The days are longer, the skies are clear, and it’s the perfect to have friends over to enjoy some time outdoors. Nobody wants to waste the day in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove when the weather is nice. Dust off the grill and invite your loved ones to enjoy this full three course meal made entirely on the barbecue. Check out your farmer’s market for the best seasonal produce. Use the following five recipes as a starter to light your fire and build on them with whatever is locally available to create the ultimate summer party menu, al fresco.
Grilled Tomatillo Salsa
8 husked, rinsed, and halved tomatillos2 large cloves of garlic, peeled1 jalapeño, stemmed and seeded1/2 cup chopped cilantro1 small white onion, sliced 1 tbsp olive oil1/4 cup waterSugarSea saltFresh cracked black pepperPlace the sliced onions in a foil packet with the olive oil Put tomatillo halves cut side down on the center of the grill with the jalapeño and the onion packet on the side. Grill all components until browned and they begin to soften. Flip tomatillos and continue to cook until completely softened. Remove the tomatillos to the work bowl of a blender or food processor. Let cool to room temperature. Peel the jalapeño and add to the food processor with along with onions, garlic, cilantro, water, salt, and pepper. Process until well blended and serve with chips.
Carne Asada Street Tacos
1 minced jalapeno1 minced chipotle pepper3/4 cup fresh orange juice2 tbsp olive oil4 tbsp minced garlic2 tbsp dark brown sugar1 tbsp ground cumin1 cup chopped cilantro, divided1 cup minced white onion, divided1 cup sliced avocado2 lbs skirt steak16 small corn tortillasCombine the first seven ingredients in a freezer bag and add half of the cilantro and half of the onion. Add steak to the bag, squeeze out all the air when sealing, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. Grill the steak to desired doneness, 5-10 minutes. Let steak rest five minutes while heating tortillas on the grill. Place 2-3 slices of steak on each tortilla and top with onion, cilantro, and avocado slices.
Shrimp Street Tacos
1 minced jalapeno1 minced chipotle pepper3/4 cup fresh orange juice2 tbsp olive oil4 tbsp minced garlic2 tbsp dark brown sugar1 tbsp ground cumin1 cup chopped cilantro, divided1 cup minced white onion, divided1 cup sliced avocado2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined16 small corn tortillasCombine the first seven ingredients in a freezer bag and add half of the cilantro and half of the onion. Add shrimp to the bag, squeeze out all the air when sealing, and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes. Skewer the shrimp and grill until pink, 5-10 minutes. Place 3-4 shrimp on each tortilla and top with onion, cilantro, and avocado slices.
1/2 cup mayonnaise1/2 cup sour cream 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving1/2 tsp chili powder, plus more for serving1 tsp garlic, finely minced1/2 cup finely chopped cilantroSea saltFresh cracked black pepper8 ears shucked cornLime wedgesCombine the first eight ingredients in a mixing bowl and spread on shucked corn cobs until evenly covered. Grill corn until brown spots appear on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Sprinkle with more parmesan and chili powder and serve with lime wedges.
Grilled Peach Cobbler
6 ripe peaches, halved, pit removed1 stick butter, melted8 tbsp light brown sugar, divided1 tsp ground cinnamon, divided1/2 tsp ground ginger, divided1 tsp vanilla extract1/2 cup granola1 pint vanilla ice cream1/2 cup prepared caramel sauce, heatedPlace the peaches cut side down on the grill until browned. Remove from the grill, cut into wedges and place into a gratin dish. Add half the butter, half the brown sugar, half the cinnamon, half the ginger, and the vanilla extract and toss. Add the remaining butter, sugar, cinnamon and ginger to the granola in a small bowl and toss to combine. Top the peaches with the granola mixture and place the gratin dish onto the grill. Close the grill and bake until the peaches and granola are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Top with the peach cobbler with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Start your party with a pitcher of ice cold margaritas and some chips and grilled tomatillo salsa. For the main course, whip up two types of tacos listed above paired with the grilled elotes, or Mexican street corn. Finally, give your guests a sweet finish with this summery peach cobbler cooked right on the grill. The entire menu will have you looking like a master chef with less than an hour of work, no oven required.