Let the BBQ’ing Begin!

Hope everyone had a Happy 4th of July!  As much as we love to grill, somehow, this past weekend was the first time we have grilled this year.  Needless to say we have been busy with wedding stuff and family stuff and we haven’t been home very much on the weekends.  We decided to stay home for the holiday weekend and do only local activities which included a relaxing evening at The Frying Pan in NYC on Saturday (two old boats that are permanently docked and have been turned into a bar and grill), a small bbq at our home on Sunday, and a family bbq in Staten Island on Monday.  It was our first year that we didn’t get to see any live fireworks, but we were ok with that.  Overall lots of great food and outdoors-y-ness.

So on Sunday one of our very good friends came over for the day.  The original plan was go golfing in the afternoon and then to grill up dinner, but weather was not on our side.  It rained pretty much the entire day, and only really cleared up right as were about to eat.  All week I had scoured the recipe blogs for some adventurous grilling meals that had perfectly paired appetizers and sides and desserts.  But the rain pretty much ruined all of my plans and on Sunday morning I found myself winging it so to speak in the grocery store.  I ended up repeating a few favorite recipes, worked on mastering my korean fried chicken skills, and tried ribs for the first time.  It might not have been the most well thought out meal, but everything tasted great!

Friend Sarit on the left and the BF Tom on the right! Getting ready to grill!

Grilled Peach and Goat Cheese Crostinis
It is as simple as it sounds – I decided to slice up my peaches and sprinkled them with a little sugar before throwing them on the grill.  Italian bread went in the toaster and goat cheese was smeared on.  So simple yet so sophisticated.

Simple Pasta Salad
Tri-colored pasta, Italian dressing and Parmesan cheese.  I knew I would be spending most of my afternoon on the ribs and wings so I was able to make this in the morning and forget about it until it was time to eat.

Can’t forget the Corn on the Cob!  Can you see my pretty table cloth in the background?  Martha Stewart circa 2005!  I have matching plastic plates but I didn’t break them out this weekend.

Korean Fried Chicken
Have you heard of “bon chon chicken”? There are a few of them here in NYC – mostly in K-Town.  It is AH-MAY-ZING.  It’s basically wings that have been fried twice and so that the skin is sooo crispy and delicate.  Bon chon actually translates to paper chicken.  I’ve checked out a few recipes and videos and this one is my favorite if you decide to try this yourself (and I recommend you should!):

This weekend I made some with hot sauce, some chili garlic sauce, and some soy vey sauce.  Soooo good.  I’m addicted.



BBQ Ribs
The winner of the night had to be the ribs.  Once again I consulted a few recipes as well as my mother and played the rest by ear. We wanted simple bbq flavor and went with the bottled stuff.  I picked up about 2 lbs of spare ribs, put them in a pot with a bottle and a half of sauce and enough water just to cover the meat (about 2 -3 cups of water), brought it to a boil, and then simmered it covered for about an hour.

After assigning the men the task starting the charcoal grill, they decided that with the weather conditions, the gas grill would be easier.  We threw the ribs on for about another 20 minutes until they were nicely charred, brushing with additional sauce until they were ready to come off the grill and rest before serving.

Seriously, how good does that look??

This was a good practice round for our big BBQ in a few weeks.  In the past we’ve stayed pretty tame with the meats, keeping it simple with burgers and hot dogs.  But this year I’ve got some ideas up my sleeves that I think will be the perfect balance of tastiness for our guests, and economical on our wallets (it’s not easy feeding 30 – 40 people!)

Have any favorite grilling recipes for feeding a big crowd?  Hope your 4th of July was a great one!

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