What Every BBQ Needs!
A well planned BBQ takes the stress out of hosting and sets a perfect scene for your guests to have a great time with great food and great company.
We've put together all of our best tips and recipes for a BBQ - with grilled Burgers on the menu it’s all about accessories and setting the scene!
Are you looking for the perfect soft and airy burger bun, a dressing to spice your homemade burger up or inspiration for what burger to make? Explore this BBQ collection and start planning your next BBQ!
4 Great Burger Dressings
BLOODY MARY BURGER SAUCE
From one of the world’s best cocktails to one of the world’s best burger sauces, this spicy and refreshing burger sauce incorporates all the best flavors from the classic Bloody Mary into a bold and hot burger sauce perfect for a nicely grilled beef patty!
CHIMICHURRI BURGER SAUCE
Chimichurri is a cold green sauce originally from Argentina. It’s packed with flavors from fresh herbs, chili and garlic and a perfect choice for grilled meat – both steak and beef patties.
TARTAR BURGER SAUCE
Summer is just the time to try grilled burgers slathered with homemade tartar sauce – it takes a bit of chopping but it’s all worth it.
It’s hard to do a list of favorite Burger sauces without mentioning avocado aioli, that has almost unlimited uses and that’s a safe choice for your homemade burger.
PAIR BEER WITH CHEESE
Beer goes surprisingly well with cheese – better, in fact, than wine, according to many. Beer’s freshness, carbonation and complex taste notes make it perfect for serving with a cheese platter.
Beer and cheese? What’s that all about? Like most people, you may be under the impression that cheese should only be served with red wine. Or perhaps you’ve heard the experts singing the praises of white wine as the best accompaniment to cheese, because its crisp sweetness brings out the flavours.
But don’t despair. Anything goes. Fortunately, delicious cheeses can be enjoyed with all kinds of beverages.
But you really should try having beer with cheese, because they actually make a great pair. In fact, they are a much better match than most might think.
Beer has a highly complex taste and refreshing carbonation. The carbonation works very well with cheese, as it cuts through the denseness and richness of most cheeses. Many beers also have a sweet, slightly caramelized taste that goes very well with somewhat heavier and riper cheeses.
Beer Cheese Pairing Guide
RULES OF THUMB WHEN PAIRING BEER AND CHEESE
When you begin exploring the pairing of beer with cheese, a world of experiences awaits. And surprises as well. So experiment and find out what suits your personal tastes. Do you like the cheese and beer to taste similar? Or do you prefer divergent flavours that complement each other? Both can be quite delicious.
There are some rules of thumb worth remembering when pairing cheese with beer:
- Mild cheeses go well with mild beers. A beer should never stifle the cheese with alcohol, strong flavours or a lot of hops.
- Riper and richer cheeses can handle a stronger beer and a higher alcohol percentage. A full-bodied, matured cheese often goes well with heavier beer types, like pale lager, brown ales or even stouts. You might also give a heavy barley wine a try.
- Sharp blue cheeses can handle a heavy black stout, which can otherwise easily smother other flavours. Heavy, fruity beers also go well with blue cheeses. Hoppy beers tend to take the edge off blue cheese and bring out their floral notes and acidity.
- Fruity beers in general go well with cheese. So bring out your Belgian cherry beer and other beers with prominent fruitiness. Your cheese and beer-loving guests will thank you for it.
HOPS DO INTERESTING THINGS TO CHEESE
Many beers are spiced with hops. Hops are herbs that add bitter and fruity notes to beer. And it goes particularly well with cheese, where the bitterness and floral notes can lift the cheese to new heights.
Serve a hoppy lager or India Pale Ale paired with blue cheese – and experience the floral notes as they unfold. Or try a sharp cheddar with a hoppy lager, which highlights the acidity in the cheese. The right hops can also bring out flavours in a creamy blue cheese reminiscent of elderflower.
KEEP IT SIMPLE WITH A CLASSIC PALE LAGER
Fancy microbrews can be interesting to pair with various cheeses. But you can also make do with less. A relatively simple pale lager from just about any brewery actually goes quite well with many cheeses.
Soft cheeses, like Castello® Brie or other white mould cheeses, will bring out the caramel notes in a pale lager. And in aged cheeses – both hard cheeses and semi-soft, danbo-style cheeses – a classic pale lager really brings out the caramel notes and the sharpness.
WANT TO HOST A BEER & CHEESE TASTING?
Regardless of whether you’ve found a selection of unique beers to serve with your cheeses or if your local supermarket is your supplier, the aim is to taste and enjoy.
- Start by tasting the cheese and beer separately. Take your time and notice the various taste notes. Are there bitter notes or sweet? Caramel? Fruity? Floral?
- Then notice what happens when you taste the cheese and beer together. Take a small bite of cheese. Smell it, too. Notice all the flavours. And smell the beer before sipping it. How do the tastes combine? Do they harmonize or challenge each other? Do you taste anything new, which neither the cheese nor the beer had on their own?
- Try different combinations, if there are several beers to choose from. Which beer do you think goes best with your cheeses? What do your guests think? Does everyone agree? If not, then there’s a good basis for an interesting and entertaining discussion.
And now, just lean back, enjoy and have fun. Because that’s what beer and cheese is all about. They create a lovely, relaxed atmosphere – not to mention fantastic taste sensations.
Cheers and bon appetit!
This article was written by Mikkel Bækgaard, freelance food writer and food blogger / www.mikkelsmadblog.dk.
Sharp blue cheeses can handle a heavy black stout, which can otherwise easily smother other flavours. Heavy, fruity beers also go well with blue cheeses. Hoppy beers tend to take the edge off blue cheese and bring out their floral notes and acidity.
As a perfect fit for Castello Creamy Blue we chose English Barley Wine. Serve it with grilled pineapple and walnuts and you are in for a treat!
Mild cheeses go well with mild beers. A beer should never stifle the cheese with alcohol, strong flavours or a lot of hops.
For our Castello Brie, we picked a Belgian Saison - serve it as an appetizer with grilled white asparagus, lemon, parsley and parma ham.
5 SERVING TIPS
KEEP YOUR BACKYARD BBQ CASUAL AND COOL WITH THESE 5 SERVING TIPS!
1. COCKTAIL PITCHERS
Get people talking and mingling with delicious cocktail pitchers – whether it’s a homemade iced tea, a pretty Margarita or a Cranberry & St. Germain pitcher, the drink section becomes part of the décor!
2. ICED FRUIT
Ice cubes with blueberries, strawberries or raspberries and scoops of frozen melon will be an extravagant addition to any party! Iced fruit can be prepared the day before and takes very little effort.
3. CUTLERY & NAPKIN IN ONE
Help your guests tackle the buffet and wrap napkin and cutlery in one – and if you want to avoid doing the dishes, choose wooden or plastic cutlery!
4. DRESSINGS IN JARS
Make your own Burger dressings and serve in jars on the buffet. Your guests can actually see what they are eating and you avoid having a buffet of plastic bottles!
5. FRIES IN PAPER CUPS
Fries are a perfect match for your homemade grilled burgers – sprinkle with salt and fresh thyme and serve in paper cornets for a crafted look!
HOW TO PAIR COCKTAILS WITH CHEESE
Cheese and cocktails go very well together. The complex flavours in cheese contrast nicely with cocktails, which can be sweet, sour, thin or creamy, depending on what best suits the cheese. And the various base spirits bring out different aspects of the cheese.
Who doesn’t love a nice cocktail? Refreshing, strong, sour, sweet or bitter – and with plenty of complexity in flavour.
And there’s an extra bonus for cheese lovers – as cocktails and cheese are a perfect match. With the wide variety of cocktails, you have an accompaniment that can be tailored perfectly to match your cheese platter.
Like cheese, cocktails vary greatly, and not all cocktails suit all types of cheese. It is therefore a good idea to test different cheeses with the cocktails you want to serve. This will give you an overview and let you plan which cheeses to pair with each cocktail.
CONSIDER YOUR BASE SPIRITS
The most important element of any cocktail is the spirit that forms its base. Whether a cocktail is based on vodka, gin, rum or whisky, they each influence the taste of the cocktail in their own way, just like they each influence the taste of the cheese.
Different types of spirits go best with different types of cheeses, where they bring out certain flavours. For example:
Gin is distilled with lots of herbs and berries, and a good gin has a fresh taste with many herbal and floral notes. And it is these floral notes that go so well with cheese – from mild white mould cheeses to stronger cheeses, like a lightly smoked cheese, an aged gouda or even a blue cheese. Goat’s milk cheeses are also good paired with gin.
Rum is sweet and distilled with sugar, so rum (and good tequila, too) works well with sweeter cheeses – as well as with cheeses that are typically served with sweet condiments. This includes hard, aged cheeses, like Gouda, Emmental-style cheeses and even blue cheese.
Whisky and cognac also tend to have sweet and burned notes, which are perfectly suited to flavourful and slightly sweet cheeses. However, mild cheeses also pair nicely with both whisky and cognac.
Vodka doesn’t really have much flavour, and so it is often whatever the vodka is mixed with that determines the type of cheese to pair it with.
Taste your base spirit first before deciding what to pair it with. For instance, the various types of gin all taste very different – some are dry, while others are sweet and very floral. And this will influence both the taste of the cocktail and which cheeses it works with.
SWEET, SOUR OR BITTER – HEAVY OR LIGHT?
While the base spirit has a strong influence on your cocktail, another important factor is how you mix it. Sweet cocktails bring out certain qualities in cheese, while sour or bitter cocktails bring out others.
The consistency of your cocktail also has a strong influence on how the cheese is experienced, as cheeses vary greatly in consistency. Some are soft and creamy, others hard and crystallised, and some practically crumble in your mouth.
The same applies to cocktails, which can be thin, creamy or frothy, just as they can be refreshing or very intense.
You can successfully exploit these contrasts. A creamy cheese can be accompanied by a less creamy cocktail, while a firm and crumbling cheese goes well with a frothy drink, for instance one containing egg whites.
SOME EXAMPLES OF GREAT WAYS TO PAIR CHEESE AND COCKTAILS
The world of cocktails is as diverse as the world of cheeses. And there are thousands of combinations just waiting to be tested.
To help you get started, here a few suggestions for good pairings.
GIN & TONIC
This British-Indian classic comes in countless variations, with different types of gin and tonic. G&T generally goes well with soft and creamy cheeses, like brie and other white mould cheeses, where the gin brings out the floral notes in the cheeses and the bitterness of the tonic rinses the palate. However, Castello® Creamy Danish Blue cheeses also take on lovely floral notes when paired with G&T.
A gin version of the classic sour, where lemon juice adds acidity and egg whites add froth to the cocktail, making it perfect for serving with both a mild Castello® Brie and aged gouda.
The preferred cocktail of Mad Men’s Don Draper. Strong and sweet with an old-fashioned masculinity, it combines aged notes from bourbon with orange notes from orange rind and Angostura bitters. An Old Fashioned actually makes an excellent accompaniment to a wide range of cheeses, where its sweetness and caramel notes go well with everything from mild white mould cheeses to firm, aged cheeses to Castello® Traditional Danish Blue cheese.
Another sweet bourbon cocktail with a bitter kick, this time from Vermouth. Like an Old Fashioned, a Manhattan is also a perfect match for a wide array of cheeses. It makes particularly good company for the somewhat sweeter, mature cheeses. But it also goes well with Catello® Extra Creamy Blue, as the sharp taste of the mould becomes somewhat muted, which suits some people’s tastes.
This article was written by Mikkel Bækgaard, freelance food writer and food blogger / www.mikkelsmadblog.dk.