Home > Chicago, meat, sides > Graduation Cookout

Graduation Cookout

Potato Salad

I graduated! With friends and family in town from all corners of the country, we hosted a cookout the night before graduation. I didn’t take any pictures of the food since I was so busy prepping, watching soccer and hanging out with friends and family. Instead, I’ll just give you a list of food we served with links and comments:

  • Rosanne Cash’s Potato Salad: I doubled the recipe and we had more than enough for our 20+ guests. I had never made potato salad before (love potato salad but its not really a staple for the West Coast cookout) but it seems like everyone in the Midwest has an opinion about what should or shouldn’t go into a potato salad. I used red potatoes, omitted the onions, added some creole seasoning and used both dill and sweet butter pickles (because that’s what was in the fridge). Next time, I would add some bacon. Otherwise, this recipe is pretty awesome as is…not too mayonnaisey, which is always my fear.
  • Grilled Corn
  • Grilled Korean meats from H-Mart
  • Pesto Pasta Salad: Used whole wheat pasta and added tomatoes and mushrooms.
  • Slow Cooker Pulled Pork: This is such an easy way to feed a lot of people with minimal effort! Only two ingredients to throw into a slow cooker and all you have to do later is shred the pork and throw in some BBQ sauce. I had intended on making BBQ sauce from scratch but I discovered a few bottles in the fridge and figured it would be wasteful not to use it. I used 4 pounds of pork shoulder but definitely could have made more (there were no leftovers).
  • Cole Slaw: I’m not usually a big fan of cole slaw but it goes so well with pulled pork (and we needed some veggies).
  • Fresh Pineapple: Since my Dad was in town, I bought three pineapples for him to carve up. Normally, it is too much work for me (well, I’ve never attempted it)…but I do love fresh pineapple…and now I know how to choose good ones, too!
  • Freezer Cookies: Between the crawfish boil and the graduation cookout, all of the cookie dough hoarding paid off. We had delicious fresh-baked cookies (ginger snap, oatmeal peanut butter, snickerdoodle, oatmeal chocolate chip) without any of the effort required!

And of course, I couldn’t have done it without the help of my best girlfriends who all flew in for my graduation. THANK YOU!!

Potato Salad

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