‘Tis the season for BBQ! Summer months bring pool time, trips to get frozen yogurt, and BBQ’s. This summer, impress your family with a few easy tricks that will take your BBQ to the next level. Hot dogs and hamburgers are fine as they are, but with these suggestions, you will make this a family reunion one to remember.
- Gourmet buns: One way to enhance the burger or hot dog experience is to buy gourmet buns from a local bakery. You can find everything from hearty, whole wheat buns to potato buns, to gluten free buns, to buns topped with onion, jalapenos, cheese, or seeds. Now, buying gourmet buns doesn’t have to be expensive. At almost every grocery store (even Walmart), there is a bakery that bakes specialty breads and buns. Take a look and see what you can find.
- Specialty spreads: Nothing against traditional ketchup and mustard, but why not enhance the experience by including a gourmet spread? Specialty mustards and mayonnaise can be found at any supermarket. Hot dogs are great with hot, garlicky dijon mustard. Burgers taste delicious with a chipotle mayo. My personal favorite is a basil mayonnaise that you can make easily at home (recipe here) and store for special occasions (try it on grilled cheese!)
- Make your own burger: Instead of buying frozen patties from the grocery store, purchase the hamburger meat fresh and add your own ingredients. You’ll be surprised at what happens. For an asian flavor, add soy sauce and garlic with some sesame seeds. For an Italian flavor, add pesto. For a burger that will knock your socks off, substitute ground pork and add pancetta and smoked mozzarella (recipe here).
So, what are you waiting for? Get creative! Your taste buds (and your guests) will thank you.