NORTHWOODS COOKS: Grilling sides for Memorial Day meals

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Elotes, Grilled Mexican Street Corn on a plate
Grilled corn on the cob can also be served with a sour cream based sauce, seasoned with chili powder and sprinkled with cheese and cilantro.
Adobe Stock

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer and grilling season.

These grilling recipes are from the slideshow “20 Best Memorial Day Side Dishes to Make Your Cookout Complete” from

Grilled Corn on the Cob

8 ears yellow corn, in the husk

Kosher salt


For the garlic chive butter:

6 Tbsp. salted butter, softened

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 Tbsp. chopped chives

1/4 tsp. ground paprika

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Heat the grill to 450 to 500 degrees. Pull off all of the layers of the green husk, except for the two layers closest to the kernels. Pull those two layers back without detaching them. Remove all of the thin threads of silk from around the kernels of the corn. Fold the reserved pieces of husk back over the corn kernels, leaving a couple of gaps of open space.

Place the corn on the grill, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Rotate each ear with a 1/4 turn, cover and continue to cook 5 more minutes. Repeat 1 to 2 more times to cook all sides of the corn, 15 to 20 minutes total. Corn will become bright yellow and caramelized in spots when cooked through.


Make garlic-chive butter by mashing all ingredients in a small bowl with a fork. Remove the charred husks from the corn. Spread with garlic-chive butter, sprinkle with salt, and serve immediately.

Grilled Potatoes

3 lb. baby red potatoes

Salt, plus more to taste

8 to 10 12-inch skewers

1/4 cup salted butter

1 clove garlic, chopped

Black pepper, to taste


2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or chives

Place the potatoes in a large pot or Dutch oven and cover by 1 inch with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook just until fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a plate to cool to room temperature.

Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (400 to 450°). Soak 10- to 12-inch wooden skewers in water. Combine the butter and garlic and microwave on high just until melted, 30 to 60 seconds.

Place 3 to 4 potatoes on each skewer. Brush all over with the butter mixture. Place skewers over direct heat on the grill, and cook until potatoes are golden and a little charred, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter. Brush with any remaining garlic butter, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and herbs.

Grilled Asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus

2 Tbsp. olive oil


1 lemon, halved

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Wash the asparagus and pat dry. Cut about 1-inch from the base of the asparagus stalks and discard. Combine asparagus, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl or on a rimmed sheet pan. Toss until well coated.

Preheat the grill to medium high heat (400 to 450 degrees). Placing asparagus crosswise on the grates. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning as needed, until grill marks form.

Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter and squeeze one lemon half over it. Season to taste.

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
What To Read Next
Get Local