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Fourth of July Inspirations

B y the time July rolls around, the grills are out and have been in heavy use. The technique is down. The grill master is ready. So invite everyone over and have a backyard party.

Fourth of July Inspirations - Holidays & Entertaining – Dartagnan.com

Whether it’s a block party, a barbeque or a picnic, the Fourth of July is a traditional time to eat, drink and celebrate our independence. Do it with a streak of all-American pride, by serving up buffalo. The shaggy bovine that is indigenous to our continent offers lean red meat that is satisfying as well as healthy. Whether you choose burgers or ribeye steaks, buffalo meat is best when rare to medium rare, since it has so little fat. Large cuts like buffalo tenderloin or hanger steak are both ideal choices for parties. Marinated in herbaceous chimichurri sauce, then grilled and thinly sliced, buffalo will make an impressive meal served over fluffy rice or smashed potatoes.

What would the Fourth of July be without hot dogs? The quintessential American sausage (by way of Germany) is practically a requirement on the grill. Feed your guests something healthy with our plump beef and duck hot dogs, made without preservatives, additives, nitrates or nitrites. Offer plenty of toppings, both fresh and pickled, and let guests dress the dogs to their own liking.

And speaking of sausages, game sausages like our juicy venison or wild boar links are superb when grilled and served like hot dogs—nestled into a baguette with Dijon mustard, topped with fresh fennel slaw or chutney. These versatile game sausages not only stand in for the classic hot dog, but also offer a certain je ne sais quoi to the backyard party. And light, flavorful chicken sausages are also perfect when served in the same manner.

Another party favorite, succulent Berkshire pork ribs can be slowly smoked on the grill and slathered in the BBQ sauce of your choice with delectable results.

Who doesn’t love chicken in the summer? Try it either charred on the grill under a brick, or buttermilk battered and fried and then served alongside corn on the cob and a warm potato salad garnished with smoky bacon.

For an easy-to-serve option, try skewering cubes of seasoned wild boar meat or venison for the grill, or spear Louisiana-style andouille sausage chunks on a skewer with onions and peppers in between for a spicy alternative. The kebab is perfect for a big party, because you can prep the skewers early and whip the tray out of the refrigerator when hungry guests have assembled. The best part is that you don’t end up with a lot of silverware to clean!

Salads come in all shapes and sizes, but are always welcome to round out the meal. Be sure to toss some smoked duck breast or bacon into the greens to make salads more filling—and delicious!

For drinks, mix up some lemonade and garnish with sprigs of fresh herbs like mint, lavender or lemon verbena. A Bloody Mary with a crispy bacon swizzle stick will always perk up a party. And be sure to have plenty of beer bottles on ice. If you have visitors from out of state, consider offering local micro-brewed beers, which demonstrate U.S. pride and are often unavailable outside of specific regions.

So unfurl your flag and celebrate American independence with a big meal, a few drinks and plenty of fireworks