Sunday, May 2, 2010

bbq extravaganza

A scheduled herself for a random saturday off. we decided it would be the ideal time for a bbq.
as A was preoccupied with maid of honor duties and homework, i was put in charge of planning the menu for said bbq. i think i did good work. i may have gotten a little obsessive regarding the planning aspect - i sent A an email complete with recipes, pictures and a grocery list organized by section of the store.

at any rate, the menu:
freshly made guacamole (i make this often. it gets eaten. it's delicious) and salsa with tortilla chips

main course:
chicago style vegan hot dogs (we purchased two varieties from whole foods: "tofu pups" and "good dogs". most preferred the "good dogs" because they were "smokier" but i liked the "tofu pups" for their consistency). in order to cook the dogs we boiled them on the stove in a pot of water and then placed them on a lightly oiled grill and cooked until the skins started to blister.
hot dogs were served with a beautiful array of condiments. being from chicago, i did not allow ketchup (except for punky who whined until she was given ketchup. she even offered to bring her own ketchup - in packets).

a true chicago style hot dog contains:
the dog
poppy seed bun
tomato wedges
diced white onion
dill pickle spear
sport peppers
yellow mustard
celery salt
side dishes:

coleslaw (see sassy joe post for recipe and pictures)

grandma graves's baked calico beans (this recipe is based on the recipe handed down from my great grandma. when i asked my grandma for it, she wrote it out on a nice little recipe card.)
i had to tweak it a bit since the original recipe called for 4 slices of bacon and worchester sauce, which contains anchoives.
i did my best to get an image of the recipe card. it didn't work.
so here's the recipe:
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 cup molasses
1 can pork and beans (vegetarian)
1 can lima beans
1 can butter beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 tsp salt
drain and rinse beans.
saute the onions.
put eveything in a crock pot.
cook 3 hours.
no crock pot? it's cool. bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes. bake uncovered at 325 for 30 minutes.

beet and orange tomato salad:
4 beets (ideally these should be different colors. this is a source of disappointment for me because we struck out at several stores in our attempts to find golden beets) i only used about 1 1/2 beets because the ones we got were rather large.
1 bunch watercress (i opted for 1/2 bunch watercress and combined this with some of the beet greens)
1 orange tomato (this was used for added color due to the fact that we were not able to procure various colors of beets)
1 part real maple syrup
1 part balsamic vinegar
1 part dijon mustard (i used stone ground horseradish mustard)
2 parts extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

i cleaned the beets, cut off the tops (left about 2 inches on), drizzled them with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, wrapped them in tin foil and put them in the oven for 1 1/2 hours at 375. you'll know they're done when they're tender and you can easily stick a knife in them.
peel the beets. slice the beets. slice the tomato. wash and dry greens. arrange salad. drizzle vinaigrette on top.

we invited friends who brought beer (this is the key. if i'm cooking, you're bringing beer).
it was pretty damn good.

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