Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BBQ Review

Marking the 3-week point of Shug and I being in our first home, we thought it was about time to throw a little housewarming party. Since the Utah weather seemed like it was going to comply with our plans, we thought a "BYO-grilling item and beverage gathering" to be our best bet.

We also had to include "BYO-chair," since we definitely didn't have enough spots for people to park it! The lack of chairs actually turned out to be a great motivator for people to sprawl out on the grass with their drinks and dinner, lazily talking and dining with each other.

Shug and I realized that this was a bit of a test-run for our rehearsal dinner, which will take place in BBQ form, no less, in said backyard. Here are a few vital points we learned from our first BBQ:
  • ALWAYS turn off the damn sprinklers...You might think peeps would be outta the backyard at 2am...Not so.
  • We need more grill space! Man can and will live off meat alone and he is not going to waste his time on all the healthy side dishes. MEAT ONLY, please.
  • Some people are really just going to subsist on liquid calories, so no need to make enough sweet potato salad for an entire marching band, we could have been fine with just enough for the brass section. (More on this later!)
  • More twinkling lights = more better!
  • Let folks mix their own delicious drinks or have a big-daddy pitcher of premixed of drinks ready to go! We missed out on some great conversations because we were busy mixing!
  • Always make dessert, because even the liquid calorie folks will need a little somthin'-somthin'!
I did get a few requests for the roasted sweet potato salad recipe, so I thought I'd post it! I'd love to hear how the recipe worked for you!

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
Serves 4-6 depending on the level of sweet potato love.
6 pounds garnet sweet potatoes (these are the darker pinkish-orange kind, waaaay better!)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup if you're vegan:)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about the equivalent to the juice of one monster orange)
Grip of fresh chives
Pinch or more of red pepper flakes depending on your heat tolerance
Salt and pepper to taste

Prep time:
Preheat your oven to 425. Scrub the potatoes clean and cut off any weirdness. Then dice into 1 to 1.5 inch cubes. (Go ahead and leave the skin on if you want to, since there are more vitamins and fiber in the skin!) I've found the skin also helps the cubes keep their shape and not get all mushy and weird after you roast them.

Toss the cubes with a squidge of the olive oil and salt and pepper on a thick cookie sheet. Make sure there is only one layer of cubes and there is a little breathing room so they will roast and not steam. You'll probably need two or three cookie sheets to accommodate your potato party. Roast for 20 minutes, with a rotation and a stir at the halfway mark. Watch these little guys, because they can go from raw to burned in an instant...Trust me, I know.

While the potatoes are roasting, in a large bowl, combine the OJ, remaining olive oil, mustard, crushed red pepper, and honey or maple syrup. Cut the chives to they are like confetti, but we'll add them after the potatoes, so they don't get all mushed.

After the potatoes are tender when you stab them with a knife, scrape them and all of the pan juices into the large bowl that you have prepped with the dressing. (Don't worry if some of the edges are charred, this adds to the awesome flavor of the salad!) Give it a good mix and then add a little more salt and pepper to taste. Mix in most of the chives but reserve a little for garnish!

You can serve this warm, at room temp, or cold! This is awesome for BBQs since there isn't any mayo or other grossness to poison your guests!

I'd love to hear how you spent your weekend!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. (I should really proofread before I post. :)

    The BBQ was a great success from my vantage point! It was a lot of fun, and the Sweet Potato Salad was the best thing on my plate! Thanks for the recipe. I had forgotten about the BYO Chair part.

    One comment, the motion light was a little bothersome. I'd say either keep it on (not censoring) or better yet, keep it off and put up more twinkle lights or something near the grill so that they can see to cook.

    Good luck with the rehearsal dinner BBQ

  3. The sad thing is we can't figure out how to turn that dumb sensor light on or off!!!

    Thanks so much for coming! It made the BBQ legit!:)


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