Your having good friends over for a cookout. What is the favorite centerpiece food these days. It has been ages since we did a cookout.

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Your having good friends over for a cookout. What is the favorite centerpiece food these days. It has been ages since we did a cookout.

Bignuf Bignuf
What should we serve? What would be favorites...ten people coming?
Answers (public voting - your screen name will appear in the results):
Steaks
Sir , Sunshineamine , Rossie , Selective Sensualist , AmberM , MeliPixie , wetone123
7
Burgers
EdenG , Beck , Ansley , LikeSunshineDust , darthkitt3n , Lily Night , The Mother of a SiNner , LostBoy988 , babypinecone , married with children , A Closet Slut (aka nipplepeople) , systematicweasel , angel142stx , MissCandyland , Undead , GONE! , AmberM , JackRaiden , LAndJ , kawigrl
20
Hot Dogs
EdenG , Beck , Ansley , LikeSunshineDust , darthkitt3n , anonymouse58 , Lily Night , The Mother of a SiNner , babypinecone , ily , MissCandyland , Undead , AmberM , JackRaiden , wetone123
15
Chicken Breasts
EdenG , Beck , Sir , Ansley , LikeSunshineDust , DeliciousSurprise , Lily Night , MaryExy , Selective Sensualist , AmberM , wetone123
11
Other "meat"?
dv8 , Rossie , Selective Sensualist , Fun with Dick & Jane
4
Cold Salads?
Beck , Sir , Ansley , LikeSunshineDust , darthkitt3n , Sunshineamine , Lily Night , The Mother of a SiNner , Rossie , MaryExy , A Closet Slut (aka nipplepeople) , Selective Sensualist , Undead , wetone123 , LAndJ
15
Regular Chips
Ansley , DeliciousSurprise , ily , Undead , AmberM , JackRaiden , wetone123 , LAndJ
8
Toco Chips with dips/salsa
EdenG , Beck , Sir , LikeSunshineDust , darthkitt3n , padmeamidala , DeliciousSurprise , Sunshineamine , Ninja Bunny , Lily Night , The Mother of a SiNner , LostBoy988 , babypinecone , Rossie , Selective Sensualist , angel142stx , GONE! , JackRaiden
18
OTHER ideas???
Sir , Petite Valentine , Sunshineamine , Rossie , Selective Sensualist , T&A1987 , Missmarc
7
Total votes: 105 (37 voters)
Poll is closed
07/30/2011
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MaryExy MaryExy
Depends on the people. Since it's only 10, steaks might work well assuming no one is vegetarian or against red meat; with a small group, it's easier to cater to their personal preferences on the doneness of the meat. Chicken is always cooked well, so it's easy to do without asking the guests about their cooking tastes. Hamburgers may have some lee-way, but I think most people don't mind if they're pretty well done (it's ground beef, unless you grind it yourself it's safer to not trust it to be top-quality.) If you do hamburgers, I'd also do hot dogs.

Steaks and chicken are also easier to make more formal, while hot dogs and hamburgers are more casual.

And make sure to accommodate anyone who's vegetarian if you know someone in the group is. Same goes for if someone requires food to be kosher.

Chips, whether with or without dip, match hamburgers and hot dogs well as a casual thing. Things like pasta salad work well either way, and show a little more time put into the food.
07/30/2011
Beck Beck
I always make cold salads pasta salad, macaroni salad, or potato salad. We make whatever meat is om sale that week.
07/30/2011
Sir Sir
I would think that things like pasta salad, macaroni salad, and potato salad would work very well for a summer get together. If you're going to do chips and salsa, get good chips and try to make your own salsa or other form of dip.
07/30/2011
Ansley Ansley
Ribs would actually be the best choice and probably the most economical in the long run. A rack can feed two people easily and run about $11 a piece versus steaks that are $7-$10 and I think everyone is pretty sick of seeing hot dogs and burgers this far into the summer.

A nice pasta salad - both vinegar and mayonnaise based - would be awesome and some freshly sliced fruit and veggie sticks with the appropriate dips. That's my ideal bbq, anyway.
07/30/2011
LikeSunshineDust LikeSunshineDust
I love making guacamole for cookouts. Great for both chips and on burgers. I also love making macaroni salad with some light chunk tuna in it.
07/30/2011
Petite Valentine Petite Valentine
I'm a huge fan of Shish Kabobs. You can do each one with a different type of meat and some without any meat for the vegetarians and vegans (there's always one). I also think Sir made an excellent suggestion: cold salads! Perfect for hot summer days, just make sure to keep them cooled — hot temperatures and mayo make for a bad pair after an hour.
07/30/2011
Sunshineamine Sunshineamine
Quote:
Originally posted by Petite Valentine
I'm a huge fan of Shish Kabobs. You can do each one with a different type of meat and some without any meat for the vegetarians and vegans (there's always one). I also think Sir made an excellent suggestion: cold salads! Perfect for hot ...
Shish kabobs are an excellent idea! You just made me really hungry with that one.
07/30/2011
The Mother of a SiNner The Mother of a SiNner
Quote:
Originally posted by Bignuf
What should we serve? What would be favorites...ten people coming?
Serve A little of everything
07/30/2011
LostBoy988 LostBoy988
As long as it doesn't move I will generally eat it
07/30/2011
dv8 dv8
Quote:
Originally posted by Petite Valentine
I'm a huge fan of Shish Kabobs. You can do each one with a different type of meat and some without any meat for the vegetarians and vegans (there's always one). I also think Sir made an excellent suggestion: cold salads! Perfect for hot ...
Yup, that's also my choice, especially since I can make veggie versions, possibly with falafel. I avoid the mayo and serve hummus or baba ghanoush.
07/30/2011
Rossie Rossie
Rib steaks, chicken drumsticks, salmon, corn, cole slaw, and zucchini. And of course, Tortilla chips and salsa.
07/30/2011
married with children married with children
I make killer hamburgers. People talk to me about them years after they have been over for a BBQ.
08/02/2011
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
If you can afford to do steaks, I would say go with an assortment of steak, chicken breast, and salmon. I would find out ahead of time which of these meats each guest prefers so that you can better gauge how many pieces of each type of meat to have available. You might also want to see if anyone is a vegetarian or has any type of specific allergy or health concern so that you can make certain there is something on the menu that s/he can safely and healthfully eat.

There is so much you can do with steak or chicken. You could cook them in whole pieces or cut them into chunks to make kebabs with thick slices of onion, bell peppers, zucchini, and yellow squash (or even other vegetables, as desired). If you cook your pieces whole instead of doing kebabs, you can slice the vegetables and cook them in a grilling basket or in an aluminum foil packet. Whatever you do, make sure you brush them with olive oil first before grilling. The type of seasoning would be up to you. We keep ours simple: freshly ground black pepper, Kosher salt, and a sprinkling of garlic powder. A crowning touch of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (shaved or grated) is always nice.

Also, grilled corn on the cob is excellent. You can actually cook them in their husks if you soak them in ice water all day before grilling, or you can shuck and wrap them in aluminum foil to grill them. My husband and I have found a mouth-wateringly delicious way to season corn on the cob: butter (we use spray butter for the lower fat content and calories; plus, it's easier to apply), shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (you must roll your butter-coated corn in a plate of it to coat it well), and a Cajun seasoning (we use Tony Chachere's).

Another vegetable that is fantastic on the grill is asparagus. Lightly coat it in olive oil and sprinkle it with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and grill to the desired tenderness. It is very easy, though you must watch it closely and turn it frequently.

And may I highly, highly recommend purchasing a fresh (never frozen, if at all possible) fillet of salmon? It tastes absolutely divine when cooked on the grill. Leave the skin on and lightly coat the flesh with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss it skin side down on the grill. (You can place it on aluminum foil if you would like, just to make it easier to transfer.) Look up cooking times online, based upon the thickness of it. We cook ours anywhere between ten to twenty minutes on the grill, taking it off when the center becomes hot. It's important to leave the skin on when cooking because if you strip it off beforehand, then you are removing the heart-and-brain-health y Omega fatty acids that are so good for you (and that also just happen to make the meat taste wonderful!). Plus, the skin ensures that the salmon stays moist and that it retains its rich flavor throughout the cooking process. No matter how big of a piece we buy in hopes of having enough for leftovers the next day (it tastes great placed cold on salads), we always end up eating almost all of it in one sitting--it's just that good and, even better, is incredibly simple to make.

Definitely have some spring salad on hand with sliced fruits. You could do an assortment of any of the following: pear, honeydew, seedless watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, dried raisins or cherries or cranberries, pineapple, kiwi, and/or grapes (though you do not have to be limited only to these as I know I am leaving plenty of choices out). If you slice your assortment ahead of time and place them all together in a bowl, they will produce a delicious marinade of fruit juices that your guests can spoon onto their salads when they are getting pieces of fruit. What could be better on a hot summer evening than a refreshing salad with fruit? I love salad with fruit and grilled chicken or salmon. The luscious fruits make all the dressing that you need. Of course, I would still suggest having a homemade vinaigrette on hand. Vinaigrette would complement all these meat choices when spooned over either a main course or a side salad. I also like to have crumbled blue cheese (there are many excellent varieties, such as Gorgonzola) and praline pecans (especially amaretto-flavored pecans) or walnuts to add to the salad, along with the fruit and vinaigrette.

My favorite vinaigrette is quite simple: olive oil, balsamic vinegar (raspberry-infused is my very favorite), stone-ground or Dijon mustard, minced shallots or garlic, and salt and pepper. I do everything to taste. (Different people prefer different ratios of these ingredients. Just experiment to see what you like.) You can also toss in any herbs that you like. Fresh herbs make anything special.

All the above (with the exception of slicing the fruit), require very little effort as far as prepping goes. If you are short on time, just pick up some potato salad, chilled pasta salad, or antipasto at a local deli. On a hot summer evening, a chilled side dish is more welcoming than a hot baked potato. I also echo the suggestion of serving good quality tortilla chips, guacamole (which is easy to make), and salsa. Your guests could mingle and snack on the chips and dip and the antipasto (which I mentioned earlier) while the meats are grilling.

Good luck with your planning, and try to keep it as simple as possible. You don't want to be so stressed that you cannot enjoy the company of your dear friends.
08/02/2011
systematicweasel systematicweasel
My friends always come over when I say I'm making burgers, even when they're not invited lol.
08/02/2011
T&A1987 T&A1987
all of the above. you don't make friends with salad.
01/19/2012
Missmarc Missmarc
Quote:
Originally posted by Bignuf
What should we serve? What would be favorites...ten people coming?
I'd make some Galbi. Provide some side dishes, kimchee and lettuce for veggie wraps.
01/20/2012
MissCandyland MissCandyland
Burgers and hot dogs!!
01/20/2012
GONE! GONE!
I would do burgers (Veggie burgers too.) and chips with dip. Those seem to go over pretty well.
01/20/2012
AmberM AmberM
We always have a bit of everything, Mostly hot dogs and burgers, though.. With chips and drinks of course!
01/20/2012
MeliPixie MeliPixie
I love cooking steak for family and friends! Bring on the MEEEAAAT
01/20/2012
CPTInsanity CPTInsanity
Just about any of those will do, but I have also had success with a brisket. But I do live in Texas, and I have bought sauces from some of the best Bar B Que restraunts in the US. But you cant go wrong with grilling just about anything. Back in the day I even did a pancake party as the NFL Draft was starting, but that was back when it started on a Saturday.
01/20/2012
LAndJ LAndJ
i'm a vegetarian, but I've seen all of those things at cookouts. Those options are pretty sufficient.
01/20/2012
kawigrl kawigrl
burger
01/20/2012
Total posts: 24
Unique posters: 24