Monday, July 1, 2013

July 4th Recipe Round-up Including a Recipe for Fried Rats (GAPS : grain-free : Primal : gluten-free)

The 4th of July has always been one of my family's favorite holidays.  Here in the hot dry desert, the arrival of early July ushers in the monsoon season, when we will get the majority of our 8.5-inches of annual rainfall.  We finally start to see a break from the 100+ degree days, and the 4th of July is a great time to celebrate the change.

We spend time with family, watch the kids play in water, and enjoy a great meal.  Our July 4th is usually a potluck, so no one has to spend too much time cooking.  Then the evening is topped off with lots of fireworks.

July 4th Recipes

All of these recipes are grain-free, and the majority are GAPS-legal, too. The recipe for fried rats is below under "Side Dishes".

Main Courses
Side dishes
  • Grilled zucchini or summer squash - Simply slice squash lengthwise about 1/3-inch thick.  Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill them!
  • Probiotic potato salad
  • Lemon basil chopped summer salad - This salad showcases the flavors of summer's bounty.
  • Fermented bread and butter pickles - This fermented recipe keeps everyone coming back for more, even people who don't usually eat fermented foods.
  • Kale chips - These salty, crispy snacks are a yummy addition.
  • Creamy cukes with beautiful salmon roe - This recipe is extremely simple and delicious. 
  • Raw veggie sticks with homemade ranch dip
  • Summer roasted vegetable medley
  • Fried rats - My friend Linda is always requested to bring this delicious dish to every potluck. And no, this recipe doesn't actually include rats, but the jalapeno stems look like little rat tails. Fried rats are unbelievably scrumptious, and not too spicy if prepared properly.
    • Ingredients: 
      • jalapenos (of roughly the same size), with stems attached and preferably straight rather than curved
      • cream cheese
      • bacon, preferably thick-sliced
    • Method: 
      • Slit the jalapenos down one side, and remove the seeds/membranes/veins using a small spoon. The more of those bits that are left in the jalapenos, the spicier they will be. Be careful, those seeds and bits are so hot that any residual oil on your skin will burn your eyes for days afterwards. I like to wear disposable latex gloves to prevent that, and be very careful not to touch my skin (and especially not lips or eyes) with the spicy stuff.
      • Stuff the jalapenos with cream cheese.  A small butter knife with rounded ends would work well for this. 
      • Wrap a slice of bacon around each jalapeno.  Place them in a baking dish, and bake in a 400-450 degree oven for about an hour, until the jalapenos are fully cooked and the bacon has started to crisp up.

What foods will be gracing your Independence Day table?

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