Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tailgating Extravaganza!

Our 4th of July Phillies Tailgate was a huge success! We really went all out for this one. Friends brought tables, chairs, 4th of July decor, games, coolers full of beer and even a pop-up tent. We brought all the food (except for the strombolis - oddly enough this seems to be our new tailgate favorite!), our grill, and of course a set of homemade washers.

The menu was very All-American:
Chicken Wings
Hot Dogs
Veggie dogs and burgers & Marinated Portobellos (for the vegetarians in the crowd!)
Potato Salad
Fruit Salad
Corn & Bean Salsa

Ron makes a pretty kick ass chicken wing so he was on wing and burger duty. He also manned the grill - unless he got too distracted by a tailgating game, then whoever was closest to the grill took over!

He used to just throw the chicken wings on the grill but we've gotten better results since Lee told him about par-baking them first. He now cooks the seasoned wings in the oven at 450 then throws them on the grill, or in this case under the broiler, to crisp up. Just toss them in some wing sauce and they're done - no frying necessary.

I used a couple of Ina Garten recipes for the salads. I've made these so many times that I don't even use the recipes any more! I make the coleslaw with fresh cut red and green cabbage, shredded carrots, and scallions. The dressing is mayo, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, mustard and celery seeds.

Pasta, Pesto and Peas is my favorite pasta salad. It's bright green and really fresh. I just puree basil, spinach, parmesan, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper with some mayo in my blender. I toss the puree with bowtie pasta and frozen peas and top it off with some toasted pine nuts.

The potato salad dressing is a lot like the coleslaw dressing just heavier on the vinegar. I decided to steam the potatoes instead of boiling them and it worked out really well. No water logged, over cooked potatoes! I chopped up some celery, hard boiled eggs, parsley and scallions and tossed it with the dressing and cooled potatoes. Oh it's so good!

Ron's mom taught me how to make this corn and black bean salsa. It's so simple and everyone loved it - perfect with Tostitos scoops. It's a can of drained and rinsed black beans, a can of drained petite diced tomatoes with green chiles, a cup or so of frozen corn, a chopped jalapeno with the ribs and seeds removed, scallions, cumin, salt and pepper. I would normally use cilantro but I didn't have any on hand and it was still delicious. Bring this to your next party - trust me.

I'm pretty sure I got the most compliments on the ribs - I mean who doesn't like a good rib? They deserve their own post! I'll get to that later.


Mark said...

how'd that ugly dude in the blue shirt get in your kitchen? said...

Mark - that's my boyfriend, he's cute, he makes a mean chicken wing and that's not just any blue shirt it's a 50/25/25. Got it?