Easy Ways to Rev Up Your Memorial Day Barbecue
May 24, 2012 | At Home
For Memorial Day this weekend, it makes sense to celebrate with a party that’s equally as American—the barbecue. Here are some of my favorite fast tips for customizing a backyard barbecue.
Consider lining the entrance to your party with a path of tiki torches or luminary bags interspersed with plants. This will not only give your guests a cue as to where to go once they arrive, but also sets the mood from the moment they set foot on your property.
For table linens, the traditional red-and-white checkered cloths are always in good taste, but mix it up with true summertime brights. Couple colors like fuchsia and orange with monochromatic bunches of flowers placed tightly inside small vases. If it’s a simpler tablescape you’re after, feature a large hurricane vase with a candle on each table or utilize a lantern for a subtle centerpiece.
Enhance your décor by picking a great playlist. Customize tunes to your guests’ tastes or go for summer favorites like Jimmy Buffet and The Beach Boys.
Your barbecue menu begins with the grill itself—be sure to use a charcoal BBQ, as the scent adds to the ambiance. Then, get creative with twists on the classics. Instead of your usual burgers, try stuffing the patties with cheddar, bacon, and carmelized onions, or mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, and roasted peppers. Kick the chicken up a notch by prepping it in a bourbon, brown sugar, garlic, and scallion marinade, and experiment with different vegetable marinades. Hot dogs made with Kobe beef served in mini-bite format on skewers are a stylish take on the old favorite. The same goes for potato salad prepared with a creamy Gorgonzola whip instead of mayo. Or, go completely different and serve the grilled zucchini poppers suggested above.
For dessert, let guests customize their own ice cream sundaes. Provide any array of flavors as bases, and stock your sundae bar with all the fixin’s—Oreo crumble, marachino cherries, wet walnuts, sprinkles, strawberries, hot caramel, and fudge syrups.
Andrea Correale is owner and creator of Elegant Affairs, the premiere catering & event planning company serving Manhattan, Long Island, The Hamptons, Westchester, Connecticut and New Jersey. For over 20 years Andrea and her team have been producing custom-designed events with exquisite cuisine for parties as intimate as two and as extravagant as 2,000. Elegant Affairs has coordinated events for some of the world's most elite including Mariah Carey, Russell Simmons, Jimmy Fallon, P. Diddy. and many more. Andrea has no limit to her expertise; she is the exclusive caterer for Ferrari Maserati of Long Island and Sugar Dining Den and Social Club.