It seems that no matter where I have lived it always tends to rain on Memorial Day… It is just maddening, because every year I spend all of this time prepping up food for the BBQ and them boom it rains. There is not much more frustrating then changing your cooking methods because of some rain, not too mention the whole idea of eating and hanging around outside. Now, I am not here to tell you how to avoid this, because I obviously cannot control the weather. However I am here to try and offer some alternative solutions to the traditional barbecue type foods every Memorial Day. I absolutely love BBQ and for the most part I could eat it every day, but you know me and I ALWAYS say to change things up on traditional holidays. If nothing less try reinventing some of your old classics, do an asian style slaw, make grilled potato salad, use short ribs instead, stuff those burgers with garlic and basil, the point is to get creative and have fun and chance some things up so your family stays interested. I would say that I have a pretty big family, on both sides, and I know my dad gets so upset when he has to eat the exact same dishes during these holidays, because let’s face it most of you do the same menu for Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day. It wouldn’t hurt to change one of those up would it?
In no way do I claim to be some recipe god or know the answers to all of your cooking problems, although I would like to try. I believe through writing these blogs that I would help inspire and offer up a few solutions for you to get out of old habits. With that being said, I thought I would share some of my favorite item that work really well for these late Spring/Summer holidays. In stead of that old soggy coleslaw, try changing it up bit. Refresh that bagged coleslaw mix with thinly sliced cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, sprouts, green onions and toss it in a nice herb vinaigrette or you could use a soy/vinegar/sugar/peanut oil mixture to give it that Oriental flavor. If there is one thing I get sick of seeing, it’s that potato salad that is runny and looks like some one pulled it out of the freezer.. YUCK! Get rid of those Idaho potatoes and use red potatoes and instead of boiling them to the point of mush, try grilling them for an excellent smoky flavor and still slightly crunchy. If you don’t like mayonnaise based dressing for potato salad, an herb vinaigrette is just as awesome in potato salad and not-too-mention it is a huge change from that old crusty potato salad your Aunt Dorothy brings over all the time! Last but not least ribs! Trust me I get it, I am not trying to tell you how to BBQ, but consider changing the cut of meat, marinade and cooking method. Short ribs are probably one of my favorite things to eat but few people really cook with them at home. Marinade them in a balsamic vinaigrette or another asian based dressing for 24 hours, make a killer rub and grill them on super high heat so they caramelize! I know these are easier said than done, so if you have any questions what-so-ever please reach out to me at any time on facebook.com/chefbillyparisi or at twitter.com/chefbillyparisi.