A Fresh Fourth of July Menu with Hot Dogs and Potato Salad
No, it's not passé to serve summer standbys for your Fourth of July gathering. Simply give each dish a quick and easy upgrade: Nestle hot dogs in grilled baguettes instead of buns; perk up potato salad with peppery watercress and crisp bacon. Trust us, the results will be just as crowd-pleasing, especially if you bookend them with a round of refreshing cocktails and a simple fruit dessert.
To ensure the food at your gathering is memorable and crowd-pleasing, take a peek at the menu below. We're even sharing our secrets to setting an elegant Fourth of July table, so your holiday can be even more spectacular.
Cucumber Cape Codder
Cape Codder is a fancy name for a vodka-cranberry. Here, the Cucumber Cape Codder is made more refreshing with the addition of fresh lime juice and cucumber two ways. The vegetable is grated and turned into a syrup to sweeten the drink, as well as cut into wedges for the garnish. The best part? You can mix up a big batch in advance and store it in the fridge.
Grilled Hot Dogs with Sweet-Hot Relish
Cornichons, sweet onion, and Peppadew peppers make an irresistible spicy-sweet relish for flame-kissed hot dogs. Pile both onto grilled baguettes schmeared with our test kitchen's favorite condiment: DIY Dijonnaise (it's a combination of mustard and mayo).
Potato Salad with Celery, Cress, and Bacon
In this lighter, mayo-less Potato Salad with Celery, Cress, and Bacon buttery fingerlings are tossed with white-wine vinegar and olive oil while still warm, allowing the bite-size spuds to absorb more flavor. The heat also slightly wilts the celery and watercress, but don't worry, the bacon stays perfectly crisp.
Striped Plum Tart
Flaky puff pastry and toasted almonds form a delicious canvas for this ripe Striped Plum Tart. Alternate between black and red to create a striking striped pattern, then brush with apricot jam straight out of the oven until the fruit sparkles.
For a holiday table that feels as modern as it does festive, work in maritime motifs, and concentrate on two main hues: red and white. In lieu of a tablecloth, paint a drop cloth from a hardware store and anchor it with rope. Paper boats stand-in for saltcellars, while beach rocks and seashells sub for bouquets (elements from nature bring life to any table!).
You'll also want to select a motif. Start by picking a graphic statement and carry it throughout the day. Here, stripes show up on napkins, drinking glasses, the tablecloth, and the serving platter.