Up the Grill!
Set the Table and the Mood
grill is on, the stars are out and entertaining is about to move outdoors. This
summer, make your outdoor space an extension of your living room by creating an
inviting setting to entertain family and friends.
Sherman, an interior design instructor with The Art Institute of California --
San Francisco, suggests that for a successful party, guests should be comfortable,
inside and outdoors.
Sherman says by using various types of lighting,
you can create moods, as well as keep your guests moving freely -- and safely
-- around the party. When Sherman entertains, he likes to suspend paper and metal
accordion lanterns from trees or porch eaves, use old lanterns from flea markets
or antique stores to hold candles, and light large citronella torches that can
be stuck in the ground for light and also repel bugs
also recommends putting a votive tree in the ground, in a pot, or in the hole
of an umbrella table to create an outdoor chandelier of lights. Glass or mosaic
hurricane lamps add a soft glow, says Sherman, and also protect candles from the
Light up the night with tiki torches, an eye-catching firepit, or elegant votives.
Outdoor lighting is all about fire,
says Dan Noyes, Interior Design Department chair at The Art Institutes International
Minnesota. With the advent of the many tiki torch designs out there, one
can readily and inexpensively create the outdoor room with a perimeter of fire.
The upside is not only a definition of space but a controlled bug-less zone if
one uses citronella in the torches. Fire pits are another great way to add ambient
light while creating a focal point to gather around." he says.
that the lighting is set, what about the food? First, start with a very clean
grill says William Niemer, chef director, also from The Art Institutes International
Minnesota. Make sure you remove all of the cooked on meat and carbon. The
importance of this is two-fold; a clean grill will help to make sure none of your
food sticks to the grill and you can make those great grill marks. Second, you
don't want any off flavors from the carbon build-up on the grill rack,
says Chef Niemer.
Tin washtubs make great
containers for beer & drinks.
you cook a large piece of meat, says the chef, use an indirect cooking method
in which you place the coals on either side of the grill. Place the meat in the
center of the grill, not directly over the coals. This will provide even cooking
and no burning meat.
experts recommend setting up food and drink stations in two distinct areas. That
way, guests will move around more and not congregate next to one or the other
in a big group. Tin washtubs, available at most home centers, make great containers
for beer and soft drinks.
Offer a selection of white or red wine, or consider
serving a white or red sangria
to make use of delicious summer fruits. If you decide to serve mix drinks, keep
it simple by selecting one or two specialty drinks, like martinis or margaritas.
when you entertain guests, don't try out fancy new recipes that keep you
in the kitchen -- or at the grill -- for hours. Keep it easy and casual, and serve
your friends and family what you like to eat, because chances are, they'll
enjoy it as well.
Salmon on a Bed of Roasted Peppers with Balsamic Vinegar Sauce, Recipes
from Chef Bill Niemer, The Art Institutes International Minnesota