How To Throw A Great Backyard BBQ Bash

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Jennifer Lewis-Hall:
And ‘tis the season of outdoor entertaining, our Jason Lee spoke to culinary expert Gail Simmons who shared some secrets for throwing a great backyard bash.

Jason Lee:
Gail Good Morning. It's summer barbecue season so where do we get started?

Gail Simmons:
Well there's so many great things you want to think about when your planning your summer grilling and summer barbecuing. I love to impress my guests, but I also want to keep it easy. So I have a bunch of little tricks and tips for you today that will make your summer entertaining flawless. Are you ready?

One of the first things that I love to do is make sure I get a cocktail in everybody's hand. If you want to do an alcoholic and nonalcoholic version that's always my go to, but do one signature drink so that you're not running around.

Today I'm making a charred melon twist. I have charred grapefruits to give them a smokey flavor which I think really speaks to this trend I'm seeing everywhere of infusing smoke into things like cocktails and desserts. So it also goes great with obviously grilled food. I've charred grapefruits, ruby red grapefruits, and I'm going to take the juice from them and pour it right into cocktail shaker. I'm then going to add some fresh cilantro which makes it really herbaceous and delicious. Muddle that up a little bit and then I'm going to top it with Pure Leaf sweet tea. I love Pure Leaf because it is made from real tea leaves and it always is going to give you the best flavor. I believe in realness and I want to make sure that all my ingredients are real as can be. So put that together. I'm going to add a little bit of ice, shake it up and strain it, and then garnish with another cilantro leaf. I've also rimmed this glass with some smoked salt. It's sort of a play on a margarita, but that smokiness again really enhances the grilling theme. Garnish with a fresh cilantro strig and you're good to go.

Another tip that I love is I'm always about cooking with ingredients that are seasonal, that are easy, and that are bright in color. Because the more color the better it is for you. The fresher the food. So here is my grilled salmon. What's great about the salmon is I'm serving it on a bed of Asian greens with a little cucumber salad and what I think is the best tip is to infuse as much flavor as possible. I've marinated it first in unsweetened tea, some ginger, chilies, garlic, and that's really going to pack tons of flavor and freshness into the salmon itself. So that when I grill it, it's so simple to do and always looks impressive.

For dessert I like seasonal things like fresh berries, maybe a fresh mixed berry shortcake, a little sweet cream, some pistachios which also pairs really well with the raspberry Pure Leaf sweet tea.

So that's it. Those are my tips. Keep it fresh and simple this summer and you'll never go wrong.

Jason Lee:
Wow. Gail that all looks and sounds fantastic that drink especially. I cannot wait to try that. Thanks for being with us this morning. And Eye Opener continues.