It is for a 50th birthday party, including some children, want something to elevate it beyond BBQ or burgers. Thanks!
The original poster is vague about when this event is going to take place and since no location is given, it is hard to say if fresh corn would be available in that person's area at the time of the event.
That said, I don't think corn really "elevates" a cookout which is what the OP was asking about. It's delicious but decidedly standard fare.
Basket of Hawaiian and small rolls. Fruit skewers pineapple chunks, oranges, grapes sprinkled with coconut. Before making food place measure fridge space by placing the empty containets in your fridge that you are going use. This has saved me many headaches.
Dessert a couple 9 x 12 pans of different brownies. Cut with a plastic knife, trust me it works the best! Good luck! BB
There are plentiful ways to go about this but you will need to assess your budget and how much time/effort/manpower you (and any helpers you enlist) want to put into it before the event and during the event.
Tacos are a crowd favorite at my regular football tailgate. I usually grill carne asada, a buddy grills fish.
If you grill something like portobello mushrooms, you can check off the boxes next to vegan, vegetarian, gluten free.
I like tacos at tailgates because they are self-service which makes the labor aspect relatively easy. I just grill meat and some tortillas. Most people around here (SF Bay Area) understand how to assemble a taco.
Other options are ready-to-eat dishes like chili or gumbo.
You can also do a "fancier" meat like grilled ribs or something like pork tenderloins, pork loin roasts, tri-tip or other roast beef.
Naturally, chicken is an easy and affordable option.
Concerning labor, that's something no one here can advise you since we don't know if you have any helpers or not.
Let's use shrimp as an example.
If you do something like kebobs, there's a fair amount of prep work, especially if you want to include things like bell peppers, green onions, mushrooms, etc. to make the kebobs prettier. The presentation is great, but the labor increases.
If you choose to grill or pan fry the shrimp, the prep may be little more than dumping the shrimp, some marinade (olive oil, lemon juice, fresh herbs, chopped garlic) into gallon ziplocks and shaking.
Heck, we usually do a whole roasted pig once a year at our football tailgate. I've seen other tailgates roast whole pigs, so it's not something totally uncommon.
Is it too extravagant or labor-intensive for a 50th birthday? Your call.
Best of luck.
Happy birthday to the guest of honor!
• Pioneer Woman - see food network for her best recipes for a crowd (midwest; country)
• Ina Garten is known for throwing parties both stylish and low on labor (east coast, sophisticated)
• on grilling, Michael Symon has a new book & Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby have old ones (Cleveland, Boston, reliable & goid tasting)
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