These recipes for an end of summer barbecue, paired with a variety of wines, will keep your summer season and the party going even as fall approaches.
As September arrives and the summer season seems to tick, tick, tick away, savoring those remaining warm days with your friends is a must. And what could be friendlier than to host your own late summer soirée? Award-winning California caterer, Mary Williams, recommends grabbing a variety of wines and putting together a fast, easy backyard or poolside barbecue that will make a big splash. Here are three simple, go-to recipes accompanied by easy-drinking wines.
Bomb Bruschetta and Merlot
The appetizer is the first taste of the evening. This pairing of toasted bread with salty meat and a smooth Merlot is the perfect party kick-start and sure to keep the night afloat.
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Red Onion
1 tbsp. Chopped Garlic
1 tsp. Crushed Fennel Seeds
1 tsp. Oregano
2 tsps. Balsamic Vinegar
2 ounces Pancetta Slices
Thinly slice red onion and sauté with olive oil in skillet. Add garlic, fennel seeds and oregano and cook until onions are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
Toast one side of baguette slices under broiler or on an open grill until brown.
Turn over and put piece of sliced pancetta on top of uncooked baguette slices; top with spoonful of onion mixture. Drizzle baguette slices with olive oil.
Broil just until they sizzle.
Pass slices on a tray.
Epic Shrimp Salad and Chardonnay
Dive into the catch of the day with this winning poolside pairing of crisp Chardonnay with shrimp along with such favorites as avocado, green onion and hearts of palm. This fresh dish really cools you down, pairs beautifully with the wine and is sure to tickle the fins!
For Remoulade Sauce:
3/4 cup Mayonnaise
4 tsps. Dijon Mustard
1 tsp. Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Tabasco Sauce
2 tsps. Capers, chopped
1 tbsp. Parsley, chopped
Salt & Pepper
Combine ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
Butter Lettuce leaves
1-Pound Medium Shrimp
1 Can Hearts of Palm
2 Green Onions
Wash and arrange lettuce leaves on a tray or individual plates. Halve and pit avocados. Slice green onions and cut hearts of palm into 1/2 inch pieces.
Combine green onions, hearts of palm and shrimp in a bowl and toss with remoulade sauce. Fill each avocado and serve on top of lettuce leaves.
“The Mad & Tasty” Sausage Skewers with Pinot Noir
This pairing is sure to get your guests out of the pool or the ocean quick! The spicy traits of the sausage will taste delicious with your Pinot Noir and have guests flapping their flippers for more.
4 Spicy Italian Sausages
Mini Tri-Color Sweet Peppers (red, orange, yellow)
Broil or grill Italian sausage, cut into one-inch pieces. Cut peppers in half and clean out seeds. Thread sausage and peppers onto bamboo picks.
Place on broiler pan and drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar lightly over skewers.
Broil until peppers are slightly charred.
Serve on tray or standing up in clear serving dish.
Mary Williams is the owner of Bless the Cook Catering, a family run catering company located in Mission Viejo, California. A self-trained chef, her food speaks for itself with the majority of her customers coming from referrals. Menus can be customized for any size group – from a summer dinner for twelve to a birthday bash for over 200 people. For more entertaining ideas check out Bless the Cook on Facebook.