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Backyard Gourmet


Today’s outdoor kitchens are made to handle even the most sophisticated of recipes. Here are a few to satisfy your every craving for deliciously grilled appetizers, side dishes, and main entrees--perfect for any family cookout or weekend picnic.



Honey Grilled VegetablesHoney Grilled Vegetables


12 small red potatoes, halved

1⁄4 cup honey

3 tablespoons dry white wine

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon pepper

2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and halved again

1 medium eggplant, cut into 1⁄2-inch thick slices

1 green bell pepper, cut in eighths

1 red bell pepper, cut in eighths

1 large onion, cut in 1⁄2-inch thick slices


Cover potatoes with water in large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes; drain. Combine honey, wine, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in small bowl; mix well. Place potatoes and remaining vegetables on oiled barbecue grill over hot coals. Grill 20 to 25 minutes, turning and brushing with honey mixture every 7 to 8 minutes. Conventional oven directions: Toss vegetables with honey mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 400°F 25 minutes or until tender, stirring every 8 to 10 minutes to prevent burning.


Serves 4

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Honey Board


Grilled Sweet Potato SaladGrilled Sweet Potato Salad

2 pounds sweet potatoes, 

peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch thick rounds

1⁄4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1⁄2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or more to taste

1 1⁄2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro

1⁄4 cup very thinly shaved red onion

1 1⁄2 tablespoons crumbled Cotija cheese (or other mild crumbly cheese, such as farmer’s cheese)


Preheat a grill to medium-high and the oven to 350°F.


Place the sweet potatoes in a bowl, and add the 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss well. Then place the potatoes on the grill and cook until nice grill marks develop, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.


Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet, place it in the oven, and bake until they are tender enough to easily pierce with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.


Arrange the sweet potato slices on a platter, and drizzle the remaining 1⁄4 cup olive oil and the lime juice over them. Sprinkle with the cilantro, red onion, and cheese, and serve.


Serves 4 to 6

Recipe by Emeril Lagasse, from Emeril at the Grill, HarperStudio, New York, 2009, courtesy of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Photo courtesy of Steven Freeman


Mediterranean Grilled Wisconsin Mozzarella SkewersMediterranean Grilled Wisconsin Mozzarella Skewers by Chef James Campbell Caruso 


1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons Spanish sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons minced garlic

12 fresh mozzarella ciliegine balls (1⁄3 ounce each)

12 seedless red grapes

12 pitted kalamata olives

12 cherry tomatoes

12 large caperberries

6 (8-inch) to 12 (6-inch) skewers


In a large bowl, mix the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, pepper flakes, and garlic. Add the remaining ingredients; toss well to coat. Refrigerate for 2 hours to marinate.


Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium.


For 8-inch skewers, thread 1 mozzarella ball, 1 grape, 1 olive, 1 tomato, and 1 caperberry on each skewer; repeat so you have two of each item on each skewer. For 6-inch skewers, thread 1 of each item, in the same order.


Grill the skewers on all sides for 5 to 7 minutes or until the cheese is soft and the skewers are thoroughly heated. Serve the skewers as a tapas or side to grilled meat.


Serves 6

Image and recipe courtesy of © 2010 Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.



Maple-Mustard Country-Style SpareribsMaple-Mustard Country-Style Spareribs


6 large country spareribs, about 41⁄2 pounds

3⁄4 cup maple syrup

3⁄4  cup mustard, coarse grained

1⁄3 cup dark brown sugar, plus 1 tablespoon packed

2 teaspoons Tabasco

2 teaspoons soy sauce

Salt and black pepper, coarse ground


Mix maple syrup, mustard, brown sugar, hot sauce, and soy sauce. Set glaze aside.


Create indirect fire with foil drip pan half-filled with water. Lay ribs on rack over drip pan and brush with glaze. Cover and cook for 1 hour 15 minutes, turning and basting every 15 minutes. Move ribs to hot side of grill. Brush with glaze, cover, and grill for 5 minutes. Repeat, turning and basting, until ribs are tender and brown (about 20 minutes). Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Serves 6

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board 



Mixed Berry Pizza by Russ FaulkMixed Berry Pizza by Russ Faulk


3 tablespoons crème fraîche

1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese

1⁄2 batch White Wine Pizza Dough, 

about 14 ounces (see below)

3 ounces mixed blackberries, 

raspberries and blueberries

1 to 2 teaspoons honey

Pinch of sea salt

Fresh mint leaves


Prepare the pizza oven or grill for baking pizza.


Combine the crème fraîche and mascarpone cheese.


Roll out the pizza dough to about 14 inches and transfer to a pizza prep peel lightly dusted with corn meal. Spread on the crème fraîche mixture. Drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with salt. Break up the raspberries and blackberries, removing and discarding the cores from the blackberries. Distribute all the berries evenly across the pizza.


Bake the pizza until the crust is golden brown and the toppings are hot. At 500°F it should take about 10 minutes. At 750°F it will take only about 3 minutes.


Garnish with mint leaves before serving.


Serves 4 to 6


White Wine Pizza Dough by Russ Faulk


3⁄4 cup warm water

Pinch of sugar

3 teaspoons active dry yeast

1⁄4 cup white wine, at room temperature

1 1⁄4 teaspoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for coating

 3 cups bread flour

2 teaspoons honey


Put 6 tablespoons of the lukewarm (100°F to 110°F) water, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl, mix well and set aside for 5 minutes or until frothy. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining water with the white wine, salt, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Use a wooden spoon to stir in 1 cup of the flour, creating a batter. Stir the honey and the yeast mixture into the batter. Add the remaining flour and continue stirring with the wooden spoon for a few minutes. Knead the mixture in the bowl until smooth and relatively firm. Clean the sides of the bowl, oil the dough with a little more olive oil and cover the bowl with a towel.


Let rise for 45 minutes. A good tip is to run a load of dishes in the dishwasher while the dough rises right above the washer door. The warm, moist air helps with the rising. After 45 to 60 minutes, punch the dough down, split in half or quarters, knead again briefly and let rest 15 minutes more before rolling into pizza crusts. Unused dough may be frozen.


Makes enough dough for two 14-inch round pizzas or four individual pizzas. For more pizzas, make the dough one batch at a time rather than multiplying the recipe. 

Recipes and photo courtesy of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet

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