Getting ready for a Memorial Day BBQ can be an easy task if you keep it casual and serve delicious, yet simple to make, menus. We usually have a house full of people over that weekend so there are many meals, events, parties and so on going on. When it comes to host everyone, we want it to be amazing but don’t have the time nor energy to spend the holiday weekend in the kitchen. This is what we suggest for a top-notch BBQ that everyone can enjoy:
Start off with some mini lobster rolls to greet guests with. Nothing says summer better than this buttery rolls– or you can also make mini shrimp rolls. Either dish is great to pass around as guests “sip” into their first cocktail. Buy the way, there is nothing more refreshing than either a basil or mint frozen lemonade vodka.
Easy way Out: Let’s say you are in a hurry and don’t want to spend too much time prepping for your BBQ. Here is a great shortcut: Go to a specialty seafood store or a high-end supermarket and get their pre-made crab cakes. Buy about a pound of the crab mix and then head over to the bread aisle and buy a pack of Martin’s Potato (mini) Rolls, 24 per package. Make crab patties the size of the bun and press in Italian bread crumbs, sear in butter, put on the bun and top with a tasty tarter sauce. If you want to go over the top then add a piece of roasted bacon.
In addition to having something passed you should have a platter of something and since it is likely to be warm weather entertaining a fresh crudités platter, crisp and chilled served with an amazing homemade green goddess dip is a great snack to have available.
Easy way Out: Chips & Dip cannot be overlooked and our Sriracha blue cheese cilantro dip with a kettle chip can keep a large crowd circled for a long period.
Now comes the easy part.. yes the easy part is the main course served buffet style. A pasta salad and grilled marinated skirt-steak or chicken can all be made in prepped/made in advance and served anytime you want during your party. As you know everyone does not show up at the same time and some guests think the doorbell makes a handy RSVP.
It truly is not a holiday unless we tap into Wesley Maloney’s world famous marinated chicken and/or skirt steak. This is our most popular and longstanding recipe. Wesley is also our favorite chef who has fed more kids and adults than most restaurants.
You can marinade the steak and or chicken the night before, toss on the grill for a few minutes and whip out the pasta salad, platter them and ring the buffet bell. Watch out these steaks create a big flame when first thrown down…there are more than a few houseterns who have learned that the hard way. For the pasta salad I like something with a kick so the curried pasta with broccolini is a great one dish side…and you have your starch and veggies all in one. If you want to make it a little more simple then a grilled corn salad can also be a great and less “carby” side dish. It is true that corn won’t be is season on Memorial Day weekend but that is why so many other ingredients are added, sort of like an off-season crutch.
For desert I like the go-to homemade toffee cookie or brown butter chocolate chip cookie. You can serve with ice-cream or just put out a big cookie jar and people can grab them at any time. The cookies can be made well in advance and are always a big hit. If you want to go big then serve the brownie trifle.