Thursday, July 21, 2011

You smoke the brisket, I'll bring the sides...

If you're like me then you like to eat a few sides with your BBQ.  My personal favorites are potato salad and coleslaw.  A must have at any get together in the south.  I haven't done it in a while but I used to invite a couple dozen people over and BBQ the afternoon away.  Burgers, hot dogs, pork ribs, sausages and the like.  In Oklahoma we tend to embrace the BBQ styles of Atlanta and Memphis over Texas BBQ.  An Oklahoma sauce is sweet and only slightly tangy to go with the pork ribs but in Texas it's all about vinegar and black pepper.  It makes sense because Texas is cattle country and beef is the staple of all Texas BBQ.  No matter if you like your BBQ sweet and savory or hot and tangy my potato salad and coleslaw will go well and add some different notes to the meal.

Let's get started with the easy one, coleslaw.  I like my slaw sweet but have tried some fine tangy ones.  This slaw is sweet.  Shred up a head of cabbage and julienne a few carrots.  Mix that all together in a big bowl.  Now start by adding about a cup of mayonnaise and a half cup of milk.  Mix that all together and decide if it's creamy enough.  Some people like it creamy and some don't but no matter.  The sauce will settle to the bottom in the end so each can get how they like it if you serve it in a big bowl.  Now add a little sugar, salt, pepper and maybe some cayenne pepper if you want to give it a little zip.  Once you get those spices just right it's time for the magic touch.  Take a lemon, or lime if you like and juice it over the whole bowl.  Now just cover and put it in the fridge until it's time to serve.  One down, one to go.

While you were making the coleslaw you could have the potatoes and the eggs boiling.  For a big crowd I tried to make about 1/4 pound of potato per person.  It ends up being too much but who wants to run out?  So get those spuds in a pot and use about one egg per pound of potato.  More if you like or leave them out, you're making it so make it your own.  I like to add some crunch so I dice up some bell peppers and onions to put in.  Again, just put in what you like but remember it's potato salad not bell pepper salad. : )  Once the potatoes are soft just chop them up.  My mom makes mashed potatoes for hers but I like them just chopped.  Now for the fun stuff.  Add some yellow mustard, sweet pickle relish, chop up those eggs and throw them in, salt and pepper to taste and you're ready to roll.  Oh yeah, I forgot the secret ingredient.  Pickle juice.  Pour in a good hit of juice from a jar of dill pickles and mix it up real good.

Now you're ready for company and they won't get here until tomorrow.  How's that for low stress entertaining?

Let me know if you try it and how it went...  Until next time keep your grill hot and your beer cold...

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