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4th of July, What are you planning?

I am thinking of what to cook over the 4th of July weekend. Thinking of BBQ Dry Rubbed Pork Ribs and BBQ Chicken; also thinking about a stricktly seafood menu such as Seafood Sausage with tomato cream sauce, Lobster Risotto, BBQ Grilled Mahi Mahi and Jumbo Shrimps with Yellow Pepper Cilantro Pesto. What are you planning or what are your All Time Favorite July 4th Recipes?

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  1. We'll be attending our usual potluck grill-out at a friend's apartment, and she's asked me to bring devilled eggs, made the way she's so crazy about. That's basically just egg yolk and the wasabi mayonnaise from Trader Joe's all mashed together, instead of the more elaborate traditional dry mustard, plain mayo and a dash of Tabasco. What's also cool about using the wasabi stuff is that the filling comes out a delicate green, so the traditional sprinkle of paprika on top really pops out.

    For the rest, I expect to have a burger, maybe a couple of hot dogs, and probably some takeout fried chicken...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Will Owen

      I have a jar, I'd like to try your recipe or is that it what you've listed?
      But if you see this....scallion or anything else? And I do love the green color, what about some pickeled ginger or kimchee? I'm making myself hungry.

      My traditionals, are always made with lots of yellow mustard and vinegar, salt and lots of cracked pepper, and plain mayo. The house loves them this way so I usually stick to the recipe I've used forever. I would love to try your version, we have a nabe that hates mayo, so we try to make him happy...

      1. re: chef chicklet

        Pretty much just what's listed, which is why it feels so much like cheating! Really, the hardest part is peeling the eggs - I always leave mine out on a shelf anyway, and I try to stock up a couple of days before I need them, so by the time they're ready to boil they've shrunk inside their shells a bit. Then when the just-boiled eggs are dropped in ice water they generally peel like little hard-shell tangerines!

        As for the devilling part, I just put the yolks in a bowl with a big spoon of the wasabi mayo and start mashing with my old cooking fork. Get the stuff nice and non-lumpy and then add more mayo until you get a moist-but-not-runny paste. Add salt and pepper as wanted. Just for grins, I sprinkle Spanish smoked paprika on top - that always surprises people who're used to flavorless paprika!

    2. Deviled eggs (from Ana Sortun's Spice)
      Mario Batali's charred sweet corn fregola
      Tomato & melon salad with ricotta & fresh herbs
      Marinated skirt steak, on the grill OR za'atar chicken
      Blueberry pie

      1. We go to a pot luck also and there is usually fried chicken in several permutations from Juan Pollo to El Pollo Loco to the Colonel to Albertsons to home made.

        Personally, I am making bacon, lettuce, tomato pasta salad but there will be a groaning board of potato and macaroni salads, desserts, etc. Maybe some ribs, hot dogs, etc.

        2 Replies
        1. re: laliz

          I should add, I have been attending this gathering for at least 20 years and have learned to plan to bring something basic. Green salad, pasta salad, baked beans, fruit salad, chip and dip. Not the day or the group for anything but "traditional" 4th of July pot luck food.

          1. re: laliz

            Could you please give us your recipe for BLT pasta salad? I have seen this made with potatoes but not with pasta so I am curious. Thanks!

          2. I'm planning the 3rd of July, rather than the 4th, since we'll be traveling. Feeding 2 Brits and 4 Americans, so not too traditional, but still pretty american...

            Grilled tri-tip and turkey breast. (maybe just one, I haven't shopped yet)
            Cornbread panzanella
            Creamed corn or grilled corn off the cob, depending on how ambitious I'm feeling
            Something with asparagus for the Brits, who are enamoured with the stuff.
            Grilled pineapple & peaches with homemade ice cream and caramel sauce. Or cherry pie.
            Oh, and maybe some proscuitto-wrapped figs to nibble on, since I have fresh figs and no other ideas what to do with them.

            For the 4th proper, I'm just bringing cookies and sweets, hopefully to include homemade marshmallows and graham crackers for s'mores.

            3 Replies
            1. re: cyberroo

              I just finished the graham crackers. If anyone else is a freak like me, the "Campfire S'mores" recipe on epicurious is from French Laundry and yields good, chewy marshmallows and yummy graham crakcers, although they're a PITA to roll out.

              1. re: cyberroo

                Love the cornbread panzanella (been loving the normal panz), would you use corn bread croutons or cornbread cut into cubes (seems like that would fall apart though)?

                1. re: lexpatti

                  I use a slightly dense cornbread with a little cheese in it that I cut into strips and grill. If you make it in the morning, it's just stale/solid enough in the afternoon to hold together. (I hope - it's been a year since I've made it)

              2. We're going to the neighbors for an annual bbq. We here on my court rotate holidays, Halloween and Christmas being mine. This will be a swim fest, with kids, and lots of friends, maybe a big dog or two. I'm positive there will be lots of great food, as always. I however would love to bring something, they always have different really great food and lots of it, but I would love to contribute something. A nice side, or even a dessert (or both) so thanks for the thread, I was just thinkng about this morning!

                Tell me more about this seafood sausauge! OMG your menu sounds terrific bb!

                Also just wanted to share with you some of the things they had at their last bbq that I really enjoyed.
                Cheddar Cheese biscuits - for noshing these were fantastic (think Red Lobster)
                Warm German Potato Salad ( I couldn't get away from this stuff, it was wonderful)

                8 Replies
                1. re: chef chicklet

                  The Seafood Sausage is very elegant, made with a puree of scallops and shrimp, heavy cream, spices, sherry, etc, then rolled in aluminum foil and poached, cut in slices then served with a wine, shrimp broth, tomato, cream sauce. If you want I can attach the recipe.

                    1. re: WineAboutIt

                      It's kind of long but it isn't as complicated as it looks and it is truly worth the results. Here goes:


                      1/2 lb scallops
                      1/2 lb shrimp, reserve shells
                      1 egg white
                      1 c heavy cream
                      salt and white pepper
                      cayenne pepper
                      1 tb sherry
                      1 tb oil
                      1 tb ketchup
                      heavy duty foil


                      1/2 c dry white wine
                      1 shallot, minced
                      reserved shrimp shells
                      1 tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
                      1 1/2 tsp, tomato paste
                      sugar to taste, about 3/4 tsp
                      1/2 c heavy cream
                      w pepper
                      3 tb unsalted butter


                      1. Heat oil in pan and cook 1/4 of shrimp until 3/4 cooked; coarsely chop and set aside.
                      2. puree remaining shrimp and scallops in processor; blend in egg white; slowly add cream; balance with salt, w pepper, cayenne, sherry and ketchup;
                      3. fold in coarsely chopped shrimp and chill 1-2 hours;
                      4.. butter 2-3 pieces of heavy duty foil, spoon mixture onto foil, roll and enclose by twisting ends to seal;
                      5. In large, heavy pot, bring large volume (enough to cover sausages) of water to a simmer;
                      6. add sausages, cover and simmer 20 minutes;
                      7. turn off heat and let sit in water 10 minutes.


                      1. Combine wine, shallots, shrimp shells and simmer til reduces by 1/2; strain and return to pan;
                      2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and sugar and reduce a little more;
                      3. add cream and simmer 5 minutes;
                      4. balance with salt, w pepper and nutmeg;
                      5. puree in blender and return to sauce pan;
                      6. reheat and whisk in butter, 1tb at a time;
                      7. taste and adjust seasoning.

                      Slice sausages and put a little sauce on top. I usually serve as an appetizer with about 3 slices on a small plate.

                      1. re: bakerboyz

                        I was just thinking, to make it even a little more elegant, you could mix in some cooked lobster and/or put a little cooked lobster on top of sausages when serving. And if you were using lobster in the sausage, you could add the lobster body to the sauce when you add the shrimp shells. What an idea! I think I will try that!!

                        1. re: bakerboyz

                          All I can say is wow! I simply must try this!

                    2. re: bakerboyz

                      ooooo yes. I had seen a recipe for seafood sausage once before that looked good, but this seem so much better with the tomato cream sauce. I've done cornish with this sauce, I'll bet its terrrific with the seafood you described. thanks!

                  1. It's Mr GG's birthday on 4 July, and we will be in France, having lunch at a seaside restaurant which just got a Michelin star. Well you did ask.....

                    1. Smoked Scottish salmon on pumpernickel toast points with horseradish, chopped red onion and capers, along with a J&B on the rocks, a Caesar salad with homemade croutons (the leftover pumpernickel bread) , a couple of Lobel's prime dry aged NY strips cooked over real charcoal in my backyard to a perfect medium rare and topped with a dollop of herb butter, stuffed baked potatoes and asparagus with balsamic glaze, accompanied by a bottle of Ridge cabernet. Perhaps some potato rolls and fresh fruit for dessert with a cup of good strong Starbucks home brewed.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: steakman55

                        ok, what time and where? :-) That's my kind of menu.

                      2. I'm using the holiday weekend as an excuse to make buttermilk ice cream (and I'm the only one in the house who eats it) and buttermilk biscuits. Can you tell I just found a wonderful local source for buttermilk?

                        I've also got plans for grilled steak. This is the weekend when I will finally manage to get grilled steaks right. I hope.

                        1. The actual 4th it'll just be the two of us enjoying the day at home, but I plan on smoking some baby back ribs and making some huevos diablos. :) We'll have people over on Sunday for gaming, and that'll be grilled burgers and dogs, and probably cool beans (which is a mexican-style salad I make with kidney beans and avocado and stuff).

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Morganna

                            Pray, do give us the recipe for the cool beans!

                            1. re: ChrisKC

                              I can't seem to find it here, but I'll look for it at home. Basically it's canned kidney beans, chopped onion, chopped scallion, chopped chile (you pick which you like best), chopped tomato, chopped avocado, and crumbled tortilla chips mixed with salt and sour cream and some lemon juice and chilled. We serve it in tortillas with shredded cheese. :) It's a very nice vegetarian (though obviously not vegan) salad for hot summer days, and the beans give it bulk so it's nice and filling. :)

                          2. My plans of this moment are for a general cook out with Salmon, hamburger and hot dogs. tomato salad, and a pasta salad.

                            1. We are doing shrimp and scallop ceviche, Smoked baby backs, grilled candy corn on the cob potato salad , vine ripe tomato salad and lemon cheesecake bars.

                              1. My family and I have been invited to a LAO BBQ on the 4th, there is always sticky rice, Laab, Papaya Salad, Summer Rolls and fried pork spring rolls, Lao sausage, Khao Bune fish soup and grilled chicken Lao style. Plenty of beer and Remy Martin! I love the Lao celebrations they start around 11:00 am and run late into the following morning. Later in the evening we ladies take part in the traditional dancing. The hostess requested I bring chocolate layer cake, so I am making three homemade cakes, small price to pay for so much great food and company! Is this a great country or what!!

                                1. We are hosting a small BBQ tomorrow and having my parents over for the first time for a real dinner (no pressure!). So far we are putting out:
                                  Smoked pork ribs
                                  Peel n Eat Shrimp (hopefully head on)
                                  Potato Salad (Mom's bringing this-huge relief)
                                  Corn on the cob
                                  Salad of some sort
                                  Vegie of some sort
                                  Summer Berry Crostata with Caramel ice cream

                                  I still can't decide on the salad and veg, and am headed to a Framers Market now for inspiration. Would love to do a Little Gem with cherry tomatoes and green goddess, but that lettuce is pricey! I will probably just bite the bullet though, we've lived in our place together since Jan and this is our first dinner party including my parents, tsk, tsk.
                                  For veg I'm hoping to find something fresh and easy. I bought a big bag of fresh peas, but I'll need something to go with them.

                                  Starters will likely be arrancini with a smoky cumin-tomato sauce and the usual, crudite, cheese, salumi platter. (Arrancini's all made in the freezer, so I'm kind of cheating here, but they need to be eaten and it'll be so easy!)
                                  Hopefully we'll get some sun tomorrow so we can hang out in our semi-ghetto, newly tore up backyard with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge-why noone's tried to clean it up before is a real wonder!
                                  Then it's up to the roof for fireworks over both bridges!!!
                                  Please no fog, please no fog, please no fog!!! Yeah, right...
                                  oh and lots of wine!
                                  Happy Fourth everyone!!!!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: rabaja

                                    Wow, that sounds like quite a feast. I'd suggest mint with the peas, it's delicious and summery. And easy.

                                  2. I'll be doing the twice cooked chicken from this thread again:


                                    1. There'll just be four of us, but an outdoor celebration calls for Mexican(-inspired) food when I'm cooking, so we'll be grilling up some skirt (Tampiquena) along with corn in the husk (some cotija, chile, and lime thrown on). There will also be a jicama salad and probably a dessert involving mangoes. Of course we'll also have some homemade guacamole and tomatillo salsa to be dipped with freshly-fried tortilla chips. Can't wait.

                                      1. Since it's just the two of us going to keep it simple...

                                        Honey-Marinated Beef Satay with Spicy Butter Sauce
                                        Two-Tone Roasted Potatoes
                                        Fresh Corn and Black Bean salad
                                        Some sort of fruit clafouti and ice cream for dessert

                                        1. ROAD Trip! 3,000+ Miles! <---- Well...that was the hope. Now, we are going to go to a Monster Truck Show and enjoy time together.

                                          Darn Gas Prices! YUCK!

                                          1. We will do Mexican: Carne asada from a local Mexican market, grilled, served with fresh corn and flour tortillas, refried beans, salsa, chips, guacamole, pickled carrots, radishes, grilled corn and black bean salad, and fruit for dessert. Yum!