By Annie Lafrance
Summer isn't over yet! Invite friends and family and make the hot season last. Fire up the barbecue and impress your guests with these five festive and crowd-pleasing menus.
1. PIZZA PARTY
A favourite for outdoor gatherings, pizza comes in many different forms. Impress your guests by baking your own pizzas in your own backyard like a real pizzaiolo. Get your hands dirty and have fun!
For inspiration, we recommend Nina restaurant's popular Neapolitan pancetta and green pea pizza, to which we like to add mascarpone, fresh mint and lemon zest. It is just divine!
Baking your own pizza outside will quickly become an excuse for many nice evenings with friends. For an easy setup, add a portable pizza oven to your outdoor kitchen or opt for cooking on a charcoal barbecue for a slightly smoky finish.
2. BEER CAN CHICKEN
The king of patio dinners. Beer can chicken is always appreciated, not only for its tender meat, but also for its ease of execution. Simply coat the bird with the spices of your choice and place it on the stand with the can open.
Want to try something new? Choose a microbrewery beer or replace beer altogether with root beer or apple cider. The taste of the chicken will change depending on your choices, which are basically limitless!
3. CAESAR SALAD IS HOT!
Forget the salad bowl: grilled Caesar salad is served directly on the plate after being grilled on the barbecue. The trick is to brush romaine hearts with oil or vinaigrette and toss a little parmesan and pre-cooked bacon between the leaves. Just a few minutes on the grill and it is hot and ready! Add croutons, parmesan cheese and the rest of some homemade dressing and voila!
4. VEGGIE BURGERS
Barbecues and burgers go hand in hand, but you can certainly put the meat aside from time to time. The number of vegetarian patty recipes has increased tenfold in recent years, and we like to cook our own with black bean or tempeh. Making your own patties allows you to avoid the excess sodium found in processed foods.
Here is another idea: replace the patty with a thick slice of portabella mushrooms marinated in a mixture of oil, balsamic vinegar and barbecue spices before grilling it on the barbecue.
Who would have thought that simple fruits would make it on a Top 5 BBQ recipe list? But grilled fruit is crazy good, as the natural sugars caramelize slightly when seared. Pineapple, peach and melon are among the most popular grilled fruits. Diced them up, thread them on a skewer and let the fire do its magic.
Pair with homemade or store-bought ice cream, a drizzle of maple syrup, some mint leaves and dessert is served!
THE PLEASURES OF COOKING OUTSIDE
Forget the constant coming and going and the noise of the patio door. One of the advantages of an outdoor kitchen is having everything you need at your fingertips. That's what the Essence kitchens, designed and manufactured in Quebec by the Julien company, offer.
With 18 possible configurations, these superior kitchens offer a choice of modules, including a Kamado Joe Classic II charcoal barbecue, a Coyote propane gas barbecue, a sink, an outdoor refrigerator and plenty of storage space!
Easy to assemble, these stainless steel kitchens even allow you to add cabinets as the seasons change, change the layout or move your entire outdoor kitchen. A perfect solution for those who want to make the most of their outdoor living space this summer!