Barbecues are not just burgers and hot dogs anymore. With a little imagination and planning you can make your next barbecue the talk of the town. Barbecues today can feature all types of foods from different regions of the world and cultures. You can give your guests both hot and cold foods with judicious serving so that there is an array of main, side and even dessert dishes. Make your Barbecues an event to remember by being a little different from the run of the mill barbecue events of the year.
Begin your event with colorful appetizers such as grilled garlic shrimp or salsa and chips. With salsa among the most popular condiments in North America, you can find a variety of salsas and chips ranging in color and spiciness. These two introductions to your barbecue will highlight the food to come.
Use common precautions with meat, fish and mayonnaise-based dishes and refrigerate these foods until it is time to use them to avoid bacteria contamination. There is no reason to avoid hamburgers. Mix together the ground beef, salt and pepper for the basic burger. Add minced garlic and scallions to a pan and saute until lightly brown. Add chipotle once the mixture has cooled and add this to the hamburger meat. Use a brush to add different flavors of barbecue sauce to the burgers. Brush the grill with vegetable oil as it heats up and grill the burgers to each person's taste. Serve on warm buns. Also consider lemon chicken breasts or grilled fish.
Choose interesting side dishes to liven up the main dishes. Grilled tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant and zucchini on a wooden skewer make a healthy and pretty accent to whatever your main dishes are. There is nothing wrong with old standbys such as cole slaw and macaroni salad. Jazz them up by using your own macaroni salad but make it from tri-colored pasta. To make memorable cole slaw add the cabbage, grated onion, chopped shrimp or other fish, half of the mayonnaise, caraway seed and salt to taste. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Take out the cole slaw and drain in a colander to remove any liquid that might make it soggy. Taste and adjust the mayonnaise and salt. Make your favorite potato salad using red and new potatoes for a little extra color.
Make your barbecue end on a positive note by serving chocolate fondu with fresh fruit such as big strawberries, pineapple pieces and banana pieces on wood skewers. Ice cream for the children and children at heart is always a welcome treat. You can set up a sundae bar, and a selection of coffee and tea will make a memorable end to a fun day.