Holiday Grilling Recipes

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Buffalo Sliders with Blue Cheese Slaw
From Simply Grilling: 105 Recipes for Quick and Casual Grilling (Thomas Nelson, April 2012) by Jennifer Chandler

Burgers meet Buffalo Chicken Wings! What better combination for a game-day appetizer?!

1/4 cup buffalo hot sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 cups shredded cole slaw mix (or finely shredded green cabbage)
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck or sirloin
Vegetable oil, for the grates
16 slices baguette or 8 mini-hamburger rolls, toasted

In small bowl whisk together the hot sauce and mayonnaise. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Place the slaw in a medium bowl. Add the blue cheese dressing and crumbled blue cheese. Toss until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Place the ground beef in a large bowl. Generously season with salt and pepper. Divide the meat into 8 equal portions. Being careful not to overwork or compact the meat too much, pat each portion into a 3/4-inch thick patty.

Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

Place the burgers on the grill. Close the lid and cook, turning once, until desired temperature, about 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium. About 1 minute before the burgers are done, place the buns, cut-side down, on the grill and cook until lightly toasted.

To serve, place the burgers on the toasted bread. Spoon the buffalo mayonnaise on the burgers and top with the blue cheese slaw.

Serves 6.

Variation: For a leaner burger, substitute ground turkey for the ground beef. Since turkey is so lean, be sure to use ground turkey that is at least 7 percent fat. Using anything leaner will result in dry burgers. I recommend adding 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs to help the ground turkey hold together better on the grill.

Grilled Nachos
From Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler

Grilled nachos make a fun outdoor appetizer. My cast iron fajita pan takes them from the grill to the table!

1 bag (13-ounce) tortilla chips
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 can (15-ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup sliced jalapeno (pickled or fresh)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 cup diced plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup sour cream (optional garnish)

Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes.

Place a single layer of chips on a cast iron pan or a grill tray and top with 1/3 of the cheese, black beans, scallions, jalapeno, garlic, and cumin. Repeat to make 2 more layers.

Place tray in the center of the grill. Close the lid and cook until the cheese is melted, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the tray from the grill and sprinkle the tomatoes and cilantro over the top. Serve immediately, garnished with sour cream if desired.

Serves 8.

Cooking Tip: If going on a picnic, assemble the nachos at home in a disposable foil pan. You can grill and serve from that same pan.

Variation: For a heartier nacho, add sautéed chorizo sausage or roasted chicken.

Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Syrup and Crumbled Blue Cheese
From Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler

A sweet and savory marriage made in heaven!

1 cup balsamic vinegar
Vegetable oil, for the grates
6 peaches, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the temperature to medium, and simmer until syrupy and the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat a clean grill to medium with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

Brush the cut sides of each peach half with the canola oil.

Place the peaches on the grill, cut-side down. Close the lid and cook until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until the peach softens and is just heated through, 4 minutes more. Remove the peaches from the grill.

To serve, place the peaches on a platter and drizzle with the balsamic syrup.
Sprinkle with the blue cheese and the chopped basil.

Serves 6.

Cooking Tip: When buying peaches for grilling, look for firm, slightly under-ripe peaches.

Do-Ahead: The balsamic syrup can be made up to 2 weeks in advance. While it can be stored at room temperature, I prefer to keep mine chilled. It’s also delicious as a salad dressing and drizzled over grilled meats.

Grill Pan.