Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Japanese / Korean / Mexican / Spanish / Thai / Indonesian BBQ

The only photographic evidence: Korean bbq short ribs marinating
I was a delinquent blogger and completely forgot to take any pictures of our Memorial Day BBQ extravaganza.  We departed from traditional BBQ fare (dogs and burgers) and decided to really go all out on Monday; it was definitely a group effort: Jen and Dee Dee from wine club helped with the preparation for all the food and drinks.  For starters, we grilled Indonesian chicken satay with Jen's famous peanut sauce.  We also served grilled asparagus and grilled baby peppers, and fresh cucumbers, carrots and celery with assorted dipping sauces, including the peanut sauce, tzaziki, hummus, and salsa.  I also made my usual fresh guacamole (2 avocados mashed with a fork, juice from 1 lime, 1/4 of a chopped white onion, 1/2 cup of seeded and chopped fresh tomatoes, 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, 1 tsp of minced garlic, 1/2 tsp of cumin, salt and pepper to taste) served with tortilla chips.

For the main course, we laid out an Asian taco bar: we grilled up Korean bbq short ribs, Japanese yuzu chicken legs, and thinly sliced spicy pork.  I essentially followed this recipe for the short ribs from thekitchn, with the addition of a kiwi and 1/4 cup of rice wine, and marinated it for 24 hours.  The short ribs grill up very quickly in a few minutes on the BBQ; after they were done, we let them cool a bit and sliced them with a knife / poultry shears.  The yuzu chicken was seasoned with some garlic salt and oranges, and rubbed with yuzu paste (the peel of a Japanese citrus fruit mixed with jalapenos for some spice) after they were cooked through (about 15-20 mins), and then also sliced.  I bought pre-marinated spicy pork which I cut with poultry shears before cooking and made more spicy with extra sriracha and a spicy korean soy paste.  I sauteed the pork in the wok on the grill.  To top the tacos, I made the cabbage / lettuce slaw, made with 1 head of cabbage, 2 heads of romaine, thinly chopped, about 1/2 a white onion, thinly chopped, 4 chopped green onions, 1/4 cup of sesame seeds and dressed with 1/3 cup of rice vinegar, 1 TB of mirin, 2 TB of sesame oil, 1 TB of sesame seeds.  The fresh slaw with just a bit of acid was a nice complement to the heavily seasoned meat.  I also had a bowl of (store bought) kimchi, fresh pico de gallo that I made, and sriracha sauce for toppings.  The tacos tasted best with the tortillas heated up slightly on the grill.  They were definitely a big hit; we went through at least 20 lbs of meat.  I know several people who had 6 tacos each!  Jen also made a thai noodle salad as a side dish that paired nicely with the tacos.

For dessert, Dee Dee made incredible ice cream sandwiches; one with chocolate chip cookies and the other was lemon bars with blueberry ice cream in between.  We also had some fresh berries and fresh whipped cream.  Jen made really delicious white sangria with peaches, apples and honeydew using Martha Stewart's recipe and red sangria with raspberries, oranges and apples using Bobby Flay's recipe.  We went through the sangria really quickly also went through a several cases of beer and a few bottles of wine.  It was a really fun party; we had over 20 people show up over the course of the afternoon.  People went swimming, went in the hot tub (we managed to fit 9 people in the hot tub, which was definitely a record).  The weather was a beautiful 70 degrees; it really was a perfect memorial day bbq and a great way to kick off the summer...hopefully the first of many summer bbqs.

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