5 traditional American recipes to celebrate the 4th of July
Those who like to venture into the kitchen know that holidays are the ideal time to test the preparation of traditional American recipes. In the ranking of Americans' favorite commemorative dates, the 4th of July and Thanksgiving are tied for first place. Both dates are celebrated with friends and family and, of course, with lots of good food!
Both Thanksgiving dinner and Independence Day barbecues feature classic American dishes. Traditional American recipes like apple pie, barbecue ribs and potato salad are loaded with emotional memories. They have the power to transport older people on a journey back in time, while captivating young and old alike - after all, they are delicious.
The Fourth of July
Since 1870, when it became a federal holiday, Independence Day in the United States has been celebrated annually on July 4. The date dates back to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which represented the end of Britain's economic and political domination of the United States. It is a milestone in the nation's history as it symbolizes the struggle for freedom and sovereignty of the people.
Throughout the country, the Fourth of July is celebrated with all the patriotism that is characteristic of it. Houses, streets, public buildings and all commerce are taken over by the blue, red and white of the flag. The parades with music, military and city personalities bring everyone to the streets, after all, it is summer and the days are beautiful. At the end of the day, everyone's eyes turn to the sky: it's time to see the fireworks display, a much-anticipated tradition of the day!
But the party begins - and then continues - in the homes, with family, friends and neighbors. It's the holiday of barbecues and outdoor meals. And it's the perfect time to try out some of the traditional American recipes in the kitchen. We have separated some for you to please and, of course, impress your gringo friends and relatives. Get to work:
1. Homemade hamburger
For us Brazilians, it's strange, but the icon of American barbecues is the hamburger. That classic scene of the father or grandfather commanding the grill full of hamburgers at a garden party is real. They are grilled in heaps, served on buns and accompanied by a variety of sauces, cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion.
To bring a personal touch and make the event tastier and healthier, how about preparing a handmade burger? You will need 720 g of ground duckling; 2 tablespoons of water; 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Put the meat, water and olive oil in a bowl and mix quickly with your hands, without seasoning with salt. Separate the mixture into 4 balls (180g each) and shape them: flatten the middle and then adjust the sides, pushing inwards until you form a "border" that makes the hamburger taller. Golden tip: mark the middle of each burger with your thumb, so that when cooking it does not get curved. The burgers can be refrigerated and prepared later. Season with salt and pepper only when grilling or frying.
2. Gourmet dog
This is perhaps one of the most famous traditional American 4th of July recipes. Every year about 155 million hot dogs are devoured on the Independence holiday. And, just like the hamburger, the sausage usually goes through the grill before going to the bread.
The American hot dog is basically bread, sausage and condiments. The accompaniments vary according to the location, just like in Brazil. In São Paulo, the dogão is pressed with mashed potatoes, straw potatoes, vinaigrette and corn. In Rio de Janeiro, you can enjoy a hot dog with quail eggs and raisins. There are hot dogs with farofa, shredded chicken, bacon, grated cheese... creativity goes a long way!
You can take a chance and introduce your native American colleagues to your city's version of the hot dog. Or, if you prefer, you can prepare a gourmet hot dog with caramelized onions, how about that? Write down the ingredients:
- 25 grams of chopped bacon
- 105 grams of mayonnaise
- 1 onion
- 1 drizzle of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon shoyu
- 1/2 tablespoon balsamic acid
- Hot dog bread to taste
- Sausage to taste
In a skillet, fry the bacon in its own fat until golden brown (be careful not to burn it!). Let the bacon dry on a paper towel; meanwhile, add the mayonnaise in the blender and then the bacon already dry. Blend until smooth. Cut the onion into half-moon slices and sauté in the oil until transparent.
Add the brown sugar, soy sauce and aceto to the sautéed onion. Stir until the sugar caramelizes, then turn off the heat. Assemble the hot dogs on the bun with a generous spoonful of bacon mayonnaise, and finish with the caramelized onion on top.
3. Warm apple pie
Apple pie is one of the traditional American recipes often associated with Independence Day. It may take on other guises in some regions of the country, but its most beloved version is the warm apple filling and crispy pastry.
To match the warm weather of July, serve it with scoops of cream ice cream or frozen yogurt. The recipe takes simple ingredients, but requires time to prepare. We guarantee it's worth it, see below:
- Dough: 400 g wheat flour; 1 pinch salt; 200 g cold butter; 3 tablespoons cold water. In a bowl, mix the salt and flour well. Add the chilled butter in small pieces and, with your fingertips, incorporate it into the flour until it forms a crumbly mixture. Add the ice water little by little while you feel the dough. Work the dough on a board or bench until it is smooth and uniform. Make a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Filling: 8 green apples; 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon powder; ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg; 1 tablespoon vanilla extract; 3 tablespoons lemon juice; 1 cup sugar. Peel and halve the apples and remove the seeds. Then cut the apples into very thin slices again. Mix the ingredients in a bowl, add the slices and stir well so that they absorb the spices. Set aside.
- Remove the dough: ½ cup of breadcrumbs; 100 g of butter in small pieces. Preheat the oven to medium temperature (180°C). Take out the ball of dough that was in the refrigerator and leave it for ten minutes at room temperature. Grease a round, removable-bottomed dish (22 cm in diameter) with butter and flour.
- Opening the pastry: Cut the pie dough in half, and store half in a large hard plastic bag. Center the dough in the bag, then roll it out over the plastic with a rolling pin (this prevents the dough from breaking or becoming uneven). Roll the dough out well until it is thin and even. Tear the bag carefully, remove the dough and immediately place it in the mold.
- Assembly: Arrange the dough so that the bottom and edges of the pan are covered. Add the breadcrumbs to the bottom of the dough, then spread the apples and butter in pieces. Roll out the other half of the dough in the same way as you rolled out the first half. With this new disk of dough, cover the pie already assembled in the mold.
- Join the disk to the edges of the dough, pressing with your fingers. Cut off the excess dough that remains outside the pan. Punch a hole in the center of the pie to give it a vent, and bake it in a preheated oven for 1h30. When there are 15 minutes left, take it out of the oven, brush the top with a beaten egg yolk; finish baking until the surface is golden brown. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream and fresh coffee.
4. Pork ribs in barbecue sauce
Another popular Independence Day party dish that can't be missed is the barbecue pork chop. It pairs perfectly with cold beer - which doesn't have to be Bud, it can be a Brazilian Leopoldina, how about that? Tip: use a napkin bib, as tradition dictates to eat the ribs with your hands... the mess is certain!
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup pineapple juice concentrate
- 1 cup shoyu sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 pork rib (+/- 1.2 kg)
Start by preparing the marinade: add the brown and regular sugar, pineapple juice, shoyu, garlic, salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Put the ribs and the marinade in a plastic bag; close it and shake. Refrigerate the marinated ribs for 24 hours. After this time, remove the ribs from the bag (reserve the contents) and place them in a baking dish bone side down. Pour the marinade that is in the bag all over the rib. Cover with aluminum foil and close the ends tightly at the edges of the pan; bake for 2h in a preheated oven at 150º C. Remove from the oven, turn the ribs over, and bake again without the foil for another 15 minutes. Serve hot and with plenty of napkins around!
5. Potato salad
Of the traditional American recipes we've featured here, this potato salad is the easiest and most versatile. It goes super well with barbecued ribs and burgers. Fresh salads, like potato salad, are a common side dish at 4th of July parties. This recipe is not the same as Brazilian potato mayonnaise, but it's just as good:
- 1 kg peeled potatoes
- 1 tbsp chopped celery sticks
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 5 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tbsp chopped spring onions
- 3 tbsp chopped cucumber pickles
- 2 tbsp water from the cucumber pickle
- Black pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
Cook the eggs until the yolks are hard. Chop the peeled potatoes into cubes and bring to the boil in a pan of water. Boil until they are soft. Let drain, separate half and set aside. Mash half the potatoes with a fork. Add the milk, cream and butter and mix. Add black pepper and salt to taste and stir.
Add the chopped cucumber pickle to the mashed potatoes along with the stock, chopped celery and mix well. Chop the boiled eggs, add them to the potatoes and mix. Add the reserved potatoes and spring onions; mix gently until the salad is smooth. Refrigerate and remove only when serving.
Plan your holiday
These are just some of the traditional American recipes enjoyed during Independence Day celebrations. The way they are made may vary depending on the region and the habits of each family, but these options are quite common and representative of American culinary culture.
You can include a Brazilian touch in the preparation of these recipes. How about changing the barbecue for a guava sauce for the ribs? Or prepare a puree for the hot dog? You can even take a chance and introduce the Americans to the ice cream (sacolé, dindin, chupão... the name varies), and prepare them with tropical fruit juice such as cashew e passion fruit.
In any case, planning is key to success in the kitchen. Part of the ingredients to prepare these traditional American recipes you can find in our online store. We deliver safely and quickly to all states, and we have a comprehensive rewards program program for frequent customers.
Take advantage of the festive atmosphere to make delicious dishes that will surprise your gringo and Brazilian friends, of course. Don't waste time: browse our supermarket and make your purchase now. It's summer, it's a holiday, it's Independence Day!