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« My Fava-rite Beans! | Main | Swiss Chard Stars in this Easy Fettuccine »

All-American Favorites for the Fourth of July

By Sandy Hu

I love a good barbecue for the Fourth of July. But this year, we are settling into our Special Fork office and will be busy making Ikea runs, setting up our food reference library and getting our new digs in shape. We can hardly wait!

Despite the workload, we’ll still be grilling in honor of the holiday, and if weather permits, enjoying our meals on the deck as we take a break from moving boxes and sorting papers.

If you’re having a Fourth of July party, here are some dishes to consider. Some are classic, all-American favorites. Others represent new American cuisine, which draws inspiration from a global palate. Grilled Flank Steak with Lager Beer Chimichurri Sauce, for example, is a zesty, Argentinian-inspired recipe that would be a hit at any Fourth of July party.

Throughout the year, Special Fork bloggers have shared some fabulous recipes that would be great for Fourth of July celebrations. You’ll find links to revisit those recipes below.

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Grilled Flank Steak with Lager Beer Chimichurri
The slight bitterness from the beer is balanced by the sweetness of shredded carrots, adding flavor complexity and making this chimichurri sauce extra-delicious.

1 bottle (12 ounces) lager beer
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seed
2 cups cilantro
1 cup Italian parsley
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot (about 2 carrots)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds flank steak

In deep 3-quart saucepan, combine lager beer and cumin seeds; bring to a boil. Cook until beer is reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and cool to room temperature. Transfer to medium bowl and set aside.

In bowl of food processor, combine cilantro, parsley leaves, garlic, red pepper flakes and sugar. Pulse together until mixture resembles a coarse paste. Scrape mixture into beer sauce; add oil, vinegar, shredded carrot and salt. Stir well until sauce comes together. Let stand at room temperature one hour to allow flavors to develop. Can be refrigerated up to one week.

Place steak on a plate and brush both sides, using ¼ cup of the chimichurri sauce. Let marinate at least two hours and up to six hours.

Prepare an outdoor grill with a medium-hot fire, or preheat a stove-top grill pan. Grill steak 7 to 9 minutes per side for medium rare doneness. Remove steak, place on a cutting board and loosely tent with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain, and serve with the additional chimichurri sauce.

Special Fork Blogs, Revisited
Sides: Whether you’re grilling ribs, hot dogs or burgers, you’ll enjoy these sides.

  • Durgin Park’s Boston Baked Beans is as traditional as you can get. This is an authentic recipe from the historic Boston restaurant near Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall.
  • Mango Confetti Coleslaw from Lori dresses up the traditional cabbage dish with julienned mango, shredded carrots, thinly sliced onion, sliced red bell pepper and fresh cilantro.
  • Curry Chutney Deviled Eggs from Dave takes summer’s favorite picnic appetizer and gives it a little heat with curry powder and sweet from chutney. This is a Special Fork Video Friday blog.
  • Grilling sides from Lori – garlic bread, wild mushroom clusters and fingerling potatoes – makes just enough for one or two people.
  • Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread from Marilyn is a perfect foil for finger-lickin’ barbecue.
  • Creamy Potato and Egg Salad is the all-American summer accompaniment.
  • Relishes from Marilyn -- Caramelized Balsamic Onions and Sweet Pepper Relish – add zip to grilled hot dogs.

Desserts: Desserts using summer fruits or always-portable cookies, are great Fourth of July choices.

  • Summer Fruit Shortcakes can include strawberries or raspberries and blueberries on whipped cream for a red, white and blue dessert. Plant an American flag pick on each serving to add a festive touch.
  • Blueberry Crisp is extra-delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This is a Special fork Video Friday blog.
  • Flourless peanut butter cookies from Marilyn are denser and richer than the tradition kind.
  • Rosemary Lavender Shortbread from Katie takes basic shortbread and gives it added sophistication.


Have a wonderful Fourth of July!

Special Fork is a recipe website for your smartphone and PC that solves the daily dinnertime dilemma: what to cook now! Our bloggers blog Monday through Friday to give you cooking inspiration. Check out our recipe database for quick ideas that take no more than 30 minutes of prep time. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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