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Grilled Holiday Side Dishes

Posted by Chef Perry P. Perkins on

Grilled Holiday Side Dishes

~Chef Perry Perkins~

Let’s face it, there’s no “wrong” time to fire up your La Caja China, and the holidays are certainly no exception.

Sure, the weather might be a little cooler, the days a little shorter, and some of you may have to shovel a path through the snow to your grill, but that’s a small price to pay for some smoky, seared treats, to go with all of that turkey and pumpkin pie, right?


Okay, I’ll meet you halfway… here are two of my favorite holiday side dish recipes (while that turkey roasts to perfection inside the box) that require a minimum of time outdoors, while still bringing tons of great grill flavor to the party!

I’ll leave you with my number one tip for having putting on a great Thanksgiving feast, regardless of your experience on the grill, or in the kitchen. It’s one I try to practice every year...

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Caramel Adobo Sauce

Serves 4-6
2 pounds medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for oiling the grill


1/2 tsp. salt
4 ounces butter, softened
1 c. light packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. (to taste) chipotles in adobo sauce
2 Tbsp. water

Bring the sweet potatoes to a boil in a large pot of heavily salted water. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until a toothpick can easily be inserted into each potato, about 25 minutes.

Drain the sweet potatoes and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large plate and arrange in a single layer. Refrigerate until cool, at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients (only use the sauce from the chipotles, not the peppers themselves) in a small pot and bring to a slow simmer, stirring constantly. Cook until slightly reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and keep warm.

Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise. Cut the halves lengthwise into 3/4-inch- thick wedges and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Place the sweet potato wedges on the La Caja China grill top in a single layer, cover loosely with foil, and cook until grill marks appear, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the wedges to the other cut side, and repeat.

Transfer grilled sweet potato wedges to a platter, and drizzle with Caramel Adobo Sauce. Serve immediately.

Balsamic Cranberry Brussels Sprouts

I tested this recipes on some friends recently, one of whom informed me that while she despised Brussels sprouts, she would “try one” for me. She made a point of telling me, after dinner, that she had gone back for seconds. If you know folks who’ve never met a Brussels spout they loved…this is a good one to introduce them to!

Serves 4

1 lb. Brussels Sprouts*
32 oz. chicken broth
Salt And Pepper
15oz jellied cranberry sauce
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup Sugar
4 skewers, soaked

* For even cooking, try to pick Brussels sprouts of a uniform in size and shape

Combine balsamic vinegar, cranberry sauce, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and reduce, whisking often, until smooth and very thick, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to simmer in a stock pot. Cut off the stem end of the Brussels sprouts and remove any off-color outer leaves.

Add the Brussels sprouts to the chicken stock, return to a simmer (if necessary, add water until sprouts are just covered), and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring often, until they are still firm, but you can poke a skewer through them.

Drain and allow the sprouts to cool until you can handle them. Skewer 6 to 8 sprouts onto each skewer, and brush with reduction sauce.

Place the skewers onto the grill over medium heat. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn the skewers over and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

Serve as is or for an extra punch of flavor, remove the sprouts from the skewers, plate, and drizzle with remaining reduction sauce.

I’ll leave you with my number one tip for having putting on a great Thanksgiving feast, regardless of your experience on the grill, or in the kitchen. It’s one I try to practice every year...


This is what it’s about peeps...not the turkey, not the pies, and (believe it or not) not about being the perfect grill-master. Find a quiet spot to sit for 20-30 minutes, before you start cooking Thursday morning, and reflect on what you have to be thankful for and why you’re thankful for them.

Keep those thoughts firmly in place as you ride into battle, and remember that, in addition to all of our other many blessings, each of us here at Latin Touch are thankful for you!

Happy Holidays!

~Chef Perry

As a third-generation chef, Perry P. Perkins focuses his love of cooking on barbeque, traditional southern fare, and fresh Northwest cuisine.

Perry runs the non-profit organization, MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, which teaches nutrition, shopping, and hands on cooking classes for at risk youth.

His cookbooks include La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, La Caja China Party, and the NEW “La Caja China Grill.”

You can follow the rest of Chef Perry’s cooking adventures at

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