For corn on the cob, make a flavored butter. Adding julienned apples and whole grain mustard to cole slaw gives it an interesting crunch and a tangy sweetness. Stuff cream cheese into whole fresh jalapeños and grill them, making your own version of "poppers".
Try brushing your grilled chicken with teriyaki sauce, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions.
Give steaks a coffee rub: 2 parts finely ground coffee, 1 part sugar, 1 part salt. Gives beef an espresso-like bite and the sugar makes for nice caramelization.
And whatever you do, keep the grill hot and the beer cold -- there's a lot more summer ahead.
Recipes to kick up your 'cue:
Chipotle Orange Butter
2 tablespoon orange juice
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely minced
1 stick softened unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine ingredients well, adding the chipotle a little at a time. Chipotles are very spicy, so taste as you go. Chill until ready to serve.
Green Apple Mustard Slaw
1 head cabbage, chopped medium-fine
2 green apples, unpeeled, julienned
For the dressing :
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons whole grain or deli-style mustard
1/2cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1. Combine dressing ingredients. Toss with cabbage and apples, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled.
Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños
12 whole fresh jalapeños
8 oz. cream cheese
1. Slice stems off of peppers. With a paring knife, carefully slit the peppers open length-wise on one side, and remove the ribs and seeds as best you can (the hotter you like them, the more seeds you can leave behind).
2. Stuff the softened cream cheese into the peppers. I use my fingers. (Messy, but fun.)
3. Chill the stuffed peppers well before grilling, as this will keep all your cheese from oozing out. When ready to cook, drizzle jalapeños with olive oil and grill until the skin is charred and the cheese is hot.