Celebrate Independence Day and our Diversity with this Festive 4th of July Meal
Let’s face it, the only thing that comes close to rivaling the fireworks on the 4th of July is the food at the barbecue. But if you’re serving boring burgers and bland baked beans it’s time to step up your game.
This 4th of July serve a meal that will wow the relatives and leave your friends in awe. What’s that you say? You don’t want to spend your entire day off slaving in the kitchen? No problem. This meal is super quick and easy but will have your friends and family feeling like they were at a trendy restaurant or one of those hot new food trucks. This exotic menu of old standbys that have been jazzed up with an ethnic flair and healthier ingredients will make your backyard barbecue the talk of the neighborhood (well, that and Aunt Agnes jumping naked into the pool after one too many Sangria’s). The best part is because the jazzy extras can be offered as condiments those less adventurous eaters can simply stick to the old standbys, keeping everyone in the backyard happy and full.
This, my friends, is the Lady Gaga of hot dogs. Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish most often made with fermented cabbage and like Lady G, can be very spicy. So think of this as a kraut dog on steroids. I got my kimchi from Whole Foods Market but they carry it at Trader Joe’s and at most health food stores. You can also get it at Asian specialty markets.
8 all beef organic uncured hot dogs.
8 whole wheat hot dog buns
1/2 cup of Kimchi
Place the hot dogs on a preheated barbecue grill and allow to cook until hot all the way through but not black and crispy (like my dad used to cook them).
While the hot dogs are cooking place the cup of kimchi on a cutting board and chop it thinly then place it in a bowl
Steam or toast the hot dog buns until warm
When the hot dogs are cooked (they should have some nice grill marks and have a few splits in the skin), place them in the warm buns then sprinkle the cold kimchi over the top of the dogs ( you add other condiments like mustard onions or ketchup as well but personally I would stick with just the kimchi)
Mexican Corn on the Cobb
This is a bit of a kick in the pants from the buttered corn you’re probably used to. When we first started out, the wife and I bought a starter home in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in Los Angeles. During the summer, guys pushing grocery carts that had propane grills in them, would sell this corn on the street. My kids would run to these carts like I ran after the ice cream truck when I was a kid yelling “corn man, corn man”. My wife was terrified that the kids would get food poisoning but the kids didn’t care…the corn is that good. To make this recipe a little healthier I have replaced standard mayonnaise with Mayo made from olive oil.
8 ears of organic sweet white corn
½ cup mayo with olive oil
1 cup parmesan or cotija cheese
3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne chili (optional)
8 wedges of lime
Place the husked corn on a preheated grill and let the corn cook until it is hot and lightly charred (you will want to roll the corn around so that it cooks evenly) about 7-10 minutes. Don’t overcook as the corn will get tough. When the corn comes off the grill brush it with the mayo, sprinkle it with cheese , dust it with the chili and a little cayenne pepper then squeeze on some lime juice.
Red, White and Blue Potato Salad
OK, this potato salad is kind of like your cousin Ted dressed up like Uncle Sam. It’s still cousin Ted he just looks a lot more patriotic. This recipe is made with white, red and purple organic potatoes and is visually stunning and perfect for the 4th of July but it tastes pretty much like really good potato salad. Trader Joe’s and my local grocery store carry little bags of these wildly colored potatoes and I have also been able to get them at the farmers market. But these days I just grow them myself in wine barrels.
20 red, white and blue organic potatoes
1 cup mayonnaise with olive oil
3 hard boiled omega 3 eggs chilled and chopped
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup diced organic red onion
4-5 stalks organic celery chopped
Salt and pepper
Boil potatoes with the skin on until fork tender. Drain off the water then stick the potatoes in an ice bath and let stand until firm and cold. When the potatoes are cold take them out of the ice bath and cut into chunks leaving the skins on. Add all ingredients in a large bowl and gently stir together until thoroughly mixed. Salt and pepper to taste.
This was my mother’s go to dessert on the 4th of July. It’s impossible to screw up, it takes no time to make and almost everybody loves it. Add to that the fact that its really good for you and this baby becomes a no brainer.
1 whole watermelon