Thursday, July 04, 2013

Obligatory July 4 Food Blog Post (With Menu Suggestions, Red White and Blue Food and a Spicy Burger Recipe)

Red, white and blue sorbet for Independence Day
It's July 4 and I believe food bloggers are contractually obligated to come up with a post that celebrates one or more of the following:

  • Red, white and blue themed food, often but not limited to either gooey desserts and or strawberries and blueberries
  • Food for the grill
  • American classics - either retro or revisionist

Better yet, if the blogger can somehow combine all three in one post they have hit the Facebook share trifecta.

My take on the foods of America to celebrate Independence Day is a bit different -- I'd prefer to focus on the foods brought to our shores and adopted (adapted? distorted?) by the teeming masses already here looking for the next big flavor hit.  America's taste buds are not so much analogous to a melting pot as they are a fusion reactor.

Based on what I've written about before on Blog Appetit, here's some ideas for going forth and partying on the Fourth of July celebrating the glorious diversity of foods and ingredients immigrants (and savvy marketers) have made popular here.  Think of it as a United Nations for your mouth.


Any Night Cerviche (Mexico and Central America)
Tomato-Mango Bruschetta (India, Italy and Berkeley - which many Californians consider a separate state of mind)
Tortilla de Espana (Spain)
Not Quite Spring Rolls (Vietnam)

Main Dishes:

Egyptian Grilled Lamb
Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Pomegranate Molasses BBQ sauce (Middle East) -- also the link has a recipe for a berry sorbet for dessert you can dress up in red, white and blue.
Cincinnati Chili (Greek-American) -- works great as a hot dog topping, too.  For more American regional hot dog ideas, click here.
Grilled Vegetable Kabobs with Miso Glaze (Japan)
Turkish Inspired Hamburgers (see recipe below)


Assorted North African vegetable salads
Cold Beet Borscht (Russia)  Nice and red, serve with some blue corn chips and sour cream for the obligatory red, white and blue dish.
Cold Asian Noodles with Veggies and Peanut-Tofu Sauce (China)
Pomegranate Coconut Pudding (Near East/Mid East)
Lychee Sorbet (China)

See the link for the bruschetta above for an Indian-inspired rice pudding and the link for the chicken kabobs for a the very berry sorbet recipe (French?).

And of course, cruise the different categories listed in the labels section in the right column for even more recipes that help you cook local and eat global.

Oh, and happy birthday to my beloved father-in-law.  Vic's enthusiasm for my cooking is just one of his many, many wonderful traits.  Happy 89, Dad.

Keep reading for the Turkish burger recipe.

One of my favorite grilling recipes is this one for Turkish Beef Patties.  The dish doesn’t require much more work than making regular hamburgers but delivers a lot more flavor.  The patties are reminiscent of the Adana kebabs that are popular in Turkey and Israel.  Making them as patties instead of wrapping the meat around a skewer helps keep them moist and juicy.

The recipe here calls for all beef, but they also taste great made with half beef and half lamb. Serve them over rice with a cucumber salad and a drizzle of tahini or try them in a pita or hamburger bun. They can also be made on an indoor electric grill or under the broiler. 

I like them a bit on the spicy side, so cut back on the ground cayenne pepper if you want a tamer version.  Turkish red pepper paste is available in Middle Eastern and other specialty markets.  Several brands are available.  Be sure to get the type marked “mild.”  See the recipe for a substitution.

Turkish Beef Patties
Serves 8

1 onion, finely minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper  
1/2 to 1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp. minced fresh mint
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. mild Turkish red pepper paste OR 2 tsp. tomato paste mixed with additional 1 tsp. paprika
2 lb. ground beef

Combine onion, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, mint, paprika and pepper paste.  Mix well. Add beef and knead with your hands until the spice mixture is well distributed throughout the meat.  Let stand for one hour.  Shape into 8 or so patties.  Grill over a hot fire, turning occasionally, until cooked through but still pink inside, or to desired doneness.

1 comment:

Dianne Jacob said...

Hah! This would be funnier if it wasn't so true. I guess that means it was ironic. Love your sense of humor.