Effortless Tips for Al Fresco Dining - Fresh Dish Post from Price Chopper

Effortless Tips for Al Fresco Dining

June 10th 2024
Al fresco dining, an Italian phrase translating to “in the fresh air,” simply means dining outdoors. Whether it’s a casual backyard barbeque, a charming picnic in the park or an intimate dinner under the stars, it’s the perfect way to bask in the warmth of summer. As temperatures rise, indulging in al fresco dining becomes one of the season’s greatest joys – but it does require some planning to ensure your outdoor dining experience is efficient, enjoyable and stress-free.

Outside dining

Grill Veggies Like a Pro

While grilled veggies offer tender-crisp textures and delicious smoky flavors, they require a few tips and tricks to cook just right. Choose varieties that can withstand the grill’s heat, such as zucchini, potatoes, asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower. Brush veggies with olive oil or marinate before grilling to add flavor and prevent sticking. Vegetables also vary in how long they cook on the grill – try searing them over high heat, then placing them away from the heat source to finish cooking.

Serve Condiments in Muffin Tins

Carting individual bottles of sauce and toppings to your picnic or barbeque can be a real hassle. Instead, get creative and pour different condiments into separate muffin compartments. Set a serving spoon in each vessel, then cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil between uses. It’s a clever, mess-free way to let guests customize their meals.

Prep in Advance, Serve with Ease

Hosting an outdoor cookout? Do as much prep work as possible ahead of time. Wash and cut fresh fruits and veggies, marinate beef and poultry, and cook whole grains a day or two before your event. This allows you to spend more time enjoying the company of your guests rather than being stuck in the kitchen.

Keep Food Safe & Chilled

When dining al fresco, it’s crucial to keep food at the proper temperature to prevent the growth of foodborne bacteria. Never let perishable items sit in the “danger zone” – between 40° and 140° – for more than two hours or one hour if temperatures are above 90°. Always thoroughly clean and sanitize hands, surfaces and utensils, too. And for an ingenious hack, freeze water bottles instead of bulky ice packs to chill your cooler – when they melt, you’ll have an ice-cold beverage to enjoy.


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