There’s something about summer – maybe it’s the nice weather, the abundance of sunshine – that makes everyone want to spend lots of time outdoors with friends and family. An afternoon lounging lazily by the pool or just in your backyard can quickly turn into a small or large cookout. But what do you do if you weren’t prepared to feed 10 to 20 people?
A good rule of thumb is to always have a few things stocked in your freezer during the summer for this situation. Ground beef, chicken, steak and ground turkey can all be bought when on sale and frozen. Then you can take it out as needed – for impromptu barbecue.
Some other items you can keep on hand in your refrigerator to accompany the meat are different types of cheeses like cheddar and swiss, fresh veggies, bottled marinades and fresh herbs like rosemary, dill and basil. It’s also a good idea to keep a couple bags of chips, a box or two of pasta and other snacks in the pantry.
With these items on hand at all times, you can put together a fabulous barbecue menu in no time. However, while you may have all the ingredients, you may be wondering how to put it all together to form a meal?
Here are a few ideas. The chicken and vegetables can be turned into kabobs. The ground beef and ground turkey can be made into hamburgers and turkey burgers. To jazz them up, add some chopped basil and garlic to the turkey and add some swiss or cheddar cheese into the middle of the hamburgers instead of putting it on top.
Create a quick pasta salad by cooking the pasta and tossing in any fresh vegetables you have on hand. For a sauce, you can use just regular Italian dressing. No one will even notice. Pull together a quick potato salad by boiling some potatoes and then mixing them with Dijon and whole grain mustard, buttermilk, red onion and dill. You can also put together a quick rice dish by cooking the rice in pineapple juice instead of water and then adding chopped onion and chunks of pineapple.
If you’re looking for an appetizer to serve while everything is being cooked, why not combine cream cheese with sour cream, chives and bacon. Cut up veggies or use chips to dip.
With these tips, you’ll be able to throw together a tasty barbecue in no time.