Fall Barbecue

Fall Barbecue

We recently threw a fall, football-watching barbecue. The weather was crisp, so we wanted to use simple, comfort foods. It took 2 people about 6 hours to make everything for this party for 25-30. We doubled the recipes for the Sausage and Peppers, Cheese Straws, Creamy Coleslaw, Roasted Shrimp and Cocktail Sauce and Tomato, Watermelon and Cucumber Salad with Feta. The chicken salad was put in the potato nests from this recipe.

We also smoked a 7 pound pork shoulder. We can give more information on smoking if anyone is interested, but it is quite an involved process with a rub, mustard moisturizer and apricot injection that takes 12+ hours. If you don't do the pork or other meat, I would triple the sausage and peppers recipe, and serve with small, slider style rolls. There are so many appetizers that guests won't need a huge main course.


The night before the party:

1. Take 3 packages of cream cheese (for the buffalo dip and cheesy rounds) out of the fridge to soften.

2. Boil water and poach the chicken for chicken salad.

3. Combine all ingredients for the fiesta corn dip and store in the fridge. Do not bake.

4. Make the buffalo chicken mixture but do not add the cheddar cheese and do not bake. Store in the fridge.

5. Make the chicken salad and store in the fridge.

6. Follow the cheesy rounds recipe and store the assembled rounds in the freezer. Do not bake.

Five hours before the party, start prepping the following:

1. Take the butter for the peach and blueberry crisp out of the fridge to soften.

2. Drain the cabbage mixture as described in the first step of the coleslaw recipe.

3. Cook the potatoes for the potato nests and leave in the fridge for an hour to cool.

4. Make the cocktail sauce and store in the fridge.

5. Take the puff pastry for the cheese straws out of the fridge.

6. Cut the peppers into strips for the sausage and peppers.

7. Prepare the peach and blueberry crisp (but do not bake) and store in the fridge.

8. Make the coleslaw and store in the fridge, covered tightly.

9. Grate the potatoes for the potato nests, and assemble and bake the nests. Let the nests cool on a paper towel and set aside.

10. Make the cheese straws and store on the counter.

11. Roast the shrimp and store in the fridge to chill.

12. Chop the tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon and feta and add to arugula. Store in the fridge. Do not add the dressing.

13. If you have any time before guests start to arrive, relax! Have a drink.

When the first guest arrives:

1. Fill the potato nests with chicken salad. Set out the filled nests, the cheese straws and the shrimp and cocktail sauce for guests to snack on.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

When 5-10 guests have arrived:

1. Add the cheddar cheese to the top of the buffalo dip.

2. Bake the corn dip and the buffalo dip for 25-30 minutes, or until all cheese is melted and the mixture is bubbling slightly. Both dips can go in the same oven. Serve immediately with Fritos or tortilla chips.

3. When you take the first two dips out of the oven, put in the cheesy rounds from the freezer and bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika and serve. You may want to walk around and pass these out so that people eat them warm!

When all (or most) of the guests have arrived:

1. Heat the grill.

2. Add the peppers in a grill pan or large aluminum foil pan. Cook the sausage and peppers according to the recipe.

3. While the peppers and sausage are cooking, add the dressing to the tomato, cucumber, watermelon and feta salad and cut the slider rolls (leaving one end still connected).

4. Serve the sausage and peppers with the slider rolls, and bring out the coleslaw and tomato, cucumber, watermelon and feta salad.

5. Once you serve the main course, preheat the oven to 375.

6. When the oven is ready, add the peach and blueberry crisp and cook until the filling is bubbling and the top is brown, about 30 minutes. If the top is not browning, turn the oven up to 450 or broil and watch it very closely to avoid burning.

7. Serve the dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

8. Again, relax and have a drink!