The 4th of July is not just our Independence Day, but truly a celebration of all things American. In addition to the parades and fireworks, there is nothing more American than celebrating the holiday with a cookout with family and friends. In fact, rumor has it that the tradition of a BBQ celebration started when the British surrendered the Revolutionary War! (Read The Grand Barbecue for details).
Whether your cookout happens on a boat, on the beach, or in your backyard, it is an absolute given that there will be some combination of hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, wings, ribs, steaks, pulled pork, and the list goes on and on….! But what to serve alongside the main dish inevitably becomes the real question, especially if you are invited to a cookout and have no idea what to bring.
So here are 4 unique side dish recipes that are super simple since they only have 4 ingredients each (not counting olive oil, salt, and pepper), that you can grill ahead of time. In fact, if you want to make all of them, you can grill all of the ingredients at the same time and then just assemble the salads which leaves your TEC Infrared Grill wide open. Just don’t forget to review our cooking temperatures guide so you don’t burn the main dish!
Each recipe serves 8 people.
- 4 ears fresh corn, shucked
- 4-6 green onions
- 1 pound crab meat, picked over for shells
- About 1 tablespoon Cajun or blackening seasoning (preferably a low sodium blend)
- Grill corn and green onions until slightly charred all over.
- Remove from grill, and cut kernels off of corn cobs. Slice green onions thinly on the bias.
- Place corn and green onions in a bowl, and toss with the crab meat and enough olive oil to lightly coat the salad.
- Sprinkle Cajun or blackening over the crab mixture and continue tossing gently, until seasoned to taste.
- 4 large baking potatoes
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4-6 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped (reserve some of the bacon fat)
- About 4 cups cheddar cheese
- Place potatoes on the top rack of your TEC grill on low heat (or in a 350 degree F oven). Bake potatoes until cooked through.
- Remove from oven or grill, and immediately slice in half lengthwise. Let steam escape, and when just cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh of the potatoes into a bowl.
- Mash with the sour cream, bacon, and 2 cups cheddar cheese. If mixture is thick, drizzle in some of the reserved bacon fat until a creamy consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper.
- Mound the potato mixture back into the potato skins.
- Divide remaining 2 cups of cheddar cheese amongst the tops of the potatoes.
- Place stuffed potatoes back on the grill (or in the oven) and cook until cheese is melted and potato skins are crispy.
- 1 seedless watermelon, rind removed and cut into wedges
- 1 cup small (ciliegine) size fresh mozzarella balls, cut in half
- 1 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
- Balsamic glaze
- Drizzle olive oil over watermelon wedges, and grill over medium heat until lightly charred.
- Remove from heat and cut into smaller wedges.
- Place watermelon in a bowl, and toss gently with the cheese and basil.
- Drizzle with a little more olive oil, some balsamic glaze, and season with salt and pepper.
- 2-3 large bunches asparagus, tough ends trimmed
- 3-4 large carrots
- 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
- About 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- Grill asparagus and carrots over high heat, just until slightly charred and slightly softened (do not cook them until they are limp).
- Remove from heat, and using a vegetable peeler, shave the carrots into ribbons.
- Cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces.
- Toss with the lemon zest and lemon juice, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Use the peeler to shave Parmesan cheese over the salad.
- Note: This can also be a great main dish for vegetarians, as carrots take on a meaty quality when grilled (almost like the texture of hot dogs).