Summer is nearly here, and the company picnics, graduation parties, and wedding season will soon be in full swing. These events are the perfect reason to get together for a barbecue cookout. Many people think of the usual side dishes, like baked beans and potato salad, to accompany their smoked beef briskets and pig roast. With a little extra effort, though, or by simply hiring a barbecue catering company to handle it for you, you can turn your casual affair into an upscale event with these updated, gourmet sides.
Not Your Grandma's Potato Salad
Skip the traditional potato salad swimming in mayonnaise, and serve bacon and blue cheese potato salad instead. Wrap Yukon Gold potatoes in aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, and place on the grill. This will impart a mild smokiness that will go well with your smoked meats. When the potatoes are tender, cut into bite-sized pieces and toss with crumbled bacon, blue cheese, and a Dijon mustard and olive oil vinaigrette. Top with fresh scallions, sea salt, and cracked black pepper.
Macaroni And Cheese For Grownups
While most people are familiar with the blue and yellow box that is a staple in many kitchens, this made-from-scratch macaroni cheese is prepared with an easy creamy Béchamel sauce loaded with extra-sharp cheddar, Gruyere, and succulent chunks of cooked lobster. Sprinkle with white truffle oil to add some earthy fungi flavor for macaroni and cheese that is out of this world.
The Absolute Best Baked Beans
Forget about opening a can of pork and beans. Canned cannellini beans, pinto beans, Kentucky bourbon, real maple syrup, bacon, and sliced ripe Georgia peaches pair up with chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika, and whole grain mustard for spicy sweet baked beans that will leave your guests wanting more.
Crazy, Colorful Cornbread
Choose your favorite buttermilk cornbread recipe, but kick it up a notch with summer produce from the farmer's market. Pour your batter in the pans, and then top with steamed sweet corn kernels, sliced jalapenos, and caramelized Bermuda onions. Finally, place a few dollops of goat cheese or bury cheese curds in the batter and bake as usual.
Heirloom Tomato Salad
Nothing quite says summer like the abundant varieties of fresh tomatoes frequently available at roadside stands and markets. Create a festive mix of different colors and styles of tomato and lightly dress with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. You can also add fresh julienned mint or basil as well as feta crumbles or mozzarella for extra flavor.
It's easy to create a gourmet menu to go along with your main event, but if cooking isn't your strong suit or you just simply want to be able to sit back and relax, call a barbecue catering service like Grumpy's Bar B Que Roadhouse and explore their fabulous menus instead.