Politics & Policy

Fêting the Fourth

A stay-cool menu for Independence Day

I have one tip for your Independence Day feast: Don’t turn on your oven or stove. Who needs the heat?

Preparing a proper summer cookout menu while adhering to this rule can be tough. It rules out potato salad (I refuse to boil the potatoes), baked beans (see that word “baked”? no!), ribs (yes, I know they can be done entirely on the grill, but I prefer to braise mine in the oven before a quick searing and saucing on the grill), and pie (it practically makes me a traitor, but I refuse to bake in summer).

#ad#So, in my effort to stay cool as a cucumber on Fourth of July, I’ve come up with this simple, hassle-free grilling menu.

 

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Craving ribs or pulled pork but can’t stand the thought of manning a grill all day? Here is a great substitute. Pork tenderloins cook fast on the grill, and the bacon gives them a smoky, salty hit. Serves 6.

2 pork tenderloins, silver skin removed, patted dry

1 pound center-cut bacon (thin sliced)

4 sprigs rosemary: leaves removed from one sprig and chopped fine; the other sprigs cut in half but otherwise left intact

6 sprigs fresh thyme

3 garlic cloves, chopped fine

Salt and pepper

Salt and pepper each tenderloin (salt modestly, as the bacon is salty) then rub each with the garlic and chopped rosemary. Lay out the bacon on a cutting board so that the slices slightly overlap. Tuck under the tapered end of the pork tenderloin and lay it on top of the bacon. Wrap the bacon around the tenderloin (the ends of the bacon will overlap) and transfer the whole thing to a platter (bacon seam-side down). Repeat with the other tenderloin. Place in the refrigerator for about half an hour to chill and firm up.

Meanwhile, place 8 to 10 pieces of butcher’s twine about an inch apart on a cutting board. Place one chilled tenderloin on top of the twine and tie the bacon in place. Insert sprigs of rosemary and thyme under the twine. Repeat with the other tenderloin. Set aside until ready to grill. (The tenderloins can be prepared several hours in advance and kept in the refrigerator.)

Grill the tenderloins on indirect heat (see this helpful video if you’re unfamiliar with the indirect-cooking method) until they have reached an internal temperature of 140 degrees (about 15 to 20 minutes). At that point, move the tenderloins to the hottest part of the grill (on the grate directly over the coals) to crisp up the bacon (this will take only a few minutes). Continuously rotate the tenderloins so that they don’t burn. Remove the tenderloins when they reach an internal temperature of 150 degrees. Let rest for 15 minutes before removing the twine and slicing into rounds. Serve with your favorite barbeque sauce, pickles, and small rolls.

Chicken and Fruit Kabobs

My kids love anything served on a stick. Serves 4.

1 pound chicken breasts, cut into cubes

Peaches, nectarines, mangos, and pineapple, cubed (make sure to get slightly firm fruit)

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

20 wooden kabob sticks, soaked in water for half an hour before threading and grilling

Toss cubes of chicken with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Thread the kabobs with the cubes of raw chicken and fruit. Make any combinations you desire. Make sure you have some space between the fruit and the chicken; you don’t want to crowd the kabobs. Grill the kabobs on a hot grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until chicken cubes are cooked through.

Serve with a dipping sauce of Greek-style yogurt mixed with honey, finely diced cucumber, and a little salt and pepper.

 

#page#Guacamole with Chips

Everyone loves guac! I usually aim for one avocado per person. This version serves 6.

6 ripe avocados, removed from their skins and roughly chopped (I like big chunks in mine, but puree if you prefer)

Half a large red onion (or one very small), diced and rinsed under cold water (this will remove any harshness from the taste)

Handful cilantro, roughly chopped

2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced (optional)

1 or 2 jalapeños, seeds and veins removed, diced (optional)

Juice from 2 limes

Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients. Taste to make sure the guacamole has enough lime and salt. Add more if needed. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

 

#ad#Raw Corn Salad with Zucchini and Mint

There’s no need to boil that fresh corn. Cut it off the cob for a crispy, super-sweet salad. Serves 4–6.

8 ears of white or yellow sweet corn, husks and silk removed, rinsed and cut off the cob

2 medium zucchini, chopped into small cubes (similar in size to the corn kernels)

2 tablespoons of mint, roughly chopped

Pinch of salt (a small amount of salt is needed, but not too much)

A few tablespoons of olive oil

Combine all ingredients. Set aside for an hour for flavors to meld.

Dessert

Ice cream

Popsicles

Fresh fruit (wouldn’t Mrs. Obama be proud!)

— Julie Gunlock is a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Comey–Trump Dance

I never thought the Comey book would make much news for the simple reason that it would be outrageous if it did. If Comey knew something relevant and important about the Russia investigation that we didn’t already know, he couldn’t possibly put it in his book. Let’s say he did have something big on the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Is James Comey Michael Wolff-ing Himself?

Michael Wolff published a runaway bestseller that left his reputation in tatters. James Comey may be doing a version of the same thing. The rap on Wolff was that he made stuff up. That's not the issue with Comey. It's that his shots at Trump -- although mild by Trump standards -- don't accord with his high-minded ... Read More
Culture

Wednesday Links

T'was the 18th of April in seventy-five: The midnight ride of William Dawes and Samuel Prescott (and Paul Revere). The Forgotten Nazi History of “One-Pot Meals.” Dorothy’s Wizard of Oz Ruby Slippers on Sale for a Whopping $6 Million. On April 18, 1906, an earthquake and fire destroyed 80 percent of ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Underappreciated Barbara Bush

Making the click-through worthwhile: realizing how little we appreciated Barbara Bush when she was in the public’s eye; Mike Pompeo meets with Kim Jong Un and the long road to presidential attendance at high-stakes summit meetings; and Democrats propose a vast, expensive new plan to tackle unemployment . . . at ... Read More
White House

McConnell and Russian Election Interference

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell says he won't bring legislation to the floor to protect special prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation. The incident has inspired liberals to revive their complaints that McConnell put party before country in the last weeks of the 2016 election. The charge, which I have ... Read More
U.S.

California’s Simmering Political Revolt

On the surface, California seems politically monolithic. But as its younger citizens come of age, and as they find themselves locked out of homeownership and economic opportunity, a revolt is brewing. In January, Kerry Jackson, a fellow at the Pacific Research Institute, publised a searing Los Angeles Times ... Read More
Culture

Return of the Feckless Chick-fil-A-Phobes

Move over, Trump Derangement Syndrome. Another unhinged liberal pathology is back:‘’ Chick-fil-A-phobia. Perhaps, in the interest of public health, the CDC should launch a weekly C-f-A-P surveillance report to map the recurrence of this culturally infectious disease. Early-onset symptoms include fear of ... Read More
World

Macron’s Post-Democratic ‘Europe’

Whatever else you may think about France’s President Macron, he is, so far as his own country is concerned, an interesting and innovative politician. But when it comes to the EU, he remains committed to the old Procrustean vision that has caused the union so much trouble, is about to cost it one of its largest ... Read More