So to go along with the post HERE about making your own table linens I am providing two suggested menus to complement two very different cookouts. The first is a traditional BBQ and the second is a more chic take on a BBQ meal. I always like to use the freshest ingredients when cooking.
Baked Potatoes, Steak, Grilled Corn on the Cob, Green Salad.
Marinated Steak, Angel Hair Pasta with Zucchini and Tomato Onion Chop, Green Salad
Both of these menus require a limited number of ingredients to make and will yield a satisfying supper. For the Traditional BBQ you will need baking potatoes, steaks, corn on the cob (DO NOT SHUCK – it must be in the husk still), salad greens of your choosing , carrots, onion, garlic. Prepare the potatoes for baking by washing them and cutting them into more manageable pieces. Rip a large piece of tinfoil and place the potato pieces on it. You should add butter, chopped onion, garlic, salt and other seasonings to taste. Wrap the tinfoil around the potatoes well as this will go on the BBQ. On a medium setting you should cook the potatoes evenly (flip them) for about 35-40 minutes. The corn should be placed on the BBQ at the same time as the meat. Leave it in the husk – this will keep it from drying out and helps it to cook evenly. The corn will take about 15-20 minutes so if you like your steak on the rare side you should start the corn well in advance. Make up your salad and grate the carrot on top to add garnish and extra nutritional value. Serve and Enjoy!
For the Chic BBQ you will need steaks, tomatoes (1 per person) white onion (1/4 per person), angel hair (capellini) or other thin pasta (spaghettini is a good choice), zucchini (1/2 per person) salad greens of your choosing, carrot. You can prepare the tomato onion chop and zucchini well in advance. As the name suggests the tomato and onion should be chopped into small pieces and mixed together. Make sure to choose firm tomatoes and then get rid of as much of the juicy innards as possible. You don’t want a soggy chop.
Cut the zucchini in half and scrape out the centre. You want to have about a centimetre of zucchini left inside the skin. Now thinly (very thinly) slice the zucchini.
The chop is served cold but you will need to pour boiling water over the zucchini strips. Don’t leave them in the hot water but drain them right away. This takes only a few seconds and can be done right before serving. Cook the pasta as suggested and depending on how you like your steak, put that on the BBQ. Marinated steaks can be purchased but if you want to marinate your own you will need to leave it in the fridge overnight to make sure it soaks up as much of the flavour as possible. You can make your own marinade or purchase one. Make up your salad and grate the carrot on top. To make this even more chic you could substitute mandarin orange pieces for the carrots, add almonds and then use pomegranate juice for a dressing. Delicious.
There are many other ideas out there naturally, but these are quick, easy and will keep your dinner guests pleased. For dessert you could make brownies - or you could wait for the ice cream truck to drive by and grab a few ice cream sandwiches. Either way Happy End of Summer and enjoy being out of doors as much as possible.