North Carolina native and Grill Girl Eilzabeth Karmel shares a make-ahead menu that proves firing up the grill is the easiest way to pull off an elegant summer gathering.
The Prep-Ahead Plan
1 Week: Stir up Garlic-Herb Butter. Chill up to 1 week, or freeze up to 3 months. Mix Hill Country Rub. Store in an airtight container up to 3 months. Blend Chimichurri Sauce. Chill up to 1 week. 2 Days: Prepare Buttermilk-Ricotta Cheese Dip. After straining, chill up to 2 days. Blend Veggie Vinaigrette. Chill up to 2 days (if serving with the vegetable platter). 1 Day: Bake Whiskey Pie. Chill up to 24 hours. Slice Grilled Summer Vegetables. Prep and chill in zip-top plastic bags up to 24 hours. Smoke Beef Tenderloin. Prepare through Step 5, and chill up to 24 hours. Day of: 4 hours: Make Tipsy Berries 1 hour: Preheat grill. Grill veggies. 30 minutes: Grill corn. Crank up the grill temp, and sear the beef (Step 6 of recipe). Then slice, serve, and take a bow.
Frozen Peach Old Fashioneds
Recipe: Frozen Peach Old Fashioneds
Served ice cold, these refreshing cocktails keep your guests cool.
Buttermilk-Ricotta Cheese Dip
Grilled Summer Vegetable Platter
Recipe: Grilled Summer Vegetable Platter
Start with this mix of vegetables, or simply use what you have on hand.
Smoked Beef Tenderloin
Recipe: Smoked Beef Tenderloin
Feel free to substitute tri-tip steak or flank steak for the tenderloin. Reduce the rub to 1 1/4 tsp., decrease smoker temperature to 250; and follow smoking tips below.
Trip-tip Steak: 1 1/2 lb. for 20 minutes Flank Steak: 1 lb. for 15 minutes
Charred Corn with Garlic-Herb Butter
Use the husks as handles by pulling them back and tying the ends with kitchen string. Soak in cold water at least 10 minutes before grilling to prevent burning.
Whiskey Pie with Tipsy Berries
Recipe: Whiskey Pie with Tipsy Berries
Offer with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and, to save time, you can simply top with a mix of your favorite fresh summer fruit.