Ah yes – BBQ season has finally arrived! Which means, ladies, that all male household members are sharpening their tools and preparing for “Summer Grilling.”
A few suggestions to my female powerhouses:
• Let him have this time and don’t kill his buzz. Just be prepared as far as quantity and variety of food.
• Leave the meat to him, which means you can come up with a shrimp, chicken, or vegetarian option. Yes, you can do vegetarian BBQ (as if!).
• Get the kids involved. You’ll need sides.
• Prepare in advance so you’re not running around at the last minute, unable to enjoy the festivities.
• Condiments at a BBQ are everything. My personal favorites are Kozlik’s assortment of mustards, Heinz ketchup, and Best Foods mayonnaise mixed with ketchup, Sriracha, and relish for a kicked-up version of Thousand Island sauce. Don’t forget the sauerkraut. And I’m assuming there’ll be hot dogs – there’s always dogs!
• Create a beautiful tablescape with lots of color and seasonality. If it’s Father’s Day, Labor Day or just any day, get into a theme.
• Ask your guests to bring dessert. Someone should also pick up a cool watermelon.
• Leave the hard liquor in the cabinet. Instead, break out the sangria and beer, on ice and ready to grab-and-go.
• Invite people you like, not people you feel you’re obligated to invite. Who wants to spend an entire day surrounded by you-know-whats?
• Most importantly – you’ll have leftovers. Buy disposable containers that you can part with easily so people can take food home.
Anytime I have company over, I turn to the big beautiful BBQ I have in my backyard for multiple reasons. One, my husband jumps right in and does the cooking, and two, did I mention my husband does the cooking?
However, I also have a small indoor grill that I use when it’s just the two of us. We love grilling up veggies and a great big salad, and yes, a cool bottle of my DAVIDI Chardonnay wine with perhaps a piece of pecorino Romano or Camembert cheese.
We’re so blessed to live in Southern California with this beautiful year-round weather that a BBQ is a no-brainer. In fact, you can also grill fruits for a light, healthy, grilled fruit dessert.
Here are two of my favorite BBQ recipes that can be used with any protein. Change up the chicken with pork, ribs, or even tofu. Shrimp not your thing? Go for wings, salmon, or even tenderloin. My point here is you can BBQ everything and anything, and your hubby and family will love you for it. Impress your friends with a vegan BBQ with some gorgeous sides.
Until next time… Nouche Jaan • Bon Appétit! ~Chef P.
Bourbon Bacon BBQ Chicken & Plantain Kebabs
• 6 slices bacon (I prefer a thick cut)
• 2 lbs. chicken breast (you can use dark meat, too – delish!)
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp. onion powder
• 1 cup barbecue sauce (premade good stuff is OK!)
• 3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
• 2 tsp. kosher salt
• 2 tbsp. paprika
• 1 tbsp. paprika, smoked
• 1 tsp. white pepper, ground
• 1/8 cup bourbon
• 1 cup green onion
• 2 plantains cut on a bias, brushed with
sauce and grilled
Serve this delicious dish either on a bed of greens, dirty rice, or my favorite, a fresh, crisp slaw and some cheesy cornbread, for a perfect BBQ fix!
SUCCULENT PESTO GRILLED SHRIMP SKEWERS
• 1/2 cup mint, packed (you can substitute basil or flat leaf
• 1 small clove garlic
• 1 tbsp. lemon juice (fresh-squeezed)
• 1 tsp. salt and pepper (or to taste)
• 2 tbsp. olive oil (use extra virgin)
• 1 tbsp. pine nuts, toasted (if you can’t buy them, don’t
stress – use walnuts or almonds)
• 2 tbsp. Parmigiano-Reggiano (freshly grated)
• 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined (the bigger the better)
• Soak skewers in water.
• In a food processor, mix all ingredients except shrimp.
• Marinade shrimp in pesto mixture for two hours.
Don’t leave overnight as you’ll cook the shrimp.
• Add four shrimp to each skewer and brush on additional pesto.
• Place skewers on grill 2-3 minutes per side until slightly
undercooked. Remove and set on a platter, which will keep
them cooking without overcooking.
• Serve with a side of pesto and fresh, grilled summer veggies.
• Use butter lettuce to make wraps for a low-carb option.
• For added color, alternate shrimp with bell peppers, red onion,
and pineapple chunks.