Grill Night in ‘Merica
We are now deep into summer, which means the best summer holiday, July 4th, has come and gone. While I think all holidays are fab, America’s Independence Day is the best summer holiday for these few reasons: ‘merican pride, summer nights, and grilling. One of the reasons I love food is that it tells us so much about a person, community, and culture and what better way to celebrate our American culture than eating some great grilled food?
For my holiday, I was took a trip to visit my oldest sister, Radhika. I love celebrating anything with Radhika because both of us always have the same first question – what food are we going to make? Everyone in my family is a planner, but Radhika is planner #1. While I was reading July 4th related food blog posts and dreaming about the potato buns I wanted to make, Radhika had already thought of a menu.
As I’m sure you all know, the weeks leading up to the 4th were filled with a plethora of TV segments, magazine spreads, online articles, and Pinterest pins detailing how to make a full red, white, and blue spread. But in the words of my friend Tara:
Cooking in July allows us to take advantage of the bounty that summer provides – berries, peaches, corn, greens, seafood, and so much more! Radhika and her husband, Nick, had recently bought an outdoor grill, so with that in mind, her menu was simple: grill everything and drink lots of wine. After I forced her add potato buns and dessert we were good to go.
Here is what I baked:
- potato buns via Food52
- mixed berry crisp
- peanut butter cookies dunked in chocolate from Joy the Baker
So…I can admit that I am someone who loves control and strives for perfection, especially in the kitchen. I can also admit that my potato buns were faaaarrr from perfection, but still really tasty!
Since we were having a small cookout, I wanted to make only half of the recipe. Unfortunately, I forgot to cut ALL of the ingredients in half and left out an ingredient. I was bummed that I effed up the recipe so badly, but Radhika told me I should just bake them anyway. In the end, the recipe was a lot more dummy-resistant than I expected and they tasted great! It was yet another time where I reminded myself that we cant always be perfect and that’s ok.
After the bun disaster, making the peanut butter cookies and a mixed berry fruit crisp was a breeze.
Radhika was afraid we would have too much dessert, but she was so wrong.
There is no such thing as too much dessert.
Here is what we (and by we I mean everyone but me) grilled:
- eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, and scallions
- giant shrimps seasoned with salt and pepper
- bratwurst and sausages
I would have never thought to have a cookout with seafood but it was MAN was it good. Everything was grilled perfectly and Radhika made two sauces (a garlic aioli and spiced butter sauce) to make everything taste even better. Grilled shrimp dunked in spicy butter sauce is now one of my favorite foods. And bon appetit is right – grilled scallions are where it’s at.
We had a LOT of food for five people and, in true American fashion, we ended our night a little too full, a little too loud, and dancing to bad pop hits. I’m so grateful that I was able to celebrate my 4th with friends on a wonderful summer night in America, wine in one had and buttery shrimp/brat/veggie in the other. I hope yours was just as great!
If you didn’t catch the links above:
- Hot Dog and Hamburger Potato Buns
- Dipped + Crisp Peanut Butter Cookies
- Food52’s guide to making any fruit crisp (or crumble)
- Grilled Low Country Boil
wishing you the best in your food adventures,