How to Have an Italian Themed 4th of July and/or Labor Day BBQ

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Let’s face it, without the many ethnic groups now a permanent part of the US fabric we’d all be living in a pretty bland and sterile environment.   Specifically, immigrants are at the heart of American life and they are what make our country so special.  If not, for example, the culinary traditions of recent immigrants to the United States we’d have an almost non existent food culture.  So, on this 4th of July (and/or Labor Day) remember and recognize your immigrant past and celebrate with a few, BBQ friendly, foods from your specific tradition (Italian or otherwise).

Here at Scordo we’ll have a grand outdoor party and it will be informed by our Italian background, including a few of the following dishes:

    • Roasted peppers can be added to just about anything including burgers and sandwiches or as a side dish with grilled pork chops or BBQ ribs.  Roasted Pepper Recipe.
    • Iced Espresso – There’s nothing like iced espresso on a hot afternoon, well the hot variety is nice even during the summer months.  I like ending any summer BBQ or party with fresh fruit and a expertly chilled espresso.  Iced Espresso Recipe.
    • Tomatoes define the summer season for us and the simple tomato salad or tomato bruschetta are the perfect representations of the vegetable.  Tomato Salad and Tomato Bruschetta recipes.
    • Potato Salad – Mayonnaise gets a bad wrap in Italy.  Most Italians equate the egg based spread with sloppy cuisine and masked flavors.  I enjoy mayonnaise in small doses but when it comes to potato salad I prefer extra virgin olive oil as a base and plenty of red onions and herbs.  Italian Potato Salad Recipe
    • Crocchette – OK, so you don’t need a national holiday to enjoy fried potatoes but these little golden fried treasures are part of the southern Italian tradition in Calabria and they make the perfect finger food for an outdoor party.  Crocchette di Patate Calabrese.
    • Sausage and Peppers – If you have the grill going during your 4th of July party sausage and peppers can become a very easy dish to prepare; that is to say, grill some sausage and peppers and dice them up.  Finally, combine the ingredients with some fresh herbs and very good extra virgin olive oil.  Presto, you have sausage and peppers without turning on your oven or using a pan!  Sausage and Peppers Recipe.
    • Hamburgers –  contributions emanating from the United States is the popularization of the hamburger.  When a hamburger is well done it’s the envy of every certified food fanatic on the planet, independent of ethnicity.  The Perfect Hamburger Recipe.
    • Pizza – In Italy bread is an essential part of every meal.  Pizza specifically is made and consumed on a daily basis in many parts of the country.   However, it’s not the variety we are accustomed to here in the United States, rather it’s a version made with fresh ingredients including tomato pieces, olives, onions, herbs, cured fish, etc.  I love room temperature pizza cut up into bite size portions for a big outdoor party.  Pizza Calabrese Recipe.
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