Although I don't consider myself the most patriotic person, I love a good 4th of July celebration! With its warm weather, barbecue dinner, and fireworks finish, chances are you enjoy the nation's birthday party, too. If you haven't decided what to serve your family and friends, consider whipping up a meal that is all-American.
Start things off with finger-licking-good chicken wings. The sweet and spicy sauce is so simple it can be made with items you already have in your pantry. Next move on to a beloved classic: a bacon cheeseburger with all the fixings. No backyard party is complete without several stellar sides, so plate up a generous helping of creamy potato salad.
A platter of plump in-season heirloom tomatoes drizzled with olive oil rounds out the menu. Are you enticed by the sound of these dishes? Check out the recipes when you
- 16 chicken wings, with the two joints attached, tips removed
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup hot sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- Make a slash on the inside of the chicken wing joints without cutting through the bone and in a few other places.
- In a large, shallow baking dish, combine the ketchup with the mustard, hot sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar. Add the chicken wings and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Light a grill. Remove the chicken wings from the marinade, leaving some of it on them, and reserve the remaining marinade. Grill the wings over a medium-hot fire, turning and basting them with the reserved marinade, until nicely charred and cooked through, about 30 minutes.
- Stop basting during the last 5 minutes of grilling and discard any remaining marinade. Serve the wings hot or at room temperature.
- Meats, Appetizers
- North American
- 2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 6 ounces bacon, chopped
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 slices cheddar cheese
- 4 sesame-seed hamburger rolls, lightly toasted
- 1 1/2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- 8 thin slices tomato
- Mayonnaise, for serving
- Ketchup, for serving
- Mustard, for serving
- Pickles, for serving
- Place the diced chuck in a large bowl.
- Set a 10-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp and most of the fat has been rendered, 7 to 8 minutes.
- Add the onions to the pan and cook until they are softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute longer. Add the thyme and toss to combine.
- Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture over the diced chuck. Drizzle with the Worcestershire, and season with the salt and pepper. Toss gently but thoroughly to combine. Cover and set aside to marinate, refrigerated, for 1 hour.
- Assemble a home grinder according to the manufacturer's instructions, using a medium die for grinding. Grind the meat mixture and then gently form it into 4 patties, being careful not to overwork it. Alternately, use a food processor to grind the meat in batches. Form gently into four patties. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
- Preheat a grill to medium, and lightly oil the grate.
- Remove the patties from the refrigerator and place them on the grill. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Then turn them over and place 2 slices of the cheddar on each burger.
- Cook for another 7 to 8 minutes for medium-rare to medium, or until the burgers are cooked to the desired degree of doneness. Place a burger on the bottom of each of the 4 toasted buns. Dress with the lettuce and tomatoes, and add mayo, ketchup, mustard, and pickles as desired. Serve immediately.
- Main Dishes, BBQ
- North American
- 2 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes
- 2 large eggs
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 bunch sliced scallions, white and green parts
- 2 tablespoons drained capers
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickles with 1/4 cup juice, about 2 pickles
- 1/2 small red onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 bunch dill, chopped
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Put the potatoes and eggs into a big saucepan of cold salted water. Bring to a simmer. After 12 minutes remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and let cool. Continue cooking the potatoes until a paring knife poked into them goes in without resistance, about 3 minutes longer. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them cool.
- Reserve some scallion greens and capers for garnish.
- Meanwhile, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, pickles and their juice, onion, remaining scallions and capers, parsley, and lemon juice in a bowl large enough to hold the potatoes
- Peel the cool eggs and grate them into the bowl.
- Stick a fork into the potatoes and lift them 1 at a time out of the colander. Break up the potatoes by hand into rough chunks, add them to the bowl and toss to coat with the dressing. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil before serving.
- Potato, Salads
- North American
- 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, preferably a mix of colors and sizes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- With the tip of a paring knife, remove the stems from large tomatoes and slice them 1/4 inch thick. Leave grape or cherry tomatoes whole.
- Divide the tomatoes among individual plates, drizzle with the oil, and sprinkle with the salt.
- Vegetables, Side Dishes