Fireworks, picnics, rooftop parties and BBQ’s are planned for weeks in advance. Last year, we were lucky enough to be on a rooftop overlooking the Hudson River in New York, with kegs of beer, unlimited champagne, a water slide and perfect position for the traditional firework display.
This year we are celebrating 4th July Australian style with a BBQ on the deck amongst the rainforest with an all American menu.
On the Menu
Crab, corn and mint fritters with spicy lemon mayo
Pretzels with mustard
Manhattans with sour cherries
(serves 6, 3 wings each)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cloves
salt and pepper
In a bowl combine all spices. Toss chicken wings in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour spices over wings and mix thoroughly to ensure that all wings are evenly coated. Cover and refridgerate for a minimum of 30 minutes (overnight is best).
Heat grill (or grill plate) and lightly brush with oil. Cook each wing for about 10 minutes on each side. Preheat oven to 100C, keep wings on a plate covered with tin foil until all are cooked. Serve immediately.
(makes 6 pretzels)
1 cup milk
7g active dry yeast
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cups plain flour (more for kneading)
40g butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspsoon salt
Coatings for pretzels
2 – 3 tablespoons course sea salt, sesame seeds, black poppy seeds
dark chocolate, if you fancy a sweet/salt delight
Warm the milk in a saucepan and heat until just below boiling point, pour into a medium bowl, sprinkle over yeast and allow to sit for 3 minutes. Into the yeast mixture, stir sugar and half the flour with a wooden spoon. Once mixed, add in butter and remaining flour and salt to form a sticky dough.
Remove from bowl and knead on a light floured surface until smooth but slightly tacky. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and let rise in a warm spot unitl it has doubled in size (about an hour).
Preheat oven to 230C (450F) and grease a large baking tray. Punch the dough to deflate it, then devide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll and stretch each piece of dough into a snake (roughly 30cm long x 1cm width), and twist into a pretzel shape but holding each end and slapping the middle of the rope together and twisting, then lay on the counter and secure the ends in place. This is a little tricky to do at first! But practice makes perfect.
Brush each pretzel with warm water and sprinkle with course seasalt, sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve hot with your favourite mustard or chutney.
Rocket, Pear & Walnut salad
Large bunch (or bag) of rocket
1/2 cup walnuts
2 pears, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
salt and pepper
Heat a small fry pan with oil and toast walnuts until they begin to colour slightly. Remove and allow to cool. In a large bowl, combine arugula, pear and walnuts, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
Manhattans with Sour Cherries
For the Manhattan
(yields 3 cocktails)
180ml rye whiskey
55ml sweet vermouth (or wine blogger Jameson Fink recommends sherry for a twist on the traditional)
6 dashes of bitters
sour cherries, to garnish
Pour all ingredients (except cherries) into a mixing glass with ice-cubes and stir well. Strain into a chill cocktail glass and top with sour cherries.
For the Sour Cherries
450 grams cherries, pitted
2 tablespoons lime juice
zest of 1 lime
In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 10 minutes. Be careful not to cook for too long or at a rapid boil as this will cause the cherries to break down.