It's officially grill season here in New England and I recently purchased a new grill. Yay! And what better way is there to kick off the summer season than grilling up some amazing food for your next outdoor gathering? My backyard bbq menu features a fantastic sriracha-lime grilled chicken, bacon stuffed cheeseburgers, twisty potatoes and super easy foil-wrapped corn on the grill. It's perfect for about 8-10 people. Let's do this!
Backyard BBQ: Sriracha-Lime Marinade is perfect for grilling chicken
This is seriously one of the best marinades I've ever tried and you're going to love it. It's a real burst of flavor yet doesn't overwhelm. I love chicken for outdoor grilling. I know, a lot of people are all about the burgers, hot dogs and kielbasa. And I've got a great burger to share too so don't get ants in your pants just yet. But I am a sucker for a perfectly grilled piece of marinated chicken. This chicken is great alone and awesome with a salad topped with some of the reserved marinade or My Favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette. Here's the finished product:
Backyard BBQ: Bacon-Stuffed Cheeseburgers, Ohhh Yeahh
This might be the best burger I've ever made. I've tinkered with bacon-stuffed cheeseburgers for years. Should I use a whole strip of cooked bacon and build the patty around it? Should I wrap the bacon strips in cheese, THEN encase it in the ground beef? The best method, in the end, was to cook my strips of bacon and let them cool. Then I chopped the bacon down into bacon bits and added the bits to my ground beef with worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and grated onion. This provides an incredible flavor to the ground beef. AND! For those of you who absolutely need to see the strips of bacon, more bacon strips are served on the side to top your burger.
Here's a little secret: You can make the burger patties the day before the cookout! Yes, because of course you want to save time when you have people coming over.
- Cook the bacon, let it cool before chopping and make the burger mix.
- Form your burgers into 5 to 6-ounce patties. I weighed mine on a little scale. They were closer to 6 ounces. Eyeballing it is fine too! Mine were about an inch thick.
- Lay out your patties on a sheet pan or two. I used mini sheet pans to save room in the fridge.
- Cover mini sheet pans in plastic wrap and stack on top of each other in fridge.
- Take out of fridge 15 minutes before grilling.
- One more tip: I normally salt and pepper both sides of my burger before cooking. You do not need to do that here. There's enough salt in the burger mix.
For Twisty Potatoes: the topping ideas are endless
If you are a potato fiend like me, you're obsessed with potatoes. With these, you can cook them crispy-crunchy like potato chips, or you can fry slightly less and get more of a french fry with a crisp. It's up to you. I did a little of both with mine. This should be the last item prepared so you can serve them hot! One person should be in the kitchen frying these awesome twisty potatoes while the other is manning the grill and plattering up the burgers, chicken and foil corn.
You could go with something like my Fancy French Fries with this and do a garlic, parmesan and butter that you pour over the Twisty Potatoes right before serving. You could do a dusting of salt and serve with ketchup - that's what I did. Another option could be a drizzle sriracha on these and go spicy! I tried that one and loved it because I love Sriracha. Do you have any sour cream and onion powder? That would be yummy too! It's your call - do whatever you like.
Nothing says summer like Foil-Wrapped Corn for your backyard bbq
This one couldn't be any easier. Wrap your corn in foil and throw it on the grill for 15-20 minutes, quarter-turning every few minutes. That's it. I chose to cut my ears of corn in half instead of serving a full ear. Why do we call them "ears" of corn?!?! It's a BBQ so people tend to want to sample a little of everything and may not want to commit to the whole corn. Cutting them in half is the perfect sample size. For me, it's butter, salt and pepper. I don't need anything fancy for my corn. Summer corn speaks for itself and doesn't need too much enhancing in my opinion.
Homemade Garlic Dill Pickles and Bobby Flay's Pickled Red Onions make awesome burger toppings
I recently posted my recipe for Garlic Dill Pickles and I hope you give these a try at some point over the summer. I know it's easy to buy pickles at the store and they are delicious, of course. But there is a certain satisfaction that comes with making your own pickles that can't be duplicated.
And yes, I do buy store-bought pickles too because I can't always keep my homemade pickles stocked. However, when I eat my homemade pickles I smile - that's the kind of happiness I look for in life. If something makes me smile, I tend to do it more often.
The other burger topping, if folks are looking for a different kind of tang, is Bobby Flay's Fantastic Pickled Red Onions. These can be made the day or week before your Backyard BBQ and are just as addicting and versatile as my Garlic Dill Pickles.Print Print Print Print