Main dish options for outdoor entertaining
(Family Features) Serving up an outdoor meal is a summertime staple for gatherings of all kinds – barbecues, celebrations, picnics and more. However, with so many options available and different styles for preparing the dishes, it can be a challenge for home chefs to decide what guests will go for.
Instead of racking your brain or spending hours searching for the right main course, consider these versatile options – one dish focused on chicken, one for beef and one for pork – that can send partygoers back for seconds.
Find more recipes perfect for outdoor gatherings at Culinary.net.
Serve Up Skewers
Ideal for simple family meals or full-blown summertime parties, these Honey-Lime Chicken Skewers are an ideal handheld food for outdoor meals. With just a handful of ingredients and an easy grilling method involved, they’re tasty and tantalizing without taking your focus off all the fun and festivities. More honey-infused recipes are available at Honey.com.
Honey-Lime Chicken Skewers
Recipe courtesy of The National Honey Board
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 pound chicken breast strips, skinless and boneless
- bamboo skewers
- In small bowl, whisk honey, soy sauce, olive oil and lime juice until completely blended. Pour mixture into re-sealable freezer bag and add chicken strips. Seal bag and gently shake to cover chicken strips. Allow to marinate 2 hours.
- Heat grill to medium-high heat.
- Soak bamboo skewers in water 15 minutes. Remove chicken strips from marinade and skewer onto bamboo sticks. Grill 8 minutes, or until juices are clear and chicken is fully cooked.
Sweet Summer Refresh
Summer typically brings about both the desire to feel healthier and cravings for sweet, refreshing meals. When you rethink your food and focus on feeling better about your diet and yourself, the two can work hand-in-hand.
Liven up your summer entertaining menu with a delicious touch of reduced-calorie sweetness from Truvia in recipes like this sizzling Java London Broil. Celebrity chef Devin Alexander, featured on “The Biggest Loser,” created this succulent recipe with less sugar by using Truvia Brown Sugar Blend, combining stevia sweetener with brown sugar to maintain the taste and texture of brown sugar with 75 percent fewer calories, for her latest book “You Can Have It!”
For more summertime recipe ideas, visit Truvia.com.
Java London Broil
Recipe courtesy of Devin Alexander from “You Can Have It!,” copyright American Diabetes Association
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground coffee
- 1/2 tablespoon Truvia Brown Sugar Blend
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 London broil (1 1/2 pounds, preferably grass fed)
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Heat grill to high.
- In small bowl, add coffee, brown sugar blend, black pepper, coriander, oregano and salt; mix well.
- Place London broil on cutting board or large plate. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil on each side of meat then rub all over. Sprinkle seasoning mixture over roast and rub in to evenly cover meat.
- Grill London broil to desired doneness, about 3-5 minutes per side for medium rare. Tent meat with foil for 5 minutes then slice into thin slices, cutting at an angle against the grain.
Sweet and Savory Ribs
By starting these Grilled Sticky Ribs in the oven before finishing them off on the grill with a sweet chili glaze, home cooks can help make summer festivities stand out without spending hours at the grill or smoker. The Asian-inspired finish of the glaze gives guests a unique taste to savor while soaking in the summer sun. Visit verybestbaking.com for more recipes from Nestlé.
Grilled Sticky Ribs
Recipe courtesy of Nestlé
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 3 hours, 35 minutes
- 2 racks (about 4 pounds) baby back ribs
- garlic salt
- ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 3/4 cup sweet chili sauce
- 1/2 cup Apple Nestlé Juicy Juice 100% Juice
- 1 tablespoon rice wine (mirin)
- Heat oven to 300° F. Using knife, remove membrane from bone side of ribs. Pat ribs dry with paper towel; season both sides liberally with garlic salt and pepper. Place ribs in large roasting pan, overlapping as needed. Add water to pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
- Bake about 3 hours, or until meat is tender but not quite falling off bones.
- In small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes, or until soft. Stir in garlic and ginger; cook 1 minute. Stir in sweet chili sauce, apple juice and rice wine. Reduce heat to low; cook 8 minutes, or until sauce is reduced to about 1 cup.
- Heat grill to medium heat.
- Brush glaze over tops of ribs. Grill 4-5 minutes, or until sauce caramelizes. Serve with remaining glaze.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Honey-Lime Chicken Skewers, Java London Broil)
(Family Features) Nothing brings people together like a barbecue. There seems to be something about being outdoors and the sizzle of fresh food on the grill that makes you want to gather with family and friends.
This summer, you can be the hero of your grill with a few simple tips and tricks:
- A great meal starts with great meat. Make sure to use versatile, high-quality and tender cuts like Smithfield Fresh Pork ribs, chops and tenderloins.
- Cut down on time, not flavor. Look for pre-seasoned meats such as pork chops, or slice, dice or cube larger cuts like boneless loin to shorten cook time and increase flavor.
- Grill like a pro. Use direct heat for burgers and chops, and indirect heat for larger cuts like ribs.
Find more summer grilling tips and pitmaster-perfected recipes at SmithfieldGetGrilling.com.
St. Louis Style Pork Spare Ribs with Coffee Cocoa Dry Rub
Recipe courtesy of pitmaster Chris Lilly
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3 1/2 hours
- 7 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground coffee
- 2 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ancho chile pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 racks Smithfield St. Louis Style Pork Spareribs, membrane removed
- Build charcoal fire for indirect cooking by situating coals on one side of grill, leaving other side empty. Heat grill to 250° F.
- To make dry rub: In small bowl, combine salt, brown sugar, chili powder, coffee, cocoa, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ancho chile pepper, coriander and turmeric.
- Generously apply dry rub onto front and back of pork ribs. Gently pat to ensure rub adheres.
- Put ribs meat-side up over indirect heat, away from coals, close lid and cook until ribs are tender, about 3 1/2 hours.
- Remove ribs from grill and let rest, uncovered, 5 minutes. Slice ribs between bones and serve.
Pineapple Pork Kebabs
Recipe courtesy of pitmaster Sterling Ball
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
- 1/2 Smithfield Prime Boneless Fresh Pork Loin
- 1 sweet onion, cut into 1-1 1/2-inch square pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-1 1/2-inch square pieces
- 2 cups pineapple chunks
- 3-4 tablespoons barbecue rub
- 2 1/2 cups teriyaki marinade
- 3-4 flexible skewers
- Heat grill or smoker to 250° F. Cut pork loin into 2-inch cubes.
- Season pork loin, sweet onion, red bell pepper and pineapple chunks with rub.
- Thread pork loin, onion, pepper and pineapple on skewer; repeat until length of skewer is almost full. Repeat with additional skewers.
- Put assembled kebabs in large re-sealable bag and add teriyaki marinade. Carefully remove air from marinade bag and refrigerate 20 minutes.
- Remove kebabs from marinade bag and place on grill over indirect heat; cook 12-14 minutes, remove and set aside.
- Increase grill temperature to 400° F. Sear kebabs at high heat, until caramelized. Using meat thermometer, check pork loin cubes for doneness; remove from heat once pork reaches internal temperature of 145° F.
(Family Features) If chocolate for dinner sounds too good to be true, it’s because chocolate is usually associated with decadent desserts. However, it can also take comfort food to a whole new level when paired with savory ingredients like red meat.
A bit of bittersweet cocoa powder helps balance out the richness of red meats like duck. Although it’s leaner and lower in saturated fat than other red meats, duck has a bold flavor and texture similar to steak.
In this Mocha-Rubbed Duck Breast recipe, cocoa powder, ground coffee and savory spices are rubbed onto the meat before it’s seared and smothered with a luscious sweet cherry and red wine sauce. The toasty, nutty flavor of coffee complements the cocoa while dark sweet cherries, red wine and toasted almonds complete the sweet and savory dish.
Find more comfort food recipes and tips for cooking with duck at mapleleaffarms.com.
Mocha-Rubbed Duck Breast with Cherry and Red Wine Pan Sauce
Prep time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coffee
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 4 Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breasts, thawed
Cherry and Red Wine Pan Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons reserved duck fat
- 1/2 cup minced shallots
- 3/4 cup dry red wine
- 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 5 ounces frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed and halved
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- toasted sliced almonds, for garnish
- To make Mocha Rub: In small bowl, mix brown sugar, paprika, coffee, salt, pepper and cocoa powder. Set aside.
- Pat duck breasts dry and score according to package directions. Use half of rub on meat side of breasts. Cover breasts and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
- In cold saute pan, place duck breasts skin-side down. Place pan over low-medium heat 8-12 minutes, or until fat is rendered and skin is crisp and brown.
- Turn breasts over and sprinkle remaining rub on skin side. Cook breasts 1-2 minutes skin-side up. Turn breasts back to skin-side down 1-2 minutes to caramelize rub. Reserve approximately 2 tablespoons duck fat for sauce.
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Place duck breasts skin-side up on rimmed baking sheet; bake 5-6 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 155° F. Let breasts rest 4-5 minutes before slicing. Temperature will rise during resting period to reach 165° F.
- To make Cherry and Red Wine Pan Sauce: Place saute pan with reserved duck fat over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened. Add wine to pan to deglaze. Stir in balsamic vinegar, sugar, cherries and thyme sprigs; simmer until reduced. Remove thyme sprigs. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve sauce over cooked duck breasts. Garnish with toasted almond slices.
Source: Maple Leaf Farms