There’s something deeply satisfying about hanging out with a group of friends, grilling some great-tasting food in the parking lot of your favorite stadium. You can feel the excitement build as more and more fans arrive and the air fills with tantalizing aromas.
Let’s face it, though, sometimes you just want to watch the game in the comfort of your own home. Here are some fresh ideas for “couchgating” food you can serve next time your couch becomes your bleachers.
Cowboys Gone Wild
Burgers are the quintessential favorites of the grill. You can change up the basic burger with a few easy tricks.
- By adding a dash of chili powder, cumin and coriander to your hamburger meat, along with some finely diced onion and garlic, you’ll get an authentic Mexican taste. Top it with avocados, chipotle sauce and jack cheese.
- For an Asian flare, try a recipe based on Korean marinated sirloin (bulgogi). Add green onions, brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and a dash of sesame oil to ground sirloin. Top it with a splash of rice vinegar and some fresh greens and radish slices.
Kabobs are a flexible grill favorite and can accommodate a wide range of food preferences; from the most devout carnivore to the purest vegan. And of course kids will eat anything on a stick. Any kind of bite-sized meat is good for kabobs, from the traditional lamb and beef to shrimp and scallops. Choose vegetables that are firm and will withstand grilling, such as onions, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, potatoes, corn on the cob and more. Serve your kabobs with a variety of dipping sauces for a fun experience every fan will enjoy.
Jerks You’ll Love
Sometimes a little trip to the islands is what’s called for. Get the authentic flavor of the Caribbean with a spicy rub called “jerk”. Made up of hot peppers and other spices, you can find these rubs in your grocery’s spice aisle. Rub the dry spices on chicken and grill. Serve with grilled pineapple rings. The acid in this fruit will help cool down some of the heat from the rub.
A Little Something on the Side
Roasted corn and baked potatoes are tried and true sides. To get a little more variety, try zucchini fries with parmesan, which makes a great side for burgers. Grilled tomatoes with yogurt is a light, low-fat side that partners well with kabobs. A sweet potato, grilled until tender, is an authentic side for jerk chicken.
Desserts on the barbecue? If everything else tastes better grilled, why not try your favorite treats?
Fruit is particularly delicious grilled. This is because grilling helps to caramelize the fruit’s natural sugars. No matter what the season, you’ll find a fruit that works on the grill. Berries and nectarines, apples, bananas, pineapple and mangos all taste amazing when you barbeque them.
Slip some fruit on a skewer with some cubes of pound cake and you’ll have a family-friendly sweet treat. For a grilled fruit dessert with a grownup appeal, serve a side of ice cream, a drizzle of chocolate and your favorite liqueur. Need I say more?
So if you and your friends don't feel like heading out to a fine restaurant near you, no worries. Try one of these five unique barbecue suggestions, and spend an eventful evening in, without compromising on great food and memorable laughs.
This article was written by Jonathan Godwin, an avid writer of food and diet articles on the web. If you’re looking to cut down on the costs of your couchgates, make sure to check out Valpak and their numerous food coupons to make your parties even sweeter.