Time to break out the griller and fire up the barby! The 4th of July is just about one of the best excuses for you to gather up some good friends who enjoy eating and just chilling with some great food in celebration of a momentous day in the good ole US of A ! No matter if you’re getting in the mess of a midday parade or if you’re merely watching it from the tube, this is the day to dust out the griller!
Don’t ask me , but for some reason barbeques on the 4th of July just tastes much better. Nothing like the great American backyard BBQ weekend with beers and ales in the cooler and god’s gift to carnivores marinating in a dish of some secret sauce. This could range from monstrous racks of ribs, dinosaur sized chicken parts, half a cow of burgers, wieners or sausages and thick juicy slabs of steaks. And then of course, you’ve got those sweet fish fillets, perhaps even a whole fish you’ve caught your favourite fish monger …shrimps, mussels, clams, crab – err, can you take any more of this?
A proper backyard barbecue calls for a little of everything for your guests. Not only does it allow your guests to enjoy the food without being limited with their choices, but it adds color to the occasion as well. Make sure to address each marinade properly according to the meat your soaking it in. The marinade alone can kill the main star of the buffet table if you’re not careful. The wrong combination of ingredients may toughen the meat more than it should tenderize it, so be mindful of recipes.
Once you’ve got that sorted out, a BBQ can’t be what is meant to be without an array of mouth watering side dishes you can keep piling onto your plate! Oh, yeah… you know you won’t be able to help yourself from coming back for seconds and thirds for that bowl of creamy mashed potatoes. I love baked beans just as much as those twice stuffed baked potatoes . Often times, the table will have a choice between a green salad, a slaw, and a fruit salad. You can either make your own dessert apart from a fruit salad or maybe… just purchase a yummy looking pie at your favourite bakeshop and top it off with some vanilla ice cream for an authentic all-American pie ala mode!
Keep in mind that this celebration doesn’t call for pure kitchen slavery. Some of these things you can pre-cook a day or two before the actual BBQ party and rid yourself of cramming for time and getting stuck in a time pressure rut on the day itself leaving you exhausted before you’ve even managed to sit down and eat.
If you’re planning on a 4th of July BBQ … or any BBQ weekend with friends, map out a good plan of attack to allow yourself the luxury of entertaining your guests and enjoying the company rather than being too pooped out to party!
Here are some of my favourite BBQ sides I never get tired of. Everyone loves a good crisp Waldorf on a summer day. You may enjoy it as is if you’re on a meatless diet or take advantage of it’s no fuss prep on an ordinary day and throw in some chicken chunks for a light lunch! I don’t think a BBQ is complete without some good slaw and a hot German potato salad!
Happy 4th of July America!
1 pound(s) (boneless, skinless) chicken breasts
salt and pepper
.75 cup(s) water
1 crisp red apple
1 green apple
.75 cup(s) chopped celery
12 ounce(s) (fat-free) vanilla yogurt
.5 cup(s) (reduced-fat) mayonnaise
.25 cup(s) (chopped) toasted walnuts
4 cup(s) (shredded) lettuce
- Lightly season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In large skillet, combine chicken and 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook chicken for 8 to 12 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain; set aside to cool.
- Core 1 crisp red apple and 1 green apple; cut apples and chicken into bite-size pieces.
- In large bowl, combine chicken and apples with celery, yogurt, mayonnaise, walnuts and shredded lettuce; mix well. Serve immediately.
1 (6-inch) corn tortilla, cut into thin strips
Nonstick cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
3 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup sliced radishes
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange tortilla strips in even layer on nonstick baking sheet. Spray strips with cooking spray and sprinkle with chili powder. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until strips are crisp.
- .Combine cabbage, carrots, radishes, corn and cilantro in large bowl. Combine mayonnaise, lime juice, vinegar, honey, cumin, salt and pepper in small bowl. Add mayonnaise mixture to cabbage mixture; toss gently to coat. Top with baked tortilla strips.
HOT GERMAN POTATO SALAD
4 large eggs
1 pound bacon
1 medium head escarole
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1.Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and chop.
2.Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil; cover, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.
3.Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. Reserve bacon drippings.
4.Place potatoes in skillet with reserved bacon dripping, fry until heated through. Add escarole, bacon, eggs and vinegar. Cook until escarole becomes wilted and serve warm.
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