cedar planked Twinkies are a wonderful thing. Just a light hint of cedar takes a simple dessert to a new place. You can top them with whatever you have on hand. For me that meant Nutella (a good thing no matter what, but also good to keep your other toppings from falling off of the Twinkies), ooey-gooey marshmallows, crunchy toffee and of course, whipped cream. Ice cream, toasted nuts, cherries, anything you can find while be good on cedar planked Twinkies. Just don’t leave the Twinkies on the grill too long or the cedar flavor might get too strong. You want that hint of cedar to kind of be lurking in the background. You don’t want it jumping right out at you. You can also skip the cedar plank and grill the Twinkies directly on your grill.
I am kind of addicted to these grilled potato skins. I’ve always loved potato skins, but I admit, I don’t think about them enough to really make them that often. Until now, when I decided to start making them on the grill. They’re one of the easiest appetizers (or side dishes) you can make, and they’re super tasty. These chipotle pulled pork grilled potato skins are seriously loaded with chipotle smokiness and heat along with one of my favorite things of all time, pulled pork. There’s no such thing as a bad bite when you dig into these potato skins. You can also substitute pulled BBQ chicken or chopped smoked brisket, but make sure you keep that chipotle theme going by using a chipotle-infused BBQ sauce.
1/4 cup chipotle BBQ sauce (don't have any? Add chipotles in adobi, to taste, to your favorite BBQ sauce and mix, or make my strawberry chipotle BBQ sauce, leaving out the strawberries (or leave them in, they're actually quite good!))
3 strips of bacon, cooked, crumbled
2 green onions, chopped
Cut each potato lengthwise into four wedges. Don't make the wedges too thick. If you are using very large potatoes you might have a center portion leftover for other uses.
Using a spoon or melon baller, scrape out the potato insides, leaving 1/4" or so left.
Place on a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for 6-10 minutes or until tender.
Fire up your grill for direct and indirect cooking.
Combine the butter and chipotle powder and brush on all sides of the potatoes.
Grill the potatoes, cut side down, over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until they start to char.
Turn potatoes over and top with cheese. Grill another 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Combine the pulled pork and BBQ sauce.
Serve topped with the warmed pulled pork, bacon, green onions, and sour cream as desired.
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’!
Did you know you can also grill cornbread? It’s crazy good too!
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.