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View Full Version : Looking for some "Signature Sides"


tony76248
04-21-2009, 08:56 AM
I have been looking for some new signature sides for my catering jobs. I currently do a cheesy tater dish and a baked bean dish (very similar to kerri's). I have no plans of halting these dishes, but would like to add to them.

I have tried roasted red taters with herbs, but they always shrink up and get less appealing to the eye. Then there is a squash casserole which not everyone likes.

I am thinking in the way of corn and blackbean salsa, something fresh and zesty....

My only thoughts are.... it has got to be a big hit... It has also got to be prep friendly and cost effective for catering. I know of a bunch of great sides but they do not happily meet these requirements. So simple yet delicious is a must!

Any good ideas will be appreciated.

Chuckwagonbbqco
04-21-2009, 09:53 AM
Texas Caviar---basically cooked and chilled black eyed peas with salsa

Jicama and carrot salad

asparagus tips with tequilla hollandaise

Ashmont
04-21-2009, 10:00 AM
Texas Caviar---basically cooked and chilled black eyed peas with salsa

Jicama and carrot salad

asparagus tips with tequilla hollandaise


If kids BBQ Sundae Pork in beans with pp on top woth slaw on top of that with a pickel spear where the spoon would be in a cup

big brother smoke
04-21-2009, 10:56 AM
Pineapple coleslaw, I stole it from Big Mista!:biggrin:
grilled corn coblets with thyme and butta

Cabntmkr1
04-21-2009, 11:55 AM
Pineapple coleslaw, I stole it from Big Mista!:biggrin:
grilled corn coblets with thyme and butta
Pineapple Coleslaw is the cat's pajamas!:-D

yelonutz
04-21-2009, 12:19 PM
To a hot cast iron pan, add chopped bacon. About the size of postage stamps. Render it down then add chopped onions and bell peppers. When the onions start to get translucent, throw in a bag of frozen corn kernels. When corn starts to brown ever so slightly, pour in some heavy whipping cream, stir and serve as soon as the cream get hot.

NUTZ

CrazyChef
04-21-2009, 02:27 PM
Fried cabbage. Yum!

TN_BBQ
04-21-2009, 03:46 PM
Garlic & butter cabbage (the whole head).

Folks will love it when you toss a great big head of cabbage at em.

Core out the bottom of the cabbage & put in a couple cloves of garlic and some seasoned butter. Wrap in foil (optional, but advisable) and bake/smoke/grill.

barbefunkoramaque
04-21-2009, 04:02 PM
Your too close and I am on my way back. Big Mista has all my secrets anyway... I will have him dealt with if he returns to Texas though.

barbefunkoramaque
04-21-2009, 04:04 PM
If kids BBQ Sundae Pork in beans with pp on top woth slaw on top of that with a pickel spear where the spoon would be in a cup

LOL I have that DVD too!

timzcardz
04-21-2009, 04:17 PM
Crown cut grilled tomatoes seaoned with olive oil and oregano and finshed with whole milk mozarella.

http://www.cal-lector.com/Brethren/2007-04-22/2007-04-22PrimeRib5.jpg

CajunSmoker
04-21-2009, 05:17 PM
This is always a hit with my folks.

Chuckwagon corn

1 can regular corn
1 can cream style corn
1 package of Jiffy cornbread mix
1 stick of butter
8 ounces of sour cream
1/4 cup of milk

Drain the regular corn. Melt the butter. Combine all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well. Grease a glass baking dish (8 x 11 or 9 x 13) and add the mixture to it. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 - 60 minutes or until the top begins to split and brown just a bit.


I have a good tater salad recipe too, but it ain't exactly prep friendly:rolleyes:

StrikeEagle
04-21-2009, 06:07 PM
Grilled Southwestern Corn Cobetts -Buttered corn on the cob sprinkled with a mixture of California Chili Powder, Cumin, Ground Mexican Oregano and Salt.

As an alternative, you can set up a 'corn cob bar' with a selection of sprinkles for the corn. (Southwestern, Italian Seasoning mixed w/Garlic Salt, Cajun Seasoning w/ a touch of fine grain salt, Regular Season Salt, Kosher Salt n Cracked Black Pepper, etc.) I use plain restaurant shaker cans for this set up.


Tortellini Pesto Salad. -A cold salad with Cheese Tortellini and Basil Pesto tossed with shredded Parmesan cheese. This is a HUGE fave of my clients in spring and summer.

Smokin Mike
04-21-2009, 09:18 PM
Your too close and I am on my way back. Big Mista has all my secrets anyway... I will have him dealt with if he returns to Texas though.

are you serious, you won't give something out because,,,,, he's to close to you. :twisted:

I just farkin with you,,, waiting for the call to you, from the bag phone.:icon_shy

Marsha
04-21-2009, 09:39 PM
I make a killer veggie pasta salad that has become a popular choice when we cater. It has almost as many veggies as pasta.

jtwisted13
04-21-2009, 10:59 PM
Bam's "Baked Red-Potato Salad"

like any recipe, you can very it to taste and appearance...

3lbs red potatos, baked and cubed
1 16oz container sour cream, none of that low fat crap
1/2 cup mayo or miracle whip
1 Tbls garlic powder - i also use roasted garlic/ 1 whole head
1/4 cup onion, minced finely
2 oz bacon bits
1 tsp Tony C's or Zatarains Cajun Spice
1/4 cup freshly chopped chives
1/4 cup celery
1 Tbls dill pickle relish
paprika for color
fresh cracked pepper
cheddar cheese

bake and cube your potatoes.

mix wet ingredients with the spices in a separate bowl.

combine potatoes,celery,onions,wet ingredients,stir in bacon.

sprinkle top with a little more bacon,chives and cheddar cheese.

Good when warm, Better when you eat 3 hours later, Great refridgerated overnight

tony76248
04-22-2009, 11:07 AM
Ouch twisted..... that is 13 ingredients...

simple yet delicious...... I already do a variation on Surprise potatoes. so this is too similar and what I have already works, I am really looking for something other than taters and beans. Something already proven to be a catering favorite would fit the bill!

Marsha
04-22-2009, 12:22 PM
My husband gets mad at me because I don't really have a recipe for my pasta or potato salad, etc. I just add the ingredients and go by taste and how it looks. Oooops! But, I can give you an idea of how I make the pasta salad.

These are the ingredients:
-Curly pasta
-Bernstein’s Italian Dressing
-Shredded Parmesan cheese
-Chopped fresh Italian Parsley
-Shredded Carrots (I buy pre-shredded from the produce section, or from our wholesale produce guy)
-Chopped Bell Peppers (you can use green, red, yellow for more color)
-Marinated Artichoke Hearts
-Kalamata Olives, pitted
-Sun-dried tomatoes, julienne (sometimes I substitute the sun-dried tomatoes with fresh grape tomatoes)
-Sliced Squash (crookneck and/or zucchini)
-Sliced mushrooms
-Chopped red onion
-Garlic Salt
-Pepper


I cook the pasta then put it in a container and add some of the italian dressing to it and mix it in. Just add enough dressing to coat the pasta. Then refrigerate to let it cool. Chop up all the vegetables etc. into small bite sized pieces. When the pasta is cool mix in all of the vegetables and add more italian salad dressing. Mix in the shredded parmesan cheese, add garlic salt and pepper to taste.
I always use Bernstein’s Italian Dressing because it has a really good flavor that I like and it works great in this pasta salad.

Smokin J
04-22-2009, 12:26 PM
LOL I have that DVD too!
HAHA.......Me too!

StrikeEagle
04-22-2009, 04:11 PM
Are you looking for hot sides? Cold sides?

What main dish menu items do you want to match up with?

Help us, help you.

Ashmont
04-22-2009, 04:29 PM
HAHA.......Me too!

Hahahaha I dont.... Saw it here I think!

barbefunkoramaque
04-22-2009, 04:40 PM
are you serious, you won't give something out because,,,,, he's to close to you. :twisted:

I just farkin with you,,, waiting for the call to you, from the bag phone.:icon_shy

Hey the guy seems like he knows what he's is talkin' bout! Seriously.

jtwisted13
04-23-2009, 02:19 AM
Ouch twisted..... that is 13 ingredients...

simple yet delicious...... I already do a variation on Surprise potatoes. so this is too similar and what I have already works, I am really looking for something other than taters and beans. Something already proven to be a catering favorite would fit the bill!

yup i know its 13 ingredients..lol

13 is my lucky number...day my daughter was born on

i am not big for potato salads but when i make this one..well i like it alot

Bigdog
04-23-2009, 06:13 AM
I make a cold broccoli salad. From what I see, looks like you need a cold cole slaw to add to the mix. For me, the beans, slaw and taters is the holy trinity of sides.

C Rocke
04-23-2009, 09:14 AM
3 Cheese Green Chili Rice Bake - A sort of layered rice casserole.

tony76248
04-23-2009, 09:17 AM
I am thinking towards going with a slaw or pasta salad, a few folks have sent me their recipes. I thank you all for that. I just try to avoid mayo if I can.

I went over to Restaurant Depot yesterday and wandered the aisles for a while debating on which way to go. Mostly I looked at your input from a catering point of view. I'll let ya'll know what I ended up adding.

Special thanks to Marsha for my peaks at her menu and her emails, I like several of the options on her menu and will look to incorperate some variations of what she has listed.

My menu sort of goes like this:

some variation or all depending on what the customer wants or what I have time for.

ABts, sometimes smoked bologna (cubed with honey mustard cayenne sauce)

Ribs, PP, Brisket & Chicken (thinking about adding my stuffed pork loin with a tex-mex flair)

Beans, Taters (adding slaw or pasta salad)

Texas toast, pickled japs, pickles, sliced onion (white and red)

Peach cobbler and brownies

ushi
04-23-2009, 07:10 PM
Try playing around with your favorite easy bread recipe... especially ones that you can convert to rolls well.... You can't deny the greatness of fresh rolls/bread. People love that stuff. Unless it's completely out of the theme, I generally knock out a a couple tins of various flavors of focaccia with the food I am serving. If the dough is already made, all it takes is a little sweat over an oven to knock a few batches out. I've never really worked a job of more than 40 or so.. so I can't say if it's viable for the big gigs. I bet if you rent one of those crazy commercial kitchens I'm sure you can knock a ton out in one of those schnazzy ovens.

tony76248
04-24-2009, 07:52 AM
Try playing around with your favorite easy bread recipe... especially ones that you can convert to rolls well.... You can't deny the greatness of fresh rolls/bread. People love that stuff. Unless it's completely out of the theme, I generally knock out a a couple tins of various flavors of focaccia with the food I am serving. If the dough is already made, all it takes is a little sweat over an oven to knock a few batches out. I've never really worked a job of more than 40 or so.. so I can't say if it's viable for the big gigs. I bet if you rent one of those crazy commercial kitchens I'm sure you can knock a ton out in one of those schnazzy ovens.

Just easier to go with Texas Toast, stick with what works. The best part about texas toast is that I do absolutely nothing, therefore it costs me just $1.72 a loaf, therefore simple, yet people love it. I talked with a guy yesterday who owns an established BBQ joint and he recently hired a pastry chef, initially folks loved the seven types of specialty bread he was producing as well as the fancy desserts, but in the end, texas toast, hot rolls and peach cobbler is king in Texas BBQ joints.

StrikeEagle
04-24-2009, 10:36 AM
Okay, since you said you wanted a pasta salad as an option, I'll post up the recipe I mentioned earlier. Again, this is a client favorite that I get requests to serve all season long.

It scales very well. (I've done this dish for a party of 150 with no trouble scaling the recipe.) The other advantage of this dish is that is does NOT create service concerns as would a mayo or dressing based salad. This makes it a perfect 'cold' side dish even for outdoor events in the heat of summer.

Tortellini Pesto Salad

Serving Size : 24

Preparation Time: 0:15 Start to Finish Time: 0:45

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3 pounds Cheese Tortellini -- Fresh Pasta
16 ounces Pesto sauce -- Fresh or Packaged
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes -- drained and chopped
1 cup pine nuts -- toasted
1/2 pound prosciutto -- cooked and chopped
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook tortellini per the package directions, drain and allow to cool.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to combine.

Chill for 20 minutes or overnight.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NOTES : If using dry tortellini, reduce the amount by a third (1/3) to half (1/2).

The prosciutto is an option for this dish. It is an modification I made from the original recipe. I like to add it for the salty flavor that it brings to the salad. However, it can add significantly to the cost. Costco or Sam's often have diced prosciutto available at a VERY good price. I have found this product is PERFECT for this recipe.

My local Sam's carries oil packed sun dried tomatoes in 32 oz jars at a great price.

Vac-Pac pine nuts and freeze for extended shelf life.

Marsha
04-24-2009, 10:38 AM
I am thinking towards going with a slaw or pasta salad, a few folks have sent me their recipes. I thank you all for that. I just try to avoid mayo if I can.

I went over to Restaurant Depot yesterday and wandered the aisles for a while debating on which way to go. Mostly I looked at your input from a catering point of view. I'll let ya'll know what I ended up adding.

Special thanks to Marsha for my peaks at her menu and her emails, I like several of the options on her menu and will look to incorperate some variations of what she has listed.

My menu sort of goes like this:

some variation or all depending on what the customer wants or what I have time for.

ABts, sometimes smoked bologna (cubed with honey mustard cayenne sauce)

Ribs, PP, Brisket & Chicken (thinking about adding my stuffed pork loin with a tex-mex flair)

Beans, Taters (adding slaw or pasta salad)

Texas toast, pickled japs, pickles, sliced onion (white and red)

Peach cobbler and brownies


Any time! Yes, some of our sides are easy to make on-site only because of our bbq trailer. Heck, we have even made the garlic mashed potatoes on-site. We use the the turkey fryer to boil the potatoes, drain them, put them back in the big pot and use a long paint stirring attachment on the cordless drill to mash the taters.

Marsha
04-24-2009, 10:39 AM
Okay, since you said you wanted a pasta salad as an option, I'll post up the recipe I mentioned earlier. Again, this is a client favorite that I get requests to serve all season long.

It scales very well. (I've done this dish for a party of 150 with no trouble scaling the recipe.) The other advantage of this dish is that is does NOT create service concerns as would a mayo or dressing based salad. This makes it a perfect 'cold' side dish even for outdoor events in the heat of summer.

Tortellini Pesto Salad

Serving Size : 24

Preparation Time: 0:15 Start to Finish Time: 0:45

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3 pounds Cheese Tortellini -- Fresh Pasta
16 ounces Pesto sauce -- Fresh or Packaged
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes -- drained and chopped
1 cup pine nuts -- toasted
1/2 pound prosciutto -- cooked and chopped
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook tortellini per the package directions, drain and allow to cool.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to combine.

Chill for 20 minutes or overnight.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NOTES : If using dry tortellini, reduce the amount by a third (1/3) to half (1/2).

The prosciutto is an option for this dish. It is an modification I made from the original recipe. I like to add it for the salty flavor that it brings to the salad. However, it can add significantly to the cost. Costco or Sam's often have diced prosciutto available at a VERY good price. I have found this product is PERFECT for this recipe.

My local Sam's carries oil packed sun dried tomatoes in 32 oz jars at a great price.

Vac-Pac pine nuts and freeze for extended shelf life.

Ohmigosh, that looks so delicious! Thank you for sharing!!!

Marsha
04-24-2009, 10:40 AM
My husband gets mad at me because I don't really have a recipe for my pasta or potato salad, etc. I just add the ingredients and go by taste and how it looks. Oooops! But, I can give you an idea of how I make the pasta salad.

These are the ingredients:
-Curly pasta
-Bernstein’s Italian Dressing
-Shredded Parmesan cheese
-Chopped fresh Italian Parsley
-Shredded Carrots (I buy pre-shredded from the produce section, or from our wholesale produce guy)
-Chopped Bell Peppers (you can use green, red, yellow for more color)
-Marinated Artichoke Hearts
-Kalamata Olives, pitted
-Sun-dried tomatoes, julienne (sometimes I substitute the sun-dried tomatoes with fresh grape tomatoes)
-Sliced Squash (crookneck and/or zucchini)
-Sliced mushrooms
-Chopped red onion
-Garlic Salt
-Pepper


I cook the pasta then put it in a container and add some of the italian dressing to it and mix it in. Just add enough dressing to coat the pasta. Then refrigerate to let it cool. Chop up all the vegetables etc. into small bite sized pieces. When the pasta is cool mix in all of the vegetables and add more italian salad dressing. Mix in the shredded parmesan cheese, add garlic salt and pepper to taste.
I always use Bernstein’s Italian Dressing because it has a really good flavor that I like and it works great in this pasta salad.

I forgot to mention I always cook the pasta 'al dente' so it is less likely to get soggy.

jbrink01
04-24-2009, 10:53 AM
Smashed Potatoes:
10# Baked Red Potatoes
Add Whole Milk until you have nice lumpy mashed potaoes, sorta tight.
Add 1 TBSP Minced Garlic, 2 1/2# Sour Cream, handful of chives, pint of condensed cream of chicken soup, couple big handfuls of diced bacon, 1 1/2# shredded colby jack. Use 1# cheese in it, 1/2# on top. Bake til brown and delicious.

tony76248
04-24-2009, 01:11 PM
Any time! Yes, some of our sides are easy to make on-site only because of our bbq trailer. Heck, we have even made the garlic mashed potatoes on-site. We use the the turkey fryer to boil the potatoes, drain them, put them back in the big pot and use a long paint stirring attachment on the cordless drill to mash the taters.

If you like garlic mashed potatoes, try adding lobster base as well.... I think the word that then comes to mind is "buddabing"

StrikeEagle
04-24-2009, 02:18 PM
If you like garlic mashed potatoes, try adding lobster base as well.... I think the word that then comes to mind is "buddabing"

A word of caution on using 'hidden' shell fish ingredients. Those with iodine allergies can have a reaction, sometimes severe, to foods with shell fish components. Granted this is a somewhat minor risk, but an anaphylactic episode happening at an event you cater can never be viewed as a good thing. Iodine allergies are the second most common acute food allergy behind only sensitivity to peanuts.

I avoid the use of peanut oil in foods we prepare for parties for the same reason. For me, it's not worth risking it. Even beyond the legal entanglements that could result, the bad "press" would do nothing good for my company image.

Marsha
04-24-2009, 02:36 PM
Wow, both of those potato dishes sound excellent. Lobster base... wow!

I don't use milk or cream in my mashed potatoes. Butter and sour cream, plus some roasted garlic, garlic salt and pepper. Maybe some parsley for a bit of color.

Now I am hungry!

puff
04-24-2009, 06:28 PM
I make a cold broccoli salad. From what I see, looks like you need a cold cole slaw to add to the mix. For me, the beans, slaw and taters is the holy trinity of sides.
Cold broccoli salad is a hit with me too BD.
What's your recipe?

LMAJ
04-26-2009, 10:12 AM
I have to hang out in the catering forum more often - these are great recipes. I don't cater but these will be hitting my table soon. Thanks for sharing folks.

I will share one that is a hit at my house - and is easy. You can zest it up to fit the bill.....


Summer Pasta Salad


16 oz elbow macs
16 oz frozen corn (thawed)
16 oz frozen peas (thawed)
28 oz. diced tomatoes (drained)
6 scallions (chopped)
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Dressing
¼ cup olive oil
6 Tbsp white wine vinegar
3 cloves minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

This started out as a dip – just omit the peas and macs.
It was delicious with the frozen veggies but better with fresh in the summer.
Also have done it with roasted garlic and like the results.

Marsha
04-26-2009, 10:45 PM
I have to hang out in the catering forum more often - these are great recipes. I don't cater but these will be hitting my table soon. Thanks for sharing folks.

I will share one that is a hit at my house - and is easy. You can zest it up to fit the bill.....


Summer Pasta Salad


16 oz elbow macs
16 oz frozen corn (thawed)
16 oz frozen peas (thawed)
28 oz. diced tomatoes (drained)
6 scallions (chopped)
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Dressing
¼ cup olive oil
6 Tbsp white wine vinegar
3 cloves minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

This started out as a dip – just omit the peas and macs.
It was delicious with the frozen veggies but better with fresh in the summer.
Also have done it with roasted garlic and like the results.

That sounds like a yummy salad, too. Thanks for sharing! :-D

Marsha
04-26-2009, 10:49 PM
Tomato Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:



3 large, firm tomatoes
2 cucumbers
1 small onion, red or yellow
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice, depending on taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh italian parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Finely chop tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. Toss with remaining ingredients and gently mix well.

Serve chilled. Serves 4.

watertowerbbq
04-27-2009, 08:09 PM
I have to hang out in the catering forum more often - these are great recipes. I don't cater but these will be hitting my table soon. Thanks for sharing folks.

I will share one that is a hit at my house - and is easy. You can zest it up to fit the bill.....


Summer Pasta Salad


16 oz elbow macs
16 oz frozen corn (thawed)
16 oz frozen peas (thawed)
28 oz. diced tomatoes (drained)
6 scallions (chopped)
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Dressing
¼ cup olive oil
6 Tbsp white wine vinegar
3 cloves minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

This started out as a dip – just omit the peas and macs.
It was delicious with the frozen veggies but better with fresh in the summer.
Also have done it with roasted garlic and like the results.

would this be a dish where you don't have to worry about refrigeration like you do with mayo based salads?

watertowerbbq
04-30-2009, 09:12 PM
bump

StrikeEagle
04-30-2009, 09:59 PM
would this be a dish where you don't have to worry about refrigeration like you do with mayo based salads?

Was going to let Marsha answer, but I'll jump in since she seems to be away.

The only ingredient that would give cause to worry at all would be the cheese. Since it's cheddar, thus fairly aged depending on the specific type you use, I would not be too worried about letting this sit out for an hour or two. (ambient temp would be the watch note on this. I might adjust sit out time for very hot days.) Everything else would be safe to have out for two plus hours without much worry.

As you point out, mayo based salads are a nightmare for catering. IMHO this salad would have nowhere near the challenges of say a traditional mayo based potato salad. Which is a dish I simply avoid at all costs during the summer.

Marsha
05-04-2009, 02:26 PM
Was going to let Marsha answer, but I'll jump in since she seems to be away.

The only ingredient that would give cause to worry at all would be the cheese. Since it's cheddar, thus fairly aged depending on the specific type you use, I would not be too worried about letting this sit out for an hour or two. (ambient temp would be the watch note on this. I might adjust sit out time for very hot days.) Everything else would be safe to have out for two plus hours without much worry.

As you point out, mayo based salads are a nightmare for catering. IMHO this salad would have nowhere near the challenges of say a traditional mayo based potato salad. Which is a dish I simply avoid at all costs during the summer.

Yep, I would only really worry about the cheese in this dish.

For salads/sides that I want to keep cold on a buffet line I normally use a big plastic bowl half filled with ice, then I place a smaller metal bowl inside the big one and put the salad,etc. in there. The metal will transfer the cold from the ice to the food more efficiently than if you put a smaller plastic bowl inside the big one.

watertowerbbq
05-04-2009, 08:47 PM
Marsha / Strike Eagle,
Thanks for the insight.

tony76248
05-07-2009, 07:52 AM
I have gotten some good ideas on new signature sides. Of course I will vary them for the Grilla Signature.

Thanks again!

tony76248
05-28-2009, 09:21 AM
I wanted to follow up on the new sides we added to the menu. I do appreciate all of the input that I received on this post and via PM's and emails and I will use the pasta salad Marsha suggested in the future.

I ended up adding a slaw and a corn salad and both were huge hits. Both were inexpensive and easy to make. They also allowed me to add my signature.

SLAW

The slaw i used had an asian flair. I appreciated the simplicity of this recipe, as in I made it up at the super market. I didn't want to use mayo and I wanted something original that I hoped folks would like. Being from TX we normally don't use the vinagar based slaw, so I sort of winged it. Initially I tried to emmulate the KFC slaw(cream and sugar based), but all of the recipes I tried just didn't get me there. Perhaps it was me trying to adjust to make a small sample batch. Anyway, I ended up with the asian flair instead.

10lbs pre-shredded slaw (Sam's $3.29ish for 5lb bag)
1 bunch fresh cilantro ($.33 at wallyworld)
1 -1/2 bottles KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing($1.59 bottle)

Allow to sit in the fridge or cooler for a few hours, really changes the flavor and allows the dressing to absorb into the slaw. I would say this is a requirement.

This made up two nicely filled half pans and I could have used about another 4 pans. I had planned on using more dressing but the amount I used seemed about right to me. Great price at less than $10 for both pans. One thing I may change in the future is to chop the slaw a little finer, don't know why, just a thought.

Corn Salad

I chose a cold corn salad because it was easy and it didn't require cooking. I wanted to offer an alternative to the normally heavy BBQ sides too. I also wanted something for the "I only eat chicken crowd". I liked this side because it was colorful and fresh looking. Again, I sort of made this side up on the fly. The hard part for me was not to add a bunch of cilantro and japs because I like them. I use white pepper because it is basically colorless but still offers a lot of flavor, many folks will say they don't like pepper not knowing that it is in the dish. I normally grind my own in an old coffee grinder.

1 large intitutional can white corn (lt looked yellow to me $4)
1 red onion diced ($1)
1 10oz can rinsed black beans ($1)
Garlic to taste
Fresh Cilantro to taste (included the stems)
2 finely minced japs without seeds (came close to adding more)
1 diced red bell pepper ($1 large)
Lime juice
white pepper and salt to taste (can't say it needed much salt, but I like to add it when I use japs)

Less than $10, but only made one 1/2 pan. I could have added diced tomato as well but basically the ingredients I used all had a good shelf life once prepared. I would imagine that there were a bunch of ingredients I could have added, but I think my idea is to keep it simple. The variations to this could be endless based on the ingredients you have available, your location and the season.