The Fourth of July falls on a Sunday this year, and that means there's no excuse not to throw a party! Gather up a group of friends, light the barbecue, and prepare a delicious feast of eats. Start things off with two finger food favorites: lemon-herb grilled shrimp and grilled jalapeño poppers. Since no one can ever decide between chicken or ribs, please everyone and offer barbecued ribs and chicken with a tangy homemade sauce as the main course. Corn on the cob with parmesan butter and tomato and feta salad are two easy, but scrumptious side dishes.
To take a look at these classic recipes that are perfect for your all-American celebration, keep reading.
1 1/2 pounds large unpeeled shrimp
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Coarse salt and ground pepper
- Using a pair of kitchen shears or a paring knife, cut through shell along the back of each shrimp. Devein shrimp, leaving shells on.
- In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Reserve 6 tablespoons lemon mixture for serving. Place shrimp and remaining lemon mixture in a resealable plastic bag; seal bag and shake to coat shrimp. Refrigerate 1 hour.
- Heat grill or grill pan to high. Clean and oil grill. Remove shrimp from marinade, wiping off excess. Grill until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve shrimp drizzled with reserved lemon mixture.
12 large jalapeno peppers
1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese
6 thick slices bacon
- Jalapenos can be very hot. Use caution and wear rubber gloves if you have skin sensitivity. Keep hands away from face and eyes. Wash hands thoroughly with warm water and soap when finished handling peppers. Slice peppers from stem to tip on 1 side. Carefully squeeze ends of pepper (like a change purse) and scoop out seeds and veins with a small spoon.
- Stuff each pepper with shredded cheese.
- Cut bacon slices in half. Wrap each pepper with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
- Preheat grill. Grill peppers 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until bacon is cooked, but not crisp. Remove from grill and serve while hot.
Sweet & Tangy Barbecue Sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, minced
2 cups ketchup
8-ounce jar honey mustard
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
3 pounds chicken pieces, skin on (thighs, drumsticks, breasts)
3 pounds pork ribs on the slab
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup garlic powder
- Make barbecue sauce: Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onion until tender and translucent. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and use a handheld blender to process it to a smooth paste. (Alternatively, transfer it to an upright blender and back again.) Simmer gently for an additional 5 minutes.
- Separate the sauce into two containers. Use one to marinate and glaze the meat during grilling. Reserve the remainder for use as a sauce at the table.
- Lightly brush your grill with olive oil and preheat it to approximately 350°F. In the meantime, rinse the meat, pat it dry, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Arrange the chicken and ribs on the grill. Resist turning the meat for at least 5 minutes. This will help it sear nicely. After 5 minutes or so, turn the meat over, sear the other side for 5 more minutes. Turn again, and this time, brush the meat with the barbecue sauce. Then turn again every 5 minutes, repeating the process of brushing the meat with sauce until the chicken and ribs are cooked through and the barbecue sauce begins to caramelize and form a crust on the meat (35 to 40 minutes).
- Serve with more barbecue sauce on the side.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 ears of corn
Vegetable oil, for the grill
- Light a grill. In a bowl, mix the butter with the Parmesan and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
- Strip the husks from each ear of corn and remove the silks. Using kitchen string, tie the husks together at the end of each ear to form a handle.
- Lightly brush the grate with oil. Grill the corn over a medium-hot fire, turning, until partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Brush the corn with the Parmesan butter and continue grilling, turning frequently and brushing with more butter, until deeply browned and tender, about 5 minutes longer. Serve at once with the remaining Parmesan butter.
2 pints cherry tomatoes
1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Thyme sprigs, for garnish
- In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with the feta. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss. Top with the thyme.