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Help with menu for July 4th

We've had outdoor parties in the past few years whenver July 4th falls in the middle of the week and we can't get away, but what we've found is that we are busy cooking and refilling drinks while our guests just mingle (and enjoy themselves). Well, we've figured out the drink part but now we need help from you folks for ideas (and recipes) for food we can cook but not grill while our guests are there (so we can have some fun too). Thanks in advance for all of your help.
Let me add that there will be about 40 people there.

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  1. Perhaps you could roast a big pork loin (or whatever other cut you like) in advance. Slice or shred the meat and serve it with an assortment of fruit salsas, like pineapple or peach. It'd be just fine at room temperature and could make great sandwiches if served with Hawaiian bread rools or sweet potato rolls.

    1. city chicken was a cookout/picnic standby for midwestern summer holidays when i was a kid. it's good hot or cold. it probably falls into the retro category as it was the '70s when i lived in the midwest.

      1 lb. veal in 1" cubes
      1 lb. lean pork in 1" cubes
      fine dry bread crumbs
      1 slightly beaten egg, mixed with 1 tsp. water
      salt and pepper
      wooden skewers
      1/4 c. oil

      Alternate veal and pork cubes on the sticks. Dip in bread crumbs. Then in egg mixture. Then again in the bread crumbs. Brown on all sides in hot fat in a heavy skillet. Cook on medium heat. Add seasonings. Add a little water. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

      the recipe above is not the one i use, but is fairly typical of city chicken recipes. this is just the first one i hit on with a google search. google around for other examples.

      1. What about crockpot carolina style pulled pork sandwiches w/ cole slaw and potato salad?

        http://www.recipezaar.com/116173

        This is an excellent red, white and blue potato salad:

        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

        1 Reply
        1. re: chowser

          the potato salad is fun, a great party food that will get people to talk/ask about it

          the crockpot pulled pork -- not so much. Now, don't get me wrong, in the winter, when only the true diehards head to the grill/smoker the crockpot will tide me over, but the 4th is like "outdoor cooking for all red-blooded Americans", I'd much rather have veggies that were grilled outdoors ahead of time and serverd cold, or kabobs, or satay. anything that is at least "kissed by the grill"....

        2. Big platters of roasted veggies & fruit would go a long way

          1. I bought some boneless shortribs, and because the kitchen was hot, rather than turn on the oven I boiled them for 2 hours then grilled them with barbecue sauce basted on.

            I'd never done that before because boiling beef sounded icky, but it was good and much simpler than grilling to actually cook meat. The fat was rendered away, the meat was tender and beefy, and the barbecue sauce and grill removed any boiled taste.

            Unlike steak or hamburger, you could rewarm this or keep it hot and waiting.