Summer Grilling Party Plan

To host a cookout that will be long-remembered and enjoyed by all, start with these basics and then use your imagination.

THE PLAN

Host a shish kabob cookout! Everyone picks their own meat, vegetable and spice combination and you can sit back and enjoy your own party. This idea works well for your vegetarian friends and for children who may only want one or two items for dinner. This method is also much less expensive as the amount meat served per person is substantially less.

THE MEAT

Make your meat selection keeping in mind it go on a skewer. Beef should be a lean cut, like London Broil. Boneless, skinless chicken breast works best, but thighs can also be substituted. The meat should ideally be cut into cubes, about 1 ½ inches square. Both chicken and beef are easier to cut while still partially frozen, and the meat will stay fresh longer. A good rule of thumb to determine quantity of meat is to use ¼ lb. per person or enough for two skewers (with vegetables) for each person.

THE VEGETABLES

Peppers and onions work well so buy both in various colors to take advantage of their different textures and flavors. Onions should be quartered and peppers cut in half and then quartered. Zucchini and summer squash, cut into ½ inch slices, hold up well on skewers. Large cherry tomatoes would be the best choice in tomato as they are firm enough to hold their shape. Whole fresh mushrooms can be included as well, and they are available many varieties, though some do tend to crumble. Just keep in mind how the vegetables are to be used when making your selections.

THE SPICES

You will need the basics like pepper, salt, lime, chili powder. Also include bottled marinades, and barbeque sauce. Be sure you cover the whole range of spices, from hot and zesty to mild and sweet.

THE SIDE DISHES

Because you already have meat and vegetables, you will need only a few side dishes. Pasta salad and fruit platters make your meal complete and everyone gets exactly what they want. Keep it light to complement the meat and grilled vegetables.

THE SUPPLIES

Bamboo skewers work well, and you can throw them away. You will need a shallow pan of water to soak them in 15 minutes before the grilling starts.

Since the kabobs will be served right off the grill, use heavy-duty paper plates if you go with disposable. For that matter, why not use decorative plastic and paper products that compliment the festive, fun atmosphere you will have created.

THE MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT

Now all you need is friends, some great music and plenty of laughter and good times.

You can visit Fremont Farmer’s Market for the things you’ll need to throw this kind of party. Get them at affordable rates. Have fun and fresh meal!

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