Thursday, July 05, 2012

Barbeque Recipe Recap

Hi all,

I hope you had a happy and safe 4th of July! We had a really great day, filled with family and friends, fun memories, and lots of great food!

Here's just a few of the photos I took yesterday on Instagram {you can follow me @gatherboutique}.

So, for the celebration at my brother's house, I offered to cook the majority of the meal since he and his girlfriend were letting us use their house. I shared with you some of the recipes I wanted to use/try on my Tuesday post of last-minute ideas. A lot of these recipes were new to me or things I had been wanting to try, so I thought I'd share a review with you here, in case you'd like to try them yourself!

Bacon cheddar burger sliders
Swiss mushroom burger sliders with balsamic & cracked pepper mayo
Buffalo chicken sliders with bleu cheese & green onion sauce
Baja chicken sliders with pepper & onion slaw and cilantro lime sauce
Grilled sweet corn on the cob with garlic butter
Fresh fruit, pasta salad, and chips & dip
Strawberry & blueberry shortcake
Watermelon martinis

The two burger sliders I don't have recipes to share. These are things I've created on my own over time that just sort of work for us. They're pretty simple to do.

For the bacon cheddar sliders, I seasoned my ground beef {from the cows we butcher ourselves, so it's pretty lean} with Weber's Chicago Steak grill seasoning {yeah, it's not steak, but it's soo good in burgers} and a little Worcestershire sauce. We cooked about 4 slices of bacon, chopped it up, and mixed it in with the burgers. Grilled the patties, put cheddar slices on at the end, and toasted some small buns. Pretty simple. We had all the fixings too...tomato, onion, lettuce, pickles, ketchup, mustard.

For the Swiss mushroom sliders, I used the same seasoning & Worcestershire and grilled them up. While they were grilling, I made a foil packet to hold some sliced mushrooms and onions and a little butter. We flipped the packet when we flipped the burgers and it turned out really well. As the burgers were almost done, we put the Swiss slices on. I don't really have a recipe for the mayo, except that I put some mayo in a bowl, drizzle in some balsamic, and sprinkle it with some freshly ground black pepper. This can be made to taste - I love balsamic and black pepper both, so I'm pretty heavy on both. Adjust to your liking if you want to replicate the recipe.

These Baja Chicken Sliders were a new recipe for me {you can click on the pin to get to the recipe}. I just changed a couple of things on this - I added some fresh cilantro to the sauce mixture. I love cilantro, had extra, threw it in. Also, instead of grilling chicken breasts, I used about 1/2 a shredded rotisserie chicken and heated it up on the stove top with the seasonings that were called for in the recipe. The only reason I did this is because the other recipe I was using for chicken called for rotisserie chicken, and I didn't want to mess with grilling breasts and shredding chicken. Plus, my brother's grill was full of burgers, slider buns, and garlic bread.

Overall, I loved this recipe! I'd definitely make it again {I'll probably try grilling the chicken breasts next time}. The only thing I'd really do differently is mix the slaw topping with the sauce. The recipe called for them to be separate, but I thought the slaw was just a little dry.

Source: bakedbree.com via Jen on Pinterest

Up next is the Buffalo Chicken Sliders recipe. This is another new one for me, but my brother specifically requested buffalo chicken when I asked what kind of sliders he'd want. I love anything with bleu cheese, so I was game. I didn't change anything about this recipe, and I absolutely loved it! Seriously, it was the best thing I made yesterday {in my opinion anyway}.

In the recipe, the author mentions cutting the hot sauce with some honey, which I did. I still think it had a pretty good kick to it. If you'd prefer something more mild, go ahead and add more honey. The bleu cheese sauce also helps to tame it, and if you don't like bleu cheese, ranch dressing would work equally well. I will definitely be making this again!

For the corn on the cob, we simply brush garlic butter on cleaned ears of sweet corn, wrap them in foil, and put them on the top rack of the grill. We turn them every 5 minutes or so to make sure they're cooked evenly, and take them off when they're done {normally 20-30 minutes, depending on how hot the grill is}. Mike & I make corn like this all through the summer...sweet corn is the best part of Nebraska summers, in my opinion!

Everyone pitched in with the sides, but the fruit was a hit. It was so hot last night, having something healthy to cool us down was really refreshing.

The shortcakes are a recipe of my own too, not that they're terribly hard. I know by the time dessert rolls around, I'm going to be sick of cooking and just wanting to be outside watching fireworks and hanging out. I don't bother with my own shortcake or pound cake, I buy the pre-packaged ones in the bakery section at that grocery store. I macerated some strawberries and blueberries {for the blueberries, cook them in sugar on low heat until they start to bubble, then mash them with a potato masher to release their juices. It takes about 10 minutes from start to finish}. People could pick which fruit to top their shortcake with, and then pile on the whipped cream. It was so simple, and the fruit was yummy {and, the strawberries & blueberries were very patriotic!}

Let's talk about this martini. It was probably the most anticipated part of the meal...I was craving watermelon, my brother's girlfriend and her best friend thought it sounded yummy, and we couldn't wait to try it. With that kind of build-up, I should have been prepared to be disappointed.

I don't know if it's the recipe or the way I made it or what, but the drink was really disgusting. I know the watermelon was sweet enough because I tried a piece before I started making the drink. But by the time we got to drinking it, it was really just gross...watery and tart and not cold enough. I had to dump mine out. I wasted perfectly good vodka. That's a huge no-no in my world. Either way, I think I'll be passing on making this one again.

We also had the stuff to make s'mores {cinnamon grahams, marshmallows, nutella & chocolate - the nutella tip is one I heard on Pioneer Woman}, but we were all too full to eat them. Another time, for sure.

The 3 recipes that are pictured are all pinned to my Food! board on Pinterest. If you've been reading my 112 in 2012 posts, you know I'm trying to make a master recipe listing on that board...some things I've tried, some things I'm wanting to try.

Anyway...I'm back at work today {stupidly, I should have taken the day off}, but I hope you're resting from your celebrations yesterday or at least getting through the day today. God bless America!

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