Saturday, May 01, 2010
Tradition with a twist
Explore new ways to kick your summertime barbecue up a notch
A summer barbecue is one of life's simple pleasures. There's nothing like spending a warm afternoon mingling with friends, enjoying the lake and some traditional summertime food.
If you live on or are vacationing at the lake, you can host your own lakeside barbecue with these fun, creative ideas and delicious recipes. If you're not on the water, pack up your goodies and head out to the SML State Park or Franklin County Community Park.You can also rent a boat at one of the lake's many marinas and take your meal on the water.
Boost the Flavor
While you're soaking up the sun, the meats for your menu can be soaking up some great new flavors. Hot dogs, chicken and burgers – all affordable crowd-pleasers – can be taken to a new level with different sauces and marinades.
Enhance grilled hot dogs with a barbecue sauce that uses Dr. Pepper to give it a savory-sweet flavor. The kids(and adults) will be lining up for more.
Another trend in grilling includes using favorite cocktail recipes for dips and marinades. Turn formulas for a classic Manhattan or Mojito into marinades to pair along with beef, chicken or fish.
Why make a plain old burger when you can make stuffed burgers? Divide your hamburger meat and shape into thin patties. Place a filling on one patty, top with another and then seal the edges. Great filler ideas include a mixture of bacon and onion, baked garlic, sautéed mushrooms, and feta or blue cheese.
It's important to keep soft drinks,beer and wine cold when entertaining outdoors, but you don't have to use ugly,worn out coolers. Get creative by choosing wine casks, antique metal laundry tubs, large ceramic planters or any large, sturdy basket. Line with heavy plastic, add ice and assorted beverages.
Another fun idea is to turn a child's wagon into a portable cooler. Line the wagon with clear plastic trash bags, secure with clear tape on the sides and add 2-4 large bags of ice. It's an easy way to move your drinks from dock to house or to shady areas in the yard as the sun shifts.
Odds and Ends
If there will be kids at your lakeside barbecue, be sure to have items on hand to keep them busy and having fun. Fill buckets with water balloons, water pistols, foam footballs and Frisbees.
For your table, choose paper plates and napkins in bright summer colors. Add potted plants and flowers for centerpieces. In the evening, bring out mason jars filled with citronella candles to provide soft light while keeping the bugs at bay.
For dessert, it's hard to beat s'mores, especially if you have a lakeside fire pit (installed or portable). Pre-assemble the ingredients – graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate –into individual packages. For a twist, consider using chocolate or cinnamon graham crackers or a peanut butter cup in lieu of a regular chocolate bar.
HOT DOGS WITH DR PEPPER BARBECUE SAUCE
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 12-ounce can of Dr. Pepper
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoons ground white pepper
1 teaspoons kosher salt
8 hot dogs
8 hot dog buns, split and toasted
Optional toppers: Sliced pickles, sliced jalapeno peppers and chopped onion
In a medium saucepan, add the butter, onions and garlic and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the onions are tender. Add next 9 ingredients, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Continue to cook, uncovered until the sauce begins to thicken, 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes then transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.
Cook hot dogs on your grill. Place on toasted buns and top with Dr. Pepper sauce and toppers.
CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS MARINATED WITH HONEY AND SOY
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger, finely chopped
12 chicken drumsticks
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Lime wedges, sesame seeds and cilantro sprigs for garnish
Mix together the hoisin sauce, honey, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a large bowl to blend. Set the marinade aside. Using a sharp knife, score the chicken allover. Add the chicken to the marinade and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight.
Using heavy-duty foil, line your grill and make a few cuts. Transfer chicken to grill and cook. Take reserved marinade and, in a small pot, heat through until cooked. Baste chicken while cooking to create a glaze.
Transfer chicken to serving platter and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.
1 small onion, chopped
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 (1-ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
Fresh-ground black pepper
4 large hamburger buns
Prepare a grill for medium heat. When hot, lightly oil the grate. Fry the bacon in a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onions to the pan; cook and stir until bacon is browned, but not crisp and onion is soft. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Season to taste with black pepper.
In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef and onion soup mix. Divide into 8 balls and then flatten into thin patties. Place a quarter of the bacon mixture onto each of four patties. Top with the remaining patties and press the edges together to seal.
Grill the burgers for about 15 minutes, turning once, until well done. Serve on buns with your favorite condiments.
2 ounces rum (try a spiced rum like Captain Morgan's for an added kick)
12 mint leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 ounces soda water
Place mint leaves in bottom of glass. Add crushed ice, rum, sugar and lime juice, and mix together. Add soda water and garnish with mint leaves.
CLASSIC MOJITO MARINADE
Use the same recipe for the Mojito but leave out the sugar and add a few tablespoons of olive oil, some coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Double up on the lime. Add the mix to chicken and marinate at least four hours. For fish, marinate just one hour.
2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce Sweet Vermouth
1 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice
1 maraschino cherry
Shake the bourbon, sweet vermouth and maraschino cherry juice over ice and serve straight up in a chilled martini glass.
Use the same ingredients as above but don't shake over ice. Instead, add:
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup soy sauce
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups water
3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Marinate steak or ribs 8-12 hours in the refrigerator, turning several times.