Whether you are seasoned biker or simply have friends with Harley’s, a sophisticated biker-themed bash is a fun way to spend a spring or summer afternoon – especially when the grill menu includes succulent, spicy baby back ribs and steamy packets of crisp-tender tangy vegetables. Here is everything you need to know – from dÃ©cor to games – to throw the best Biker Babe bash on the block.
The Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Grilling 2 cookbook has a delectable array of grilling recipes and party themes for delicious and fun outdoor get-togethers. For the Biker Bash, Lee suggests a buffet is the way to go. Gather your friends – clad in biker black attire – around a hot grill and gleaming Harley and let the biker games begin.
BIKER BABE BASH ESSENTIALS
Place Settings: Set your tables with sleek black and white tableware and biker-centric place cards. Lee suggests chic black and white toile plates paired with square black chargers, black handled silverware and black, fanned napkins to make a sophisticated place setting. For unique place cards, glue a row of three dice to the front and back of a playing card, write the name of each guest on a card and stand by each plate.
Tablescape: Match the shiny Harley chrome by using silver serving platters and serving ware, glasses and a cake stand with silver stems, silver or glass candlebras bearing tapered black candles and a shiny silver silk remnant as the table cloth.
Games: Entertain guests with inexpensive black and white tic tac toe boards, poker chips, playing cards, chess games and bowls filled with dice. Games are a quintessential party must and they make nifty party favors for your guests to take home when the party is over.
Menu: A sophisticated party deserves a succulently stellar menu. Serve baby back ribs and vegetable packets alongside glasses of BV Coastal Estates Merlot, another delicious but economical red wine or even wine spritzers. For your guests that prefer a beer, let them bring their own craft brews. For a sweet finale, buy or make white or chocolate cupcakes and ice with a contrasting chocolate or cream cheese frosting. Continue the black and white theme by decorating the cupcakes with black and white striped or polka-dotted candles. Lee suggests accenting the cupcake frosting with almond extract for a fab flavor boost.
GRILLING RECIPES FOR THE BIKER BABE BASH
BUFFALO BABY BACK RIBS
This is a recipe worth its effort! Serve these fiery ribs – simmered low and slow over fragrant hickory chips – with a side of blue cheese or ranch dressing for dipping. Be sure to set out extra napkins, these ribs should be shamelessly eaten by hand.
3 racks pork baby back ribs
1 lemon, halved
2 (1.6 ounces each) packets McCormick buffalo wing seasoning mix
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons McCormick ground black pepper
1 teaspoon McCormick cayenne
1 (12-ounce) bottle of Franks Red Hot buffalo wing sauce
Blue cheese or ranch dressing
Celery sticks (optional)
1. Remove thin membrane from the back of ribs. Rub ribs with cut lemon and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine buffalo wing mix, garlic powder, pepper and cayenne. Sprinkle seasoning over ribs and pat in. Cover ribs with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for 1 to 3 hours.
3. Soak 2 cups hickory wood chips in water for at least one hour. Set up grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (no heat source under ribs). Let ribs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
4. Drain wood chips. Add some of the soaked wood chips to the smoke box if using a gas grill or place chips on hot coals if using charcoal. Place ribs on rib rack on hot grill over drip pan (or place ribs, bone side down, directly on hot grill over drip pan). Cover grill. Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Rotate ribs around rack every 30 minutes. If using charcoal, add 10 briquettes and a handful of soaked wood chips to each pile of coals every hour. If using a gas grill, add a handful of soaked wood chips to the smoke box every hour.
5. About 20 minutes before ribs are done, remove ribs from rib rack and place, meat side down, on grill. Generously brush with wing sauce and stack ribs over the drip pan. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn ribs and brush with additional wing sauce and restack. Cook 10 minutes more or until tender. Remove from grill and cut into portion sizes.
6. Serve hot with extra wing sauce, dressing and celery sticks.
Indoor Method: Prepare ribs as directed (steps 1 and 2). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place ribs, bone side down, on a wire rack in a shallow roasting pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in oven for 1 hour. Remove ribs from oven and carefully drain fat from roasting pan. Continue baking ribs, uncovered, for 30 to 45 minutes more or until tender, turning and brushing occasionally with wing sauce during the last 20 minutes of cooking. Cut into portion sizes and serve with extra wing sauce, dressing and celery sticks.
TUSCAN VEGGIE PACKETS
Your veggie-loving guests will enjoy opening a steamy packet of crisp-tender tangy vegetables cooked on the grill.
Ingredients for Tuscan Basil Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup Newman’s Own olive oil and vinaigrette dressing
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Heinz chili sauce
1 teaspoon McCormick Italian seasoning
Ingredients for Veggie Packets:
1 (8-ounce) package presliced Portobello mushrooms
1 (8-ounce) package Earth Exotics baby zucchini
1 (8-ounce) package Earth Exotics baby squash
1 orange bell pepper, seeded, cut into strips
1/2 of a red onion, slivered
1. Set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Oil grate when read to start cooking. Combine ingredients for vinaigrette. Toss vinaigrette with the vegetables and divide vegetables among six 12-inch-square pieces of foil.
2. Fold together top and bottom edges of foil to seal and roll in sides of foil. Place packets on grill and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender, turning once. Remove and open packets to allow steam to escape. Serve hot.
Indoor Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare vinaigrette and packets as directed. Place packets on a baking sheet and bake in oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serve hot.