Thursday, June 01, 2006

Memorial Day BBQ Party

We had a Memorial Day party on Sunday with friends and neighbors stopping by to celebrate the start of Summer with some cold beverages and hot grilled food!

On the menu - Barbequed Ribs, Homemade Cole Slaw, Grilled Cajun Shrimp, Grilled Red and Italian Peppers, Brined-n-Seasoned Chicken Drumsticks, Grilled Asparagus, and finally... Hot Dogs! Our guests brought a variety of accompaniments, including a yummy Peach-and-Corn salsa with blue chips, Pasta Salad, and a delicious Key Lime Pie.

We covered the Ribs (see previous entry) so now its onto the rest of the spread...

We found a cole slaw recipe that was a supposed bite off of KFC Cole Slaw, so we thought that would be fun. Chopped up one head of cabbage into tiny strips, further chopped up some already-shredded carrots from a package, and chopped up very finely a 1/2 an onion. In a bowl, we combined a couple tbls of sugar, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 buttermilk (this gave a great soury flavor), 1/2 cup mayonaise (diet? what diet?), a splash of white vinegar, big squeezes of lemon juice (ended up using 1.5 lemons), and good pinches of ground black pepper and kosher salt. In went the cabbage, carrots, and onions - combined very well - and covered and in the fridge. This was still hours away from BBQ time (the ribs had JUST gone on) so all those flavors had a good amount of time to meld into a sweet-and-sour slaw...

THEN we brined the drumsticks. Everyone knows how to do it by now - 8 cups water to 1 cup kosher salt and 1/2 cup sugar (I doubled that because of the sheer number of drumsticks). Also added to the brine: Texas Pete's hot sauce, liquid smoke, crushed bay leaves, and corriander. This sat in the fridge for two hours, then was rinsed well and put BACK in the fridge until they were ready to meet the heat.

Other prep work: peel the easy-peel shrimp (we had about 2 dozen), season them with our Penzey's cajun seasoning, and skewer them up. Cut the peppers into big pieces and oil-and-season them and let them sit. Par-boil the asparagus for 2 minutes, then ice-bath to shock them into submission (SUBMIT, ASPARAGUS!!!), and oil-and-season.

After the ribs appetizer came off (and was eaten), the shrimp appetizer went on next. Stacey did a great job grilling the shrimp while Michael joined the boys playing horseshoes in the back yard. Shrimp were delicious, passed around right on their skewers for people to snack on.

Then we did the peppers, which took maybe 10 or 15 minutes total to get some charred goodness, immediately followed by the drumsticks (which were quickly seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, and some cajun seasoning). We did a turn-every-10-minutes technique with the chicken, until they were perfectly cooked - crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. I do believe we averaged about 6 drums/person consumption - Impressive! (kidding!)

Not long after that, the asparagus hit the grill and the beer began to hit us... Horseshoes clanked, laughter filled the air, we all ate and drank. Eventually, we cooked up the hot dogs. The neighbors stopped by for some food and a beer and at some point the cards were broken out (of course!)... I won a couple of hands and we ate some yummy Key Lime Pie.

Looking for many more days like this over this summer - Happy Memorial Day!

Shrimp, Peppers, Drumsticks, and Asparagus:

This is how I spent much of the day:

Mike wants peppers NOW!!!

Beth and Stacey approve:


Anonymous said...

Seeing this blog for the first time. Good times.

Those ribs were fantastic!! Moist, tender, and full of flavor, it was almost like eating cotton candy b/c they seemed to melt in your mouth.

You guys gotta do it again before the Summer is over - how does July sound?

Boston Chef said...

We will definitely be doing it again! July will work.

Now that we've learned from our initial attempt at ribs, next time they will be even better...

Anonymous said...

A little off-season and a tangent off of your brined chicken but have you ever brined a turkey? I don't know anybody who has tried this and wonder if it has any real effect. Hmm, maybe I should ask this a little closer to Turkey Day.