If you're planning on hosting a barbecue to celebrate the long weekend, local merchants and are offering some suggestions to help get your party started.
Savory's co-owner Becky Solheim shared some of the East Broad Street shop's top recipes to ring in the unofficial start of summer.
6-9 tbsp. Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. soy sauce
6 tbsp. vinegar
6 tbsp. orange juice
4 tbsp. lime juice
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
To make an extra spicy jerk paste, bring remaining marinade, meat bits and all, to a boil in a sauce pan. Stir continuously until it thickens. Serve on the side for those who prefer even more heat.
Mix ingredients together and marinate chicken (we prefer boneless, skinless chicken thighs) or meat of choice for 4-12 hours. Grill for the best flavor.
Serve with jerk paste (see notes) for that extra kick. Also, make coconut rice by combining 1 cup Jasmine rice and 1 14 fluid ounce can coconut milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a very low simmer, cover and let cook for 20 minutes. Uncover and stir well, then let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. To punch up the coconut flavor, add 1/3 tsp. coconut extract.
Yields: Makes enough for 2-3 lbs. of meat.
Red Rocks Hickory Smoke & Beer BBQ Sauce
6-8 tbsp. Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
4 tbsp. vegetable oil
2/3 cup beer
6 tbsp. ketchup
Stir ingredients together in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil then simmer for 7-10 minutes.
Try on beef, chicken and pork.
Yields: 1 Cup
Stop by the shop for more ideas.
Here are some fun, fresh, crowd-pleasing, and grill-friendly suggestions from the CoolVines gang:
Rosès are perfect for outdoor sipping and will accompany a variety of Spring and summer fare. In particular, we are recommending the Commanderie de la Bargemone Rosè from Provence. Its delicate aromatics and bright, crisp acidity are a great match for anyone looking to be refreshed and impressed.
Merlot-based Bordeaux wines greatly complement and enhance the flavor of grilled meats. Merlot is the most widely-planted grape in France's Bordeaux region and there a ton of amazing, high-quality wines priced at $15 and under that will steal the show at any BBQ. We highly recommend the Chateau Rollan de BY Comtesse 2009--an absolute beauty with unsurpassed value."
CoolVines' Lauren Ramos explained there is currently a huge craft can movement going on in the beer world.
"There are a lot of craft brewing companies out there that have opted to can their brews. We have Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy out of Wisconsin, an array of offerings from Nantucket's Cisco Brewers, and Brooklyn Brewery's Summer Ale. They all come in 12-pack cans, which chill faster, are more affordable, and easier on the environment.
"You can also choose to go local (and who doesn't want to do that?)! We actually have assistant brewer, Brent Rusche from New Jersey's very own Cricket Hill Brewery coming to conduct a tasting at CoolVines this Sunday from 2-5 p.m. We'll be tasting their New Jersey Breakfast Ale and Colonel Blides Cask Ale among others."
For more information, contact CoolVines at 908-232-5050 and Savory Spice Shop at 908-264-8947.