4th of July Blowout: Food! Glorious, Patriotic Food

Instant Grit

{Looking for the Fat and Juicy giveaway? Scroll down!}



4th of July Blowout! Your Grit Guide to Independence Day in the Holy City 


MONDAY: How NOT to Ruin the Big Beachside Holiday 

TUESDAY: Your Explosive Holiday Checklist



What's a July 4th celebration without some surf, and turf, and a borderline over-the-top patriotic dessert?! We'll tell you. Lame. But don't worry—we've got you covered. Keep on for Firefly sweet tea bourbon-flavored ribs, fresh fish tacos, and a red--white-and-blue cake that's "The Bomb." Plus, a Grit giveaway! And stay tuned: we've got cocktails headed your way tomorrow. 




Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon-Glazed Pork Ribs

Recipe courtesy of Aaron Siegel, owner and founder of Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ; photograph by Peter Frank Edwards

{serves 6-8}



2 racks (6-8 lbs.) St. Louis-cut pork ribs
2 cups of your favorite dry rub
Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon Barbecue Glaze


For the Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon Barbecue Glaze:

Heat 4 cups (32 oz.) Firefly Bourbon in a large saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until it reduces by three-quarters (roughly one cup), or about 15 to 20 minutes. Add 4 cups tomato ketchup, 2 cups cider vinegar, 4 Tbs. brown sugar, 4 Tbs. molasses, 3 Tbs. black pepper, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce, and 2 Tbs. kosher salt. Cook on low heat for 30 to 45 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and cool.


DIRECTIONSRinse the meat. Pat dry and place on a large metal baking sheet or foil pan. With your hands, season the meat with the dry rub on all sides. Let stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, light the grill. If using charcoal, bank the briquettes along the sides of the basin and leave only a few in the center. For propane grills, light half the burners to 250°F. Place a handful of wood chips in your grill’s chip tray or wrap into a foil ball, poke holes in it, and place directly over the flame. Place the ribs (bone side down) on the center of a charcoal grill, or over the unlit burners on a propane grill. Place cover on grill with ventilation holes open (the grill temp should range from 220 to 275°F). Add hot charcoal with shovel to maintain desired temperature. When the internal temperature of the meat reaches 190 to 195°F, remove from grill. Allow meat to rest 10 minutes. Flip racks so the meat faces down and slice between the bones. Turn meat side up and brush with Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon Glaze. Serve immediately. 


Baja-Style Fish Tacos

Recipe by Heather Garvin; photograph by Gayle Brooker

{serves 4}



For the Baja sauce:

3 Tbsp. yellow onion, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

1 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. garlic powder


For the slaw:

2 cups shredded cabbage

Juice of 1 lime

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

3/4 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped


For the fish: 

1/2 cup cornmeal

2 tsp. ground cumin

1½ tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1½ -2 lbs. mahi mahi (or other firm white fish), sliced
    lengthwise in approx. 1/2-inch slices   

Canola oil

8 corn tortillas, warmed


DIRECTIONS: Combine the Baja sauce ingredients in bowl of a food processor. Blend for 10-15 seconds, until onion is minced and all ingredients are well-combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Place the cabbage in a medium bowl and squeeze lime juice over top. Add the tomatoes and cilantro, and toss all ingredients until combined. Set aside. Pour the cornmeal onto a large plate and stir in the cumin, paprika, and salt. Dredge mahi slices in cornmeal mixture. Coat evenly and transfer to a clean baking sheet. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to just coat the bottom of the pan. Once heated, cook fish in batches (do not overcrowd pan), about two minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Divide fish among corn tortillas and drizzle Baja sauce over. Top with slaw and serve immediately.


"The Bomb" Happy Birthday America Cake

Photograph by Brie Williams



6 egg whites

1 tsp. white vinegar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups sugar

1/2 gallon ice cream

20 oz. whipped cream

1 1/2 cups cut strawberries

1 1/2 cups blueberries 


Directions: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place flattened grocery bag on top of cookie sheet. Combine first four ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat at medium speed until soft peaks form, approximately three to four minutes. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff. Pour meringue onto the brown bag; form a circle that is about 10 inches in diameter and one-and-a-half to two-inches thick. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and peel meringue off bag (it’s okay if it breaks into pieces). Place on a large serving platter. Allow to cool. When ready to serve, scoop ice cream on top of meringue layer, followed by the whipped cream. Sprinkle the strawberries and blueberries over the top and serve immediately.



Grit's July 4th giveaway!: Chances are you've sipped on and enjoyed local Fat and Juicy's Bloody Mary mix. But have you tried their new margarita mix? We have. And it's the bomb. To celebrate the 4th, we're giving away two bottles of Fat and Juicy Margarita Mix—perfect for summer, no? To enter to win, tell us which of the above recipes you'd be likely to make this weekend. Voting closes Monday, July 8 at 12 noon and TWO WINNERS will be chosen at random. Be sure to sign into the comment field in a way that allows us to notify you later (FB, Twitter, gmail, etc.).