Monday, June 15, 2015

Summer BBQ Make Ahead Sides

With Summer BBQ season underway I thought it would be fun to share with you a couple of my favorite side dishes to bring as my covered dish to BBQ's I am invited to.  They both can be made a day ahead and will feed a crowd!  The first in the line-up is:

Pecan Praline Bark

1 1/2 Cups Sugar
2 1/2 Stick Salted Sweet Cream Butter
1 1/2 Cups Pecan Halves
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
2 Sleeves of Graham Crackers

Lay Graham Crackers in a lightly greased 17 X 12 Pan

Bring sugar, butter and pecans to a boil and boil for 5 minutes

Remove from heat and add baking soda and vanilla.  Stir quickly and spread evenly over graham crackers

Bake at 325 degrees for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven, cool completely and break into chunks

This rich and buttery delightful treat will have everyone begging for the recipe!  The hardest part is spreading the mixture over the graham crackers.  Just remember - it doesn't have to be perfect.  Just spread it as best you can and pop it in the over.  Store it in an airtight container and it will keep well for days.

Next dish in the line up is:

Greek Pasta Salad

1 lb. Vermicelli Pasta
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2 Tbs Lemon Juice
2 Tbs Texjoy Steak Seasoning (Yes Steak Seasoning!)
2 Small Cans Sliced Olives
1 Large Jar Pimentos (which is only 4 or 5 oz)
1/2 Jar of Mayonnaise (about 15 oz or 2 cups)

Break pasta into small pieces before boiling and cook according to package directions

Drain and rinse well with cold water until pasta is completely cool.  Mix together the Olive Oil, Lemon Juice and Steak Seasoning and add to cooked pasta and stir well

Next, add olives and pimento and give a quick stir before adding mayo

Add mayo and stir thoroughly.  Mixture will look quite creamy but will loose that appearance after it marinates in the fridge overnight

The key to this pasta salad's success is the Steak seasoning and the marinating time.  The salad will not taste the same fresh mixed as it does after marinating.  I know the steak seasoning seems like an odd addition but it is what gives this salad that unique flavor that will have your guest wondering what that special flavor is that they just can't put their finger on.  And I have tried a lot of other seasoning blends but nothing is as delicious as the Texjoy brand in this dish.  Leave me a comment below and let me know how you liked these dishes and thanks so much for joining me!

Video presentation of these recipes:

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