4th of July menu
Will you help me? I just don't know what I feel like making. We're smoking a pork shoulder and a few racks of ribs but otherwise the menu is wide open. I've got one request for cole slaw which is probably a good idea but I'm not feeling it. I will make several side dishes and also need some ideas for starters.
I always do a bowl of mixed berries when we bbq pulled pork or ribs ... it helps me feel better about overindulging on the good stuff, I guess! And a vinegar-based cole slaw really goes well with pork shoulder. We just mix chopped cabbage with (reserved) mop sauce we use for the shoulder.
I'm still looking for ideas, too. A friend asked me to make mayo-based cole slaw and caprese salad so I'll do those (they're providing the pool - I'll bring whatever they ask for!) I've been looking for a Mexican inspired roasted corn salad recipe ... I just can't get the flavors out of my mind.
The new Bon Appetit has some interesting ideas. There is a section on different kinds of "slaws"....and the 4th of July menu had a couple of really interesting side dishes.
As for starters, I love grilled artichokes.
I think any good ole fashion bbq has to have potato salad. Ice tea and beer is nice. Something less pedestrian would be sangria of strawberry lemonade. If you aren't rom the south and have never had limeade, you should try it.
Watermelon is nice... something a little bolder would be grilled pineapple chunks. Have a chili powder - cayenne mix to sprinkle on them (1/4 cup chili powder and 1 teaspoon cayenne).
Sweet onions cut in wedges but not quite all the way through wrapped in aluminum foil and pieces of butter inserted into the wedge gaps. You can even put some beef bouillon powder on them. Bake in the grill for 45 minutes. Those are awful good.
I would certainly have some salsa, guacamole and tortilla chips around. If you must do a coleslaw, a little too healthy for my taste, how about a carrot slaw?
When we have smoked meats, I always make crisp salad w/toasted almonds or pine nuts. I add either a can of drained mandarin sections or dried cranberries. Then, I keep the dressing light, lemon and EVOO. Cool, refreshing, and the lemon/cranberry is a nice contrast to the salty/smokiness of meats. Having a toasted nuts brings it all together. Baked beans and homemade buttermilk biscuits slathered in honey and butter aren't bad sides either. Last year, I also made handmade chocolate dipped ice cream sandwiches.
I make a slaw with jicama instead of cabbage and with a wasabi mayo dressing that's pretty popular.