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Memorial Day means a lot of things to a lot of people. The most important of which is remembering the lives of those given to ensure this weekend exists. Therefore, you better be damned sure any service member who attends your party is treated the way they’ve earned. You should already be thanking a soldier whenever you see one, but I digress.

Now, when you are getting your barbecue party plan together, and people are asking “What can I bring?”; lay on the side dishes.  Whether it’s chicken on a skewer or corn on the cob, the sides dishes have to be there to compliment the Beer Brats you just pulled off your grill.

Asian Chicken Satay

Skewers of Asian Chicken Satay with the side dishes
A surprise hit at any grilling event.

This was a surprising hit the first time I brought this out. It takes a little bit of meal prep, but it’s one of those things you don’t expect to see at a BBQ. Try it and see how many people remember that part of your Memorial day cooking!


1 envelope Onion Soup Mix

1/4 cup of Olive Oil

2 tablespoons of packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons of peanut butter

1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded and cut into thin strips

  • Combine the soup mix, oil, brown sugar, and peanut butter in a large resealable bag. Add the chicken and coat. Close the bag and put in the fridge for 30 minutes to marinade.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and thread on 12 to 16 skewers by weaving back and forth. Discard the marinade.
  • Grill or broil skewers on top of tin foil until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Memorial Day Inspired Side Dishes

I love just sitting at the party and eating all of the main course items as much as the next guy; as I’ve mentioned before, though, side dishes are key to any good meal. This holds especially true for a BBQ. Try these three recipes at your Memorial Day cookout, or on a random Saturday.

French Onion Dip

It’s as simple as combining one packet of french onion seasoning with 16 ounces of sour cream. Cheaper, and healthier, than the pre-made stuff; especially if you’re making in bulk.

Watermelon Dippers

This is a tremendous twist on my favorite summer treat. Combine 8 ounces of sour cream, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and stir well. Dip sticks of watermelon for a sweet and savory dessert.

Spicy Grilled Corn

Nobody thinks to do anything fun with ears of corn. But just because nobody does, doesn’t mean nobody should.

Ears of Grilled Corn with the side dishes
Sides are just as important as the meat and beer

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper (each)

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 ears of corn, shucked

  • Combine butter, parsley, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in small bowl. Brush mixture evenly over corn.
  • Place two sheets of foil (roughly 12×18 inches each). Center two ears of corn on each piece of foil and fold to create a packet.
  • Grill packets over medium-high heat, covered, for about 15 minutes.

You’re Almost Ready!

Now that you have the Beers, Brats, and side dishes ready for your Memorial Day BBQ all you need is that show-stopping number. Be sure to check tomorrow as I finish your prep with two star-spangled awesome dishes worthy of America!




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