I cannot believe that the Fourth of July is here, just around the proverbial corner. As much as I love this holiday, its arrival reminds me that summer is half way over. Indeed, for someone living in the frozen north and not a lover of snow, I greet this holiday with apprehension. Nevertheless, I have some fantastic Fourth of July ideas for your picnic. These are not in any particular order of preference.
Black Bean Burgers with Spicy Pico de Gallo! Okay, I am sure you have one or two vegan friends or relatives. I know I do! I love these, and so does my family. Being Latin American, I grew up eating black beans so I will be honest with you and tell you that I did not appreciate them that much growing up. As an adult, I have grown to love them. I hope you like these black bean burgers as much as I do. Keep on reading, I have more fantastic fourth of July ideas for you.
A healthy and delicious alternative to the usual tossed salad: Mediterranean Parsley Salad. There is such a great combination of ingredients that makes this salad tasty and beautiful. In this salad, parsley takes center stage, and not the place of the lowly garnish. By the way, did you ever wonder why parsley is used as a garnish? Well apparently it’s an ancient custom dating back to the Middle Ages when parsley was used as a breath cleanser after a meal.
What’s a slab of ribs without a good ole brushing of your favorite barbecue sauce? I made this delicious sweet and spicy maple barbecue sauce with the maple syrup from the farm of an old co-worker (Wendy). I used to work with Wendy many moons ago. Our cubicles were close by. Eventually she took another job, I had a second child and we each went our separate ways. Recently, through the connective power of Facebook we reestablished contact.
And now for some dessert? Miniature lemon tarts. The lemon curd is easy to make, all you need is a little elbow grease and a dash of patience. That’s it! I buy the little pastry cups in the baking section of the grocery store. And now for a bit of history: The Ancient Romans used lemons widely, in fact a Roman emperor once went so far as to limit the price merchants could charge for lemons; yes price control was alive and well in antiquity.
Spicy Mango Habanero Ribs. I just made a batch last Sunday for family dinner. Aah, the flavors of the Caribbean. Warm tropical breezes, the smell of the ocean, and a slab of spicy mango habanero ribs grilled to absolute perfection. It’s not a dream, it’s reality! By the way, I always marinate my ribs for at least 6 hours, so all the flavors can really sink in. If you can marinate overnight, even better.
One of my favorites! Pernil (per neel) is a typical Puerto-rican dish consisting of a pork roast/shoulder that has been marinated overnight and slow roasted at 300’F. The result is a flavorful, and tender meat that will fill your house with a delicious aroma, and your belly with a whole lot of “piggy goodness.” Pernil tacos? Now there’s an idea. Pernil sliders, why not? So, how are you liking this list of fantastic fourth of July ideas so far?
Guess what? Here’s another sinfully fabulous dessert: Strawberry Tart, hands down one of my summer go to recipes. It’s like something straight out of a French Patisserie. I live near a bunch of farm stands that sell super juice berries. When the kids were little we would go often, and eat a few along the way.
Before I go on with the next recipe for fantastic fourth of July ideas, I just want to say that the key to a great party is variety. There needs to be something for everyone. That’s it, I said it! Now I can continue.
If you need a quick, super healthy, and easy appetizer idea then Mango Black Bean Salsa is for you. The flavors going on here sweet, spicy, sour go together so well. This is one of my all-time favorites. All in all, this is an appetizer that will rock any party.
And now for something completely different… Pork loin in tamarind sauce. I totally love this recipe. Tamarind is a long curved brown tropical fruit that comes in a bean-like pod and it is native to Africa. The tamarind traveled to Persia (modern day Iran) where it was named tamar-hindi(Indian date). By the way, in addition to the pork loin, you might want to check out Thai Red Chicken Curry and Spicy Thai Style Lettuce Wraps.
So, are you thinking about throwing some pork chops on the grill, check out the recipe for coffee jerk pork chops. Although it might sound strange, it actually works great! The coffee adds a depth of flavor that is hard to describe. You need these in your life. The flavor profile is kind of woody, and nutty. It’s AWESOME! I will be making some at our next family picnic.
Make any of these for your next party, and you will shine! And finally, share this post with friends and family.