July 1, 2015

CF220 - 4th of July Recipe Ideas for Your Family Celebration

CF220 - 4th of July Recipe Ideas for Your Family Celebration
Welcome to The Catholic Foodie Show. I’m your host Jeff Young, The Catholic Foodie and since the 4th of July is just a couple of days away, I think it’s appropriate that we talk 4th of July recipes. Do you know what’s going to to be on your menu on the 4th of July? Have you planned your menu yet? Have you written down your shopping list?

Today I share with you a number of delectable recipes that are guaranteed to please a crowd. Some of them are my own recipes, and others I have culled from around the web. So stay tuned here to The Catholic Foodie Show.

The 4th of July, a day celebrating our nations Independence, is always an excellent opportunity to get together with family and friends. It seems that backyard grilling is synonymous with the 4th of July, and I will give you today a recipe or two for the grill.

But July is always so hot. I don’t know about where you are from, but down here in New Orleans July and August can be almost unbearable. The heat. The humidity. Goodness! We need to plan to take a dip in the pool on the 4th, or maybe play in the sprinkler, to cool off. I will also give you some ideas for cool and refreshing libations today.

We have lots to talk about, so let’s get started!

Backyard Grilling

Burgers and hot dogs are the classic main menu items on the 4th of July. As a matter of fact, an estimated 155 millions Hot dogs will be consumed on Saturday.

Here are a few statistics about the 4th of July, courtesy of StatisticBrain.com:

  • Number of hotdogs consumed on July 4th each year: 150 million
  • Amount of chicken purchased in the week leading up to July 4th : 700 million pounds
  • Amount of red meat / pork purchased in the week leading up to July 4th: 190 million pounds
  • Percent of American households with outdoor grills: 87 %

The following article is from FactMonster.com:

July is National Hot Dog Month, and according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans will be consuming the infamous little red tubes of “meat” in record numbers this summer.

The Council estimates that over seven billion hot dogs will be eaten by Americans between Memorial Day and Labor Day. During the July 4th weekend alone (the biggest hot-dog holiday of the year), 155 million will be downed.

Every year, Americans eat an average of 60 hot dogs each. They are clearly one of the country’s most loved, but most misunderstood, comfort foods.

How did the hot dog get its name?

The term “hot dog” is credited to sports cartoonist Tad Dorgan. At a 1901 baseball game at the Polo Grounds in New York, vendors began selling hot dachsund sausages in rolls.

From the press box, Dorgan could hear the vendors yelling, “Get your dachshund sausages while they’re red hot!” He sketched a cartoon depicting the scene but wasn’t sure how to spell “dachshund” so he called them simply, “hot dogs.” And the rest is history.

What exactly is a hot dog made of?

Nope. You’re not allowed to ask that one. And do you really want to know anyway? For the record, the Council refers to the actual meat as “specially selected meat trimmings.” They would like to point out, however, that thanks to stricter U.S. Department of Agriculture rules, hot-dog meat has become much leaner and, unless otherwise indicated, must be made from muscle (as most meat found in supermarkets is).

Most supermarket hot dogs use cellulose casings, which are removed before packaging. Some, however, still use the traditional natural casings, made from animal intestines.

During the July 4th weekend, Americans will consume 155 million hot dogs. (Source/National Hot Dog and Sausage Council)

By law, a hot dog can contain up to 3.5 percent of “non-meat ingredients.” Don’t be scared. This is usually just some type of milk or soy product used to add to the nutritional value. Many hot dogs may be relatively high in fat and sodium, but they are also a good source of protein, iron, and other necessary vitamins.

What is the most popular condiment for a hot dog?

Council research shows that for adults, mustard is the condiment of choice, while children prefer ketchup. That said, preferences do change from region to region. For instance, hot dogs in New York are generally served with a lighter mustard and steamed onions, while Chicago hot dogs can come with mustard, relish, onions, tomato slices, or pretty much anything at all.

Kids were also asked what condiment they would use “if their moms weren’t watching,” and 25 percent opted for chocolate sauce.

Do I spread my condiment on the meat or on the bread?

Always dress the dog and not the bun. The Council also recommends the following order for condiment application: first wet (mustard for example), then chunky (relish or onions), then cheese if desired, then any spices.

What should I drink with my hot dog?

Lemonade and iced tea—the tastiest drinks for a summer barbecue—are perfect with hot dogs.

Going Against the Grain – Recipes for a Unique Fourth of July Celebration

If you want to go against the grain this 4th of July by going beyond the usual burgers and dogs, then you might want to try one of the crowd-pleasing recipes from my book, Around the Table with The Catholic Foodie: Middle Eastern Cuisine.

How about throwing Shish Kebabs down on the grill instead of hot dogs? Or making Lamb or Goat burgers topped with labneh or tzazkiki sauce instead of the usual beef with mustard, ketchup and pickle?

Here are some other off-the-beaten-path recipes for your family 4th of July celebration: