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Barbecue Reimagined

Utilizing BBQ leftovers in creative grilling recipes your family will love

Article by Brian Bailey

Photography by Terry Fravel

Originally published in Canton Lifestyle

On any summer weekend, Old Carolina Barbecue Company fans will collectively pick up thousands of pounds of hickory smoked meats and side dishes to share with family and friends at graduation parties, birthdays, reunions and even wedding receptions. Barbecue travels well, holds well and always satisfies the guests.

Inevitably, leftovers will end up in refrigerators only to be later reheated and served in the same sandwich and sides formation from the original event. But leftovers don’t have to be a repeat! Pulled pork, baked beans and mac ‘n cheese can be reimagined as base ingredients for other creative grilling recipes.

For example, baked beans and coleslaw on top of a grilled hot dog becomes a Tar Heel Dog, an early menu favorite not currently served at the Old Carolina restaurant. Pulled pork, diced red onion and Ranchero sauce (see Quesadilla recipe) make for a gourmet hot dog topping, too.

Tacos, burgers, grilled pizzas and grilled cheese sandwiches are also perfect canvases for your culinary imagination. The recipes included here should get those juices flowing and maybe even your mouth watering!

Brian Bailey is co-founder of Old Carolina Barbecue Company, a 10-unit restaurant & catering operation based in Northeast Ohio. Old Carolina has won more than 150 awards for barbecue. Brian enjoys teaching Q School, where he shares professional barbecue secrets for the home grill. Learn more at OldCarolina.com.

Cheesy Pete Hot Dog

+ All beef natural casing hot dogs

+ Split top buns

+ Mac and Cheese

+ Texas Pete Hot Sauce

+ Bread crumbs (optional)

The best hot dogs have that great “snap” when you bite into them. You’ll only find that in hot dogs with natural casings. I love all beef dogs smothered with creamy Mac ‘n Cheese and Texas Pete Hot Sauce. You can get a little extra texture with a topping of bread crumbs.

BBQ Quesadillas

+ Flour Tortillas

+ Pulled Pork

+ Shredded Cheddar Cheese

+ Diced Red Onion

+ Chopped Cilantro

For the Ranchero BBQ Sauce

+ ¼ Cup OC Classic Sweet BBQ

+ ¼ Cup Ranch Dressing

+ ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper (or to taste)

+ Mix all three ingredients

This is one of my favorite ways to utilize leftover smoked meats, even on the third or fourth day after a party. The melted cheese is a gooey hero, compensating for any drying out that occurred in the meat. My family even gets involved in the cooking, building and stuffing their own quesadillas, adding or subtracting ingredients to match their individual tastes.

The recipe here is for Pulled Pork Quesadillas, but you could also use chicken or chopped beef brisket. For the brisket, Colby-Jack cheese, corn salsa and a spicy crema is amazing!

Simply spread shredded cheese over half the tortilla. Top with pulled pork, red onion and cilantro. Drizzle with the easy to make Ranchero BBQ Sauce. Fold tortilla

I love cooking the quesadillas on the grill, over a medium-low direct heat. Don’t turn up that flame or you’ll burn the tortilla before the cheese melts. Flip when the tortilla toasts and the cheese starts to melt. You can also prepare the tortillas in a frying pan on the stove with a little melted butter.

Pulled Pork Bruschetta

+ Pulled Pork

+ Plain Cream Cheese

+ OC Classic Sweet BBQ Sauce

+ Chopped Cilantro

+ French Baguette (cut into slices)

+ Olive oil, salt and pepper

This appetizer recipe is super simple looks fancy.

Slice the baguette on the bias about ¼” thick. Brush with olive oil and season with Italian seasoning or just a little salt and pepper. Grill until toasted and allow to cool.

Spread cream cheese on the baguette slices. I like to use whipped cream cheese. Top with a pinch of pulled pork. Warm pork is easier to work with, but the apps can be served cold or at room temperature. Drizzle with barbecue sauce and sprinkle with cilantro.

"Pulled pork, baked beans and mac ‘n cheese can be reimagined as base ingredients for other creative grilling recipes."

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