The fireworks and the classic recipes for the fourth of July – the way America likes ’em sure takes summer partying to another high. Today marks the Independence day of the United States of America and is celebrated with fireworks, barbecues, parades and lots of partying with food, food and more food.
Food & Fireworks
Food being an essential part of the celebrations on this day, here are some traditional and classic recipes:
Sausage, Potato & Green Bean Packets
smoked sausage cut into 1-inch pieces – 300 gms
baby yukon gold potatoes, quartered – 600 gms
green beans, trimmed and halved – 250 gms
Cajun seasoning – 1 tbsp
unsalted butter, melted and cooled – 2 tbsp
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat. Measure out four 8×8 pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil and set aside.
Combine the sausages, baby potatoes, and green beans in a large mixing bowl. Add the Cajun seasoning and butter and toss to coat everything in the spicy, buttery goodness.
Divide the potato and green bean mixture between the four pieces of foil. Fold each piece of foil up into a tight seal — fold two opposing sides together and then crimp the edges closed.
Set the packets directly on the grill and cook for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Corn on the Cob
ears corn, in their husks – 4
butter and salt, for serving (optional)
Prepare an indoor or outdoor grill for high, direct heat.
Trim the silk from the top of each ear to prevent it from catching fire and burning. Peel away the first layer of husks and remove the stalk end using a serrated knife to expose the bottom of the ear. This will make it easier to slide the ear of the husk, post grilling. (Optional: Peel back a 1-inch section to expose the kernels and char some of the corn.)
Place the corn on the grill, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover, turn, and cook 5 minutes more. Repeat, turning at 5-minute intervals, until the husks are black on all sides and the exposed kernels are charred, 15 to 20 minutes of total grilling.
Remove the ears from the grill and cool for 5 minutes.
Serve with butter and salt.
Classic Potato Salad
waxy potatoes, like red-skinned potatoes – 500 gms
mayonnaise – 1/2 cup
mustard – 1 tbsp
celery, diced – (about 3/4 cup)
small onion – minced (about 1/4 cup
diced scallions – 1/4 cup
parsley, tarragon, or dill, plus extra to garnish
large eggs, hard boiled and diced – 2
Salt and pepper, to taste
Wash and scrub the potatoes. Cut them into large bite-sized chunks. (Alternatively, boil the potatoes whole, then peel and/or dice them after cooking.
Transfer the potatoes to a medium-sized pot. Cover with an inch of water and stir in a teaspoon of salt.
Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat; adjust the heat to keep the water at a gentle simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender all the way through when pierced with a fork, 8 to 12 minutes. Exact cooking time depends on the size of your cubes and the type of potatoes.
Drain the potatoes and rinse them under cool water. Transfer them to a mixing bowl.
Add the mayonnaise and the mustard to the potatoes. Mix well.
Add the celery, shallots, scallions (or herbs), and eggs (if using) to the bowl with the potatoes. Stir until thoroughly combined. Taste a bite of the salad; add salt and pepper to season and more of any of the other ingredients to taste. This recipe is a base template; add more or use less of anything to your taste.
Serve the salad while still warm, or cover and refrigerate for up to a day before serving.
Berry Pineapple Fruit Salad
water – 3 tbsp
granulated sugar – 3 tbsp
fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped – 1 (2-inch) piece
ground cinnamon – 1/8 teaspoon
large pineapple (about 4 pounds), peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes – 1
strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise – 500 gms
blueberries – 250 gms
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Combine the water, sugar, ginger, and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, whisking until the sugar dissolves.
Remove from the heat and steep for 20 minutes. Cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the fruit.
Place the pineapple, strawberries, and blueberries in a large bowl and gently toss to combine.
Remove and discard the ginger from the syrup. Just before serving, drizzle the syrup over the fruit salad and gently toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Toss once more before serving and top with torn mint leaves.
Grilled Pork Chops with tangy mustard sauce
For the glaze:
packed light brown sugar 2 tbsp
Dijon mustard – 1 tsp
apple cider vinegar or bourbon – 1 1/2 teaspoons
For the brine:
water – 3 cups
packed light brown sugar – 1/4 cup
kosher salt – 2 tablespoons
bay leaves – 2
cloves garlic, smashed – 2
ice cubes (12 ounces) – 1 1/2 cups
boneless pork chops (1/2- to 1-inch thick) – 4
Place all the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl and stir to combine; set aside.
Place the water, brown sugar, bay leaves, and garlic in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Pour into a large bowl. Add the ice cubes to cool the brine until it is just slightly warm to the touch; this should take about 5 minutes. Once cooled, submerge the pork chops in the brine and set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the grill.
If using a gas grill, heat the grill to high.
Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Place the pork on the grill and cover. Do not move the chops until they have grill marks and have cooked enough to lift easily, about 3 minutes. If the meat sticks to the grill, continue to cook for another minute until it releases easily.
Flip the pork chops and brush with the glaze 2 to 3 times as the chops finish cooking.
Transfer the pork to a clean cutting board or plates. Rest for 5 minutes before serving.