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Jun 22, 2012 08:30 AM

Inexpensive yet interesting 4th of July for 10 people.

It looks like I will be hosting dinner for 10 on the 4th. I don't want to go with burgers/hot dogs and potato salad. (My preference would be more along the lines of grilled lamb and gratin potatoes but don't have the budget for that.) Only concern is one person does not eat onions but there is no need for a vegetarian option. Thinking maybe carnitas done on the grill somehow and enchiladas done in the oven. Any thoughts on an impressive feast--apps through dessert--on the cheap?

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  1. One of my go-to grill dishes to feed a nice handful of people on the cheap would be paella. If you have the pan (which is cheap), the rest of the ingredients are super cheap. The setup is easy (just have your ingredients chopped and ready), and the process and clean-up is easy (ONE PAN!)

    One of my other go-to ingredients would be something with pork shoulder/butt. Cochinita/puerco pibil is very cool, and can be done indirectly cooked on the grill. Marinate pork in a mix that consists of annato/achiote, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and sour/seville orange juice (or orange juice + lime mixture). Let the marinade sit overnight if possible. When ready to grill, set up for indirect cooking, wrap puerco in banana leaves and then with foil tightly, and let it go till it's ready... 4-8 hours. Serve over rice with some pickled red onions (using the sour orange juice), or, my favorite, on warm tortillas with drops of habanero sauce, and the red-onions.

    1. I love to grill chicken legs, and they are incredibly inexpensive. I can get a pack with five legs for about 2 or 3 dollars. I give them a nice spice rub, and then grill slowly so that the fat renders them juicy and the skin gets crisp. I glaze at the end. People love them, and you can tailor the flavor of the rubs and glaze to match any side dish theme you choose.

      1 Reply
      1. re: katecm

        I love grilled chicken legs. My thought would be a mixed grill with chicken legs and a variety of sausages, and grilled vegetables.... Frogmore stew can be budget friendly, too, and it's really fun to eat with a crowd of people. I've done it on the super cheap, too, because when people ask what they can bring, I say, a lb of shrimp and a side/dessert to pass......

      2. My favorite summer meal for a big group is grilled italian sausage, cut into big slices (1-2") and served on a big platter with grilled peppers and onions. For a starch, either grilled chunks of new potatoes (parboiled before grilling), steamed corn, a rice pilaf, or lots of crusty bread. Perhaps a simple caesar salad too - romaine, good quality croutons, and dressing with lots of garlic and anchovies.

        For a party app, I'd go simple with chips and homemade salsa. Dessert, fresh fruit. Watermelon, grilled peaches, something simple.

        1. My favorite inexpensive grilling cut is tri-tip. There are a number of ways you can go with it. Add BBQ sauce and then make sliders with King's Hawaiian mini buns, grill it with salt [pepper and lime and serve it in tacos, or season it with your favorite steak rub and slice it. With the tacos, make a whole mess of sliced onions and peppers on the grill and let people make their own tacos.

          1. What about something like a chicken souvlaki, tatsiki and naan? You can do a side salad or grilled vegetables, depending on your budget.


            I love this naan made on the grill: