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Help me plan a casual BBQ menu...

I am having 8-10 people over for a casual weeknight bbq. here is my menu so far:

Hot and sweet chicken drumsticks- Entree
Orzo salad
bacon wrapped pinapple bites-appetizer or side?
Peach sangria
For dessert I am thinking

cupcakes with rasperrry cream- Giada recipe
peach pie or cobbler- any
which one? or other sugg welcome

I am looking for something possibly savory, everything is sweet so far.

Please help havent entertained in awhile..

Thx Hounds

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  1. your menu would definitely benefit from the addition of a vegetable or two to round it out...either a salad or some grilled veggies (loose or skewered) would be easy and tasty. or, one of my favorite BBQ dishes - grilled avocado halves filled with a fresh corn salad.

    i'd also consider adding some simple fresh fruit to the dessert options...or you could do grilled fruit kabobs with a yogurt-based dipping sauce.

    9 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      You are always the one to beat me to the punch, friend!! Everytime I think I'm the first to answer a post, go back to the main thread, and it says 2, I click, and there you are!!! Like I said, great minds think alike!! ;)))

      And I LOVE grilled avocado halves. Great suggestion!!

      1. re: Phurstluv

        we balance each other out - you beat me on the meatloaf suggestion the other night ;)

        i've always adored avocados, but since moving back to SoCal i just can't get enough of them! i love having year-round access to the good stuff again.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          I know, if I had a tree here, I'd be a house!!! It's nice, isn't it??!! I can eat a whole one everyday, tho, my pants would never fit!! LOL!

          Yes, we do balance each other, don't we??! If you ever come up as far as OC and want to do lunch, please let me know, I would love to meet and have a nice CHOW lunch together!! Email me offline anytime!! ;))

      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

        never grilled an avocado- I have some here. What's the technique? Do you just slice in half & place on grill?

        1. re: pamd

          I usually would let my friend answer, but since I'm here.....

          yes, I found the recipe at Napastyle.com, for a grilled avocado salad. And yes, you basically cut them in half, seed them, and put cut side down on the grill. My friend did them for me once on his gas grill, and it was probably set at about medium low. But when I do them on my weber charcoal, they get a little more charred, and much more creamy. YUM!!

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Wow, thanks (to you both)! can't believe I missed that thread last yr. So excited to try!
              I bet great on Barefoot Contessa's salad! Gas grill- better with or without oil on avocado?

              1. re: pamd

                Um, GHG, you wanna take this one??

                1. re: pamd

                  happy to :)

                  i wouldn't oil them - you run the risk of tainting the avo with the flavor of gas if the oil catches somehow. just be sure the grill is HOT before placing the halves on there so they're less likely to stick.

          1. When is this party? Only asking b/c peaches are not yet in season where I am (LA), so I would probably hold off on any peach dessert that needs ripe fresh peaches, unless you are planning to use canned or pie filling.

            I like the idea of the bacon wrapped pineapple bites, but it seems there's a lot of sweet in your menu. To temper it, I would add a little spicy to it.

            How about bacon wrapped shrimp with a slice of jalapeno in the middle? Or if shrimp don't work, you can use the many recipes out there for a jalapeno popper, I did one filled with pineapple cream cheese over Super Bowl weekend. Think I got it from pioneerwoman.com, but you can even search here, we have a lot of threads on them.

            What veggies are going in your orzo salad? Just so I don't duplicate something. You can roast or grill asparagus and wrap with bacon or proscuitto. Or maybe a spicy cole slaw, with a bit of minced jalapeno (seeded first), you'd only need about a teaspoon.

            A nice tomato salad would add some color, all you need are some ripe beefsteaks (or heirlooms, if you can get them), some nice evoo and sea salt. A sliver or two of basil. Or even a black bean, roasted corn and tomato salad. I even add diced avocado to that as well, and dress it simply with lime juice, salt & pepper.

            Sounds like fun, enjoy it!!

            11 Replies
            1. re: Phurstluv

              thx for the replies.. Its called the everyhting orzo salad on epi. The corn salad will prob be a much needed side if you ahve any recipes please share.

              I am in AZ didn't relaize peaches arent in season yet. I also had jalpeno poppers on my list of maybe's. I am actually using a cple of pioneers recipes LOL!!

              1. re: drewb123

                Peaches are not quite ripe yet, altho you can buy them. Strawberries are and quite good.

                I'd go w/ grilled corn plain, in the husk. They're on a better sale now than all of last summer.

                I always throw out chips and salsa for every grillmeal.

                1. re: drewb123

                  See?? Great minds DO think alike!!

                  I don't have GHG's corn salad recipe, but I just drain a can of black beans (rinse too) and mix with halved grape tomatoes (but any chopped tomato will do) and corn off the cob, that has either been steamed, boiled or grilled/roasted (wrap in foil first) and then cut off the cob into your bowl. Should prolly do that step first!! Then some kosher salt (pinch or two) and squeeze about a lime and a half's worth of fresh lime juice all over it, and then add the diced avocado, and some f.g. pepper and you're good to go.

                  1. re: Phurstluv

                    I add garlilc, red onion and cilantro to mine but I love garlic and am not a supertaster.

                      1. re: Phurstluv

                        Instead of garlic, I add diced jalepenos in mine. Red bell pepper works well too in it.

                        1. re: pamd

                          MMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmm, I like them all!!!

                    1. re: Phurstluv

                      fresh steamed or griled kernels, black beans, diced Roma or sliced grape tomatoes, scallions or red onion, cilantro, and a lime or red wine vinaigrette.

                  2. re: Phurstluv

                    frozen peaches would work fine in the sangria, and probably for the peach pie.

                    1. re: tinery

                      Yes, they would be good in the sangria, I suppose for pie as well.

                    2. re: Phurstluv

                      this is my orzo salad recipe I have used in the past minus the oilves

                      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                    3. A good guacamole is always a hit. Coleslaw might be another nice addition. You could go the asian, vinegar, or cream-based route.

                      6 Replies
                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          really? I know few people who would choose to eat slaw given a variety of other options

                          1. re: tinery

                            clearly you've never had my slaw ;) seriously though, it would be a crisp, cool and tangy counterbalance to the chicken. plus, who's to say everyone will opt for the orzo or the pineapple & bacon? i can't eat pasta and i'm not crazy about meat with my fruit, so i'd personally go for the slaw.

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              I agree, GHG, I love good, tangy, crispy slaw. Okay, now I have to know how you make yours, please?

                              1. re: Phurstluv

                                which one? i have quite a few - the flavors depend on what else is being served. off the top of my head:
                                - wasabi slaw with radishes, sunflower seeds & black sesame
                                - a more traditional one with a buttermilk dressing
                                - my riff on the Epicurious Super Slaw
                                - fennel slaw
                                - cilantro slaw with lime

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  I love slaw. And one of my go-to recipes appears to be in your list: cilantro slaw with lime. It's the one I always serve with any variety of tacos (shrimp tacos, bbq chicken tacos, etc) or grilled tex-mex fare.

                      1. What about another option along with the chicken- like a marinated flank steak or portabella mushrooms or homemade baked beans with ground beef (or without).

                        1. IMO if you're going to serve pineapple with bacon, you should skip fresh fruit for dessert. My concern is the repeating of ingredients and/or items. If you're going to serve fresh fruit for dessert, skip the bacon wrapped pineapple. Also, if you're doing hot & sweet chicken, don't do a spicy appetizer or side dish; see where I'm going?

                          You need some texture & balance; I'm not sure what, if any vegetables your orzo salad will contain but consider adding chopped tomato or halved cherry or pear tomatoes, scallions, red onion, celery, grated carrot, frozen & thawed peas and perhaps olives; mix with a Italian herb vinaigrette & maybe some feta crumbled.

                          Grilled asparagus or blanched & grilled fresh broccoli would be nice for a side as would a garden salad; if you like eggplant, consider grilling thick slices of eggplant, onions, & halved tomatoes. Wrap a few garlic cloves in foil & drizzle with oil. Cook on the grill with the rest of the veggies. Once the eggplant & onions are cool, dice them up and add to a bowl. Make a thick vinaigrette with the roasted tomatoes, garlic & oregano. Toss with the eggplant. Serve with toasted pita chips for a appetizer.

                          I'm not sure what part of AZ you live, but if you're near a Ranch Market, tomatoes, avocados and peaches are on sale this week. Perfect time for a peach cobbler...

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Cherylptw

                            But I believe the peaches are still from Chile.... we don't have native peaches out yet, we've had a cool, long spring in SoCal this year.

                            1. re: Phurstluv

                              Are you saying that Chilean peaches are no good? I have to ask because it's too early for local peaches here but if I see some in the stores and they are ripe, I'm going to have to get a few (if the price is right :-)

                              1. re: Cherylptw

                                No, no, no, I'm not, I haven't bought any myself, but they are probably just fine. I buy their grapes and other fruits when they aren't in season here.....I'm just thinking (and I don't profess to be a locavore....;0) a local peach would have better flavor than one trucked 3000 miles away. But I assume a chilean peach would prolly work out just fine!

                                1. re: Phurstluv

                                  I would much rather buy local and in season but I would buy other if no choice. Just trying to throw ideas out there.