Looking for another idea when you have company this summer? Here is my favorite summertime buffet menu made with all fresh and flavorful ingredients. Wishing you many warm days filled with laughter, love and great food!
Summer backyard entertaining is a fun great way to enjoy the sunshine with your family and friends. If you love to entertain then you have undoubtedly realized that feeding a crowd is more challenging today than ever before. Allergies to commonly used food like wheat, soy, nuts can make planning a menu a challenge.
Another challenge of entertaining is including foods that are both appealing and healthy for children. Children are usually perceived to be picky eaters, but in reality this is often a reflection of their very sensitive taste palpates. For this reason children naturally gravitate to sweet and crisp flavors which make fruit a natural. The crisp clean flavors of Japanese food are also usually well liked by children. Another advantage of many Japanese recipes is the short list of ingredients. This makes them a great choice for children to help prepare.
The menu (below) combines Japanese and global flavors for an easy to prepare crowd pleaser. This menu is easiest served buffet style. If you would like to upgrade use the marinade recipe below with wild caught salmon or for variety both.
Main Dish: Murin Chicken Skewers
Combine: 4 lb. chicken tenderloin or breasts sliced to 1 inch across portions with 1/2 cup murin (you can substitute white wine for a similar flavor) 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce (choose a wheat free variety) and 2 T. sesame oil. Marinade for at least 1/2 hour. Longer marinade produce a more distinct flavor. Grill for about 10 minutes or until cooked through. Sprinkle with 1/8 cup toasted sesame seeds and 1/2 cup chopped green onions. We like to include a small dish of peanut butter near the chicken.
Side Dish #1: For the Coconut Arborio cook 1 lb. Arborio rice according to package directions. After cooked stir in 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes.
Side Dish #2: For the Tropical Fruit Salad chop 1 mango, 1 pineapple and 2 oranges into a bowl. Fruit skewers are also tasty and visually appealing for a gathering. Our favorite are pineapple chunks, strawberries and grapes because they are easy to skewer and colorful.
Side Dish #3: For grilled vegetables prepare several foil packets by drizzling them with olive oil and sprinkling with salt. Chop your favorite summer vegetables (we like red bell pepper, green beans, snow peas and yellow summer squash) and place in grill packets. You might mix them or grill and serve each kind individually. Grill until crisp tender. We like to include small dishes of sesame seeds and slivered almonds near the vegetables as they are served.
Dessert #1: Fruit Sorbet is a sweet ending but is best served immediately. One day ahead place your favorite chopped summer fruit in freezer bags (we like berries) and freeze. 1/2 cup per person equals one serving. When you are ready to serve place in a magic bullet or high speed blender until thick. Serve frozen. Top with whipped cream and mint if desired.
Serves 8 or more. Don’t forget the drinks. Home made lemonade is a natural this time of year or search our previous post with frozen slush drink ideas.
Shopping list for this menu: (You can find many of these items on our web site) 4 lb. Chicken tenderloins, sesame seeds, green onion, murin or white wine, sesame oil, 1 lb. Arborio rice or white rice, 1 cup sweeten coconut flakes, 1 mango, 1 pineapple, 1 lb. orange, 2 lb. summer squash, 1 lb. green beans, 3 red bell peppers, 8 oz. snow peas, yellow onions. 3 lb. fresh berries
Optional: peanut butter, slivered almonds, whipped cream, mint, lemon