Barbeque for the Groom

Barbeque for the Groom

Do you like to cook and entertain? Want to do something special for your fiance? How about throwing a party for your groom and his best friends? Easy and fun, these simple recipes guarantee a successful event.

Plan your party during football, basketball or baseball season. If your fiance is into car racing, plan it on race day. Hopefully the weather will be beautiful so that you can set up some cornhole boards outside for the guys. Cornhole is all the rage in the south. It’s a lawn game where players toss bags filled with dried corn or dried beans in a raised platform with a hole in the far end. It’s very popular during tailgating season. Cornhole boards also make great gifts for groomsmen and ushers. The boys can watch the big game, play cornhole during half-time, feast on a delicious barbeque supper and spend quality time together just doing “man stuff.”

If you actually think about it, the groom gets the least amount of attention when it comes to wedding festivities. He doesn’t get a big diamond ring. He doesn’t get to have a shower or buy a trousseau. And, in most cases he’s wed in a rented tuxedo. Make this party all about HIM! You love him. He deserves to be spoiled a bit, too.

A barbeque is the perfect meal for an afternoon with friends. Make a tray of Pickled Pimento Cheese Canapes for the guys to snack on while they sip Carolina Marsh Tackys. If you don’t have time to put the canapes together, set out a bowl of Pickled Pimento Cheese with crackers or sturdy potato chips and let the guys serve themselves. When it’s time for supper, lay out a spread of Cornbread Salad, Herbed Parmesan Biscuits, Three Cheese Macaroni, Southern Pulled Pork Barbeque and Lemon Slaw. Everything can be made a day or two ahead and heated just before serving. A fun way to serve the barbeque is to set up a Rebel Yell station. Or, for a personal touch, you can put the yummy concoction together and pass them out to your fiance’s guests. They won’t even have to move from in front of the television if the game is getting exciting.

Groom’s cakes are a uniquely southern tradition. Typically the cake is decorated to represent something that the groom loves. I’ve seen then covered with peanut butter cups, decorated with miniature golf ball candies and even shaped like a guitar. Sometimes the cake is served along with the wedding cake. Most of the time it’s served at the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. If a groom’s cake is not part of your wedding plan, this party is a great place to serve it. Everyone will love this delicious Malted Milk Ball Groom’s Cake. It, too, can be prepared a day or two before serving.

Add in a couple of your guy’s favorite appetizers, his favorite cocktail or beer and something special that you and he both like to eat or drink and you’ll have all the makings for a great event. The best part is that you’ll be creating a special memory just for him. Have fun!

p.s. Send me your catering questions! I’ll do my best to answer your questions and address your concerns. Contact me directly through my website.

Barbeque for the Groom

Pickled Pimento Cheese Canapés
Carolina Marsh Tacky
Cornbread Salad
Herbed Parmesan Biscuits
Three Cheese Macaroni
Southern Pulled Pork Barbeque ~ Rebel Yell
Lemon Slaw
Malted Milk Ball Groom’s Cake

Pickled Pimento Cheese Canapes

Pickled Pimento Cheese Canapés
Pickled Pimento Cheese tastes best if prepared a day in advance, allowing time for flavors to blend.
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced finely
4 tablespoons grated onion
1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained
⅓ cup sweet pickle relish
1 cup mayonnaise, or enough to blend mixture smoothly
Crostini or water crackers
Mix first six ingredients together in a large bowl. Adjust amount of mayonnaise to make mixture spread easily. Spread cheese filling on crostini or serve with water crackers. Serves 12.

Carolina Marsh Tacky

Carolina Marsh Tacky
Bourbon and ginger beer teamed with fresh lime — the perfect cocktail for a southern gentleman!
The Carolina Marsh Tacky is a rare breed of horse, native to the lowcountry of South Carolina. This recipe is adapted from another equestrian cocktail named the Kentucky Mule.
1½ ounces bourbon
½ ounce fresh lime juice
4 ounces cold ginger beer
Lime wedge
Fill a cocktail glass with ice. Add bourbon and lime juice; top with ginger beer. Garnish with fresh lime. Serves 1.
To make a pitcher: 1½ parts bourbon, ½ part fresh lime juice and 4 parts ginger beer

Cornbread Salad

Cornbread Salad
In the South, we eat cornbread with everything. Count on a southerner to invent a salad made with cornbread! The name doesn’t give this delicious dish justice! Give it a try — it’s much better than you might think!
1 (16-ounce) package cornbread mix
1 (1-ounce) package ranch dressing mix
1½ cups sour cream
1½ cups mayonnaise
2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped green onion
2 (11-ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
Prepare cornbread according to package directions. Cool, crumble, and set aside. Whisk the dressing mix with the sour cream and mayonnaise. Crumble half of the cornbread in the bottom of a large serving dish. Top with half the beans. Layer with half of the tomatoes, green pepper, green onions, corn, bacon, and salad dressing mixture. Repeat the layers. Top with Cheddar cheese. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving. Serves 12.

Herbed Parmesan Biscuits

Herbed Parmesan Biscuits
These herb and butter biscuits are addictive!!
1 (16-ounce) can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
¾ stick butter, melted
½ teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate biscuits and divide into quarters. Add dill weed, onion, parsley, and cheese to melted butter; mix well. Roll each biscuit piece in butter mixture to coat well and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden. Serves 4 to 6.

Three Cheese Macaroni

Three Cheese Macaroni
A new look at the ultimate southern comfort food! This dish never goes out of vogue. For extra-special dinners, try using a different pasta shape.
1 (16-ounce) package elbow macaroni
¼ cup butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
½ cup milk
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup blue cheese crumbles
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons butter, melted
⅓ cup dry bread crumbs
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Melt ¼ cup butter in a large heavy saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat. Stir in three cheeses, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and dry mustard. Stir until cheese melts. Pour mixture over pasta and mix well. Place macaroni and cheese mixture in a lightly greased 2-quart casserole. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. In a small bowl combine melted butter with bread crumbs. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over macaroni and cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until casserole is bubbly and bread crumbs are toasted. Serves 6 to 8.

Southern Pulled Pork Barbeque

Southern Pulled Pork BBQ
Oven cooking bags are available in your local grocery store on the aisle with aluminum foil and parchment paper. They’re great for baking ham and turkey, too!
1 large oven cooking bag
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 (3 to 4-pound) pork Boston butt pork roast
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup bottled barbeque sauce
Hickory smoked salt (optional)
Assorted bottled barbeque sauces
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place an oven cooking bag in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Add 1 tablespoon flour to bag. Season pork with salt and pepper. Place pork in oven cooking bag; pour barbeque sauce over the meat. Seal bag with tie. Place pan in oven, allowing room for the bag to expand during cooking without touching the heating elements, walls or racks. The bag should not hang over the pan. Bake for 8 hours. Remove from oven and let meat rest in the cooking bag for 45 minutes. Remove pork from cooking bag and shred; discard fat, skin and bone. Season with hickory smoked salt, if desired. Serve with assorted bottled barbeque sauces. Serves 6 to 8.

Rebel Yell

Rebel Yell
This is a fun idea for a groom’s party, rehearsal dinner or even for a wedding!
Pint-sized Mason jars
Three Cheese Macaroni
Southern Pulled Pork BBQ
Lemon Slaw
Layer pint-sized Mason jars with hot macaroni and cheese, warm barbeque and top with slaw. Any recipe for macaroni and cheese, barbeque and slaw will work – even store bought! The Mason jars will keep the food warm for about 45 minutes. Another option is to serve the barbeque and slaw with soft flour tortillas. Easy to prepare and fun to eat!

Lemon Slaw

Lemon Slaw
The bright flavor of fresh lemon pairs perfectly with tangy Southern BBQ!
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 (16-ounce) packages shredded coleslaw mix
Chopped fresh Italian parsley, to garnish
Combine mayonnaise with lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl until blended. Place coleslaw mix in a large bowl; pour dressing over and toss to coat. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Garnish with chopped fresh Italian parsley. Serves 6 to 8.

Malted Milk Ball Groom's Cake

Malted Milk Ball Grooms Cake
One of the yummiest chocolate cakes I’ve ever eaten! Don’t let the whipped ganache frosting intimidate you. It’s actually very easy to make.
For the ganache frosting:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 (12-ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the cake:
1 (15.25-ounce) dark chocolate cake mix
Vegetable oil
For the decoration:
1 pound dark chocolate covered malted milk balls
1 pound milk chocolate covered malted milk balls
Heat whipping cream in a microwave-safe bowl until cream begins to steam, but not boil. Whisk in chocolate chips until chips are melted and mixture is dark and well combined. Place bowl in refrigerator for 3 hours. In the meantime, prepare cake mix according to package directions, making two 8-inch layers. Cool cakes on a wire racks. When completely cool, split both layers making 4 cake rounds. Remove ganache from the refrigerator and beat with an electric mixer until frosting is light and fluffy. Place 1 cake layer, cut side up, on a serving platter and spread with frosting. Place the second layer, cut side down, and spread with frosting. Repeat with remaining two layers. Frost the top and sides of cake with clean, smooth strokes. Decorate cake with alternating dark and milk chocolate malted milk balls. Press candy firmly into frosting. Place cake, uncovered, in the refrigerator until the icing sets. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serves 12.

Cuisine, Food Styling and Table Design: Catering by Debbi Covington

Catering by Debbi Covington

Photography: Susan DeLoach Photography


Link to purchase Celebrate Everything!:
Link to column “Everyday Gourmet”:

Debbi Covington is a chef, caterer, cookbook author and food columnist from Beaufort, SC. She has written two cookbooks, Celebrate Everything! and Dining Under the Carolina Moon and also writes the food column “Everyday Gourmet” in Beaufort’s Lowcountry Weekly newspaper. Debbi has been featured as a “Master of Entertaining” in Southern Living magazine and her recipes have been published in multiple cookbooks including Southern Living’s Best Kept Secrets of the South’s Best Cooks and The Best of The Best of South Carolina. Her cuisine has been photographed for Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. She has been voted “Best Caterer” in Beaufort, SC since 2010. Debbi has a passion for cuisine and delights in creating seasonal and locally inspired menus.

Celebrate Everything!
Gold Medal Winner of the 2013 Benjamin Franklin Award

The MUST HAVE cookbook for all new brides! Great wedding gift, bridal party gift or guest book! —- Chef Debbi Covington, author of Dining Under the Carolina Moon, has written a new cookbook! Infused with high spirits and full of delicious recipes, Celebrate Everything! is a delightful book that inspires cooking and entertaining throughout the year with lots of new reasons to eat, drink and be merry! Twenty-seven menus with 190 recipes are included in the cookbook. Some celebrate holidays – with heartfelt traditions to enjoy with friends and family. Some celebrate special moments that just give us an excuse to party! All of the menus include recipes for several courses along with suggestions for appropriate wines or other beverages. The dishes all work together as a complete event, yet there’s room for your imagination. Life is full of happy surprises! Good feelings and good times are meant to be shared with others. This collection will spark your enthusiasm and you’ll look forward to each and every celebration with excitement! Celebrate Everything! is a 216 page hard cover cookbook and features 580 full color photographs by Paul Nurnberg. Signed copies are available directly from the author at

Pickled Pimento Cheese