Mixing Up Your Cookout with Savory All-American Fare

It’s the holiday weekend and you’re in charge of serving up an all-American barbecue. This year, put a twist on the boring hot dog-and-hamburger cookout with some easy-to-make recipes sure to have your guests asking for seconds.

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SERVE UP A SOUTHERN BARBECUE

Give your cookout some soul with flavor-rich pulled pork sandwiches. Instead of grilling or smoking the meat, let a crockpot do the work for you. Pull apart the pork and serve with a sauce—or in its own juices––on a fresh, soft bun, topped with coleslaw. Add some smoky baked beans that take only 15 minutes to make and a four-step baked mac and cheese and you’ll be whistlin’ Dixie along with Yankee Doodle Dandy. Don’t forget the sweet tea and lemonade.

 

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TRY A NEW ENGLAND CLAMBAKE
Bring the coast to your backyard and grill up some surf-and-turf kabobs. Marinated, cubed skirt steak and shrimp are easy to make ahead of time and you can also throw corn on the cob and baked potatoes right on the grill as instant sides…it’s a no-hassle clean-up inside and out.

Now for the steamers and stuffies, which sound like a foreign language for anyone who’s not from New England..but they’re just different words for clams and stuffed quahogs (bigger clams). Clams don’t take long to make and are a great appetizer. Simply steam them in a pot of boiling water until the shell opens (toss the ones that don’t), then, serve with some melted butter for dipping. Stuffed quahogs are a Rhode Island favorite (they didn’t name Peter Griffin’s hometown after them for nothing). And, if you like Pina Coladas….yes, it’s okay if you sang that and didn’t read it, they too go well with a beach theme and are the perfect way to welcome summer.

 

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PUT A TWIST ON TRADITION

Can’t seem to part ways with hamburgers and hot dogs? Try spicing them up with a Cincinnati favorite: chili. This 30-minute recipe is a sure-fire hit. If burgers are still on the menu, inject some brew into these beer-braised onion burgers. Upgrade your average potato salad by adding sour cream, cheddar and bacon bits to create loaded baked potato salad. It’ll go great with both main dishes and, let’s be real, you can’t go wrong with cheese and bacon. Ice down some of your favorite beverages and party on.

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