One of the simplest joys of summer is the ability to enjoy a meal outdoors. If you’ve got the urge to entertain, do so stress-free and with minimal planning – keep it simple, all you need is good company, delicious food, and the right setting.
- Buffet and bar tables make serving easy. Jazz them up with reusable tablecloths to add some decorative flair.
- Use the grill for everything. From meats to veggies, the grill is an easy no-mess station for cooking all your summer fare, right down to fruits such as peaches and pineapple.
- Think “less-mess”. Serve easy to eat foods such as chips and dip, barbeque ribs, sliders and skewered meats and vegetables.
- Potluck dinner? Why not! Encourage guests to bring a dish. You’ll have a great spread, without having to do all the cooking!
- Make-ahead recipes. Crunched for time? Go for “make-ahead” items such as salads, baked potatoes, and chicken, which can be baked in the oven and finished off on the grill a few minutes before serving.
Serve this sensational summer meal at your next gathering – Grilled Tequila-Lime Chicken and Grilled Eggplant-Tomato Stacks
Grilled Eggplant & Tomato Stacks
You can grill the eggplant rounds up to a day in advance, then assemble the eggplant, tomato and mozzarella “stacks” at the last minute. To make the eggplant and tomato stacks look symmetrical, use eggplant and tomatoes with approximately the same diameter.
- 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium eggplant (3/4-1 pound), cut into 6 rounds about 1/2 inch thick
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
- 6 teaspoons prepared pesto
- 2 large Jersey tomatoes, each cut into 3 slices about 3/4 inch thick
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 6 thin slices
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Prep Time: 10 mins | Ready In: 15 mins | Servings: 6
- Preheat grill to medium-high or place a grill pan over medium-high heat until hot.
- Use 2 teaspoons oil to brush both sides of eggplant slices; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Grill the eggplant slices for 5 minutes. Turn; continue grilling until tender and marked with grill lines, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a large platter.
- Spread each eggplant slice with 1 teaspoon pesto. Top with a slice of tomato, a slice of mozzarella and a basil leaf.
- Drizzle vinegar and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over the towers; sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving and sprinkle with parsley.
Recipe source: Eatingwell.com
Grilled Tequila-Lime Chicken
- 1 cup fresh lime juice
- ½ cup tequila
- ½ orange juice
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons minced, seeded jalapeño pepper
- 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground pepper
- 6 boneless chicken breast halves with skin
Prep Time: 10 mins | Ready In: 18 mins | Servings: 6
- Mix first 8 ingredients in a bowl. Add chicken, turn to coat. Cover, chill overnight.
- Prepare outdoor grill (or grill pan) to medium-high heat, brush with oil. Grill chicken until cooked through, turning halfway through (about 18 minutes total). Transfer to a platter. May let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours or refrigerate and reheat in oven.
Recipe source: epicurious.com