With summer on its way, it’s time to fire up the grill

Published 11:25 pm Friday, May 26, 2017

The possibilities are endless when it comes to grilling ideas

Memorial Day weekend is here, and with its arrival usually comes grilling season. In preparation, the Tribune newsroom tried out a few recipes — from main dishes, to sides and even dessert — and decided to share.

Feta Cheese-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Mushrooms.

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Feta Cheese-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Mushrooms

I’ve found a new love for mushrooms and was looking for new recipes on Pinterest to try that had them as an ingredient. I saw that this one had bacon and couldn’t say no. — Kim Ehrich


12 medium portabella mushrooms, insides scraped clean

4 ounces cream cheese

2 ounces feta cheese

1 tablespoon Italian parsley

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 slices of bacon, cut in half


Heat grill to high.

Mix together the cream cheese, feta cheese, parsley, pepper and salt. Do not warm the cream cheese to mix it, or it will be too warm for the grill.

Fill the mushrooms with the cheese mixture and then wrap each mushroom cap with a half slice of bacon, securing it with a toothpick. Once the grill is very hot, turn the heat down to low and place the mushroom caps, cheese side down on the grill. You need a very hot grill to sear and crisp this side of the bacon quickly before the cheese begins to melt and drip out.

Leave the mushrooms on the grill face side down as long as you can before the cheese begins to drip out, and then turn over. Close the lid and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes to crisp the other side of the bacon. Serve hot.

Grilled Potato and Goat Cheese Napoleon with Balsamic-Basil Vinaigrette.

Grilled Potato and Goat Cheese Napoleon with Balsamic-Basil Vinaigrette

I love potatoes, cheese and grilling, and this recipe incorporates all three. I like trying different recipes that incorporate ingredients that might not seem like they’d go together on paper. This is one I found on a Food Network forum. I plated the potatoes flat instead of going with the Napoleon-style stacking method.  Colleen Harrison


5 large red potatoes, scrubbed

Salt, to taste

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

3/4 cup olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 ounces fresh goat cheese

3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (optional)


Put the potatoes in a pot of salted cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, but still firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and let cool before cutting each potato in 1/2-inch-thick slices.

While the potatoes are cooking, combine the vinegar, garlic, mustard, basil and 1/2 cup of the olive oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat grill to medium heat.

Brush the potato slices on both sides with the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the potatoes on the grill, close the cover, and grill until lightly golden brown and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.

Carefully transfer the potatoes to a flat surface. Make stacks by layering the following: 1 slice potato, 1 tablespoon goat cheese, 1 slice potato, 1 tablespoon goat cheese, 1 slice potato. Place the stacks back on the grill, close the cover and grill until the cheese begins to melt, about 1 minute.

Transfer the potatoes to a platter, drizzle some of the vinaigrette on and around the potatoes, and sprinkle with the chives.



I like ribs. They are good and easy to make, and a staple of summer food. — Jarrod Peterson


One rack of ribs

Salt, to taste

Chili powder, to taste

Cayenne pepper, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

Ground mustard, to taste

Seasoned salt, to taste

1 cup mustard

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon hot sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

1/3 cup honey


Put wet rub on both sides of ribs. Sprinkle dry rub on both sides of ribs. Pour the rest of wet rub over dry rub on both sides. Wrap ribs in plastic wrap. Wrap in tinfoil and put in fridge for at least 12 hours.

After at least 12 hours, wrap ribs in just tinfoil. Before putting in oven, drizzle honey over the meaty side of ribs. Sprinkle brown sugar over ribs. Set oven to 250 degrees. Leave in oven for 3 hours.

After 3 hours take ribs out and transfer to grill. Grill on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, with your favorite barbecue sauce.

Barbecue Marinated Chicken.

Barbecue Marinated Chicken

I have experience with making a number of food items. Marinating food — especially on the grill — seemed exciting to me. I hope you enjoy this recipe as well as I enjoyed making it. This was an anonymous online recipe. — Sam Wilmes


3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken

8 ounces Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce

8 ounces Italian salad dressing

5 ounces red wine vinegar


Combine barbecue sauce, salad dressing and vinegar. Blend thoroughly with a whisk.

Wash and pat dry chicken. Season with cracked black pepper, seasoned salt and onion powder. Place seasoned chicken in marinade, coating both sides for at least 2 hours, but no more than 2 days.

Grill 8 minutes on each side, or until the center of the meat is white and the juices run clear.

Not-so-BBQ Chops.

Not-so-BBQ Chops

I like to keep it simple because I have busy kids and a full-time job. — Crystal Miller


6 pork chops

3 tablespoons barbecue seasoning

4 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt


Mix dry ingredients together and rub liberally onto all sides of pork chops. Grill 6 minutes per side or longer for thick-cut chops. The sugar helps to dilute the strong barbecue flavor, making your pork into Not-so-BBQ Chops. Tip: look for pork chops that have marbling and darker meat because they will be more tender.

Grilled Shortcake Skewers.

Grilled Shortcake Skewers

I thought it would be fun to find something to grill this year that would satisfy my sweet tooth. The coconut pound cake can be combined with any fruit — strawberries just happened to be the one I chose. The recipe came from allrecipes.com. — Sarah Stultz



Coconut pound cake (see ingredients and directions below)

Whipped cream


Cut fruit and pound cake into similarly sized cubes. Thread onto barbecue skewers and grill over medium high heat, turning occasionally until fruit is soft and pound cake is toasted, about 6 to 8 minutes. Serve with whipped cream.

Coconut pound cake

2 cups white sugar

1 cup butter

5 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup milk

3 1/2 ounces flaked coconut

1 teaspoon coconut extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large bowl, cream together 2 cups sugar and butter. Fold in the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each one before adding another.

In separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, milk, flaked coconut and coconut extract. Beat into the creamed mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake one hour in preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.