Show Off Your New Flame
Dishes you'll love!


By Megan McCluskey


Whether you're tailgating at a Durham Bulls game or hosting a Fourth of July party, cooking out is a great way to make a mouth-watering meal.


This mix of classic and innovative dishes will have you – and anyone you're willing to share with – munching on grilled grub in no time!




The Barbecue! Bible, Best Ribs Ever

Published by Workman Publishing




Grilled Corn With Barbecue Butter
4 ears sweet corn, in the husk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, or 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons of store-bought barbecue rub
String (optional)
An aluminum foil shield (made by folding a 12 x 18-inch piece of aluminum foil in thirds like a business letter)

Cut the top 1/4 inch off each ear of corn. Shuck an ear, stripping back the husk from the top but leaving it attached at the bottom (the action is a bit like peeling a banana). Remove and discard the corn silk.


Gather the husk together so that it covers the stem and makes a sort of handle, and then tie it together with string or strips of corn husk. Repeat with the remaining ears of corn.


Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.


When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Lightly brush each ear of corn all over with some of the butter and sprinkle it with a little barbecue rub. Arrange the corn on the hot grate so that all ears are pointed in the same direction, then slide the aluminum foil shield under the husks to keep them from burning.


Grill the corn until the kernels are handsomely browned on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side, 8 to 12 minutes in all, turning it with tongs. As the corn grills, baste it with the remaining butter and sprinkle it with more barbecue rub.
Transfer the grilled corn to a platter or plates and serve at once.


Makes 4 ears


Note: If you're used to corn grilled in the husk, I'm sure the smoky caramel flavors achieved by grilling corn without the husk will take your breath away.



Smoky Mac and Cheese
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
2 cups (about 8 ounces) elbow macaroni
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 tablespoons butter
1 slice bacon, cut into 1/4-inch slivers
2 shallots, or 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 cup light cream or half-and-half
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cups (about 8 ounces) coarsely grated smoked cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup toasted bread crumbs (preferably homemade)
An aluminum foil drip pan or grill-proof roasting pan or baking dish (about 9 x 12 inch), sprayed or brushed with oil

Place 8 quarts of lightly salted water in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the macaroni in a large colander, rinse it with cold water until cool, and drain again. Toss the macaroni with the oil to prevent clumping.


Make the sauce: Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon and shallots and cook until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the milk and cream. Return the pan to the heat, increasing it to high. Let the sauce boil until thickened, about 3 minutes, whisking well.


Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mustard and drained macaroni, followed by the cheese. Add the nutmeg, if using, and season the macaroni with salt and pepper to taste; the macaroni should be highly seasoned. Spoon the macaroni and cheese into the oiled aluminum foil drip pan.


The recipe can be prepared to this stage up to 48 hours ahead; let the macaroni and cheese cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerating it.


Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and stir in the bread crumbs. Spoon the bread-crumb mixture over the top of the macaroni.


Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-high (400 degrees).


When ready to cook, place the macaroni and cheese in the center of the grate away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook the macaroni until the sauce is bubbly and the top is crusty and brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve at once.


Serves 4


Tip:s There are a lot of options for smoked cheese, including smoked cheddar or provolone, which have a sharp flavor, or smoked Gruyere or scamorza (a mozzarella-like cheese), which are milder.


If your grill is tied up, you can certainly bake the macaroni and cheese in a preheated, 400-degree oven. Thanks to the bacon and smoked cheese, you'll still get a rich smoky flavor.




The Gardener & the Grill, the Bounty of the Garden Meets the Sizzle of the Grill

Published by Running Press








Grilled Green Tomato "Sandwiches" With Herbed Cream Cheese
For the herbed cream cheese:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives


For the tomatoes:
4 large green tomatoes (about 1-1/2 pounds), sliced 3/4-inch thick to make 12 slices
Olive oil, for brushing
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Ground black pepper

Prepare a medium-hot fire in your grill. Place a well-oiled, perforated grill rack over direct heat.


In a bowl, blend the cream cheese, garlic basil and chives together until smooth. Set aside.


Brush the tomato slices with olive oil on both sides and season with seasoning salt and pepper. Place the slices on a baking sheet and bring out to the grill with the bowl of herbed cream cheese and a knife for spreading.


Grill all of the tomatoes on one side for about 3 minutes with the lid open, then flip and grill on the other side for 3 minutes more, or until the tomatoes have good grill marks.


Remove the tomato slices from the grill and allow to cool slightly on the baking sheet. Spread herbed cream cheese on half of the slices, top with a second slice, and set the sandwiches on a platter. Serve the sandwiches hot, with oozing cream cheese filling.


Serves 6


Variation: Grill all of the tomato slices as above, top each grilled tomato with a dollop of the cream cheese and serve open-faced.




Baja Fish Tacos
For the Red Hot Blackened Seasoning:
1/2 cup paprika
3 tablespoons garlic salt
2 tablespoons granulated onion
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1-1/2 tablespoons black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons white pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper


For the grilled Napa cabbage slaw:
1 large head Napa cabbage, cut in half lengthwise
Vegetable oil, for brushing
1 cup assorted baby greens
8 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fine kosher or sea salt

For the Baja fish:
1-1/2 pounds mahi mahi, catfish, halibut or other mild white fish
1/4 cup red hot blackened seasoning
8 flour tortillas, for serving
8 lemon wedges, for serving
1-1/2 cups salsa, for serving

Combine all of the ingredients of the Red Hot Blackened Seasoning in a glass jar and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to blend. This keeps for several months in the pantry.


Prepare a hot fire in your grill.


Brush the cut sides of the Napa cabbage with oil. Coat the fish fillets with the Red Hot Blackened Seasoning.


Grill the cabbage, cut side down, directly over the fire for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cabbage has good grill marks. Remove from the grill.


Grill the fish directly over the fire, flesh side down first, for 4 to 5 minutes per side, or 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Turn only once to grill the skin side, halfway through grilling.


To make the slaw, thinly slice the grilled cabbage and place in a large bowl. Stir in the greens and green onions. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, sour cream, lemon juice and salt to make a dressing. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to blend.


To assemble the tacos, place some of the grilled fish on each tortilla. Top with about 1/3 cup of the slaw and roll up, soft-taco-style. Serve with a lemon wedge and a small ramekin of salsa.


Serves 4




The Truck Food Cookbook

Published by Workman Publishing








6 guero chile peppers (small, hot, yellow peppers), Hungarian wax peppers or hot banana peppers
6 chunks of mozzarella or other white melting cheese, cut into chubby sticks
6 thin slices of bacon

Rinse the peppers under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut a slit in each pepper but leave the stem and bottom point intact. Scrape the seeds out of the cavities and stuff the mozzarella inside.


Wrap a slice of bacon around each pepper. Place the stuffed peppers in a skillet or on a flattop grill over medium-high heat and cook them, turning as needed, until the bacon is brown and crisp. If you are not serving the toritos immediately, keep them in a warm oven.


Makes 6 stuffed peppers.





Sloppy Jerk Pork Sandwiches
1 habanero pepper, steamed, seeded and minced
1/2 cup chopped scallions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
About 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)
1/2 cup store-bought Jamaican barbecue sauce
6 fresh-baked dinner rolls

Combine the habañero, scallions, garlic, all-spice, nutmeg, thyme, salt and black pepper in a small mixing bowl with enough lime juice to make about 2 tablespoons of paste. Rub the habañero paste all over the pork tenderloins, then refrigerate the pork, covered, overnight.


Preheat a charcoal grill to high.


When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the pork tenderloins on the hot grate and grill until cooked through but slightly pink, about 10 minutes. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to test for doneness; when done the internal temperature of the pork should be 145 degrees.


Transfer the pork tenderloins to a cutting board and let them rest for a few minutes. The final temperature on the instant-read thermometer should be 155 degrees. Chop the pork into bite-size pieces, toss it in the barbecue sauce and pile it on the rolls.


Makes 6 sandwiches




Betty Crocker Cookbook:
1500 Recipes for the Way You Cook Today

Published by John Wiley & Sons









Easy Grilled Vegetables
12 pattypan squash (about 1 inch in diameter)
or 2 medium zucchini cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium red or green bell peppers, each cut into 6 pieces
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/3 cup Italian dressing
Freshly ground pepper, if desired

In 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish, place squash, bell peppers and onion. Pour dressing over vegetables. Cover; let stand 1 hour to blend flavors.


Heat gas or charcoal grill. Remove vegetables from marinade; reserve marinade. Place squash and bell peppers in grill basket (grill "wok"). Place grill basket on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 5 minutes.


Add onions to grill basket. Cover grill; cook 5 to 10 minutes longer, turning and brushing vegetables with marinade 2 or 3 times, until tender. Sprinkle with pepper.


Serves 6




Grilled Barbecue Chicken
For the barbecue sauce:
1 medium onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 cup ketchup or 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup hot water
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the chicken
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cut-up whole chicken (3 to 3-1/2 pounds)


Heat gas or charcoal grill. In 1 quart saucepan, heat sauce ingredients over medium heat until boiling, stirring occasionally.
In small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon paprika and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt mixture.


Carefully brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Place chicken, skin side up, on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 15 minutes.


Turn chicken; brush with barbecue sauce. Cover grill; cook 20 to 25 minutes longer, turning and brushing with sauce, until juice of chicken is clear when thickest piece is cut to bone (at least 165 degrees).


Serves 6


Variation: Substitute 6 bone-in chicken breasts for the cut-up whole chicken.



365 30-Minute Meals

Published by John Wiley & Sons









Shrimp and Fruit Kabobs
1 pound fresh or frozen peeled and deveined large shrimp. (For a more dramatic presentation, use shrimp with the tails left on. Start with 1-1/2 pounds shrimp; peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact.)
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon snipped fresh dill or tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried dill or tarragon
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups peeled papaya cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
1/4 of a fresh pineapple, cut into 1- to 1-1/2-inch pieces
3 red plums, pitted and quartered lengthwise

Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Rinse shrimp; pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, stir together lemon peel, lemon juice, oil, garlic, dill and pepper.


On eight 12-inch metal skewers, thread shrimp, papaya, pineapple and plums, leaving 1/4 inch between pieces. Brush with some of the lemon-juice mixture. (If time permits, you may use wooden skewers. But you'll need to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes. Drain before using).


For a charcoal grill, grill skewers on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium-heat coals for 5 to 8 minutes or until shrimp are opaque and fruit is heated through, turning occasionally during grilling and brushing once with the remaining lemon juice mixture halfway through grilling. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place skewers on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.)


Serves 4




Cowboy Steak and Whiskey Butter
For the whiskey butter
1 cup softened unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon whiskey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or salt
1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash ground white pepper

For the cowboy steak
2 tablespoons whiskey butter
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar or packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground New Mexican chile pepper or chili powder
1 tablespoon ground chipotle chile pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1-1/2 teaspoons ground white pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Two 1-pound, bone-in rib-eye steaks, cut 1-inch thick
2 teaspoons olive oil
Snipped fresh parsley (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for whiskey butter. Makes about 1 cup. Prepare whiskey butter. Cover and chill until ready to serve.


For rub, in a small bowl combine sugar, New Mexican chile pepper, chipotle chile pepper, paprika, white pepper and black pepper.


Trim fat from steaks. Brush both sides of steaks with oil. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the rub evenly over both sides of steaks; rub in with your fingers.


For a charcoal grill, grill steaks on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 10 to 13 minutes for medium-rare (145 degrees) or 12 to 15 minutes for medium (160 degrees), turning once halfway through grilling. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place steaks on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.)


Spoon whiskey butter onto steaks. If desired, sprinkle with parsley. Before serving, cut each steak in half.


Serves 4