LOOKING for: Out-of-the-Ordinary Recipe for Cookout

peterbinderMay 30, 2008

Hello - The animal shelter I volunteer at is holding a cookout next month and I'm looking for an out-of-the-ordinary recipe, serving about 30 hungry folks*. All of the traditional staples are being prepared by others (who didn't procrastinate when signing up, lol), so I wanted to do something fun and unexpected - but still edible.

Any ideas? My cooking ability is in the moderate skill range. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!


*And by hungry folks, I mean I will be cooking for humans, not the dogs and cats we are trying to find homes for. Anything I've cooked would be considered inhumane and cruelty to animals :)

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Peter, do you want to take something fully prepared and ready to eat or will you prepare at home and cook it there?

Side dish or main or does it matter?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 2:48PM
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Shishkabobs - do a variety of chicken, beef and/or shrimp. Onions, mushrooms and peppers in between. Pineapple on the chicken or shrimp ones. Yum!
I just made about 40 of them on Memorial Day.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 2:49PM
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Thanks, Angelaid! Good suggestion.

Chase - I'll be doing all of the prep at home, and grilling it or cooking it on an outdoor stove onsite. I can either do a main course, or a few side dishes. Either option will be fine.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 3:05PM
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A great Steve Raichlen recipe!

Country Style BBQ Onions

8 medium Vidalias
1 can Bush country style baked beans
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 stick (4 TBSP) butter cup in 8 pieces, room temp
2 strips cooked bacon cut into 8 pieces of 2" each
fresh ground black pepper

Peel the onions. Carefully hollow out the onions leaving the base in tact. Chop the onion pieces you hollowed out and mix with the baked beans, brown sugar and BBQ sauce. Spoon mixture into the onions and top with the butter and bacon. Sprinkle with pepper. Grill onions on the grill using indirect heat and medium heat (350 degrees) for 40-60 minutes or until golden brown and tender. Notes: I use my own BBQ baked bean recipe. I often add some chipoltes in adobo sauce to the beans instead of BBQ sauce. Super served with pork tenderloin, ribs or chops.

Baked Beans

1 Can kidney beans drained
1 Can lima beans drained
2 Can Brown Beans
1 1/2 Cup of chili sauce
2 Tbl brown sugar
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbl molasses
3 Slices bacon cut in half

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a medium baking dish, mix kidney beans,lima beans, brown beanas, chili sauce, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and molasses. Top with bacon. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until thick and bubbly.

Grilled Potatoes With Three Cheeses

6 large potatoes sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 medium onions chopped
1/3 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 Cup(4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese divided
1 Lb sliced bacon cooked and crumbled
1/4 Cup butter cubed
1 Tbl minced fresh or dried chives
1 to 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/2 Tsp pepper
Nonstick cooking spray

1. Divide the potatoes and onions equally between two pieces of heavy duty foil (about 18 inches) that have been coated with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine Parmesan cheese and 3/4 cup each cheddar and mozzarella; sprinkle over potatoes and onions.~
3. Top with bacon, butter, chives, seasoned salt and pepper.
4. Bring opposite ends of foil together over filling and fold down several times. Fold unsealed ends toward filling and crimp tightly.
5. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 35 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
J6. Remove from the grill. Open foil carefully and sprinkle with remaining cheeses.

Serves: 6-8

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 3:53PM
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Woodie posted this from Recipezaar & it's good!

Recipezaar #30724
posted by leeannr 6/10/2002
(5 reviews) Overall Recipe Rank: 33

This is really good, and really easy. The yogurt mixture really sticks to
the chicken and makes it tasty and tender. Keep in mind it has to marinate
for at least 8 hours.

8 hours 25 minutes (8 hrs prep, 25 min cooking)
4-6 servings

1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 to 6 boneless chicken breasts

1 Combine first nine ingredients,and pour into a large ziploc bag.
2 Add the chicken to the bag, seal, and turn bag to coat chicken
with mixture.
3 Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
4 I think overnight is best.
5 You can grill over indirect medium heat until done.
6 But I used my Showtime Rotisserie.
7 If you have one, (and if you don't, they're very cool), use the
flat basket and cook for about 25 minutes.

MARINATED SLAW (serves 8-10)
1 cup vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 TBL salt
3 TBL prepared mustard
2 tsp celery seeds
1/4 cup chopped pimiento, drained

3 lbs cabbage, shredded
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium green peppers, chopped

Combine first 7 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Layer cabbage, onions & peppers in a large bowl. Pour dressing over vegetables. Chill overnight.~~Food for Thought

GRAPE SALAD (serves 8-10)
1 lb red grapes
1 lb green grapes
8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
8 oz container sour cream
1 TBL vanilla
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Place grapes in a large serving bowl. Combine cheese & granulated sugar, stirring well. Combine sour cream & vanilla in a separate bowl.
combine cream cheese mixture & sour cream mixture. Add to grapes, stirring well. Top w/brown sugar & pecans. DO NOT STIR. Cover & chill overnight.~~What Can I Bring? Jr League of N. Virginia

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 4:10PM
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Spicy Fire-Roasted Corn with Citrus

1T cayenne pepper mixed with
1 1/2 T salt.
4 ears of fresh corn (or more, if you want leftovers for roasted corn salad)
One lemon and one lime cut into wedges.

Fill a salt shaker with the salt and cayenne pepper.*

Shuck the corn and trim ends for corn skewers if you will use them at the tabel. If it's your first time roasting corn this way, it's a good idea to practice on one ear before committing all to the grill.

Brush your hot grill (not the corn) with a bit of oil, and using tongs, place the corn on the grill. Keep an eye on the ears, and turn them occasionally to prevent too much charring in one spot. You do want some browning and a bit of char as the carmelized bits give the corn a wonderful flavor. The corn should be done in approximately 5 minutes, depending upon the freshness and size of the ears.

Serve the corn with wedges of lemon and lime and the shaker of cayenne-salt. The diners rub the wedges all over the corn and then sprinkle with the cayenne-salt to taste.

* If you have children eating who might be put off by the cayenne, make a second shaker with equal parts of salt and sugar for them to use instead.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 11:01AM
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Ginger have you made the grape salad?
It sounds delicious!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 1:29PM
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Thank you for volunteering at a shelter.

Out of the ordinary I think might be different in different geographic areas - what's out of the ordinary for me might be traditional or boring for you, so I'll just give you a few recipes that I like a lot and would be happy to serve (or eat) at a cookout!

Weed's Crunchy Pea Salad
Ingredients, most to least:

Peas (frozen, thawed)
Celery, small dice
Chopped water chestnuts
Sour Cream
Chopped green onion
Lightly toasted pine nuts
Salt, pepper


1 small eggplant, peeled, 3/4" dice
1 red pepper, 1" dice
1 yellow pepper, 1" dice
1 red onion, peeled, 1" dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 lb Orzo, cooked

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 scallions, minced
1/4 cup toasted Pignoli nuts
3/4 lb Feta cheese, 1/2" dice
15 basil leaves, chiffonade

Mix first 7 ingredients together and place in one layer in large roasting pan.
Roast @ 425 degrees for 40 minutes, turning once.

Mix warm orzo with warm cooked vegetables and all of their juices.
Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and toss together and let cool to room temperature.

Add scallions, nuts, Feta and basil and serve.

Serves 6

2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
1 small purple onion, thinly sliced
2-3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
CUT green beans into thirds, and arrange in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam 5-8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Immediately plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process; drain and pat dry.
TOSS together green beans, onion, cheese, and pecans in a large bowl. Cover and chill 1 hour.
WHISK together olive oil and next 5 ingredients; cover and chill 1 hour.
POUR vinaigrette over green bean mixture, and chill 1 hour; toss just before serving.
~adapted from Southern Living magazine

Posted by: MQmoi (My Page) on Tue, Nov 12, 02 at 11:54
Alice Waters' (Chez Panisse)

Lemon Juice
Olive Oil
S & P
Sliced Mushrooms
Parmesan shavings

1. Cut off the feathery tops of the fennel at the base of their stalks and remove the outer layer of the bulbs. Slice the bulbs very thin with a mandolin or a very sharp knife.
2. Assemble the salad in layers on a large platter or on individual salad plates.
3. First make a layer of the fennel slices. Squeeze lemon juice evenly over the fennel and drizzle with fruity olive oil, salt and pepper.
4. Then make a layer of the mushrooms, also slice very thin. Squeeze more lemon juice over them, drizzle evenly with olive oil, salt and pepper.
5. Grate or cut thin shavings of the Parmesan with cheese
slicer or a vegetable peeler and arrange them on top of the salad.
Drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

Linda C's Blue Cheese Marinated Onions

Slice 4 sweet onions into a bowl and separate into rings.


1/2 cup EVOO
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt ( I omit that!)
3 oz crumbled Maytag Blue cheese

Mix and pour over onion rings and refrigerate for at least 8 hours....stirring occasionally.

I have never been to a party where either a broccoli or spinach casserole hasn't been gobbled right up. If you are interested, I have some recipes and I'm sure some other do too.

Thsi is good for a crock pot.

from the kitchen of Jim Myers
Makes about 3 quarts

2-3 pounds ground beef
2 pounds Velveeta cheese cubed
2 large onions, chopped
1 - 28 ounce ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 cloves garlic chopped
2 - 4 ounce cans chopped green chiles
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin

Brown ground beef with the onions and drain. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 20-30 minutes. Transfer to crock pot to keep warm. Use large corn chips for dippers.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 2:41PM
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Sure have, Glenda. Grapes are one thing usually always available here.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 4:47PM
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We like this
Marinated Mozzarella -- Roselin
1 lb fresh domestic mozzarella
1/2 c olive oil (I use the lite)
2 large cloves garlic, pressed
10 coarse grinds black pepper
2/3 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt- less if using
4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced
Drain cheese of all brine. Cut in cubes. Whisk together all remaining ingredients. Toss with cheese.
Yield: about 4 cups

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 5:24PM
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Wow - what a great bunch of recipes...I just copied all of them :) I've been looking for a grape salad recipe so thanks to Ginger for posting one (I've been trying to recreate this after enjoying a grape salad a few months ago at a function). Here's a good fruit salad that can be doubled or tripled. I use fresh pineapple - always tastes so much better. Ann

Ambrosia Fruit Salad

1 cup pineapple chunks fresh or canned, drained
1 can (11 oz) Mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup seedless green grapes
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup sour cream
Fresh mint leaves for garnish

In large bowl mix together all ingredients except mint leaves. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Transfer to a glass bowl and garnish with mint leaves. Serves 4-6.

Source: The Big Book of Potluck

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 10:38PM
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We use this recipe at our church as a hot dog topping or as a side dish for pig roasts. You can decrease the ingredients proportionaltely for a smaller quantity.


1 1/4 cups butter or margarine
5 cloves garlic, minced
10 medium size onions, halved and cut into thin slivers
5 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbs. salt
5 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
10 - 1 lb. 11 oz. cans sauerkraut, undrained

In a large skillet, melt butter over low heat; add garlic and onions and cook until tender, but not browned. Mix sugar, salt, pepper, tomato paste, and sauerkraut juice in a large roasting pan. Add cooked onions, garlic and butter to roasting pan and mix. Stir in sauerkraut. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 1/2-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add water if mixture begins to get too thick. Serve hot over hot dogs in rolls. (Can be made in electric roaster pan) Make 100 topping servings or 50 side-dish servings.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 8:32AM
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I didn't ask for these, but they sure look good. I especially like the Orzo with roasted veggies, and the Grape salad. But like someone else, I've copied them all.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 2:52PM
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I've been looking for some different recipes for cook outs and picnics, too--I'm just sick of potato salad, coleslaw and baked beans. I found this one for Grilled Potato Skins at About.com and made it for the crowd of 20-something men (sons and sons-in-laws, mostly) who showed up for my roofing party last weekend. They were a huge hit and super easy.

I saved all the baked potato I scooped out and made loaded baked potato soup for breakfast the next day (specially requested by one of the sons in law).

Grilled Potato Skins
By Derrick Riches, About.com

This is a quick and easy recipe for grilled potato skins. This dish is perfect for summer barbecues and Super Bowl parties.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

* 2 large russet potatoes
* 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1 small onion, finely diced
* 3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat grill for medium heat. Combine rosemary, butter, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Cut potatoes into 8 wedges. Hollow out each center of wedge. Place potato wedges in microwave for 5-6 minutes. Remove and brush with butter mixture. Put potatoes on grill rack skin side up. Grill for 5 minutes, turn, and grill for 3 minutes. Add cheese to wedges and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from grill, and top off with crumbled bacon, onion, and sour cream.

PS: I actually just baked the potatoes in the oven the night before, sliced and "hollowed," and then just threw them on the grill when the time was right.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 1:36PM
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Either or both of these would be perfect for you and you can make them at home and just bring them all done with you.

This one is the biggest hit of all. Recently it was requested for a graduation party and even the little kids where all over this one and begging parents to get the recipe to make at home



3 cups seedless watermelon cut into bite size chunks
3 cups peeled euro cuke, but into bit size pieces
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste.

Mix watermelon, cucumber and lime juice together. Add pepper to taste. Add salt if desired, just before serving.

Easy to increase the amount by equal proportions. and this tastes wonderful served on lime or lemon sherbet.

Again, at this graduation party, the young kids loved this one as well as the adults and teens. all wanted the recipe.




Cook the desired amount of macaroni that you want for the pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool.

Chop the desired amount of pepper.

Chop the desired amount of celery and/or onion if using.

Mix the macaroni, peppers,, celery and onion together.
Add the amount of mayonnaise you want to use.

Drain liquid from the can or cans of tiny shrimp and add to pasta and mix well. Use as many cans as you want to.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chill well and serve

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 12:25AM
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Made Ginger's Grape Salad, today, for a luncheon, and there was nothing left. Everyone loved and most went back for seconds. Delicious.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 9:45PM
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Glad you liked it, Glenda! Thanks for reporting back.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 1:53AM
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Glenda, the grape salad looks great. How does it taste? Is it sweet or tangy due to the sour cream? I am wondering if it would go with a couple of thai dishes


    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 1:14PM
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It's sweet but not cloyingly so.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 3:58PM
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I served it at a potluck luncheon, on Monday, and still getting requests for the recipe.
I toasted my nuts before adding to brown sugar, cooling nuts first.
Not tangy, but a good sweet taste.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 4:21PM
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