Tuesday, May 11, 2010

{recipe} summer cookout

There is nothing like cooking out once summer comes along. I decided to make baked beans, potato salad, corn-on-the-cob and barbecue chicken on the charcoal grill [I had a guy help me with that part (: ] Since I am not quite experienced enough to create my own recipes, I went to trusty Google and started searching. I found a ton of amazing recipes, but decided on the ones below because they had the most attainable ingredients for a college student to afford and find. I did change the recipes slightly based on what I had in my pantry, but I'm sure the recipes would have been just as delicious by following the original!
Barbecue Grilled Chicken
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
12 tablespoons barbecue sauce
6 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chives
1. Boil the chicken in hot water for a few minutes before you place it on the grill. This will help make sure the insides are cooked before you finish it on the barbecue for the great grilled flavor.
2. Arrange the chicken breasts on the grill over medium heat. Generously baste them with barbecue sauce and honey, and sprinkle with the spices. Turn once while cooking and cook for four to five minutes on each side. (We grilled on the tiny charcoal grills in my apartment complex and the chicken turned out PERFECT.)
**Side Notes: 
- Recipe is from this site.
- I added a bit of All-Seasoning Salt and did not add the chives to the recipe.
- You also need to use a bit more than the recipe suggests of the spices. 
**Another side-note: I learned this from my dad. Instead of buying the main stream spices in the spice aisle, go to the ethnic aisle in your grocery store. They carry the same exact spices (in a little bit of a smaller portion) for 1/3 of the price. Instead of paying $3.80 for each of these spices in the McCormick brand, I paid $0.69 each for the Badia brand.

Baked Beans
Baked beans never look very good to the eye, but they always TASTE so good!
1 (28-ounce) can baked beans, drained
2 (16-ounce) cans butter beans, drained
2 (16-ounce) cans navy beans, drained
1 (10-ounce) can barbeque beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1/4 cup barbeque sauce 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Spoon into a lightly greased 3-quart baking dish.
3. Bake uncovered for 1 hour, stirring once.
**Side Notes:
- Recipe was found at this site.
- The Publix by my house for some reason did not carry butter beans or navy beans so I substituted the four 16 oz cans for two 28 oz cans of different kinds of baked beans. (So there were 3 cans of beans in total, drained). I was worried that the baked beans would not turn out but they still got rave reviews regardless! So if all else fails, Bush's Best Baked Beans in different varieties works just as well!

Potato Salad

1 1/2 lbs. red potatoes (about 5 medium)
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use regular Hellman’s)
1/4 cup light sour cream (I use Daisy)
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard (you may like a bit more, add to taste)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
3 tsp. fresh dill, snipped (plus additional for garnish)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
1. Wash and scrub potatoes, but do not peel. Add potatoes to a medium pot and cover with water. Add some salt. Bring to a boil. Cook for approximately 20-25 minutes, just until fork can pierce the surface. Do not overcook. You want them firm when cut. Cool. When you are able to handle the potatoes, cut them into bite size pieces.
2. Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Gently fold in potatoes, celery, onion, eggs and dill. Check for seasonings. Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight. This is best served after the flavors have time to meld together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with snipped dill to serve. 
**Side Notes:
- The recipe was found at  this site.
- I am not a fan of hard-boiled eggs in my potato salad, so I did not include them.
- I also cut corners a little bit and did not use fresh dill. I instead used the tube of dill that comes right below the fresh dill in the produce department (at least in my grocery store!) It probably would have tasted better with fresh dill, but I couldn't afford to buy the dill and it to go bad within a few days. The tube of dill will last until next month! 
I had never made corn by myself before so I looked up some tips on how to pick the perfect ear. I found these at Publix and they were amazing! Best part? They were on sale... 8 corn ears for $2.00!!!
"The single best way to choose the perfect ones are to look at the silk hanging from the husk — it should be thoroughly brown.  If not, the corn was picked too soon, and it’s not ready!  Further, feel the husk, which should be tightly wrapped, and the inside should feel firm." (Thanks to Dreamy Dish)
We tried to put some of the corn on the grill but we did not leave them on there long enough. I was also told by my mom that we should have soaked the ears of corn (husks and all) in water before putting them on the grill to keep the moisture. The corn was moist and cooked but did not have the sweet grilled flavor I love. 
I also boiled some corn just in case the corn on the grill did not work out.
Here is the recipe (also from Dreamy Dish):
Just before cooking, husk the corn, pull off the silky threads, and cut out any blemishes with a pointed knife. Drop the corn into a large pot filled with boiling salted water. Cover the pot and let the water return to a boil again, then turn off the heat and keep the pot covered. After about 5 minutes, remove the ears from the water and serve with lots of butter and salt.
All of the food tonight was fantastic.
I am so excited to cook more this summer and share more recipes with you :)
Have a great night!
xox, Jen


  1. so excited everyone is starting blogs! now i don't feel so weird! i miss you too!

  2. The baked beans looks absolutely delicious. I have to try it out.



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