Deviled Eggs and Sweet Potato Salad and others.

Summer is a great time for BBQ and since I shared a few of my favorite BBQ staples (Sun Dried Tomato and Macadamia Nut Pesto and Roasted Corn, Black Bean and Mango Salad), I wanted to add a few other fun ideas to really make your BBQ special.

Deviled Eggs

 
I can’t imagine a better BBQ side than this, and they will really go fast. I recently made 48 of them for a party and I can tell you they were gone before dinner started.
 
If these don’t remind you of church picnics and Southern family reunions, then nothing will. I remember some of the best from the church picnics as a little boy in Museville, Virginia. If you know where this is, then we’re probably related! This is my grandmother’s recipe, so it’s really special to me.

Ingredients 


1 dozen eggs
½ cup Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Sweet pickle
1 tsp. Dry mustard (Coleman’s is perfect)
2 tsp. Cider vinegar
Paprika or cayenne (for the Deep South folks) or Tabasco for the bayou people.
 
Put the eggs into a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then take off heat and cover the pot for 10 minutes in salted water. Then gently place into iced water, and allow to cool.
 
When the eggs have cooled, remove shells, split in half and put yolks into a separate bowl.
 
Mash yolks with mayonnaise, sweet pickle, vinegar, dry mustard and a little salt and pepper. Take about a Tbsp. of egg mixture and put it back into the egg halves. Sprinkle on paprika or cayenne and chill well before serving.
 

Cole Slaw w/Pineapple and Toasted Sesame Oil

 
This is something that I came up with by accident. I was at a friend’s house and we realized we didn’t have a salad and we only had the basics on hand. As is often the case, improvisation can create wonderful results.

Ingredients


8 cups of either Cabbage, or Cole Slaw mixture
1 can of chopped Pineapple in its own juice
2 cups of Mayonnaise
1 tbsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp of Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
 
Take the cole slaw mix or cabbage and add the pineapple with all its juice and the mayonnaise. Mix thoroughly until smooth. Then add the sesame oil, mix again and chill. It’s best if chilled for at least 2 hours before serving, as this allows the flavors to blend.
 

Sweet Potato Salad

 
This is a variation on the traditional potato salad, using one of my favorite ingredients, sweet potatoes. It is very refreshing and it has a wonderful sweet and sour taste.

Ingredients

2-3 lbs of Sweet Potatoes, or half sweet potatoes and half regular potatoes
1 cup Celery, chopped
1 cup of Onion, chopped
1 cup of Red Pepper, chopped
1 cup Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Sweet Pickle
2 Tbsp Cider Vinegar, or more to taste.
Smoked Paprika, for dusting the top
Salt and Black Pepper
 
Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into ½ inch cubes. Put them into a pot of cold water and then boil them until done, but still firm. Then rinse and cool them down with some iced water. Drain and prepare your other ingredients and then fold it all together and chill before serving.
 

Grilled Peaches

 
Okay, I know this sounds strange but these are so good you won’t believe it and they are really easy to make. Just find peaches that are soft to the touch but not mushy. Split them in half and put them on the grill skin side down and then turn them over to finish them off. You can serve them as is, along with whatever else you grilled, or you can serve them as a dessert, with ice cream or even balsamic vinegar. They are amazing!

Three Things on a Plate- Umami Meatloaf and Sides

When I have a bit more time to cook, I love to make what we call “three things on a plate”. This is a main dish, and two sides.

It’s real home style comfort food and if you plan it accordingly, it isn’t too much work to pull it together. The key is to simplify and keep it basic.

Here’s the menu:

Mini Umami Meatloaf
Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Lime Butter Yellow Corn

Mini Umami Meatloaf

These are really easy and fun to make. Children love them, as they get their own mini meatloaf. The process to prepare is the same, except you cook it in a 12 cup muffin tin.

1 lb of Lean Ground Beef
1 lb of Lean Ground Pork, if you don’t eat pork, then you can substitute Ground Veal
1 tsp Umami Paste
1 packet of Instant Onion Soup Mix, or 1 packet French Onion Dip mix.
3/4 cup Unseasoned Bread Crumbs
3/4 cup of Water
1 Egg
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Ketchup, Optional

Preheat you oven to 350F. Gently mix all ingredients together, except the water. Once all the other ingredients are mixed, add the water a bit at a time. It will seem very wet at first, but the bread crumbs will absorb it.


Grease your muffin tin with a non stick cooking spray and then put about 1/2 cup into each muffin cup. Even them off, but do not pack them down. Put into the oven with a baking sheet underneath in case they drip.


Bake for 30 minutes and if you want ketchup on top, put that on at 20 minutes and finish the timing. Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil and let them rest for at least 15 minutes. This gives you time to finish off your other dishes.


Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes


3-4 large Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 stick Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Sweetened Coconut
Salt and Black Pepper

Heat a large pot of salted water with the cut sweet potatoes. Cook until done and add all ingredients and mash together in the pot. Put the top on the pot and set aside to keep warm.


Lime Butter Yellow Corn


1 Packet of Frozen Yellow Corn

Juice of two Limes
4 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp finely minced fresh Chives
Salt and Pepper

Prepare the corn as indicated on the packet, drain and add back to the pot, then add all ingredients and stir until combined and put top on pot and set aside to keep warm.