VIEWS: 2 PAGES: 2 POSTED ON: 8/15/2011
Easy Summer Entertaining. It is truly summertime, so hot it may even be the "dog days" already. But that doesn't mean we have to give up entertaining with family and friends. The trick now is to make our foods as easy and tasty as we possibly can all while remaining as cool as possible. For our family that can mean a grilled hamburger or a turkey burger accompanied by potato salad, maybe a simple pasta salad or even potatoes roasted on the grill. Recently Southern Living magazine featured articles on easy grilling recipes for holiday or family gatherings. One of our favorites was a burger topped with pimento cheese and bacon. I decided we would try it. It was a huge hit with all of our guests. We used purchased pimento cheese and of course crispy bacon cooked in the microwave to help keep the kitchen cool. Just top your grilled burger with these two items and add your other favorite toppings; lettuce, tomato or onions and you have a most delicious hamburger. Now the side dish for the gathering. My favorite side with burgers will almost always be some form of potatoes. To go with the pimento cheese and bacon burgers we chose to roast potatoes on the grill. They take about 45 minutes. We used the smallest red-skinned potatoes we could find. You could also use fingerling potatoes or any potato of your choice. Just keep the size uniform. The recipe we made up follows. Grill Roasted Potatoes • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs. of very small red skinned potatoes • Olive oil to coat • Sea salt and pepper to taste (or a garlic flavor seasoned "no salt" product) • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley leaves • Heavy duty foil roasting pan Cut the potatoes in half. Place in pan. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes and toss until well coated. Season liberally making sure all potatoes are covered. Place over medium heat on your grill. Stir every 10 or so minutes until tender when pierced with a fork. It could take less time depending on grill temperatures. Enjoy. Serves at least 6 We also enjoy grilling turkey burgers. Our favorite seasoning for them is White Wine Worstershire sauce. We then top them with a mild green chili and Muenster cheese. The side we most often serve with this burger is a very simple pasta salad we created one evening when we were searching for something a little different. Simple Pasta Salad • 1/2 box tiny pasta shells • Mayonnaise to taste • Ranch Dressing to taste • Sea Salt and Pepper • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley • 1/2 cup diced cheddar cheese • 1 1/2 cup frozen green peas and carrots, thawed Cook pasta according to package directions to the al dente stage. Drain and cool slightly. Mix mayonnaise and Ranch Dressing in half and half portions to coat the pasta thoroughly. Season the pasta with salt, pepper and parsley. Stir in cheese and thawed vegetables. Chill for 3 or more hours and serve. Hope you enjoy these simple recipes for summer gatherings.
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