Sunny mornings and longer days mark the start of the summer season and with that comes the natural urge to spend time in the great outdoors with friends and family. To make the most out of the new season and catch up, you can hold your very own barbecue party. To spice things up, we created a menu that goes beyond the typical kofta, shish tawook, and whole chicken options. Using a grill, the sky is the limit when it comes to creating unique dishes that even include vegan friendly and vegetarian options.
Little Smokies (Sujuk Version)
All across the region, there is an unexplainable love for Arabized sausages known to many as sujuk. Juicy, packed with spices and flavors, the mighty sujuk is a staple in any Arab household and restaurant. It is made in so many ways including as a tagine with potatoes. Going along with the barbecue theme, for today, we’ll go for the grilled version of this widely adored sausage.
For a bit of fun, this crowd pleasing appetizer will be made using mini sujuk, baby-sized versions of the special sausages. Start off by boiling the sujuk in water immersed in spices of your choice as well as onions and garlic. Follow that by immediately grilling the sujuk, making sure to turn them over until they take on a golden-brown color and with that you are done. You can enjoy these mini sausages with some toothpicks and even dip them into any sauce of your choice including the infamous bbq sauce or pomegranate.
Tomato and Grilled Feta
Nothing beats a refreshing tomato and feta combo, it’s a tried and true classic, one that is enjoyed by many households especially as a breakfast item that is eaten with a piece of fresh baladi bread. Taking this simple salad and giving it a barbecue twist, we are going for a grilled version of the feta cheese. It won’t just be grilled though, we’ll make sure to infuse it with rich flavor. Known for its powerful tangy and salty flavor, we will take it up a notch by marinating it in fresh herbs and throwing it onto the grill.
It’s simple, get your block of feta cheese, sprinkle thyme on top and then drizzle olive oil, making sure to cover the entire block with the oil. Place the feta cheese on the grill over direct heat for 8-10 minutes or until the feta begins to turn brown. Then for the final touch, drizzle honey and some salt on top. Chop some tomatoes and combine the two together and you’ll have the ultimate summer appetizer.
Grilled Shrimp Skewers
In a lot of barbecues, beef takes on the mantle of being the star dish especially grilled ribs and kofta. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other proteins that can work as delicious alternatives. We want to shine a spotlight on one of the most versatile seafood items from under the sea, the mighty shrimp. Not only is it extremely easy and quick to cook, it has that delicious buttery, salty and sweet flavor profile.
For your barbecue party, we recommend going for some grilled marinated shrimp skewers. To start off, you need to submerge the shrimp in a marinade made of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano, paprika and garlic powder. You can leave them in the marinade from 15 minutes to 2 hours. Follow that by skewering the shrimp and then grilling them which should only take 2-3 minutes on each side. Once done, you’ll have yourself a delicious char-grilled dish to enjoy with friends and family.
Mediterranean Style Chicken Wings
A lot of times when people host barbecue parties, they go for whole grilled chicken especially because of its juicy and charred flavor profile. For a bit of change, we recommend going for the ultimate crowd favorite dish of chicken wings. Barbecuing wings leads to tender perfectly charred skin and a strong flavor profile. To try it out for yourself, we’ve got a special recipe for you.
Start off by dunking your chicken wings in an onion-based marinade with garlic, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and a combination of sweet paprika, coriander, cumin, Aleppo pepper, nutmeg and ground turmeric. We recommend marinating the wings for a good 8 hours. Once they soaked up all the flavor, arrange the wings on your grill and cook them for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve the wings immediately with a squeeze of lemon on top.
Garlic Infused Grilled Eggplant
For all the vegetarians and vegans out there, barbecues do not have to be a time when you stand on the side lines. We got you covered with a delicious grilled eggplant recipe that will make you want to attend every family and friend barbecue throughout the summer. Tender in the middle with slightly charred edges, these garlic and herb grilled eggplants are a great summer dish to enjoy outdoors.
The recipe could not be simpler, all you have to do is first slice the eggplant into round and thick slices and then submerge them in a mixture of olive oil, garlic, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Grill each slice for at least 6 minutes per side until it turns golden in colour with grill marks. Once grilled, take the eggplant and return it back to the oil mixture, coating both sides and then serve the eggplant on a platter.
Watermelon and White Cheese Skewers
Every summer, you’d find many families indulging in the classic combo of watermelon and white cheese. It’s in season meaning the fruit will be ripe, juicy and sweet. For a refreshing barbecue recipe, you can go for watermelon and white cheese skewers. The two together will create that creamy, chargrilled and sweet flavor combo that we all know and love.
Chop the watermelon and white cheese into small squares, skewer them onto the sticks and then grill them right away. It’s a full-proof, quick and refreshing recipe that makes for a delicious dessert right after the savory barbecue spread.
Bloomin Grilled Apples
Probably the most unique and out-of-the-box recipe on the menu are Bloomin Grilled Apples. These apples stuffed with a delicious caramel sauce make for the ultimate dessert during barbecue season. The way it’s made is unique in itself and makes for a fun barbecue activity.
To make the dessert, you’ll first need to scoop out the core of several apples. Then turn the apples over and make narrow cuts all the way around the apples, leaving the bottom core. Turn the apples over and fill them with store-bought caramel sauce and pecans. Then wrap the stuffed apples with foil and grill them over medium heat for 30 minutes. Unwrap the foil and enjoy the sweet bloomin grilled apples.
With this type of unconventional menu, you will be able to host a unique and refreshing barbecue that showcases the wide range of dishes that can be made on the grill.