Rice Side Dishes Perfect For A Barbecue
Side dishes are more important to a great barbecue meal than most people realize. Sometimes we take things like potato salad and coleslaw for granted. Big juicy steaks and tender chicken wings get most of the attention, but can you imagine a barbecue meal without something like corn on the cob? Sides are there to balance things out and really complement heavier meats so you get a comprehensive eating experience. Recently, rice has been getting more attention in the barbecue world because of how great it works as a side. Rice offers tremendous variety and there are so many ways to prepare it – and that means coming up with endless combinations that will enhance barbecue ribs, grilled pork chops, or perfectly seared fresh seafood. Best of all, rice dishes are easy to prepare with a bit of experience and with time you’ll be able to adapt any recipe into something you can call your own. Here are some of the best rice options that you can add your next barbecue meal.
Hawaiian Style Fried Rice – this is a wonderful aromatic and fragrant dish that takes full advantage of jasmine rice and a key surprise ingredient – pineapple. It mixes texture and taste perfectly for a much lighter rice then you might expect for something that is fried. Best of all, there is plenty of opportunity for adaptations to the basic recipe. You can even use something as simple as luncheon meat or go a more authentic root with traditional Chinese sausage.
Chilled Rice Salad – cool dishes like coleslaw go perfectly with barbecue while balancing out heat in terms of temperature and taste. A nice refreshing chilled rice salad will do the same thing while offering a completely different texture. There are several variations of this particular salad, but most involve simple ingredients reminiscent of a traditional Greek salad.
Classic Rice Pilaf – Rice pilaf goes with almost anything, and for barbecue it can work miracles. A light fluffy version of this dish will complement anything from a thick quality cut of steak to a juicy chicken that has been a roasting on a rotisserie for two hours. It has flavor of its own, but not enough that it will overpower any main meat you serve alongside it.
Cheese and Broccoli Rice – macaroni and cheese makes a great side dish for a barbecue, and so does this rice variation. When prepared perfectly, it offers a nice creamy texture that goes well with your main dishes. This is something you can make from scratch, or you can buy prepackaged versions that you can whip up in five minutes – we won’t tell anyone if you don’t!
Lobster Risotto – this might be a bit of wishful thinking considering the expense and time needed to prepare a perfect lobster risotto. But for argument sake, if you want a new way to experience the perfect “surf and turf” – this is definitely an option that will have your guests drooling. Imagine fresh lobster in a slow cooked risotto served alongside a charbroiled steak right of a home style charcoal grill.
Rice and Beans – there are many popular barbecue restaurants that have this as an option for a side, and there’s no reason why you can’t either. Just keep in mind this combination is extremely filling and you don’t want to accidentally load up on too much before you have a chance to sample the full menu. This is a dish that is more on the bland side which works perfectly for robust food that is infused with authentic barbecue flavor.
As you can see, there are plenty of marvelous rice options for you to explore. Don’t discount regular white rice or brown rice either. Most importantly, take the time to think about your menu as a whole and try to match components so that you get a full array of flavor. People can be quite picky these days, but they’ll have nothing to complain about when you serve up a wonderful rice option that they never expected.
These ideas come to us from our friends over at gasgrillsandbbq.com, a site dedicated to the love of barbecue food and family meals. You can check them out if you’re on the market for the latest and best gas grills.