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May 28, 2011

Grilling for Dinner | Grilled Bruschetta, Herb Marinated Grilled Shrimp, Corn on the Cob & Asparagus

So many people are intimidated by the idea of having a dinner party... but having friends over to "grill out" is no problem.  It is casual, stress-free, and relaxing - I just wish people treated indoor entertaining in the same casual manner!

Spray off the patio furniture and clean the grill - use this Summer season to raise your entertaining comfort level so that by the time Fall comes around you are ready and will to host an (gasp) indoor dinner party.  Branch out from the typical burger and brat fare (even though there is nothing better than a burger, when done right!) and try something new.

For me, it works best when the entire menu can be grilled - appetizers, entree & dessert.  I get everything ready to go ahead of time, then we can all be outside (even me!) enjoying ourselves while dinner literally cooks itself.   My favorite part of all is that the only thing I have to clean up after the party is a baking sheet (that holds everything that will go on the grill) and a couple of bowls.

Everything ready to go outside to grill.
The Outdoor Dinner Party Menu... Grilled :

Tomato & Fresh Mozzarella Bruschetta (get recipe)
Herb Marinated Grilled Jumbo Shrimp
Grilled Asparagus
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream

I like to do courses on the grill - not in a fancy-schmancy way, but in a have-something-different-to eat-every-10-minutes sort of way.  I start with something that takes just a couple of minutes, in this case, bruschetta, then the rest of the dinner goes on while we nibble on appetizers and sip cocktails.  It works great because there is no running back and forth into the kitchen - I sit and relax while I tell Mike to take the asparagus off the grill and to turn the shrimp.  Ok, that might be a stretch...

Mr. Darcy is waiting for his first course...
This menu has a perfect time table for a leisurely dinner outdoors - the bread goes on first for just 1 minute on each side for the bruschetta (get recipe!), which makes a perfect snack while the rest of dinner is cooking.  After dinner, I put peaches on to cook for a about 5 minutes then serve them with ice cream.  Everyone has room for a dessert like that.     

If tomatoes aren't in season yet, I like to use heirloom cherry tomatoes - they always have great flavor and color.


If you'd like to put the assembled bruschetta back on the grill, they make a great hot and melted snack.  They are great served hot or cold.

The shrimp, asparagus and corn cook for the same amount of time on the grill... 5 minutes!

Dinner, laptop style. 

Warning: Neighbors and dogs will be begging...

Especially for the grilled peaches and ice cream.

Grilled Peaches

4 peaches, halved and pit removed
2 tablespoons of butter, melted
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Brush the peaches with butter, then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.  Grill for 2 minutes on each side.  Serve hot with ice cream... vanilla or cinnamon?

$40 Dinner Party Shopping List :

2 pounds of shrimp... $14
1 lemon... $1
4 ears of corn on the cob... $2
Baguette... $2
Tomatoes... $3
Fresh Basil... $2
Fresh Mozzarella... $5
Asparagus... $3
Peaches... $4
Ice Cream... $4

Easy Summer Grilling Recipes : 

Tomato & Fresh Mozzarella Bruschetta, Grilled!

Grilled Herbed Shrimp, Asparagus & Corn

1 comment:

  1. Ok this looks like the most beautiful dinner I've ever seen. Like the cover of a cookbook, or entertaining book, AND delicious!!
    Also, your dog looks just like mine. Do you have a cotton de tulear??
    Very adorable!
    Love your blog and have gotten so much inspiration from you!


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