Memorial Day Recipes

With Memorial Day fast-approaching, the Memorial Day party planning has started. You’ve ordered a case (or two) of your favorite beer and you’ve cleaned up the yard to prepare for your guests. All you need now are killer party recipes. I’m here to help. The below recipes are some gems I’ve discovered recently; they are full of flavor, quick to make and sometimes even healthy!

Maple-Beer-Chili Chicken Wing recipe

Susan Rosso over at “Food Blogga” has a Maple-Beer-Chili Chicken Wing recipe that would be a great addition to any Wing Bar set-up. The Wing Bar idea surfaced while talking to my best friend Joella, a chicken-wing addict. Imagine this set-up: a bucket of deep-fried wings, a variety of sauces, and then smaller, empty buckets to shake and coat the wings. Everyone will have their own customized chicken wing this way!

1 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup dark beer, preferably porter
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
3 tablespoons chili powder
3 to 3 1/2 pounds chicken wings, tips removed (about 15 to 17)
Canola oil

Directions: Place all ingredients except the wings and the oil in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened and syrupy, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, add 3 to 4 inches of canola oil. Heat to 350 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, test the oil’s heat by adding a bit of chicken fat to the hot oil. It should sizzle and float to the top, surrounded by bubbles. Cook wings in batches for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy, turning occasionally. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.

Transfer to a large bowl and cover with sauce. Toss well.

Salsa Cups recipe

Patti Wunder, dear friend and amazing artist, has an easy recipe for Salsa Cups over at “The Whimsical Fig.” Full of sweet corn and fresh veggies topped with cheese, this party recipe is great for those still keeping their New Year’s resolutions. This is especially true if you top the cups with a low-fat Mozzarella cheese instead of the Jack Cheese that is recommended in the recipe.

1 jar of your favorite ready-made salsa
Fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 orange bell pepper, diced
1 can of corn, drained and rinsed
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
Squeeze of lime

Directions: Mix the ingredients together in a glass bowl. Cover and allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least four hours. When ready to assemble the cups, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spoon a small amount of the “salsa” into each phyllo cup and top with shredded Jack Cheese. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and cups are golden.

Whatever you choose to serve for your Memorial Day weekend barbecue, be sure that the recipes are easy to make in advance and can also be quickly refreshed. This way you have time to enjoy the weather, chat with your guests, and, of course, munch on those delicious snacks!