Get the Crowd Cheering With Tasty Game-Day Appetizers

March 11, 2013

Hungry for great matchups? What about great eats? Satisfy you appetite for both with three tasty March Madness inspired appetizer recipes from our friends at Weber Grills — and take tailgating to a whole new level. Whether you’re cooking out in your backyard, or one of ours, these grill-friendly creations are a little (or big, depending on the serving) taste of victory.

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Hot Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing

Serves: 6 to 8
Prep time: 20 minutes
Grilling time: 22 to 24 minutes


4 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

16 chicken wings, about 2 ½ pounds total, each cut in half at the joint, wing tips removed

Hot sauce
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, grated or minced
4 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 ½ teaspoons Tabasco® sauce
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper

¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon buttermilk
½ teaspoon cider vinegar


In a large bowl combine the paste ingredients. Add the wings and stir to coat them all over with the paste. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
In a heavy, small saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic and stir until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the vinegar and Tabasco and simmer for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large glass or stainless steel bowl.
In a medium bowl combine the dressing ingredients. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over medium-high heat (about 450°F).
Brush the cooking grates clean. Remove the wings from the bowl and wipe off most of the paste. Grill the wings over direct medium-high heat until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes, turning once. Move the wings over indirect medium-high heat and continue grilling until the meat is no longer pink at the bone and the skin is crisp, about 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Keep the lid closed as much as possible during grilling. Transfer the wings to the bowl with the hot sauce; toss to coat. Return the wings to the grill and cook over direct medium-high heat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove from the grill and serve with the dressing.

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Grilled Pizza Bread

Serves: 12 to 15
Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 2 hours for the seasoning
Grilling time: 5 to 7 minutes


1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons ground Mediterranean oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 balls (1 pound each) pizza dough

2 Chopped tomatoes (optional)
1 Chopped onion (optional)
¼ ounce Chopped fresh basil (optional)


In a small saucepan combine the seasoning ingredients. Whisk over low heat just until the oil becomes fragrant and the mixture is warm. Remove from the heat and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
Lightly flour one of the pizza dough balls and the back of a 15×10-inch baking sheet. Stretch out the dough to the size of the baking sheet and place it on the back of the floured baking sheet.
Whisk the seasoning mixture and then generously spread over the top side of the dough.
Brush the cooking grates clean. Turn the baking sheet over (like a big spatula) and place it directly on the cooking grate, dough side down. Remove the baking sheet and brush the top side of the dough with the seasoning mixture. Grill over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until the underside of the dough is marked, 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t worry if the crust bubbles; it will deflate when turned over. Slide the dough onto the baking sheet and flip the uncooked side onto the cooking grate. Brush the top with more oil and continue to grill, with the lid closed, for 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack. Top with chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, and fresh basil, if desired. Cut into individual pieces. Repeat the same grilling procedure for the two remaining balls of dough. Serve warm.

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Shrimp and Andouille Skewers with Roasted Tomatoes

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Marinating time: 30 minutes
Grilling time: 2 to 4 minutes



Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

32 large shrimp, about 11⁄2 pounds, peeled and deveined, tails removed

12 cherry tomatoes
6 ounces Andouille sausage
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley


To make the marinade: In a medium bowl, whisk the marinade ingredients. Add the shrimp and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate up to 30 minutes.

Cut each of the tomatoes in half through its stem. Cut the sausage crosswise into slices about 1⁄3 inch thick. Alternating the shrimp, tomato halves, and sausage, thread the ingredients onto skewers (be sure to skewer each shrimp through both its head and tail so it doesn’t spin around). Grill over direct high heat until the shrimp are firm to the touch and just turning opaque in the center, 2 to 4 minutes, turning once. Transfer the skewers to a platter and scatter the parsley over the top. Serve warm.

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