Summer is not over yet, folks! There is still plenty of time to cook your BBQ menus, and here in Vancouver, you can often BBQ into the late Fall (or beyond if you’ve got a covered patio.
If you’re planning to host close friends and family for a backyard BBQ party in the coming months, here are some of my best tips for a successful BBQ dinner party:
Tip #1: Variety instead of quantity
Have you ever been left with endless leftovers after a party or BBQ? Instead of buying ten bags of chips, consider just two chip bags, a bag of corn chips, some pretzels, and some M&Ms instead.
And instead of chopping up a big plate for cucumbers and some cherry tomatoes, consider just a couple of cucumbers and add some pre-chopped broccoli, celery, carrot sticks, and everyone’s favourite Ranch Dip.
(It’s ok if you run out of side dishes and snacks. That means they loved your food! Chances are you’ll have enough other food to satisfy your guests)
Tip #2: Set-up a Salad Bar
As we know, some people are picky eaters or have dietary restrictions. Instead of wasting your time chopping up a complete salad in a bowl, why not provide a variety of salad fixings, and people can make their own salads. In addition to your choice of lettuce, provide:
- a couple of protein sources (like hard-boiled eggs, shredded chicken, and barbequed shrimp)
- nuts and fruit (like dried cranberries, walnuts, and pinenuts)
- garnishes (like freshly chopped green onion, fried onion, and herbs)
- easy prep and crowd favourites like artichokes, olives and feta cheese
Tip #3: Organize a Potluck
Who says you have to do all the cooking and BBQ menu prep? Get everyone to contribute their favourite dish for the occasion. I recommend getting a list of what each person wants to bring to ensure you don’t get ten types of spinach dip or five people bringing napkins. Or tell your guests what kind of dish to bring.
Tip #4: Try these BBQ menu ideas
BBQ dinner parties are more than burgers, hotdogs, chips, and beer. Here are some more sophisticated BBQ menu plans that you can customize to your liking:
BBQ Menu 1
- Condiments bar with your favourite fixings
- Hot dogs
- Beef sliders with aioli and tomato
- Chicken skewers with satay sauce (peanut sauce)
- BBQ Aloo tikki (Indian potato patties) with mango chutney
- Veggie bean sliders with tomato salsa and queso
- Falafel hummus sliders
BBQ Menu 2
- Salad Bar with lemon-honey vinaigrette, Caesar dressing, lettuce and a variety of toppings
- Beef sliders with aioli and tomato
- German bratwurst with sweet grainy mustard
- Pulled pork sliders with bbq sauce and cheese
- Falafel sliders with hummus
- Rosemary bbq potato wedges
- Mediterranean roasted veggie skewers
BBQ Menu 3
- Salad Bar with balsamic dressing, Sesame soy vinaigrette, lettuce and a variety of toppings
- Pacific Cod sliders with Tartare sauce
- Terimayo Japadog
- Turkey sliders with caramelized onions
- Indonesian pork skewers with peanut sauce
- BBQ potato brochettes with aioli and bbq sauce
- Black bean sliders with Queso fresco
BBQ Menu 4
- Salad Bar with blueberry dressing, white wine herb vinaigrette lettuce wide variety of toppings
- Cedar plank Lois Lake trout
- Marinated spareribs with bbq sauce
- Beef Tenderloin sliders with mushrooms
- Chicken breast sliders with tomato salsa
- Truffled nugget potato brochettes with Parmigiano Reggiano
- Tofu Banh Mi Vegan Sliders
Bavarian Potato Salad
Another BBQ dinner favourite that my catering clients often ask for is the Bavarian potato salad. Here’s my recipe for this delicious side dish:
- 1 KG Potatoes
- 1/2 tbsp Cumin seeds
- 1 Small onion
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 3 tbsp neutral-tasting vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp Chives
- 400 ml Chicken/Vegetable or Beef stock
- 3 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- To taste Salt, Pepper
- Rinse the potatoes and boil them with the cumin seeds in a big pot.
- Peel the potatoes while they are still hot. Using a kitchen towel and cool down your hands in cold water.
- Cut each potato into thick slices and put them in a big bowl.
- For the dressing, heat the stock, add the vinegar, mustard and seasoning.
- Toss the dressing together with the potatoes.
- Peel and finely dice the onion.
- Heat butter in a pan and saute the onion until translucent.
- Mix the onion with the rest of the salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with chopped chives.
What’s grabbing your tastebuds?
Did a recipe or menu item above make you start drooling? If you’re planning a BBQ party and want to take meal prep off your to-do list, call me and I can provide you with full-event catering. Choose one of the above menus, or we’ll work together to create something unique for you and your guests.