Recipes to get you grillin’ and chillin’ in the great outdoors

This year, more than any year, the backyard is calling. 

Frankel food image

Who doesn't love grilling season? Barbecuing is a contemplative, quiet activity where we get to build a fire and watch the food transition from raw to sizzling and delicious. This year, more than any year, the backyard is calling. We all could use some space and a change of pace. Getting the whole household involved is fun and teaches some basic life skills. Enjoy these casual and family-friendly recipes!    

Grilled Challah-Dogs  

The aroma of challah dough mingled with grilled hotdogs is enticing. The dogs are nestled in their dough all sizzling with mustard and bagel seasoning. So good! You can use homemade challah dough (my challah recipe is below)  or you can use purchased dough. The recipe below will yield 1 challah and enough leftover dough for 6 challah-dogs.

For the challah dough (homemade or purchased)

Special Equipment: 4 mm. or approximately 1/8-inch-thick wood skewers or foraged sticks!  

1  cup bread flour 

2  ½ teaspoons yeast

1 cup warm water (not hot)

2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks at room temperature

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt

1/3 cup of honey 

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

4-5 cups bread flour

1.      Mix the bread flour, yeast, and warm water together and cover-for between 30-40 minutes and 2 hours-to create a sponge.

2.      Whisk the 2 eggs with the sponge.

3.      Add the yolks. salt, sugar or honey, and oil to the sponge.

4.      Slowly mix in the flour. You may not need all the flour depending upon the humidity and water content of the flour.

5.      When the dough starts to pull together and off the floor of the mixer, stop adding flour. The dough should be tacky, but not stick to your fingers. (Flour needs to rehydrate and that doesn't happen all at once, so keep dough a bit damp.)

Grilling the hot dogs  

6 kosher hot dogs (I use the large ballpark size)

1/3 cup mustard, yellow or Dijon

Tbsp Everything Bagel Seasoning (optional)

Preheat grill to Medium high

  1. Break off 3 ounces pieces of dough (about the size of a golf ball) and roll into a rope about 10 inches long. (The kiddos can do this!)
  2. Insert the sticks into the dogs. Brush dogs with mustard. Wrap the rope around the dog being sure to keep the dough slightly overlapping so it forms a complete crust. Pinch the end to seal. (The kiddos can do this!)
  3. Sprinkle the wrapped dogs with bagel seasoning and place on grill. Only turn the dogs once the dough has formed a sturdy crust and is beginning to brown (about 3-5 minutes). Brown dogs on all sides (about 5 minutes per side for a total of 15 minutes)
  4. Serve with Grilled Chopped Salad.  

Grilled Chopped Salad with Shaker Vinaigrette

In the summer months, I'll grill anything! I love grilled salad. The lettuce takes on a smoky charred flavor but is crunchy and delicious. Let the kids make the dressing for this salad.  

Extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

A few grinds of black pepper

1 red onion, sliced into ½ inch thick rounds, tossed with olive oil

1 red pepper, seeded and sliced into ½ inch thick rounds, tossed with olive oil

½ pound green beans, tossed with olive oil

3 heads romaine hearts, brushed with olive oil

1 cucumber, sliced into rounds

1-pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half  

  1. Preheat grill to medium high. Season veggies with salt and pepper and place either on a grill sheet (perforated and stable for high heat) or on grates. Grill veggies until lightly charred and caramelized.
  2. Transfer veggies to cutting board and coarsely chop. Transfer to salad bowl and toss with vinaigrette.  

For the vinaigrette

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard

2 teaspoons honey

½ teaspoon sea salt

A couple of grinds of black pepper

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil  

  1. Place all the ingredients in a mason jar and let the kids shake it up.      


Israel's answer to lemonade includes a refreshing punch with fresh mint. I serve my version as a slushie. So cool and invigorating.  

1 cup of sugar

4 cups water

1 ½ cups fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 cups fresh mint leaves

2 cups ice

Garnish: fresh mint leaves  

  1. Bring sugar and water to a simmer and turn off. Cool completely.
  2. In a blender, puree sugar syrup, lemon juice, mint, and ice until a slushie forms.  

Laura Frankel is a kosher chef and cookbook author. Previously, she was the Culinary Director for Jamie Geller's Test Kitchen and Kosher Network International. She is the founder of Shallots Restaurant and served as Executive Chef for Wolfgang Puck.  

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