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Come Party With Me: 4th Of July - Menu I

When it comes to planning a 4th of July menu you have two options. You can either create a meal with all red, white, and blue foods, or serve classic all American barbeque dishes. I've decided to go with the latter by offering guests a delicious setting of summery eats. To start, warm up store bought gourmet sausages for mini hot dogs in croissant dough buns. Next, platter sliced raw vegetables like carrots, red peppers, and broccoli with ranch dip made from a Ranch seasoning packet mixed with sour cream. Add a homemade nacho cheese sauce to these easy grocery store items and you're set! After the appetizers offer a caprese salad and thick cut grilled french fries as part of the main course. For these tasty recipes,

Nacho Cheese Sauce
From Bobby Flay

1 pound pasteurized cheese (recommended: Velveeta)
8 ounces shredded Cheddar
8 ounces shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes with green chilies (recommended: Ro-tel)
1 tomato, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ancho or chipotle (or other) ground chile pepper
Kosher salt

  1. Combine all ingredients in a double boiler and stir until melted. Season with salt, to taste.
  2. Serve warm in a crock or fondue pot with crunchy tortilla chips for dipping.

Serves 8-10.

Caprese Salad
From Big Oven

4 large tomatoes
1 package Fresh mozzarella cheese packed in water
4 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
16 leaves Basil sliced
1 1/2 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Slice tomatoes about one quarter inch thick and arrange on a plate.
  2. Slice thin discs of mozzarella cheese and place on each tomato. Top with a sprig of basil.
  3. Mix olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Pour over tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4.

Seasoned Grilled Fries
From Bobby Flay

3 pounds Idaho potatoes
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin

  1. Cover the potatoes with cold water in a large saucepan and cook until almost tender. Drain and dry the potatoes.
  2. Cut each potato lengthwise into quarters. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and brush both sides of the potatoes with oil.
  3. Combine the chili powder, salt, and cumin in a small bowl, and sprinkle over the potatoes.
  4. Grill the potato wedges for 3 to 4 minutes per side until golden brown. Serve with ketchup.

Serves 6 to 8.

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