A lot of memories can be made with people cooking and eating together outside in the summer. When the weather is nice, the company is good, and refreshments are chilled… all you need is some food. Do you go with some hot dogs and burgers on the grill? Maybe something roasted over the fire? Maybe even some seafood?
Consider these seasonal bites the next time you need an idea for a summer meal:
1. Chicken Kabobs
This one’s easy. Find some kabobs, some meat (chicken or beef), and some veggies and/or fruit. Slice everything up into cubes and pierce the food with the sticks to make a nice stack of everything. Grill them on medium heat for about 5 minutes before you flip and grill them for another 5. The great thing about kabobs is they’re so customizable. So feel free to adjust to your tastes, but I suggest using teriyaki or lemon-pepper chicken, green and red peppers, and chunks of mango or pineapple to make a simple, yet delicious treat!
2. Summer BBQ Chicken-Hawaiin Pizza
Pizza is also an easy recipe that is highly customizable, but this one will transport your taste buds to a luau on Maui. Get a pre-made crust (thin, original, rustic, etc.) Find some honey-barbecue sauce, chicken breast, bacon, pineapple, marinara sauce and some mozzarella cheese. You’ll also need some salt, black and red pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. Place the crust on a baking sheet or a pizza wheel if you have one. Pre-cook the chicken and the bacon before placing it on the pizza. While the chicken and bacon cooks, you can put the sauce and the cheese on the pizza crust. Then slice up the cooked chicken and break up the bacon into bits and scatter them on your pizza. Add slices of pineapple and lightly drizzle the honey-bbq sauce all over the pizza in whatever pattern you want. Add a hint of seasoning. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then enjoy!
3. Trout Fillets
I like to fish, but you don’t have to go out and catch your own trout to enjoy eating one. Some people prefer cooking these on stovetops skillets, but you can just as easily use the grill. You’ll need your trout fillets, a lemon, some garlic cloves, salt and pepper, and aluminum foil. Heat up the grill on medium-high heat. Place your fillets in the middle of enough aluminum foil to wrap them in. Slice up the lemon and chop up the garlic. Top the fillets with the garlic and then lay a couple lemon slices down. Season with salt and pepper, wrap them up, and grill them for about 5 minutes depending on their size. The middle should be flaky (test with a fork) when done.
4. Apple Slice and Chorizo Salad
This is an interesting summer salad with the tartness of the apples balancing out the spiciness of the chorizo. You’ll need some olive oil, salt and pepper, green leaf lettuce, half of an apple (I prefer Granny Smiths), some lemon juice, half a clove of garlic, and your favorite type of cheese. Use a skillet over medium-heat to cook the chorizo for about 3 minutes in some olive oil. Mix together the lemon juice, garlic, and just a pinch of salt and pepper. Then add apple slices, lettuce, cheese, and toss. Should take about 10 minutes to cook, then dig in!
5. Caribbean Corn on the Cob
This version of corn on the cob will add a little flavor of the Caribbean. Get a few ears of corn, husk them, and remove all the silk. You’ll need about 2 tablespoons of butter, paprika, asiago cheese, salt, and some lime wedges. Grill the corn on for about 12 minutes over medium heat. When they’re done, drizzle the melted butter, grate and sprinkle the cheese, add the paprika, and squeeze some lime juice over them. You’ll never go back to plain old corn on the cob again.
6. Peanut Butter S’mores
Always save dessert (the best) for last. You’ve probably heard of s’mores – your standard graham crackers, chocolate bar, and fire roasted marshmallow. But you haven’t lived until you’ve added peanut butter. Roast a marshmallow until it’s golden brown. Then simply spread a thin layer of peanut butter on one of the crackers, and then add your chocolate, the marshmallow, and the top cracker. Delicious!
Get creative! There are many things you can cook and many ways to do it. Cook with some friends so everyone can enjoy the meal and have their own meals to contribute. Summer should be about meals and memories.