We recently celebrated Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer. Summer time inspires so many activities to bring the fun outdoors including a good ole’ fashion barbeque! Here are some helpful tips and recipes to make your next party the talk of the town!
Décor & Atmosphere
Based off your guest list, you should have adequate tables and chairs to accommodate all. Table cloths and centerpieces will add flair. Centerpieces can include candles, lanterns, or seasonal flowers. Clear party lights, lanterns, candles, etc. creates a festive atmosphere for after dark. Music playing in the background is a must to keep the energy and fun going.
Make sure you have the basics! Ice, cups, plates, napkins, utensils, condiments, and serving platters.
Have a buffet table set up to display food and utensils. A drink station can include ice buckets of beer, soft drinks, water or a cocktail station. Extra trash bags and trash cans should be readily available close by. Have bug spray available as you don’t want your guests leaving early because of bites!
If kids are invited, put a few games out for them to enjoy so the adults can talk and relax. Some great games include bean bag toss, horseshoes, washers, badminton, bubble station, and water balloons. Some adults may get in on the fun as well.
We all know that a Texas Barbeque is centered around the meat. Be aware of your guest list and provide a couple of options like beef and chicken to help please all palates. Of course the main dish needs a variety of side dishes! Need ideas for side dishes? See below for recipes inspired from some of our Realtor’s home states.
Tonya’s South Texas Baked Beans
1/2 a small onion chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
3 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
2-16 oz cans Bush's pork and beans
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar
4 tablespoons Bar B Que sauce
1/2 pound bacon strips cut into 1/2- inch pieces
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Saute onion and bell pepper in the butter until soft
In a casserole dish mix onion, bell pepper, beans, mustard, maple syrup, brown sugar, & bar b que sauce. Top with the bacon pieces. Bake, covered, for 45 to 60 minutes.
Shanna’s South Carolina Frogmore Stew
1 1/2 gallons water
Juice of one (1) lemon
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning*
Redskin new potatoes (depending on size, 3 or more per person)
2 pounds spicy sausage (like andouille or kielbasa, etc.), cut into 1/2-inch slices
10 to 12 ears of shucked corn on the cob, broken into 3-inch pieces
4 pounds uncooked shrimp in shell, preferably jumbo-size shrimp**
* The general rule is 2 tablespoons crab boil seasoning per gallon water (or more to taste)
** Some people like to substitute fresh crab for the shrimp.
In a very large stock pot over medium-high heat, add the water, lemon, salt, and Old Bay Seasoning; bring to a boil.
When the seasoned water comes to a boil, add redskin potatoes and boil for 20 minutes. When done, the potatoes should be easily pierced with a knife but not mushy.
Add sausage and gently boil, uncovered, 5 minutes.
Add corn and cook and continue cooking an additional 5 minutes (begin timing immediately, do not wait until water is boiling).
Add shrimp and cook and additional 3 to 5 minutes longer. Do not overcook the shrimp. Remove from heat and drain immediately.
Serve with lots of paper towels or napkins and ice-cold beverages, plus melted butter for the corn, cocktail sauce for the shrimp, and sour cream or ketchup for the potatoes. This is a messy dish; you’ll need a whole handful of napkins or paper towels.
Yields 8 servings.
Michele’s Texas Caviar
In a large bowl mix together:
2 cans of black beans drained and rinsed
2 cans of mexicorn drained - I don’t rinse this
2 fresh tomatoes diced
2 avocados diced
4 scallions chopped
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt to taste
Stir it and put it in the refrigerator for 30 mins or so and serve with Tostito scoops or Fritos. Your choice.for smaller venues I cut the recipe in half and it works.
Amy’s Louisiana Style Potato Salad
5-6 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
1 cup of Mayo (eyeball it)
1/3 cup of Mustard (eyeball it)
1/3 cup of sweet pickle relish
Salt & Pepper
Boil eggs. Cool down with cold water. Peel and chop.
Boil potatoes in salted water 10 to12 minutes, or until just tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool.
In a bowl, combine mayo & mustard
Put drained potatoes in large bowl and season with salt & pepper. Put in relish, chopped boiled eggs, mustard & mayo. Stir all together with spoon making sure potatoes smooth out and are covered by all wet ingredients. You can add more mayo or mustard to your taste. Smooth out the top with spoon after all ingredients mixed and sprinkle ½ tsp of paprika on top and garnish with fresh parsley.
Stacey’s New England Style Pasta Salad
1lb pasta of choice (elbows, cavatappi, ziti)
Feta cheese, crumbled
Zesty Italien dressing
1 package cherry tomatoes
I cucumber chopped in ¼ pieces
1 small red onion diced
1 small crown of broccoli cut up
Chopped peppers (be colorful-red, yellow, orange)
Cook pasta, run cold water over when your draining. Pour the bottle of dressing over pasta and then pick all vegetables or the ones you like the best to be colorful and mix together, then chill in refrigerator.