For this year’s Independence Day BBQ, I tried out a lot of great new recipes. It seems to be a common misconception here in Germany that American cooking and baking consists merely of unhealthy and greasy fast food. I love proving people wrong in this respect, for which an America-themed Fourth of July celebration is quite handy. 🙂
Confetti Rice Salad
I found this awesome confetti rice salad recipe on the website USA Kulinarisch. Since that recipe is a main course and I wanted it as a side salad, I adapted it a little bit.
Especially, be careful with the measurements. They say 500g rice serve 4. But 500g in rice is A LOT. Even as a main course. I don’t know how much I ended up making, but I think it was about 200g and we still had some salad left for the next day.
I also left some ingredients out, so I had a salad with rice, chopped peppers and green onions, a dressing made of lime juice and olive oil that was seasoned with salt, pepper, chili powder, and some parsley.
(The lemon zest in the picture was needed for another recipe (see slab pie recipe below). 🙂 )
Hot Dogs with Mixed Pickles
This recipe I got from the cook book “Amerika – Kulinarische Highlights,” which has some really good recipes in it.
I found the combination really unusual as it is not what is typically associated with hot dogs around where I live, but those who tried it liked it very much.
It’s a mixture of mixed pickles, onion (I used green onion because I had some left from the rice salad), tomato, and herbs that is then put on a hot dog. Yummy!
Although I like corn, I had never made or eaten corn cobs anywhere before. At first, I had to figure out where to get them, only to learn that most grocery stores sell them in the veggie aisle around this time of year now.
My first idea was to put them on the grill, but I couldn’t get any with husks, and I’m against wrapping stuff in aluminium foil that I want to eat (for health reasons), so I cooked them in a pot of water.
Later, we put butter and salt on them directly before eating.
My whole family is completely into that now and we made them a couple more times after that.
What you’ll need:
Corn cobs (they are usually quite big, so 1/2 – 1 per person is enough if you serve them as a side dish)
Red, White, and Blue Fruit Skewers
I’ve seen this in many variations all over the internet; however, most of those are only red and blue. I wanted something white in there as well.
What you’ll need:
Star cookie cutters in various different sizes
Colorful party skewers
Cut the watermelon into disks, about as thick as the cutters you are using.
Then, cut off the rind of the watermelon before you cut out stars in different sizes with the star cookie cutters. If you don’t cut off the rind, you might end up with bits and pieces of it in the stars…
The honeydew melon is not really ideal for this as it has a large core with seeds and little flesh. Once you’ve cut off the rind and cut out the seed part, there is very little left to cut stars out.
However, if you work carefully, you can get some smaller stars out of it. Next time, I’ll try to cut the melon lengthwise, rather than in disks, and see if that yields better results…
After you’re done cutting, take your party skewers and in turns put on red and white stars and blueberries. The big stars make a good base if you want the skewers to stand, by the way. Drape on a plate any way you like.
Red, White, and Blue Slab Pie
And last but not least: for the dessert, I tried out this recipe by Pillsbury: Red, White, and Blue Slab Pie.
It was impossible to get store-bought pie dough here (although I’m pretty sure I once saw some somewhere, I just can’t remember where), so I used my usual puff pastry, which wasn’t ideal but worked.
I didn’t have the tools for blind baking the dough either, which caused it to lose its shape a little more than I’d thought, but that didn’t hurt the taste at all …
… and you don’t really see it anymore anyway once you fill in the cream…
Cut out stars from the remaining dough…
… and bake them in the oven until they are golden …
Top with various fruits of your choice, preferably red and blue ones 😉 (I used blueberries, strawberries, and black raspberries); then add the stars on top.
I think it looks totally amazing.