Summertime entertaining is in full bloom with backyard barbeques, pool parties and endless celebrations. Here’s just a few of my tried and true recipes that I make quite often during the summer and have always been a hit with friends and family.
Impress your guests with some Grilled Calamari, I buy mine already cleaned so all you have to do is marinate it in olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. When you’re ready to grill it, place it into a grill basket so it’s easy to toss around to achieve a nice char, it only takes about 5 minutes with the gas burners on high.
Grilled Clams with Tomato, Wine and Sausage Sauce, I would say this is a terrific dish for Father’s Day, it’s a manly meal, messy and good, just serve some crusty bread to soak up that luscious sauce! Did you know you can cook lobster on the grill? Well you can and it tastes amazing! I always remove the lobster meat this way, it’s full proof, then all you have to do is brush your lobster down with a mixture of garlic and butter or olive oil, sprinkle paprika on top then place shell side down with the lobster meat perched on top directly on the grill, cook on medium until opaque, so delicious!
How about a Seafood Boil, it’s casual eating where every thing is placed in front of you and all that is needed is some cold wine and good conversation!
Anything planked is fine by me, salmon, cheese, vegetables, shrimp, you name it, I’ve done it and posted it here on my blog. The smokey wood flavor that comes from the boards enhance everything you place on it. Here’s another favorite of mine, Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops. Who doesn’t like Beer Can Chicken, it always comes out so moist on the inside and crispy on the outside, it never fails!
How about some pork? You can’t go wrong with Italian sausage, ribs or chops. But maybe you’re in the mood for some shish kabobs complete with the veggies, all you’ll need is a salad or two on the side and your meal is complete! Nine times out of ten at every big party I always serve Sausage and Peppers and Baked Mostaccioli, you got to have some pasta, and besides it feeds a ton of people! We’re artichoke obsessed in my family and these Grilled Artichokes always go so fast, they’re easy to make, it’s a nice light summertime version.
Make an impression with a beautiful round platter filled with thin cut Zucchini Carpaccio, sprinkled with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, a great way to use up all your garden zucchini and a pretty impressive looking side dish. Grilled Veggie Pizza, Oh My! I have two words for you. Make It! Next time you have to bring something to a party, bring this! Orzo with Grilled Shrimp and Feta, the flavor combination is out of this world good. I get asked to make this all the time.
And lastly you have to have some kind of dessert, my friend Debbie makes the best good old fashioned Lemon Bars, a combination of buttery shortbread and tangy, bright lemon. They’re irresistible and get devoured! She’s happy to share her recipe with you below.
And finally, this Grape Salad, people go bonkers over it, there won’t be one grape left in the bowl, trust me!
- FOR CRUST
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temp
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup, powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- FOR THE TOPPING
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups, granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons, fresh lemon juice ( a must!)
- Preheat oven to 350, mix crust ingredients and pat into a 9 x 13 ungreased pan, spread to corners. I do this with my fork and fingers.
- Cook for 15 - 20 minutes, while it's cooking make the topping.
- Mix the topping together and pour carefully over the baked crust and bake for additional 25 minutes.
- Cut with a sharp knife after it has cooled and then dust with powdered sugar.
- Note from Marie:( I added lemon zest for garnish, totally optional )