11/21/2013 03:48 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

Party fare easy on indoor grill: satay, quesadillas, cheese and asparagus rolls

With holiday parties around the corner, many hosts are looking for easy-to-make recipes to add to their festive repertoire.

Here are three recipes that can be prepared on an indoor grill and would make wonderful additions to an appetizer tray or sandwich board. They were created by Ilana Simon, author of "125 Best Indoor Grill Recipes."

Shrimp Satay

Shrimp is always popular at parties and Ilana Simon says this version is one of her favourites. The easy-to-make satays are bound to please guests too.

Use natural smooth peanut butter for best results. If using processed peanut butter, reduce the amount of honey by half.

12 bamboo skewers (each 23 cm/9 inches long)

4 cloves garlic

50 ml (1/4 cup) peanut butter

30 ml (2 tbsp) soy sauce

30 ml (2 tbsp) sesame oil

30 ml (2 tbsp) seasoned rice vinegar

30 ml (2 tbsp) minced ginger root

30 ml (2 tbsp) liquid honey

1 kg (2 lb) jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

Soak bamboo skewers in hot water for 30 minutes.

In a food processor, mince garlic. Add peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger root and honey, and process until smooth. (Make ahead: Prepare peanut sauce up to 2 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate.)

Thread shrimp loosely onto bamboo skewers, 3 to 4 shrimp per skewer, leaving space at each end. Brush sauce over shrimp, covering both sides. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 20 minutes or for up to 1 hour.

Preheat contact grill. (If your contact grill has more than one temperature setting, set it to medium-high.) Spray both sides of grill with vegetable cooking spray or oil. Place shrimp skewers on grill, close lid and grill for 2 minutes or until shrimp are pink and opaque.

Makes 12 skewers (about 40 shrimp).


Grilled Mango and Brie Quesadillas

These quesadillas combine mango and creamy brie in a great appetizer, Simon says. Or the quesadillas can be served as a light lunch.

To ripen a mango, place in a paper bag with bananas, but check frequently to prevent over-ripening.

1 mango, peeled and chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

50 ml (1/4 cup) minced red onion

50 ml (1/4 cup) chopped fresh cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

250 g (8 oz) brie, thinly sliced

8 tortillas (25 cm/10 inches in diameter)

In a small bowl, combine mango, jalapeno, onion and cilantro. Add lime juice, mixing well to combine. (Make ahead: Prepare mango salsa up to 2 hours in advance. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)

Divide brie evenly among tortillas, laying it on the lower half. Divide mango salsa evenly on top of brie. Fold each tortilla in half.

Preheat contact grill. (If your contact grill has more than one temperature setting, set it to high.)

Spray both sides of contact grill with vegetable cooking spray or oil. Place quesadillas on grill with folded side closest to front edge. (This prevents cheese from running down into the drip tray.)

Close lid. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

Slice each quesadilla into 2 triangles.

Makes 8 quesadillas.


Grilled Cheese and Asparagus Rolls

Ilana Simon says this is her twist on the classic grilled cheese and asparagus roll. The recipe makes delicious party sandwiches.

Sharp cold-pack cheddar can be found alongside other packaged cheeses in the dairy section of the supermarket.

The asparagus can be trimmed and steamed up to 1 hour in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

4 kaiser rolls

250 ml (1 cup) grated sharp cold-pack cheddar cheese

8 spears asparagus, trimmed and steamed

1/4 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

10 ml (2 tsp) butter, room temperature, divided

Preheat contact grill. (If your contact grill has more than one temperature setting, set it to high.)

Slice rolls in half and place, cut side down, on grill. With lid open, grill for 1 minute.

Evenly divide cheese, asparagus and red pepper among rolls to make 4 sandwiches. Sprinkle with pepper, if using.

Spread 2 ml (1/2 tsp) of the butter on the outside of each roll, making sure to butter both sides.

Place sandwiches on grill and close tightly. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: "125 Best Indoor Grill Recipes" by Ilana Simon (Robert Rose Inc.,, 2013).