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July 4 celebrations


LindaK
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For those of us who’ll be celebrating July 4 with backyard bbqs or picnics, it’s time to start planning our menus or the dishes we’ll bring to friends’ potluck gatherings.

I'll be playing sous chef for a friend's big bbq bash. He provides a core menu while the 50+ guests contribute sides and desserts. Over the years, he’s honed the menu to a list of mostly grill-based crowd pleasers—-partisans for each dish would protest if anything disappeared. Here’s his lineup:

Spicy shrimp skewers

Sweet and spicy pork ribs

Grilled squid and shaved fennel salad

Smoked lemon-stuffed whole chickens

“Faruqi burgers”—beef burgers with cilantro, onion, garlic, jalapeno, and a touch of turmeric (named for their creator)

Whole fish steamed with ginger and green onion

Grilled corn on the cob

I’m thinking about contributing a dessert, maybe homemade ice cream sandwiches.

So, what are you cooking or eating on July 4?


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Sounds like a great party, Linda! I bet some homemade ice cream sandwiches will be a welcome contribution.

For our party, I am making:

Korean Spicy Paste Chicken Drumsticks & Thighs (I am starting to like Peter's broiling idea. Is it sacrilege not to grill for the 4th?)

Cucumber salad/quick-pickle with red onions

Cold Sesame Noodles with green onions

I'm telling people to bring sides or salads, so we'll see what turns up. I've already had promises of corn on the cob, salt potatoes and the like.

To drink, we'll have:

Chatham Artillery Punch

Various kegs

I've found that dessert generally goes to waste, so I am not stressing about it. If I have time, I might make a cherry cobbler or some sort of cake.

Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

Check out my adventures, culinary and otherwise at http://corinnawith2ns.blogspot.com/

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I will be bouncing around to various functions so I thought I would share what I am bringing to them. My latest simple cucumber dish described in the cucumber bowl topic is going to two functions. I am currently doing pork butt on the Weber. Not a true smoked beautiful butt, but rubbed with a garlic and oregano paste (fresh on each) and cooked off to the side of the fire for about 3 hours (it is a partial butt). That will be sliced and warmed at the location. I am also doing my new favorite tomato prep of chopped tomatoes, young corn raw off the cob, thin sliced red onion, torn basil, and avocado dressed with the classic Vietnamese dipping sauce nuoc mam cham. I have some nice poached shrimp so I will probably chop them into big chunks and add them as well. Stuffed grape leaves with a non traditional filling as discussed in the young grape leaves topic is also on deck as I am officially obsessed with them. A sweet is up in the air. I am thinking lemon ice cream from Barbara Tropp's China Moon. I know many do not care for the book but it is the only ice cream I have ever made and it was really nice. Having proper lemons with firm oily skin and lots of juice right off the tree probably pushed it to great and my dad's lemons are fitting that bill right now.

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We spent July 3 at my friend Larry's place in New Jersey. He has a grill, which is normal for normal people but not common in Manhattan where I live. So grilling is always a treat for us. We were 8 people with a variety of preferences. We grilled chicken, hamburgers, and steaks. The steaks were assorted cuts I got earlier this week at the launch event for Emeril's new steak line. They were quite good. We also grilled asparagus, boiled corn on the cob, and made a mozzarella-and-tomato salad. Ben & Jerry's was on sale at the local King's so we got a whole bunch of different flavors for dessert. And a whole watermelon, of course.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Just the two of us this weekend, but that wasn't going to stop us from eating as if there was a crowd...

Yesterday, we started off the weekend with steamed lobsters for dinner. To go with them, I grilled local corn and some Vidalia onions, mixed them into bowl of salted, chopped cherry tomatoes, a bit of basil from the garden, olive oil, and a dash of very rich balsamic. The trick is to char those onions to within an inch of their lives...we are a carbon-based life form, after all.

Amazingly, we had a bit of leftover lobster (I tend to buy two 2-pounders, which I know from experience is just a bit more than we can eat comfortably, if we behave ourselves, eat our vegetables, and save room for dessert). So lunch today was lobster salad rolls (only lobster, a little chopped celery, and barely enough mayo to hold it together, thank you) on beautiful brioche rolls from Biga Breads that I found at Verrill Farm, in Concord.

And we were at Verrill Farm to pick up one of their own grass-fed sirloin steaks, which I grilled for dinner tonight. DH made potato salad from a 2002 Cooks Illustrated, using herbs from our garden. I didn't do anything to the steak, except cut it into more manageable portions -- it was huge! It came out great; juicy and flavorful, with a beautiful sear. Dinner took 10 minutes, which was fine with me, because it was really hot today, and I was tired.

Tomorrow I'll do something with the huge radishes I also picked up today -- they're long and thin and look like pink carrots. And there's leftover steak to use for a salad or sandwiches. More tomatoes and corn and onions for more salad; we put it over grilled bread and call it a meal.

Oh, and there's strawberry puree sitting in the fridge, getting cooled down and ready to go into the ice cream maker for sorbet.

DH is watching the Boston Pops right this minute, so I think all in all we have carried out our patriotic duty, at least in the culinary department, pretty well for just two people.

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I like the carry over ideas Lapin- I am also usually just one or two and it is a challenge to get great variety with no waste. Of course I am a lobster hog so I probably would have plowed through all of yours myself :biggrin:

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Well, everything that y'all had sounds a lot more interesting that what we had!

We spent the 4th quietly with friends. Just talk and cards and food! Perfect. There were even some fireworks being set off at a nearby baseball field that we could just see. They provided the burgers, dogs, brats and macaroni and cheese. I did snacks and dessert.

Tortilla rolls ups:

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Filled with bean and cheese dips and topped with cream cheese.

Gingered shrimp:

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Frying cheese w/ honey

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served with pita chips

Fluffy Pink Lemonade Dessert w/ Pretzel crust:

gallery_3331_273_125207.jpg

slice:

gallery_3331_273_13677.jpg

Messy to cut, but it was very light and tart and everyone loved it.

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We had a sausage fest!

Here were the most important things on the menu:July 3 015.JPG

July 3 003.JPG

We got a few dozen pounds of assorted sausage from the Amish store down in Columbus, some incredible rolls, a few pounds of really good hot dogs, my mom sourced a ring of kielbasa from some Polish butcher in Brooklyn. I made a tremendous batch of macaroni and cheese, the Cooks Illustrated way (only, I add Velveeta, along with all the other ingredients in the mornay sauce. Shameless.) A huge batch of red onion sauce, broccoli slaw, chickpea salad, and two kinds of coleslaw. Everyone brought fancy beer. We had Guinness brownies, a fruit tart, more beer, and cupcakes for dessert.

People are still calling and sending emails about the mac and cheese. I wish I got a picture of it, it was a small mountain of the stuff, and I think I could have just skipped all the other sides, and plunked down giant pots of that, and everyone would have been just as happy.

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We spent the day on the 4th at our friends' tennis club on Long Island. No I didn't play tennis. I had a couple of grilled frankfurters for lunch. In the afternoon, by the pool, the club had a Good Humor ice-cream cart roaming the pool area and you could take whatever you wanted. We ate a lot of ice cream. On the way home, driving through Queens, we pulled off in Jackson Heights and grabbed a gigantic, shareable order of bhel puri, two orders of Tibetan momos (one beef, one chicken), and a couple of kulfi pops (one mango, one pistachio with cardamom).

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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:sad: Kim, I'm in tears here; where's the recipe for the gingered shrimp? I tried your cookbook under appetizers, snacks and a couple of other catagories, but I can't find it, and it looks so GOOD! Help, please! TIA

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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These all look great, I would be happy with any of these meals--the lobster rolls and mac and cheese would hit the spot right now.

It's always fun to have a pot luck element to a bbq. The steamed fish this year was a whole sea bass, really delicious. People showed up with lamb kabobs and sausages for the grill, and salads of all sorts--lots of cucumber variations this year. I didn't do ice cream sandwiches for practical reasons--my transportation yesterday was subway and bike, you can imagine trying to pack ice cream sandwiches for that trip--but made brownies and chocolate sauce, and other friends contributed ice cream and berries, so we had brownie sundaes for dessert. After the fireworks and clean-up, we toasted a July 5 birthday at midnight with champagne.

There's a refrigerator full of leftovers, including kabobs and ribs that still need to be cooked, so I'm heading out soon for round 2.


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:sad: Kim, I'm in tears here; where's the recipe for the gingered shrimp? I tried your cookbook under appetizers, snacks and a couple of other catagories, but I can't find it, and it looks so GOOD! Help, please! TIA

I'm sorry, dear! I haven't put it on the site yet - it was a new recipe. I'll let you know when it's on - probably tomorrow. It's really, really easy, too!

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There were just 4 of us for a long, leisurely course-by-course lunch and we decided to swap out something for the usual 4th hot dogs (even though they're from the Romanian butcher), hamburgers and tons of sides. I brought the apps and pasta course, our hosts took care of the rest.

Brushed some New Zealand (olive oil of the month club) olive oil onto slices of bread made from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day and grilled it.

Topped it with ricotta into which I'd whipped raw orange blossom honey from Santa Barbara (an excellent gift), a few drops of orange blossom water and a little fresh thyme.

Penne rigata with a walnut/garlic sauce (thanks, Carol Fields) and some shards of Parm-Reggiano

Grilled turkey breast, which had been marinated in pesto with a light pesto sauce on the side

Grilled asparagus

Grilled pineapple, plums and peaches, served with a little vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce (and a piece of fudgy homemade brownie, if you must)

Started out with a drink from Tony Manuato's Bar Food book (white wine, honey syrup and lime) and switched to a light white from the north of Spain. Go melting pot.

Edited by hsm (log)
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Grilled pineapple, plums and peaches, served with a little vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce (and a piece of fudgy homemade brownie, if you must)

grilled fruit with ice cream, perfect. it's been a while since I've done that. Thanks for the reminder!


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We had 14 guests for the 4th and I got everything done ahead :biggrin:

On the 3rd I smoked a brisket and a small pork shoulder, after 8 hours they got wrapped and put away. Sunday morning they went into a low oven and I made cole slaw, tuna macaroni salad, black bean and corn salad, baked beans with double smoked rib ends and set salsa and chips up. Guests brought...roasted pepper hummus with carrots and peppers ( I added some garden green beans) 2 apple pies, 1 cherry pie, and a chocolate/graham cracker refigerator cake

Soda beer and coffee rounded things up and we kicked the last of them out at 1:15am

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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Well, it was two days ago and I'm still eating leftovers. I made guacamole to serve with red white and blue chips from Trader Joe's. Also homeade lemonade and sun tea(although the sun didn't really shine)I had hamburgers made from a recipe("Outdoor Burgers") in BHG cookbook(the one with the red gingham cover), Hebrew National hotdogs and also tofu pups for vegetarians. I made coleslaw(Susan's coleslaw from Good Housekeeping cookbook) and tried a new herbed potato salad from a booklet of recipes and coupons that came in the mail from QFC. For dessert I made a red, white and blue jello parfait that I got from a recipe in Parade Magazine(I think, might have USA Weekend)) that was a hit last year so I decided to make it again. A friend got me a big bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin the days before and I drank a fair amount of it while I was cooking. It rained here so I ended up cooking on the front porch and we ate inside.We watched The Last of the Mohicans afterwards.

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tuna macaroni salad

tracey

Now that sounds interesting. I have done it more myself before but I guess I am surprised it would work for a crowd. Is it a traditional dish in your circle?

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Hubby and I were sailing on the 4th so we lit the inaugural flame (so to speak) on the new grill on 7/5...tuna steak and sweet white corn grilled...salad of chopped tomato and avocado.

A nice summery meal after a late afternoon round of golf.

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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I made an amazing vegetarian thing - smoked seitan! I know, I know, it sounds weird. But it was like Texas brisket, seriously. I'll post the recipe and a photo soon, when I get my notes together!

really? This would be good to know about. The vegetarians at our bbq get shortchanged. Lots of grilled veggies but nothing else from the grill.

Hubby and I were sailing on the 4th so we lit the inaugural flame (so to speak) on the new grill on 7/5...tuna steak and sweet white corn grilled...salad of chopped tomato and avocado.

A nice summery meal after a late afternoon round of golf.

A sail sounds lovely. Did you pack a lunch or dinner? 7/4 doesn't have to be bbq. I have fond memories of my time in D.C. and planning the picnic dinner to accompany the National Symphony concert on the Capitol lawn before the fireworks. No bbq. Always my mom's potato salad, with eggs AND bacon.


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Hubby and I were sailing on the 4th so we lit the inaugural flame (so to speak) on the new grill on 7/5...tuna steak and sweet white corn grilled...salad of chopped tomato and avocado.

A nice summery meal after a late afternoon round of golf.

A sail sounds lovely. Did you pack a lunch or dinner? 7/4 doesn't have to be bbq. I have fond memories of my time in D.C. and planning the picnic dinner to accompany the National Symphony concert on the Capitol lawn before the fireworks. No bbq. Always my mom's potato salad, with eggs AND bacon.

We bring supplies to make lunch out on the water...couple of types of bread, sliced roast beef and turkey, coleslaw, tomato, chips...snacks when back in dock at the end of the day...no dinner after all that! My parents have a nice boat with a refrigerator so we can load it up with good stuff.

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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tuna macaroni salad

tracey

Now that sounds interesting. I have done it more myself before but I guess I am surprised it would work for a crowd. Is it a traditional dish in your circle?

Tha macaroni was a last moment addition and when I asked my husband if we needed it he requested the tuna version. I was lucky it was early enough to creat an ice/double bowl set up for it. Everyone seemed to take some, there was enough left for a late supper on the 5th after my mom's bbq : )

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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tuna macaroni salad

tracey

Now that sounds interesting. I have done it more myself before but I guess I am surprised it would work for a crowd. Is it a traditional dish in your circle?

Tha macaroni was a last moment addition and when I asked my husband if we needed it he requested the tuna version. I was lucky it was early enough to creat an ice/double bowl set up for it. Everyone seemed to take some, there was enough left for a late supper on the 5th after my mom's bbq : )

It's common around our area, down in this part of NJ. Most barbecues where you'd find macaroni salad, often have tuna mac, or sometimes a tuna version and non tuna version. On the 5th, we went to a barbecue at the bar across the street, it was a basic burger/dog/corn/watermelon affair, but of course there was a huge tray of tuna mac, that disappeared.

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Hey folks --

I made two batches of lemon bars for the 4th... First a batch of Ina Gartens, which while being highly acclaimed online, weren't lemony enough for me, and were a little gummy from all the flour. Then I found this recipe, made it, and they were fantastic. Brought both batches to the BBQ and these were the hands-down favorite...

http://www.aminglingoftastes.com/2008/05/lemon-lovers-lemon-bars.html

Emily

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