Culinary Architect: An elegant summer grill buffet for entertaining

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Now is the time to set up the barbeque and outdoor furniture and enjoy the ease
entertaining with a summer grill buffet, a great way to return all of those winter invitations. The menu below may be mixed with family favorites.

If the number of selections seems too daunting, choose to make a few of the items and add

in some ready-made foods to ease the cooking burden.

Start with Chips and Salsa, all available from the supermarket and a big bowl of marinated grilled shrimp.

Add elegance to your party with a seated first course of Tre Colore Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing.

If you prefer a more casual party, add the salad to the buffet by placing it in a large bowl with the dressing on the side.

All of the accompaniments may be made ahead and refrigerated. Designate a “grill master” to cook the chicken breasts, turkey burgers and French bread close to serving time.

If you don’t own grills, tables, chairs, table settings – they are readily available from rental companies and caterers and come in a variety of styles – everything to make your party special.

Once you get started, it is often a lot easier and less tiring to entertain 24 people at once than having four parties with six guests.

Another way to ease “entertaining stress” is to divide the guest list in half and have the parties one night apart.

Floral arrangements, rentals, etc. get double duty and you only have to grocery shop once! Be sure to enlist the help of others, entertaining 24 people is no easy task, no matter how much you plan ahead. Above all…enjoy the time spent with your guests!

MENU
(Serves 24)

Hors d’oeuvres: Chips with Salsa*
Marinated Grilled Shrimp
First Course: Tre Colore Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing
Buffet: Peppery Grilled Chicken Breasts
Gourmet Turkey Burgers
Lettuce, Tomato & Onion Platter*
Seasonal Cole Slaw with an Asian Twist
Dessert: Cookies*
*Recipe Not Given
Marinated Grilled Shrimp
48 Jumbo Shrimp, cleaned
2 bottles Japanese Ginger Dressing (available at Oriental food stores)

1. Place shrimp in a bowl and marinate in Ginger Dressing for 5 minutes.
2. Grill, place in a clean bowl and serve.

Tre Colore Salad Vinaigrette

2 heads Green Leaf lettuce, cleaned and torn into bite-size pieces
2 heads Red Leaf lettuce, cleaned and torn into bite-size pieces
4 heads Radicchio, leaves separated
2 Endives, chopped
For Dressing:
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
2 cups Olive Oil
3 tsps. Fresh Dill
Salt and Pepper

1. In a Cuisinart, fitted with a steel blade, blend the vinegar and Dijon Mustard. With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add dill and pulse.
2. Place 1 radicchio cup on each plate. Toss remaining salad ingredients, including dressing and divide among 24 plates.

Seasonal Cole Slaw with an Asian Twist
4 lbs. cabbage coleslaw (available in vegetable sections of the supermarket)
2 medium-size red onions, thinly sliced
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
1 tbsp. hot chili sauce

1. Pour the chicken stock into a large skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the sliced cabbage and onion.
2. Cover and cook 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the cabbage to be soft, but still firm at the thick ends.
3. Quickly stir in the hoisin and hot chili sauces and serve hot or room temperature.

Peppery Grilled Chicken Breasts

1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 fresh or canned Jalapeno Pepper, seeded and minced
12 chicken breast halves (about 1/2 lb. each), cut in half on the diagonal
24 skewers (optional), soaked in water

1. Combine the orange and lime juices, oil, cayenne powder and Jalapeno Pepper in a non-reactive, shallow container; add the chicken breasts, marinate for 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.
2. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Skewer, if desired. Reserve the marinade. Grill the chicken 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until just cooked through.

Gourmet Turkey Burgers

4 lbs. ground turkey meat, generous dash of black pepper
1 tblsp. ground pure red chile powder
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 medium-size onion, finely chopped
4 small garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp. salt
Dash of Tabasco
1/4 cup chopped green chile
24 slices Monterey Jack cheese
24 slices Sesame Hamburger buns
Butter
2 Tbsp. basil

1. Mix the ground turkey meat with the next 8 ingredients. Shape into 24 burgers. Broil over charcoal grill to desired doneness.
2. Just before serving, place a slice of cheese on top of each burger. Butter the buns and sprinkle with crushed basil. Toast until lightly browned. Serve immediately. Serve with salsa on the side, if desired.

Alexandra Troy is owner of Culinary Architect Catering, a 35 year-old Greenvale-based company, specializing in private, corporate and promotional parties. Need help making your parties delicious and stress-free, CALL 516-484-7431 and you will be a guest at your own party! If you make any of these recipes, send me a photo at party@culinaryarchitect.com

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