Putting Together a Barbeque in a Pinch

Thursday, July 14, 2011 @ 10:07 AM

Have some friends drop by unexpected? Family members pop in unannounced? You can throw together a nice barbecue in a pinch if need be. It all depends on what you have in your fridge or freezer and how good your imagination can stretch. Having a little time to prepare is great, but if not, just put your thinking cap on, open the fridge and freezer, and get creative!

Boneless chicken is very versatile. If you happen to have some in the freezer, this will be your best bet. You can cook boneless chicken breasts from a frozen state and still get excellent results. That does not work with all kinds of meats.If you have a little time to get it on a thaw though, throw it in some orange juice with some spices, or coat it in some Italian dressing. The same can be done with certain types of fish fillets.

You can put other meats on a thaw with your microwave. Do not defrost entirely. Sometimes you can end up ruining meat that way. Having sausages, hot dogs, and pre-made burgers in your freezer for just such an occasion is always handy too, especially if people pop in on you a lot.

Summer time is a great time to have other fruits and vegetables on hand. You can grill other things besides meat. Get your Brinkmann grill going and throw on some halved peaches and nectarines that have been brushed with olive oil.

Grilled roasted peppers and mushrooms are always a nice side dish.

Have a bunch of asparagus in the fridge? Lay out some foil, put in a pat or two of butter, sprinkle lightly with some seasonings, seal and throw the pouch on the grill. Turn it once or twice. Don’t leave it on too long though. You want the asparagus still a bit crispy, not mushy.

Don’t have lettuce or enough lettuce to make a salad? Open up your cupboard. Salad doesn’t always have to be about leafy greens. Open a can of chick peas, or red beans to add to a salad. Onion, pepper, celery, carrots, whatever you have on hand. You can even cut up pear to use in a salad. Toss everything together, add a little lime juice or olive oil and vinegar and viola, salad! I went to a barbecue last night. Someone came unexpectedly, but not empty handed. She threw together a creamy cucumber salad, and a really neat mixed up salad that had fresh corn kernels stripped from an ear of corn, blueberries, red onion, fresh mint, and a nice vinaigrette.

Don’t have enough stuff to make a salad? If you have a couple of baking potatoes in the cabinet, slice the bakers in half or quarters, coat them in olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder and black pepper. Place it on the top rack of the grill, prior to meat and  while the meat is cooking.

Throwing together a BBQ in a pinch is easy.  Use your imagination and get creative. If you have time to run to the store for added ingredients, go ahead, but as long as you have some food around, just use it. Just have a little faith in yourself. Get out there and start cooking!

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