Readers’ side dishes good for grilling-out season

Baked beans are a hit on holidays.

One of the most popular cookout weekends of the year is upon us. The Memorial Day holiday leads off summer’s outdoor cooking season, followed by the Fourth of July and Labor Day, all in about three months. Those long weekends provide that critical extra day for cranking up the party around the grill.

If that kind of fun is in your future, you might appreciate one of today’s recipes. My colleagues asked me to throw out a line for recipes for baked beans with brown sugar and no-mayonnaise potato salad and/or coleslaw.

Both are the comfort foods of cookouts for good reason. They are widely liked, go with about anything, can be made ahead and often have a grandmother’s spoon in their past.

First responder Ron Pollitt of Kiawah Island writes, “Here are a few recipes for your colleagues looking for something different as Memorial Day fare. All three are good, but I’m partial to the French Country Potato Salad, mostly because it has a perfect blend of flavors and texture for my palate.”

Ron shares a bit of context as well. “For what it’s worth the German Potato Salad Family Recipe is only German because of its language origins. My maternal great-grandfather was a fiercely French but German-speaking Alsatian officer in the French Army, and when the French lost the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 he immigrated to the USA rather than live under the German Empire that annexed Alsace and Lorraine after the French defeat.”


4 to 6 small-medium red potatoes

1 egg, hard cooked, peeled, and chopped

2 to 3 thick slices smoked bacon

1/4 cup vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

Black pepper to taste

1/3 cup water

2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Boil or steam potatoes for 10-12 minutes. Cool and slice into 1/4-inch rounds.

Boil egg for 10-12 minutes. Cool, peel and chop. Fry bacon, reserving grease. Cool bacon and crumble into small pieces, then distribute over sliced potatoes. Combine bacon grease, vinegar, sugar, black pepper and water in a small pan and boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Pour mixture over potatoes, add egg and garnish with parsley, toss gently and serve.


1/4 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 spring onions, chopped

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons vinegar

2 teaspoons drained capers, roughly chopped

Salt and black pepper

1 pound small red potatoes


Whisk first seven ingredients in large bowl to blend and add salt and pepper to taste. Cook potatoes in salted water at low boil for 10 minutes (longer for softer salad); drain. Return potatoes to pot, and place pot on low heat until all liquid evaporates. Cut warm potatoes into thick slices (to taste) and add to bowl with dressing. Toss gently to coat. Let stand 1 hour at room temperature and toss once again before serving. Keeps well in refrigerator, but must be returned to room temperature and tossed before serving.


1/2 small head cabbage

2 spring onions, finely sliced or 1 small onion finely diced

6 slices thick bacon, very lean

3½ teaspoons cider vinegar

3½ teaspoons water

2 teaspoons sugar, or more to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Celery seed to taste


Shred the cabbage, chop it rather fine, and add the onion. You should have 6-plus cups.

Fry the bacon until cooked through but not brittle. Remove the bacon, reserving the fat, and chop. Set aside.

Combine the bacon fat, vinegar, water and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat, and add salt to taste. Pour the warm dressing over the shredded cabbage and onion just before serving and toss with the chopped bacon. Add black pepper to taste, sprinkle with celery seed, and toss again.

Lauri Bailey of Charleston also shared some recipes that she has made for years and says, “They have stood the test of time with family and friends alike.”

Here’s her go-to recipe for potato salad:

For vegetables:

3 pounds red potatoes, cubed, boiled and chilled until cold

Sliced celery to taste

Diced green pepper to taste

Diced red onion to taste

For dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

11/2 teaspoons ground mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

For garnish:

Freshly chopped parsley


Mix vegetables in a large bowl. Mix dressing and pour over. Stir to coat. Cover and chill overnight.

Top with chopped parsley before serving.

We also received recipes for baked beans from Judy Campbell and Cheryl Cote, both of Summerville.

Here is Judy’s, which she says is best made in a slow cooker:


1 (151/2-ounce) can each: pork and beans (undrained); lima beans, kidney beans and butter beans (all drained)

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 tablespoon mustard

6 slices bacon, browned and chopped

1 small onion, chopped and browned


Mix the beans together. Add remaining ingredients and stir together well.

Place in a casserole dish and bake 1 hour in a 350-degree oven or place in a slow cooker and cook uncovered 6 hours on low.

“Each time I take these baked beans to a function they disappear and everyone wants the recipe. The coleslaw is good for summer BBQs in our hot weather as it contains no mayonnaise.”


1 (28-ounce) can B&M Baked Beans

1 (151/2-ounce) can lima beans, drained

1 (151/2-ounce) can butter beans, drained

1 (151/2-ounce) can kidney beans, drained

1 medium onion, chopped

½ pound bacon, fried, drained and chopped or crumbled

1/3 cup vinegar

1 cup brown sugar

Minced garlic to taste


Mix all ingredients together in a casserole dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.


8 cups shredded cabbage (1 large head)

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 green pepper, finely chopped (optional)

1 cup salad (vegetable) oil

1 cup sugar

1 cup vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon dry mustard

¼ teaspoon pepper


Alternate layers of cabbage, onions and green pepper in plastic bowl. Pour salad oil over.

Combine sugar, vinegar, salt, celery seed, dry mustard and pepper in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and drip the hot mixture over the cabbage and onions — DO NOT STIR.

Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours or longer. Toss before serving.

How about baked beans with some novelty thrown in?

I spotted this recipe in the newly published “The Grilling Book — The Definitive Guide from Bon Appetit” (Andrews McMeel Universal, $45). This is a comprehensive, 432-page book to consider adding to your cookbook library — or perhaps your dad’s.

8 servings


4 slices applewood-smoked bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces

31/2 cups chopped onions

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans (white kidney beans) rinsed, drained

11/2 cups root beer, preferably artisanal

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons mild-flavored (light) molasses

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons tomato paste

11/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook bacon in a large, ovenproof pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels.

Add onions to drippings in pot; cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic; stir for 1 minute. Add beans, root beer, vinegar, molasses, mustard, tomato paste, chili powder, salt and pepper; mix well. Stir in bacon; bring to a boil.

Transfer to oven; bake uncovered until liquid thickens, about 30 minutes.

A caller from Edisto is seeking a recipe for corn pudding made from a corn muffin mix.

A Hanahan reader requests dessert recipes or ideas using angel food cake.

Looking for a recipe or have one to share? Reach Features and Food Editor Teresa Taylor at or 937-4886.