I’m really not a red-white-and-blueberry-cool-whip cake kind of girl. I’d rather watch the Boston Pops from the comfort of my air conditioning than face the hot (drunken?) crowds for live, local fireworks. And I’ve usually worked on July 4th, so it never really occured to me to make a special menu, and chances are I unknowingly pick the least patriotic meal ever, like risotto or fajitas.
While our forefathers likely could not imagine the invention of non-dairy whipped topping, I’m pretty sure they’d score that ever-popular, patriotic cake higher than risotto. Then again, risotto would score higher than some tasty, yet treasonous, fish and chips. Wash it down with some sticky toffee pudding, and they’d have shipped my redcoat ass back to the monarchy.
So really, risotto is looking pretty patriotic.
I know my days of not schlepping the babe to the endless Independence Day parades, fireworks, and pie-eating contests are numbered, but I at least needed to step up my food game this year and join the masses who participate in that most time-honored tradition of rebel cuisine: grilling.
Grilling has always intimidated me, but 2012 has been the year of the grill Chez Hound.
OK, ok, it’s mostly been the year of the baby. But also the grill.
I don’t know what inspired us to use the grill more this year, but now the Booze Hound is a lean, mean, American grilling machine. Actually, I think I know the reason- he cleaned the grill so that it now produces tasty meat instead of mounds of pure carcinogen on a plate.
Tasty meat rings my Liberty Bell.
The main attraction (aside from the little one in her Red, White and Cute onesie) was grilled chicken thighs with Big Bob Gibson’s White BBQ Sauce. The sauce as written is VERY heavy on the vinegar, so I added some brown sugar, which really did the trick. On its own, I thought “meh, it’s ok,” but once you slop that sauce on some grilled chicken, it turns into magic. I did a little digging, and there are many published versions of this sauce. This one is the one Big Bob gave to Food and Wine and I’m saying it’s the best because some of the other versions contain corn syrup, and we all know that’s just wrong on so many levels.
Wait, maybe the corn syrup version is more ‘patriotic’? Ugh. Sad, but true.
I bet this would also be good with a little honey instead of brown sugar. Either way you slice it, this sauce is fabulous and needs to make it to a plate near you. A white BBQ sauce is also kind of unique and therefore a cool conversation starter:
“Hey, Javier Bardem, check out this cool white BBQ sauce I made. I can make other things, too, like paella, sangria and… oops, sorry my baby just barfed on your shoes. Wait, come back…”
Baby barf = conversation ender.
Thus, a lovely holiday was had by all- eating, beveraging, and giving thanks to those who have fought for our freedom and continue to do so. Despite my love of fish, chips, and luscious sticky toffee pudding, I’m confident that we were better off freeing ourselves from Great Britain’s sticky fingers.
But if we ever go to war with France, you’ll have to pry the baguette out of my cold, dead hands 🙂
White BBQ Sauce
Adapted from Food and Wine's published version of Big Bob GIbson's White BBQ Sauce
- 1 c mayonnaise
- ½ c cider vinegar
- ¼ c apple juice
- 2 T brown sugar
- 1 t prepared horseradish
- 1 t fresh lemon juice
- ¼ t ground cayenne
- ½ t salt
- ½ t freshly ground black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in mixing vessel of your choice and slather on cooked meat!
This recipe yields 2 cups and will keep in the fridge for up to a week. 2 cups is enough for about 10-12 grilled chicken thighs.