Moms move aside this weekend. It’s Memorial Day and time for Dad to show off his grilling skills. After a spring of record setting rain and terrible storms it’s time to get outside and at least pretend it is summer.
I’ve put together some of my favorite recipes for a holiday cookout. I did not include burgers, brats, dogs or steaks since that is grilling 101. If you don’t know how to cook them do your best to get an invite to a neighbor’s cookout. :P
I used recipes from The Food Network since that site is easy to search for a recipe you like and I added my thoughts and suggestions.
Bobby Flay is their grill guru so it makes sense to start with his Top Ten Grilling Tips. I worked in restaurants for 30 years and I would say the first four tips are crucial. First, know and trust your butcher. Even a good supermarket will cut meat to your needs. Second buy good meat. Flay suggests Prime or Black Angus. You can go with a lesser cut and have a great steak this way. Third, look for marbling. You can go on your diet tomorrow. Fourth, bring your steak to room temperature before you cook it. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes I see.
- Glazed Double Cut Pork Chops: I think pork chops are one of the hardest things to cook on the grill. The time between cooked enough but juicy and shoe leather are very close. Using a double cut pork chop makes things a little easier and the presentation is stunning.
- 50 Kebab Recipes: I usually do a traditional steak kabob with sirloin, mushrooms, onion and cherry tomatoes but here are 50 recipes. So take your pick.
- Grilled Shrimp: This is Rachel Ray’s recipe. I like to go minimalist with shrimp since I think it is very flavorful by itself. Doing a shrimp cookout with three or four shrimp recipes is real fun and sure to make everyone happy.
- Greek Orzo and Grilled Shrimp Salad: This can be a main course or a side. Very tasty and different. You can also make it in advance which is nice.
- Asian Grilled Salmon: This recipe has mustard, soy sauce and garlic which makes it a surefire hit around my house. Salmon can be tricky so cook this once for practice before you served 20 of your closest friends.
- Paula Dean’s Southern Baked Beans: I made this for a party of 60 at my house and we ran out of it early. Paula will never get the Heart Association Seal of Approval but her food sure tastes good.
- Grilled Peaches with Prosciutto and Balsamic: This recipe is one reason that Bobby Flay is a genius. Pairing fruit and prosciutto is something I’d done but I had never thought about the grill. Yummm!
- Grilled Corn on the Cob: This recipe uses husked corn.
- Perfectly Grilled Corn on the Cob: This recipe keeps the husk on and is my preference. Make sure the husks are soaked though or you will have some flame ups.
- Grilled Vegetables: I usually just grill asparagus, eggplant or zucchini but this recipe suggests more. I like using grilled veggies because they are not only tasty but good at room temperature so you can make them in advance. A big challenge in a cookout is timing the sides and main course. This makes it easier.
- Patriotic Berry Trifle: They say it only takes 35 minutes, and it looks well worth it.
- Stewed Fresh Berris: Over some vanilla ice cream? Sounds good to me.
- Snickers Milkshake: This is a big hit in the office. I would suggest it for smaller gatherings.
Of course there are many more options but this is a good starting point for your Memorial Day Cookout. If you have a recipe that you would like to share feel free to share in the comments section below.