Our own Chef Trey Gunning took a little time out of his busy cooking schedule to create a blog just about July 4th for all you at-home cooks out there! Of course, Talk of the Town loves to cater your holiday event, and you can just contact us today to do that! But, if you enjoy the fun of grilling for your guests, here’s the scoop, from Trey, on how to make this holiday stand out!
First, start with an original American cocktail for the hot summer day
A favorite of mine is a twist on a classic lemonade. Since the grill is hot go ahead and slice some lemons and throw them on the grill giving them a nice char, this will also give the lemons a rich sweet flavor. Cut up some fresh basil from the herb garden and toss with some fresh lemonade. Mull the grilled lemons with the lemonade and basil and let the mixture sit for a few hours to infuse the flavor. When guests are ready, simply ice up a glass, add some of your lemon/basil cocktail mix and your favorite white rum or vodka.
Your best bet for a successful July 4th is to plan ahead and do as much prep work the day before so you can enjoy the holiday to its fullest.
For pork or beef ribs, I suggest soaking your ribs in a brine solution this weekend for at least 24 hours, remove from the brine Sunday morning and apply some Dijon mustard and your favorite dry rub. Place your ribs in a glass casserole and cover with aluminum foil. Then bake for 4-5 hours at 240 degrees, or until they are fall off-the-bone tender. Now all the hard work is done, so just let those babies sit in the fridge overnight and fire up that grill July 4th and throw those ribs on.
This is the time for you to show off your meat scorching skills. Let the ends of the ribs get nice and crispy so that those sizzling grill marks run across each rib. Slather on your favorite BBQ sauce and grill for another minute until that sauce glues onto your rib rack. Now it’s time to chop them up into nice, generous portions and hand them out to friends or family who are really looking forward to your delicious feast!
Another easy and delicious way to prepare for July 4th is to prepare different skewers for the grill during your big celebration.
Everyone likes grilling out, but not everyone wants to stand in the kitchen and do food prep all day. One skewer recipe we like to do here at Talk of the Town is our Grilled Pineapple and Shrimp Skewers with Peppers and Onions. You can easily prepare these the day before and keep them refrigerated until you are ready to throw them on the grill.
Some other options would be fresh peaches, poblano peppers and cubes of New York strip steak.
Safety Note: When it comes to chicken, we prefer keeping the raw chicken away from the other ingredients but cubing up the chicken and marinating the night before can save you some time the next day.
Safe Food is Fun Food!
Remember, if you are taking cold salads, meats or any refrigerated foods out to the lake, beach, pool or the park make sure you keep these items on ice. Plan to keep the food refrigerated until right before you’re ready to eat. It doesn’t take long for a mayo-based salad to enter into an unsafe temperature range in these hot summer days. We are the experts at transporting food safely from place to place and we suggest have a well iced down cooler on-hand.
And, 40 is the magic number! Keep cold food below 40 degrees. We suggest keeping food in a separate cooler than your drinks so the cooler isn’t being opened and closed constantly, letting in hot air.
All of us at Talk of the Town hope you have a safe, happy and memorable July 4th celebration!