Finally, it seems as though our Colorado sunshine is here to stay. The summer is ahead of us, promising long morning walks, poolside afternoons, and evening barbeques. While there is nothing wrong with a simple and traditional BBQ gathering for burgers, hot dogs, and beer, we thought we’d put a fun Serendipity spin on this classic summer soiree.
In the late 1800’s cowboys were fed sub-par cuts of meat while out on their cattle drives. These cuts of meat took a long time to tenderize and would cook over low heat on a wood or charcoal grill. Luckily, over time we figured out what types of meat or other items cook well and easily on the grill. (While traditional BBQ is another wildly popular tradition, this subject could take a whole another blog–stay tuned!) For today, we are talking summer patio grilling and easy foods for warm weather entertaining.
These days it is not uncommon to see anything from grilled veggie appetizers to toasted marshmallows for s’mores. For amusing and entertaining starter foods, try grilling a salad on a skewer. Types of salads that grill well are Caprese (Mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, bread, garnished with chopped basil and olive oil) or try a fun take on a Caesar using small squares of romaine, chunks of bread, and raw shrimp; finish with Caesar dressing and Parmesan. Grilling the typically un-cooked vegetables will give them deeper flavor and the highly coveted grill marks. As a rule of thumb, when grilling items on skewers, always make sure that the food pieces are relatively close in size.
For a main course, aside from traditional burgers, try grilling the lighter chicken burgers and topping with grilled fresh fruits like grilled fruit salsa, or a portabella burger with pesto and mozzarella. Or grill your favorite meats and vegetables with a lime chili rub and set up a make-your-own fajita bar, setting out salsas, guacamole, and cheeses. Complete with a side of grilled corn on the cob. Other fun foods to try grilling are pizzas, quesadillas, and fresh fruit (bananas, strawberries, peaches, apples, and pineapple work best).
Grill your dessert too! There are many ways to use your grill to sweeten up your last dish. Keep it simple and easy: grill fruits and serve with whipped cream or ice cream, or grilled store-bought pound cake and top with a chocolate sauce and toasted nuts. Take a new twist on strawberry rhubarb pie and grill the berries before hand. Or, have a grilled banana sundae.
To really keep the summer party rollin’ try one of these unique drinks: