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What to cook July 4th?

I'm looking for inspiration . . . especially re: the grill. We will make a giant green salad and peanut noodles and lemon bars for sure. What's the main course? We have one person coming who doesn't eat red meat, and we're happy to make two different things. Thanks!

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  1. I've never done July 4th without red meat, so my first suggestion would be crockpot bbq babyback ribs or chili, with homemade mac and cheese or parmesan shredded potatoes.

    Chicken enchiladas? I don't know how that would go with peanut noodles . . .

    1. A ring of chicken or turkey sausage is so simple tasty, marinate chicken breasts, legs, thighs (whatever you like) in bottled or homemade dressing overnight and grill, veggie kabobs brushed with olive oil and seasoned simply with salt and pepper, easy and there are hundreds of combos you could do, or just get whatever looks best at the store

      1. I'm making homemade black bean burgers, chicken and hot dogs.
        Also guac and chips, black bean salad with grilled corn and avocados, 3 bean salad (black-eyed peas, edamame and green beans with lemon), grilled veggie pasta salad, homemade flatbreads, a few other things and 3 desserts (so far red velvet cupcakes and s'mores on the grill).

        1. Make Filipino Ribs. Delicious
          Or several satay, shrimp, chicken and beef with different dipping sauces.

          1. Make bbq chicken if they don't eat red meat.

            We're having:
            BBQ'd nachos
            Bacon & cheddar knockwurst
            baby back ribs
            potato salad
            tomato salad
            pie & rocky road brownies
            and peach sangria.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Phurstluv

              Tell me about the BBQ'd nachos please!

              1. re: janehathaway

                Well there is a simple version and a not so simple version.

                The first time I made them, and they were divine it was the long version. You use leftover pulled pork. Or you can use leftover bbq chicken. And you toss it w/1 cup of bbq sauce. (I don't have either right now, so I'm forgoing that.) You make your own mashed pinto beans with a cajun spice mix and the juice of a lime, and combine with tomatoes, pickled jalapenos, chopped, and fresh cilantro chopped. Drizzle with sour cream and use three cups of cheddar cheese to 1/2 a 7 oz. bag of chips. Then it's broiled.

                My alterations for this trip since we're in an rv at the beach not at home and I don't have a pulled pork or chicken are as follows: Cook a can of chili beans down and mash into a disposable alum pan. Toss tomatoes w/pickled jalapenos and cilantro. Layer chips with bean mixture and shredded mozzarella & cheddar cheese. Blend 2 tbsp each of ranch dressing and bbq sauce and drizzle onto nachos. Place on the grill and cover.

                1. re: Phurstluv

                  Thanks! That sounds great. That actually goes perfectly with what I"m making so I think I'll add them to the menu.

                  1. re: janehathaway

                    Great! Enjoy them! My guests did! And it's easy which is nice!

            2. I love seafood, shrimp, oysters, mussels, crab and fish. Give me a few details?

              A good grilled salmon would be great of chili spiced shrimp with a creamy cilantro sauce

              Chicken, sounds boring, but a great chili rub makes it great Grilled slow, you can cook it with a brick or just individual pieces or even the beer can which I love.

              I also love a slow boil. Corn on the cob, onions, artichokes, sausages, potatoes, shrimp and mussels. It makes a great easy meal. Serve on sheets of newspaper and everyone can help them selves from the veggies to the starch to the meat or seafood.

              BBQ shrimp is great and easy, Skirk steak feeds a lot and still very tender, ribs always, and I love skewers of my bloody mary steak or chicken and just tropical shrimp.

              Those are my ideas.

              2 Replies
              1. re: kchurchill5

                I had not heard of a "slow boil" before so I don't know where that is common to. How do you do this type of cooking? I would not want my corn mushy or the potatoes crumbling. Do you stop cooking at some point or do you just let it go?

                1. re: Scargod

                  There are many version from the Carolinas to LA, to MS, to FL. All over and many different variations. I believe (and I may be wrong the Low Country boil originated in the carolinas), sausage, potatoes, corn, shrimp, old bay seasoning, etc.

                  Variations in FL include all seafood with the addition of corn, potatoes and artichokes and even sausage. And some people add what they want.

                  We use a big deep fryer for turkeys so It is easier than trying to make it inside especially with a large crowd. We start with water and lots of old bay seasoning, let it come to a boil. Then it is all about layering and timing. Usually a little time between layers so they all cook the right amount of time. Onions first, then I add the artichokes, (then wait about 8-10 minutes) then whole potatoes, Large reds is what I use, sausage (cook another 8 minutes), then corn usually cut in half, and another 5 minutes. Then top with mussels, clams if you want and top with shrimp and let cook another 5-10. Pull the strainer out to get rid of all the water and put on a large table covered with newspaper. It is all finger food, however forks/knives are needed to get the mussels out or eat the sausage, But I usually serve everyone with small cups of butter, cocktail sauce, lemon for the artichokess, /p and paper towels. It just a fun outdoor dinner. The layering and timing doesn't allow anything to get mushy.

                  You can do all seafood with potatoes, corn, artichokes, oysters, clams, lobsters, lemons, lobster, crab, shrimp which is a lot of fun too.

              2. We're going out on a friend's boat. Our contribution is going to be lobster rolls and babyback pork ribs (they'll be precooked in the oven and then just browned and ligtyly sauce on the grill which is on the boat). I know someone is bringing ratatouille (?sp) and a pesto pasta salad.

                1 Reply
                1. re: c oliver

                  I'm taking shrimp rolls to my BBQ tomorrow. Not nearly as good as lobster, but the price is right and they are pretty tasty. Same seasoning and the original rolls. Happy 4th and Enjoy!

                2. Is it so obvious no one is mentioning it? BURGERS! Nothing like a juicy burger with all your favorite fixin's on the 4th of July. You can make two different kinds--regular burgers AND turkey or chicken sausage formed into burger patties. A couple of local grocery stores 'round here pre-fab the patties--they are perfect and delicious for a cookout. Otherwise, just squeeze the sausage out of the casing and form your own patties. I made chicken and apple sausage patties recently with friends and we all loved 'em!

                  Pick up your favorite cole slaw or make your own. I love slaw with burgers and there are so many creative variations (many which you can find right here on the Home Cooking board).

                  1. I love July 4th, and boy how I MISS it, living in Bermuda it’s not a celebrated Holiday (naturally)
                    But I still try to keep tradition alive
                    Sausage Dogs with peppers and onions and hamburgers are served for lunch with a big bowl of my husband’s incredible potatoes salad

                    Dinner consists of:
                    BBQ Ribs
                    Grilled Wahoo and Tuna
                    Grilled corn on cob with roasted jalapeno butter
                    Platter of grilled veggies topped with pine nuts and goat cheese

                    ***For the person who does not eat meat, try a grilled portabella mushroom burger