PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Time for a family BBQ! And just in time to celebrate dear 'ole dad! People tend to struggle with the same old side dishes and plain BBQ meats, but as your Phoenix Family Foodie, I’ve got you covered. Here are three unique side dishes to help you elevate your next outdoor gathering, and take it to the next level.

Green Chile Pork Mac n Cheese

•           1-2 lb. Boneless pork butt or shoulder

•           ½ cup green enchilada sauce

•           1/2 cup salsa verde

•           3 tbsp. Mesquite Spice Rub

•           1 lb. macaroni elbows

•           1 cup half & half

•           16 oz. shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese

•           1 small can diced green chiles

•           salt


1.         Heat a grill or grill pant to high heat.  Heat a smoker or pellet smoker to 250 degrees.  Rub the spice rub onto the pork butt on all sides.  Sear the meat on the grill for 2-3 minutes per side and transfer to the smoker.  Smoke for 6-8 hours or until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork.  Remove from the heat and shred the meat.

2.         In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded meat, enchilada sauce and salsa verde. Stir until combined and the meat is coated with the sauces.

3.         Generously season a large pot of water with salt and bring to a boil.  Add the macaroni and boil until al dente, 5-7 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

4.         Heat the heavy cream and shredded cheese in a medium sauce pan on medium heat until smooth and creamy. Combine with the macaroni in a large mixing bowl.  Transfer to a large serving dish.

5.         Spread the pork on top of the mac n cheese.  Sprinkle with the green chiles and serve.

Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables

•           4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

•           1 large red onion, roughly chopped

•           2 yellow squash, sliced

•           2 zucchini, sliced

•           1 large red bell pepper, roughly chopped

•           ½ cup balsamic vinegar

•           ½ cup light brown sugar

•           Salt/pepper


1.         Heat a grill or pellet smoker to high heat (450 degrees).  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill on both sides 4-5 minutes, or completely cooked through.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

2.         Skewer the vegetables evenly onto wooden skewers and grill on high heat 3-4 minutes on each side.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

3.         On a grill side burner, combine the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a medium saucepan.  Allow the mixture to simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the mixture is reduced by half.  Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.

4.         Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl until all the vegetables and meat are coated with the balsamic reduction.  Serve warm or cold (chill until ready to serve if serving cold).

Philly Cheesesteak Baked Potatoes

•           4 large Russett potatoes, washed

•           1/4 Olive oil

•           1 tsp. garlic powder

•           1 lb. NY Strip Steak, half frozen (this will make it easier for slicing)

•           1 large green bell pepper, julienned

•           1 large white onion, thinly sliced

•           1 cup heavy cream

•           16 oz. shredded Monterrey Jack or Provolone cheese

•           Salt/pepper

•           Heat a grill to high heat.

•           In a small mixing bowl, combine the olive oil and garlic powder.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Rub all four potatoes with ½ of the olive oil mixture and wrap them tightly with aluminum foil.  Grill the potatoes on the top rack of the grill for about 45 minutes until soft when pierced with a fork.

•           Thinly slice the half-frozen meat, combine it with the onions and green pepper and toss with the remaining olive oil mixture.

•           Use a griddle pan or grill basket to grill the meat and vegetables together until the veggies are soft and the meat is cooked through.

•           Combine the heavy cream and shredded cheese in a medium saucepan and heat on medium heat until smooth and creamy. 

•           Unwrap the potatoes and slice them down the middle, squeezing them open in the center.  Transfer them to a large serving dish.  Spread the meat mixture evenly over the potatoes and then top with the cheese sauce.  Serve immediately.


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