February 7, 2023
Posted: June 11, 2022 8:55 am
There’s nothing better than summer, and the warm weather is the perfect reason to get family and friends together for a cookout. There’s something intoxicating about the smells, good conversation, and abundance of food that makes these events a memorable occasion. The real star of the show is the food, as everyone knows that you can’t have a summer party without some outstanding offerings.
Who says summer parties must be predictable? When you add a splash of color, some unexpected flavors, and throw some fruit into the mix, you can make your backyard gatherings magazine worthy. Here are some recipes that are sure to wow your guests.
No summer party is complete without some variety of potato salad. There are 101 different ways to make this savory treat, but sometimes a simple recipe is best. Unless you absolutely want it, there’s no need for all that fancy stuff.
•5 Lbs. of Potatoes (Yukon gold or red work best)
•6 Boiled Eggs
•1 – 30 Oz. Jar of Miracle Whip or Salad Dressing
•1 Large Onion
•2 Tbsp. Yellow Mustard
•Salt and Pepper to Taste
•Chop onions into bite sized pieces and set aside.
•Boil the eggs to a hard boil. Peel and set aside to cool. Chop them up into bite-size pieces to mix into the salad.
•Boil the five pounds of potatoes with skins on. Once done, remove the skins by easily peeling them or leaving them on for the salad. Cut potatoes into bite-sized chunks.
•Once the potatoes have cooled, mix the onions, eggs, mustard, and salad dressing together in a large bowl. Add more salad dressing if you prefer a creamier dish.
•Add salt, pepper, and paprika (optional) to the mixture.
•Allow it to chill overnight before serving.
The star of most backyard gatherings is the meat. When you cook a smoked pork belly with crunchy ends, it’s like having a party in your mouth.
The meat-to-fat ratio in this dish just takes it over the top, as the fat adds so much flavor. If you don’t have a smoker, don’t worry. You can also make this in the oven.
•3-5 Lbs. Pork Belly
•1 C. BBQ Sauce
•4 Tbsp. Butter
•2 Tbsp. Honey
•Salt and Pepper to Taste
•Trim the excess fat off the pork belly and cut it into two-inch cubes.
•Mix the marinade together with the BBQ sauce of choice, butter, and honey.
•Place pork belly into a metal pan you can use in the smoker and pour the marinade all over it. Add salt and pepper to taste. Make sure you place a lid on the pan.
•Place meat in the smoker for 60-90 minutes. Uncover the beef and cook for another 15 minutes. You want the temperature to reach 225 in the center of the meat, so you will need to use a thermometer to check it. If you use the oven, set it to 350 degrees until done.
•Stir the meat and sauce after cooking to ensure that the juices are evenly distributed.
*It’s important to note that pork can dry very quickly in a smoker. Since each smoker is different and there are many other variables like the type of wood used, ensure to watch the temperature more than the time.
No summer party is complete without some good salads. While you expect there will be macaroni, potato, and pasta salads aplenty, what your guest won’t expect is a cowboy variety.
Cowboy caviar is a rather new recipe that’s sure to please. Pair it with some tortilla chips or other snacking crackers.
•1 Can Tomatoes (14 Oz)
•1 Can Black Eyed Peas (15 Oz.)
•1 Can Black Beans (15 Oz.)
•2 C. Corn
•1 Medium Onion
•½ Green Pepper
•½ Tsp. Garlic Powder
•1 C. Italian Dressing
•½ C. Cilantro
•1 C. Cheddar Cheese (Optional)
•Drain peas, corn, and beans, but leave the tomatoes in their juice.
•Chop the onion and green pepper and set aside.
•Get a large bowl and add the peas, corn, beans, onion, pepper, garlic, dressing, and cilantro. Mix well. Stir in cheese if you so desire.
•Cover the mixture and allow it to sit in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to allow the flavors to blend thoroughly.
If you’re ready to kick up your backyard party and add some flare, then why not throw some teriyaki sauce over some delicious grilled shrimp and pineapple?
Marinating the shrimp first creates a flavor profile that tantalizes your mouth. Since it’s on a stick like a kabob, it’s an upscale finger food everyone will love.
•3 C. of chunked pineapple
•1 Lb. Shrimp
•1 Tbsp. Sriracha
•¼ C. Soy Sauce
•¼ C. Brown Sugar
•2 Tsp. Minced Garlic
•2 Tsp. Grated Ginger
•Prepare the shrimp first by deshelling and deveining it. Set it aside till later.
•Mix the sriracha, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and ginger in a saucepan over medium heat. Melt all the sugar and allow the flavors to marry but not boil.
•Pour the mixture into a medium-sized bowl with enough room for the shrimp. Place marinade in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour.
•Once the mixture has adequately cured, remove it from the bowl and grab skewers. Stack the shrimp and pineapple by alternating each one till the skewer is full.
•Place on the grill for about 3-5 minutes on each side, or until the shrimp is done.
No cookout is complete without a hamburger in the mix. You can take ground beef to the next level by using spices and seasonings. Who wants a plain hamburger when you can jazz it up with ranch?
•2 Lbs. Ground Beef or Chuck
•1 Packet of Ranch Dressing Mix
•1 Tsp. Black Pepper
•1 Large Beefsteak Tomato
•Sesame Seed Hamburger Buns
•Pepper Jack Cheese Slices (or a variety of your choice)
•Mix ranch dressing and black pepper into ground beef. Use your hands and incorporate them well. Patty out into burgers about one inch thick, and it should make six patties.
•Grill over medium heat until brown. The internal temperature on these should be as follows:
125 for Rare
135 for Med-rare
145 for Med
•When the burger is about five degrees from its intended temperature, place one slice of cheese on the top. Allow it to melt and cover both sides.
•Remove burgers from the grill. Place on a bun with lettuce leaves and a slice of tomato. Allow your guests to choose their condiments of choice.
No cookout is complete without a tangy dessert. Chocolate cake and cookies are so overdone, and you want something that will make an impression.
Nothing is more impressive than pulling out your trifle bowl and creating a summer masterpiece. Not only will the flavors blow you away, but the presentation is something of royalty.
•6 Egg Yolks
•1 C. Sugar
•4 Large Lemons
•1 Stick Salted Butter Cubed
•1 Pint Strawberries
•1 Pint Blueberries
•1 Pint Raspberries
•1 Pint Blackberries
•1 Tub Cool Whip
•1 Lemon Pound Cake (already made)
•Separate the eggs and throw out the whites. You only need the yokes to make the lemon curd.
•Juice the lemons and zest about two tablespoons of the skins.
•In a medium-sized saucepan, mix the lemon juice, zest, sugar, and egg yolks on low heat. Do not let this mixture boil. Stir it constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling.
•Once the mixture has doubled in volume, remove it from the heat. Slowly add butter, one cube at a time, and whisk until well incorporated.
•Place mixture in the refrigerator until it sets. It should be cold and firm before mixing. Once it’s set, mix the container of cool whip into the mixture to take it to a moose consistency.
•Rince all the berries and combine them into a bowl.
•Cut the lemon pound cake into cubes and line the first layer of your trifle with the cake. Then spoon the lemon moose onto the cake and add a layer of the berry mix. Keep rotating between cake, fruit, and moose until you reach the top.
If you’ve never had fruit on the grill, you’re in for a real treat. Something about the heat seems to make the sweet and tangy flavor of the fruit explode. Additionally, the sugar caramelizes to create a sweet treat worthy of a five-star restaurant.
•5 Ripe Peaches (cut into halves)
•1 Stick Salted Butter
•1 Tsp. Cinnamon Sugar
•2 Tbsp. Sugar
•Pinch of Salt
•Oil of Your Choice
•In a bowl, combine the butter, sugar, cinnamon, salt and mix well.
•Brush a light oil coating on top of the peaches.
•Over high heat, grill the peaches until they’re golden brown on top.
•Top with the butter and cinnamon mixture and plate. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or a sprig of mint.
If you love street corn, you will want to add this recipe to your go-to list. If you love roasting ears, you’ll jump on the bandwagon of unique recipes with this savory, spicy, mouthwatering variety.
•3/4 C. Unsalted Cashews
•2.5 Tsp. Minced Garlic
•1/4 C. Water
•2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
•1 Tbsp. Real Maple Syrup
•1 Tbsp. Lime Juice
•1 Tbsp. Hot Sauce or Sriracha of Your Choice
•1/8 Tsp. Smoked Paprika
•1/8 Tsp. Cumin
•1/8 Tsp. Chili Powder
•1/2 Tsp. Nutritional Yeast
•8 Large Ears of Corn
•5 Cloves of Minced Garlic
•Fresh Cilantro for Topping
•Boil a pan of water and remove from stove. Place cashews in the water until they’re soft.
•Get a large bowl of water and add some ice. You want to soak the corn in the water mixture to prevent it from burning on the grill.
•Take softened cashews and put them in a food processor. Add nutritional yeast, spices, garlic, and hot sauce. Use a high setting to ensure the sauce is creamy and without lumps. Use salt and pepper to get the desired taste consistency. Set in refrigerator till the corn is done.
•Cook the corn for 5-7 minutes by turning it constantly. Once done, remove the husk and put it back on the grill to get the grill marks. Watch it closely and frequently turn to prevent burning.
•Remove the corn from the grill and put it on a large serving platter. Drizzle the corn with the aioli sauce you made and add a splash of lime juice to the top. You can also top with more spices and herbs to appease your taste.
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