July 4th Picnic with Red, White, and Blue

~ by Jessica Taryn Daub ~

‘Tis the season for outdoor eating. Fire up the grill and celebrate our Independence Day with these takes on some classics. An All-American red potato salad with bacon and chives pairs perfectly with the BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches with homemade sauce. Cool down and escape the heat with a sweet and savory watermelon salad with mint. Finish it all off with seasonally scrumptious blueberry turnovers made with cream cheese.

Happy 4th!

ALL AMERICAN RED POTATO SALAD

  • 6-7 medium red potatoes
  • cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 TBSP brown mustard
  • 1 1/2 TBSP white vinegar
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1-2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • freshly chopped chives for garnish
  1. Place potato chunks in medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking for 8-10 more minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper, celery, onion, eggs, and bacon. Mix until well combined. Add potatoes and stir until coated.
  4. Chill for 2 hours or overnight. Garnish with chives prior to serving.

PULLED BBQ CHICKEN SANDWICH

Chicken

  • 2 TBSP dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 8 sandwich rolls

For Sauce:

  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 TBSP dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 TBSP cider vinegar
  • 1 TBSP molasses
  1. Heat the grill.
  2. To prepare chicken, combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl. Rub spice mixture evenly over the chicken. Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; cover and grill 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 180F, turning occasionally. Let rest for 5 minutes. Shred with forks.
  3. To prepare the sauce, heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar and next 5 ingredients, cook 30 seconds.
  4. Add in ketchup, vinegar, and molasses, stir and bring to a simmer 10 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add in shredded chicken, cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Put chicken on in sandwich rolls.

WATERMELON SALAD WITH MINT

  • 5 cups watermelon, chopped
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 cups red grapes, sliced
  • 1-3 TBSP of white balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 TBSP of olive oil sea salt to taste
  • 1 TBSP fresh mint chiffonade
  • 1 TBSP fresh basil chiffonade
  1. In a large bowl, gently toss the watermelon, tomatoes and grapes, chill for 30 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar to taste and sprinkle with salt, mint and basil. Serve chilled.

BLUEBERRY TURNOVERS

  • 1-1/2 box Phyllo dough, defrosted
  • 12 TBSP butter, melted
  • 1 cup wild blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 2 TBSP sugar + 1 TBSP for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl beat together the cream cheese and sugar. Stir in the blueberries.
  3. Unwrap and unroll the phyllo dough. Keep covered with a damp towel or plastic wrap while working as it quickly dries out. handle the dough gently to prevent ripping.
  4. Lay out one piece of phyllo dough and brush all over with butter. cover with another piece and brush until covered with butter. continue with two more pieces of phyllo until you have 4 total.
  5. Using a pizza cutter, cut the phyllo dough in half the long way, creating two long rectangles.
  6. Place a tablespoon of filling at the end of te dough in the center, leaving space all around. Fold over at 45 degree angle creating a triangle. Then take the dough and fold it again at 45 degree angle, continue folding making sure the dough remains a triangle, until you get to the end of the rectangle of dough. it is important that the filling is completely enclosed so it doesn’t leak out during cooking. continue with the second rectangle.
  7. Place finished turnovers onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Continue with remaining phyllo dough.
  8. Brush tops of turnovers one more time with butter. Sprinkle turnovers with remaining tablespoon of sugar.
  9. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the turnovers are golden brown. Serve immediately.