Outdoor dining and summer just go hand in hand. Plus, since many of our 1st Lake Properties feature outdoor grilling and patio areas, it’s easy to host an al fresco event for friends and family. Get cooking with this easy summer cookout recipe menu: start with Vietnamese-inspired grilled wings, then pick from two sides and two desserts (or make ’em all!).
Summer Cookout Recipes
The Main Event
Saigon Chicken Wings
These wings from Food & Wine pay homage to Vietnamese cuisine (ever-popular in New Orleans!)
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 medium shallots, chopped
- 2 stalks lemongrass, tender white inner bulbs only, chopped
- One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/3 cup Asian fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for basting
- 12 whole chicken wings (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
- In a mortar, pound the garlic, shallots, lemongrass, ginger and sugar to a paste. Stir in the fish sauce, lemon juice and the 1 tablespoon of oil. Alternatively, puree the ingredients in a mini-processor. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Make 3 deep slashes in the meat part of each chicken wing. Add the wings to the bowl, stir to coat and marinate for 4 hours at room temperature, or preferably overnight in the refrigerator.
- Light a grill. Thread the chicken wings on bamboo skewers, splaying each wing as widely as possible; reserve the marinade. Brush the wings with vegetable oil and grill over a medium-hot fire for 6 to 8 minutes per side, basting them once or twice with the reserved marinade, until crusty. Do not baste during the last 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken wings to a platter and sprinkle with the peanuts. Serve at once.
Potato Salad with Celery and Herbs
Ingredients like fresh dill, parsley, and dijon mustard add a bit of elegance to this classic recipe from Country Living. Bonus points for being able to be served warm, cold, or at room temperature!
- 3 lb. red new potatoes
- Kosher salt
- 1 lemon
- ¼ c. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 4 stalk celery
- ¼ c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ c. chopped fresh dill
- 2 hard-boiled eggs
- Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Add 2 teaspoon salt, reduce heat, and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Cut the potatoes in half or quarter if large.
- Meanwhile, grate 2 teaspoon lemon zest into a large bowl, then squeeze in the juice (you should have about 3 tablespoons juice total). Whisk in the oil, mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
- Add the potatoes and celery to the bowl and gently toss to coat. Fold in the parsley and dill and top with the eggs, if desired.
Barbecue Ranch Pasta Salad
The Spicy Southern Kitchen blog serves up a smoky take on pasta salad that’s sure to be a hit with grownups and kids alike.
- 1 pound pasta (such as cavatappi) cooked al dente
- 1 cup Hidden Valley Honey BBQ Dressing
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup canned corn, drained
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
- 1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup corn chips
Place cooked pasta in a large bowl.
Stir together Hidden Valley Honey BBQ Dressing and sour cream and pour over pasta. Toss to mix.
Add all remaining ingredients, except corn chips, and stir to combine.
Refrigerate until ready to serve and sprinkle corn chips on top just before serving.
Stone Fruit Pouches
Alton Brown’s recipe for stone fruit pouches is practically made for the grill.
- Creme fraiche or vanilla ice cream for serving
- Heat coals of grill or fire pit. Cut 8 (18 by 18-inch) squares of aluminum foil. Lay down double thickness of foil and divide gingersnaps evenly among the 4 squares. Divide fruit evenly and place on top of gingersnaps. Dot with butter.
- In small bowl mix sugar, salt, and lime zest. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over fruit, drizzle with juice and brandy and seal packets. Once coals are ash covered, lay packets over them and cover with lid of grill. If cooking in a fire pit carefully try to partially bury packets in hot coals.
- Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and open carefully, as steam inside packet is very hot. Serve on plates as is or spoon into shallow bowls and top with creme fraiche or ice cream.
This recipe from Woman’s Day features the jewels of summertime: bright, juicy berries. We like that it can be served cool or at room temperature, making it easy for outdoor dining.
- Flour, for the parchment
- 1 (16-oz.) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
- 2 tbsp. Strawberry jam
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 lb. strawberries, hulled and cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 c. blueberries
- 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 c. confectioners’ sugar
- 2 c. refrigerated whipped topping (Cool Whip works well)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and dust a piece of parchment paper lightly with flour. Shape the cookie dough into a circle, then roll out smoothly on the parchment into a 12″ circle or three 1⁄4″-thick circles. Place the parchment and dough onto a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer the cookie (still on parchment) to a wire rack and let cool for at least 15 minutes.
- As the cookie dough bakes, whisk together the jam and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the berries and toss to coat. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the whipped topping and beat to combine.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the cooled cookie, leaving a 1⁄2″ border. Top with the berry mixture.