It's time for another edition of Your Questions, in which we attempt to answer readers' queries about recipe ideas, kitchen gadgets and whether Carrie should leave Big for Aiden in Abu Dhabi. As always, if you've got a question for us, email us!
This week's question comes from Julia in Washington, D.C. -- and it's got us all kinds of excited to ring in the summer cooking season!
Hey Clay and Zach,
I'll be with 16 of my friend's guy friends and their friends and girlfriends for memorial day weekend - do you have any quick, easy, cheap recipes that would be good for on and/or off the beach (and that can be doubled/tripled/etc as necessary)?!? I'm hoping to make a good impression on these people and figured I'd go straight to the experts. Thanks so much for your help!
Good question, Julia!
We've been traveling for the past two weekends -- first to West Virginia and then to Memphis for a wedding -- so we're sad to report that The Bitten Word will be beachless this Memorial Day. We do, however, how some ideas for fun, beach food. Hope you have a great time, and do let us know what you make!
And now, here are our picks for great beach crowd-pleasers.
This is something we've done at home a few times, both with a traditional boil as well as a grilled boil. It's a definite crowd pleaser, a little messy (which can be fun at the beach) and is relatively easy. Here are two options:
- Grilled Low-Country Boil: We made this last summer and thought it was a fun, different take on the low-country boil.
- Traditional Low-Country Boil (recipe from Paula Deen): We've done this at home, too, boiling up shrimp, potatoes, corn and sausage, then dumping it out in the middle of our dining room table. It's a delicious mess.
Dressing Up Grilled Meats
One easy and cost-effective way to cook for a crowd is to pick a low-cost meat that can be grilled, and then dress it up with a fun summer salsa. Here are a few recipes that might give you ideas:
Despite our recent lackluster experience with tacos, we still think they're terrific options for feeding a crowd.
- Fish Tacos (from the May issue of Everyday Food): We haven't made these, but one of our readers did and reported that they were easy and delicious.
- Crispy Fried Fish Tacos (from the May issue of Food & Wine): Another reader reported loving these tacos. We're eager to make them ourselves.
Here are a few things we've made in the past that we think almost anyone would like:
- Best Barbecued Chicken. It's a knock-out recipe.
- Grilled Potato Slices with Salt and Vinegar. A tasty, delicious snack or side dish.
- Grilled pizza! It's easy and you can vary the flavor combinations -- or set out lots of options and let diners customize their own pies. Here's a recipe we made for a Caramelized-Onion and Gorgonzola Grilled Pizza.
Since you're on vacation, we recommend keeping things easy and simple for dessert.
- How about serving Tequila-Soaked Watermelon wedges?
- We love the idea of these Fruit Hobo Packs that can be tossed onto the grill.
- A granita is one of the easiest -- and least expensive -- desserts out there. You could go super simple with a Mint Granita, or slightly fancier with a Coffee Granita with Cardamom Whipped Cream.
- We just wrote about this a few weeks ago, but we're crazy about this Tipsy Affogato -- and the most complicated part of the recipe is brewing a pot of coffee.
Readers -- what are you doing this Memorial Day? And more importantly, what are you cooking? Let us know in the comments!
And always feel free to email us with your own questions -- we'll do the best we can to answer them!