I love hosting backyard barbecues on sunny, cloudless days. Hubby at the grill. Me sitting poolside, sipping a pina colada as the kids splash around. After the party’s over, I’ll lounge a while with a novel.
Well, ok, we don’t exactly have a pool. Ours cost $20 bucks and we blow it up with an air pump every summer, but to the kids, it’s a pool. And I’m not sure when was the last time I sipped a drink – certainly not when I’m entertaining. I’ll probably be scuttling back and forth from the kitchen, bringing out all the things we forgot to set on the table outside. And to be honest, I haven’t read a novel in the 7 years I’ve been married. But a girl can dream, right?
This season, we need to look at burgers and dogs (and even chicken and steaks) as blank canvases. Think of yourself as a culinary artist. (This does not mean painting with ketchup!) Get your creative juices flowing by imagining all the creative condiments that will totally put zing into your barbecue fare.
For burgers, I came up with Corn and Avocado Relish and deliciously Spicy Fried Onions. (I would add fried onions to anything except oatmeal. And yes, I’ve been known to eat them sans burger or steak. Yummy.)
For your dogs, think steak sandwich and do a Peppers and Onion Saut? – so easy and so colorful. It makes for a hot doggie that’s all grown up! And spice up your ho hum slaw with Poppyseed Slaw. Just don’t forget the toothpicks!
Peppers And Onion Saute
Times: Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 10 minutes; Ready time: 20 minutes; Serves 2
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sliced bell peppers, assorted colors
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (check for a non-fish designation)
1/2-teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saut? pan over medium high heat, add oil, peppers and onions and saut? for 4 to 6 minutes, until beginning to soften. Add garlic and Worcestershire and saut? 5 minutes more or until wilted. Add salt and pepper and stir to combine. Serve on hot dogs or hamburgers.
Times:Prep time: 5 minutes; Ready time: 5 minutes; Serves 2
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrot
4 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1-teaspoon kosher salt
In a medium bowl combine all ingredients and stir well to evenly coat and combine. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or up to 2 hours. Serve as a topping for burgers, hot dogs or grilled chicken.
Spicy Fried Onions
Times:Prep time: 5; Cook time: 24; Ready time: 29 min
2 red onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1-teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 – 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
Canola oil for frying
Combine onions, flour, salt, pepper and cayenne in a large Ziploc bag. Seal the bag and toss to coat onions with seasoned flour.
In a large pot, heat oil until it reaches 360 F. Shake excess flour off onions and fry in batches for 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Continue with remaining onions until all are fried.
Serve immediately as a topping for burgers, hot dogs or grilled steak.
Corn And Avocado RelishJamie Geller