Step A-SIDE: The HOTTEST Side Dishes for Your Hot Summer Cookouts

 

Step A-SIDE: The HOTTEST Side Dishes for Your Hot Summer Cookouts

 

Summer is in full swing, and even as I write this, some of your closest pals are scribbling their invites for 4th of July pool parties and other hot summertime fun, so be prepared: Bringing one of these tasty sides along with you will compliment whatever main event—roast suckling pig, shrimp on the Barbie, kebabs and wraps—your hosts have planned, and make you, the bearer of such delicious goodwill, a welcome guest every time. You can also try these for your own winning Independence Day Bash, or to add some sass to the most “mundane”—by which I mean fabulous—Sunday Funday of burgers-and-hot dogs poolside.

 

Devilish Bar-B-Q Eggs Is there a downside to this: Deviled eggs tarted-up with smoky, flavorful pork. Who da man now?

 

Ingredients

One dozen large eggsClick to see savings

¼ cup, mayonnaiseClick to see savings

1/3 cup, finely-chopped smoked pork

1 tablespoon, Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon, salt

½ teaspoon, pepper

1/8 teaspoon, hot sauce

Paprika

 

In a single layer, place eggs in a large saucepan. Add water to a depth of three inches, and bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand about 15 minutes. Drain and fill pan with cold water and ice. Tap eggs firmly on a countertop, until cracks form on the shells. Peel eggs under cold running water. Cut eggs in half lengthwise, carefully removing the yolks. Mash the yolks with mayonnaise, and stir in pork, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and hot sauce, blending the mixture well. Spoon the yolk mixture evenly into egg white halves. Garnish with paprika.

 

Uncle Ferdy’s Potato Salad One of my favorite sides at Rosie’s Bar and Grill is their loaded potato salad. I named my take of this delicious dish after my mom’s brother—who was himself also always loaded. If you are counting inches (not that kind, perv), you can substitute light mayo and light sour cream for the fattier versions.

 

Ingredients

6 to 8 medium potatoes (about three pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

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½ pound, bacon, cooked and crumbled

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6 green onions, chopped

2 celery ribs, finely chopped

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2 tablespoons, diced pimiento, drained

¾ teaspoon, salt

¼ teaspoon, pepper

½ cup, mayonnaise

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½ cup, sour cream

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Paprika

Celery sticks

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Cook potatoes in boiling water. Then place them in a Dutch oven, over medium heat, for 15 to 18 minutes. Drain and let them cool slightly. Place the potatoes in a large bowl. Add bacon, chopped green onions, celery ribs, diced pimiento, salt, and pepper. Stir mayonnaise and sour cream together, until blended. Pour mayo/sour cream over the potato mixture, and toss gently to coat. Cover and chill for one hour. Garnish with paprika and celery sticks.

 

Louisiana Hush Pups Anytime I find myself in a country-themed restaurant, I find myself ordering the hush puppies. These fluffy, golden, deep-fried jewels of “The Souf” taste great with anything, although you will often find them snuggled up next to an entrée of fried fish. The chopped jalapeno packs a feisty—but not too wild—kick.

 

Ingredients

1 cup, self-rising cornmeal mix

½ cup, self-rising flour

1 tablespoon, sugar

1 large egg

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½ cup, milk or beer

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cup, diced onion

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½ cup, chopped green bell pepper

1 jalapeño pepper, chopped

Vegetable oil

Combine cornmeal mix, flour, and sugar in a large bowl, and make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine egg with milk or beer, diced onion, chopped green bell pepper, and chopped jalapeño pepper, stirring well. Add egg/pepper mixture to dry ingredients, stirring until moistened. Pour oil to a depth of three inches into a Dutch oven, or large saucepan; heat oven to 375°. Drop the batter—in rounded tablespoonfuls—into the hot oil. Fry in batches for two minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels, and serve immediately. Like the Cajun chef, Justin Wilson, used to say: Ooh, boy, dis hee-yuh is won-duh-muss—I gar-ON-tee!

 

Lady & The Heir (loom) Salad  cultivars can be found in a variety of colors, shapes, flavors, and sizes. The fresh flavor of the sliced tomatoes is beautifully complimented with basil and goat cheese, served with an herb dressing. (Or, you can grill them on skewers and drizzle them with tangy vinaigrette.)

 

Ingredients

1 cup, fresh lady peas

Lemon-Herb Dressing with Basil, divided

2 pounds, assorted heirloom tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices

4 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

1 (4-oz.) package, soft goat cheese, crumbled

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cook peas in boiling salted water. Cover them in a large saucepan for 8 to 10 minutes—or just until tender—then drain and rinse them until they are completely cool. Drizzle ¼ cup of Lemon-Herb Dressing with Basil over the peas, and toss to coat them. Arrange the tomato slices on a platter, or individual plates. Spoon peas over the tomatoes, and sprinkle with basil, goat cheese, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve with the remaining dressing.

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About the Author

Adam Strong