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Friday, July 04 2008

I was fascinated to learn that George Washington ordered a double ration of rum for soldiers in celebration of July 4th in 1778, along with an artillery salute. I was equally interested to learn that John Adams and Benjamin Franklin held a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, France. Those efforts evolved today into using fireworks, food, and beverages plus family and friends to celebrate the most important event in American history.

Today, American families mark Independence Day with fireworks, parades, barbecues, beer, baseball games, and various other activities to celebrate our history, government, and traditions.

The Fourth of July holiday often means taking advantage of a long weekend or day off of work to gather with friends and relatives to share a meal.

Outdoor barbecues seem to be the order of the day for people gathering on the Fourth of July. And barbecues most frequently involve hamburgers and hot dogs. But these food traditions really do not need to be common place. How about putting some "zip"
and a little creativity into these traditional meals? Here are a couple of ways to spice up those hotdogs and burgers.

The " Hot Belly Buster Burger " - so called because the ingredients include jalapeno peppers and Tabasco sauce and its size - 1/2 pound of beef!
They really are entire meals.

The Hot Belly Buster Burger Preparation time: 10 minutes. Makes 8 burgers, 1/2 pound each (or, as I do, 1/3 pound)

  • 4 pounds ground chuck
  • 5 fresh jalapeno peppers
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Heinz 57 steak sauce
  • 1/4 cup minced white onion
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco™ or your favorite hot pepper sauce
  • 1 pinch dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup Fritos® corn chips, crushed
  • 8 large hamburger buns
  • 8 slices pepperjack cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Sliced tomato
  • Sliced onion
  • Salt and pepper to tasteInstructions:
  • Preheat a grill to high heat
  • When the grill is ready, roast the jalapeno peppers until blackened on all sides
  • Place the peppers in a plastic bag to sweat and loosen the blackened skin
  • Rub the skin off the peppers (use disposable latex gloves), then seed and dice (leaving seeds will increase the "heat" alot)
  • In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, salt, pepper, egg, steak sauce, onion, hot pepper sauce, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt and Fritos®
  • Divide meat mixture into 8 balls and flatten into patties
  • Grill patties for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once (burgers are done at 160 degrees F)
  • Butter the hamburger buns and either place on grill or warm in oven
  • Remove hamburger buns and dress with lettuce, sliced tomato and sliced onion
  • Top each burger just before removing from grill with a slice of pepperjack cheese allowing the cheese to melt slightly
  • Remove each of the burgers from the grill and place on buns

    Instead of a plain hot dog with mustard and/or ketchup, try a Chili Dog.

    Easy Chili Dogs for July 4th
    Preparation time: 10 minutes. Makes 4 single chili dogs.

  • 4 all-beef or Kosher hot dogs
  • 1 pound canned chili without beans (I use Nalley's)
  • 4 hot dog buns split in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup onions, choppedInstructions:
  • Fry hot dogs in a skillet (I prefer to fry or grill hot dogs but you can boil them if you want)
  • As the hot dogs are cooking, heat the chili in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat stirring frequently until piping hot
  • Reduce heat to low and hold hot until ready to serve stirring occasionally
  • Place hot dogs in buns and then cover with the chili
  • Top with chopped onion and serve with desired condiments

    I sometimes like to add shredded cheddar cheese on the top. I also like to toast the buns on a grill or in the oven.

    These are only two easy ways to add some great taste and fun to your 4th of July party. For many more you can click on the link below.

  • Click on Independence Day Menu for more great ideas and recipes.

    Donna Hager has owned and operated an American-Style Restaurant for over two decades. Hundreds of real restaurant recipes can be found on her website that also features menu ideas, cooking tips, and much more at Real Restaurant Recipes

    Posted by: Send a Meal AT 01:58 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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