In the summer months, the main course is prepared on the grill. Not only does it keep the kitchen from heating up in the July humidity, but throwing chicken breasts, pork chops, steaks, or fish fillets on the grill is super easy.
All you need is a couple of easy side dishes to compliment the entrée. Here are a few of my favorite sides that are always crowd pleasers.
Texas Style Potato Salad
4 strips bacon
1 pound small unpeeled red potatoes
1 sliced green onion
1 boiled chopped egg
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook bacon until crispy. Drain, reserving a few tablespoons of the grease, and crumble. Set aside.
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water. Add a tablespoon of the bacon grease and some salt and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and let the potatoes cool and then cut into bite-size pieces.
In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper for dressing.
Toss potatoes, onion and egg in dressing. Add bacon. Serve chilled.
Watermelon Cucumber Salad
4 cups chilled seedless watermelon, diced large
1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon fresh mint, or basil leaves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoon cumin
Divide the watermelon and cucumbers equally between 4 plates or in one large serving bowl; top with olives, feta and mint. Mix vinegar, oil and cumin. Drizzle over salad and toss.
Twice baked potatoes
6 small russet potatoes
1/2 cup buttermilk (or milk)
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon sliced chives (or green onions)
6 pieces of bacon cooked crisp and chopped or 3 tablespoons bacon bits
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash potatoes and poke with a fork. Bake potatoes in oven 1 hour or microwave until soft. Allow to cool slightly.
Slice each potato in 1/2 lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp of the potato leaving a 1/8" shell.
In a bowl, mash potatoes, sour cream, butter, garlic powder, salt and pepper until smooth. Add butter milk as needed to create a creamy texture. Stir in chives, bacon and 3/4 cup cheddar cheese.
Fill each skin with the mashed potato filling and top with remaining cheese.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
Parmesan Baked Brussel Sprouts
1 1/2 lbs Brussel sprouts (trimmed and halved)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Very lightly spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
In a bowl, combine Brussel sprouts with the remaining ingredients. Toss together to coat all the Brussel sprouts.
Spread onto the cookie sheet making sure they are not touching.
Cook for 16-20 minutes. Serve immediately.
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