Will you be inviting your friends over this summer for an outdoor barbecue? If the answer is yes, remember that many people take their barbecuing quite seriously. Simply serving grilled proteins and vegetables with chilled beverages will not be enough to impress your guests. To win the admiration of your guests, try authentic barbecuing. Nicely seasoned ground beef tastes great on the gas grill, but it doesn't match the added mesquite flavor you get when you cook your meat over mesquite wood. Impress your friends this summer with a well-planned barbecue. The Internet offers an endless amount of information on how to prepare and cook your food properly. Here are some simple recipes that will help you serve a great meal for your guests.
I recommend serving two entrees. Pork ribs are an excellent first choice to serve. But be prepared, because they will take some time to prepare (and you're going to cheat by first cooking them in your oven). Cut each full rack of ribs in smaller sections; you may try half-racks or smaller. (For parties, I prefer going with two ribs per serving.) Sprinkle salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon of chili pepper over the ribs, and wrap each rack in foil. Bake for 2 hours, 30 minutes at 300 F. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in water, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, honey and Worcestershire sauce. Season with 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, liquid smoke, whiskey, paprika, dark molasses and 1/2 tablespoon of ground chili pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat. Simmer for 1 hour, 15 minutes, uncovered, or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat, and set the sauce aside. Remove the ribs from the oven, and let them cool slightly. Remove the racks from the foil, and place them on the warm grill. Grill the ribs for 4 minutes on each side. Baste sauce on the ribs while they're grilling at the end.
Tilapia is a nice fish for the grill, and pineapple salsa is a great topper for a summer meal. And this is a nice option for those who do not like to eat ribs. Take a small bowl and combine 2 cups of chopped pineapple, 2 chopped onions, 1/4 cup of green pepper, a bit of cilantro, 4 teaspoons of lime juice, 1/8 teaspoon of salt and cayenne. Add jalapenos if you like some kick to the salsa. Chill your salsa concoction until serving. Combine 1 tablespoon of canola oil and 2 tablespoons of lime juice; drizzle over fillets. Sprinkle with pepper and salt. Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Grill fish, covered, over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with salsa. These amounts should serve 8 comfortably.
Two side dishes will complement your two main courses nicely. A tasty choice is corn on the cob. One way to spice up the corn is to serve it Mexican-style on the grill. Start by grilling 4 ears of corn that have been shucked for 7-10 minutes. Once the corn is cooked, roll it in melted butter (try melting 1/2 stick of butter), and then add a light spreading of mayonnaise on top of the butter, and finish it by sprinkling grated cotija cheese on the corn. To add more flavor, you also may try squeezing the juice from a fresh lime wedge over the corn. Serve immediately!
A simple and healthy summer salad is a good second option. Toss together mixed salad greens, blueberries, Gorgonzola cheese and toasted pecans. A great dressing is a sprinkling of some juice from freshly cut lemons. You also may try a simple vinaigrette.
In the summertime, nothing beats a chipwich for dessert. Take 2 homemade cookies and softened ice cream. Place the ice cream on the backside of one cookie, and top off with the second cookie. Try to get the ice cream about 1 inch thick and evenly distributed. (That is why using softened or warmer ice cream is important.) Once it's complete, place it back in the freezer to refreeze the ice cream and allow the chipwich to set. Do not remove until serving.
I hope these recipes treat you well. Enjoy!