Spring is here, which means that it’s time to prepare your yard for the barbecue parties you want to have this summer, starting with Memorial Day. This year, take a page from celebrity chefs and prepare a dish that is sure to impress, and easy enough to prepare in home kitchens and outdoor grills alike.
Shrimp-Bacon Kebabs influenced by Martha Stewart
Everything on these kebabs, including the lemons, is grilled. This means super-easy prep for you. Marinate shrimp and bacon in a mixture of lemon juice and Old Bay seasoning for at least 30 minutes. At the same time, soak wooden kebab skewers in water (if you’re using metal skewers, you can skip this step). Load up kebabs with shrimp, bacon and 1/4-inch thick slices of lemon. Grill on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes per side. You can omit the skewers and grill everything separately on the grill grates, but there is a risk of dropping bacon though the cracks. Consider downloading the Martha Stewart cookie app and making end-of-the-meal cookies.
Mario Batali’s Black Pepper Drumsticks
Buffalo chicken wings get an upscale treatment from celeb chef Mario Batali. Pre-cook the drumsticks for 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit to shorten the grill cooking time. While the drumsticks pre-cook, combine 1/2 cup buttermilk with 2 tablespoons of black pepper, a couple dashes of Tabasco — hotter if you like it — and some fennel seeds. Marinate for at least an hour; overnight, if possible. Bring the drumsticks to room temperature before cooking. Grill over medium high heat for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with a gorgonzola or blue cheese dipping sauce.
Chipotle Baby Back Ribs from Rick Bayless
Mexican chef Rick Bayless emphasizes fresh and healthy flavors in his cooking. These chipotle baby back ribs are the perfect example of effortless fresh Mex, and they’re ideal for Mem Day cookout. Coat baby back ribs with a dry rub mix of brown sugar, oregano, cumin, salt, black pepper, ancho chile and garlic. Allow the dry rub to soak in overnight and flavor the ribs. To cook, bake in a 300 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine honey and one can of chipotles en adobo to create a tangy chipotle glaze. Place ribs on a medium-hot grill and allow them to cook for three minutes before turning them over and brushing the ribs with the chipotle glaze. Cook the ribs until they’re done, about seven minutes more. Serve leftover glaze with the ribs, or use for another dish.
Emerill’s Chipotle BBQ Oysters
If you’ve never had a BBQ oyster, you’re in for a treat. Once the grill is high, shuck the oysters and place each in their bottom shell. Place the oysters on the grill shell side down and cook for just two to three minutes. The oysters will curl up and shrink away from the edge of the shell. Add just a teaspoon of sauce to each oyster and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Serve with fresh salsa.
Serve these meat dishes alongside traditional burgers and hot dogs or with your favorite barbecue sides. Think about adding some cornbread, mac and cheese, green salad, potato salad, beans, chips and fresh fruit. Have a fun barbecue and a wonderful start to the summer!