A truly memorable summer just isn’t complete without a good old-fashioned Fourth of July cookout. The ultimate American summertime tradition is the perfect way to get your neighbors and friends together to celebrate. However, an Independence Day bash can often seem much more daunting than a regular backyard barbeque. Between the decorations, the sparklers, the festive food ideas and the possibility that your whole neighborhood might show up–it can be a doozy.
If you’re having Fourth of July hosting anxiety, fear not! L’Ecole Culinaire has rounded up some ideas and recipes to help make your Fourth of July celebration less stressful and more fun.
Try ‘Cooler Corn’
If you’re expecting a large crowd (or even just a sizable one), ‘Cooler Corn’ will become your best friend. To make this you’ll first need to grab a large cooler and make sure it’s been wiped down clean. Then place several ears of shucked corn on the cob inside the cooler. Boil 2 kettles full of water and then pour the boiling water over the corn. Immediately put the lid back on the cooler, then let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Once that’s done, you’ll have loads of perfectly cooked corn to serve your guests!
Make a Super Easy and Festive Fruit Punch
This punch is not only tasty and refreshing, but also adds another element of red, white and blue to your party. Find a large, clear glass pitcher or drink dispenser and fill it with 1/3 red fruit punch, 1/3 blue Gatorade and 1/3 lemon-lime soda. If your guests are also 21 and over you can add an extra 1/3 of your favorite vodka!
Delight Guests with a Patriotic Dessert
Jazz up fruit kebabs by mixing in sugary confections with the fruit. A great idea for 4th of July is threading strawberries, blueberries and fluffy marshmallows onto a stick for a red, white and blue treat.
Don’t Forget the Potato Salad
Potato Salad is the quintessential BBQ side dish. Here’s an easy recipe from allrecipes.com for Classic American-Style Potato Salad:
2 lbs red boiling potatoes, scrubbed
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/ tsp black pepper
3 hard-cooked eggs
1 small celery stalk
1/4 chopped sweet pickle (not relish)
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup mayo
2 tbsp dijon mustard
Place potatoes in a pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer, stirring to ensure even cooking, until a thin-bladed paring knife or a metal skewer inserted into a potato can be removed with no resistance, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again. Cool slightly.
Cut warm potatoes into 3/4-inch dices with a serrated knife. Layer them in a bowl, seasoning with vinegar, salt and pepper as you go. Cut eggs, celery and pickle in 1/4-inch dice and thinly slice scallions. Add to potatoes, along with parsley. Stir in mayonnaise and mustard until everything is combined. Chill, covered, before serving.