“Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August.” — Jenny Han
The languor of summer afternoons rolling into generous twilights, a riot of color, comforting and nostalgic scents beckon us to gather outdoors in appreciation of such bounty. In short, ladies and gentlemen, BBQ season is officially open!
Father's Day, The Fourth of July, family reunions, graduations and simple weekend gatherings are all opportunities to practice the art of hospitality in the great outdoors! The beauty of a well-planned BBQ is that it allows you to deliver a really enjoyable meal without compromising your freedom to mingle and relax. It all comes down to simplicity and the right combination of offerings and flavor profiles.
Here at the Pot Pie Bar, we asked our Executive Chef for a sample BBQ menu. She did us one better and threw in some tips.
The Three Mains
Bacon & Cheddar burgers
Tips: Before you grill your burger, press your thumb into the center of the patty forming a divot so that it won't "dome" as it cooks. Bring your patties to room temp before you grill. A simple way to add flavor is to choose a good aged cheddar and thick-cut hickory smoked or maple bacon. You can add flare to burgers by offering toppings such as jalapeno relish, fried onions and tasty aiolis.
Sweet and Hot Italian sausages
Tips: You could also opt for Linguica, Andouille or Chorizo instead of the Hot Italian. Before grilling, prick your sausages with a fork so the casings don't burst while firing.
The Pot Pie Bar's Veggie Pot Pie
Tips: It's always good to have a delicious vegetarian "main" on hand. Our Veggie Pot Pie fits the bill and is so easy to make! Simply follow the reheat instructions and voila - a beautiful homemade option!
The Three Sides
Tips: For quick prep you can find a package of julienned white and red cabbage and carrots in your local produce section. (Just don't use the flavor packet it comes with). A simple mix of mayo, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and celery seed completes the magic. For optimal flavor make your slaw anywhere from 2-24 hours beforehand. For a twist on Traditional Slaw, you could offer an Asian or Chipotle slaw.
Fire-roasted Corn, Cucumber & Tomato Salad
Tips: We suggest small-diced seedless cucumbers (aka English Cucumbers) and Roma tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes lengthwise, scoop them out and then dice. For easy prep and authentic taste we suggest a frozen fire-roasted corn. Make sure to thoroughly drain and thaw the corn before adding. For authenticity, you could grill your own corn and slice it into your salad on the day. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and a touch of cumin. Do not make more than 24 hours in advance to avoid leaching.
Moroccan Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
Tips: A delicious alternative to traditional potato salad. We suggest roasted sweet potatoes for the caramelized flavor. We like to keep the skins on for texture and nutritional value. The rest is a snap: sherry vinegar, olive oil, cumin, coriander and salt and pepper.
The Crowning Glory: Fourth of July Trifles
Step 1: Make the curd
- Zest of 3 lemons
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1/4 lb. softened butter
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- Salt to taste
Directions:1. Put the sugar and lemon zest into a food processor and blend until fully incorporated
2. Add the softened butter to the sugar and lemon mixture and blend
3. Add the eggs one at a time and mix. Then add the lemon juice.
4. Place the mixture in a pot over low heat, whisking continuously until thickened (about 170 F). Add salt to taste
Step 2: Assemble the Trifles
- 24 Clear petite cups, 2 oz
- 24 small spoons
- 2 c heavy whipping cream
- 1 pt blueberries
- 1 lb of strawberries diced small
Directions:1. Whip 2 cups of heavy cream
2. Fold 1/2 cup of the lemon curd into the whipped cream until incorporated
3. Put the mousse into a piping bag
4. Place several blueberries into a small clear cup - just enough to cover the bottom
5. Pipe a layer of the mousse over the blueberries and then top it with diced strawberries
6. Repeat layering process until the cup is full. Garnish with a blueberry or blackberry
Tip: Keep refrigerated with the cups individually wrapped. You can make this up to 24 hours before serving.