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A July 4th Barbecue

June 26, 2011 | by Sharon Matten

Great summertime recipes for a barbecue party.

Happy Birthday America! Although the ideal place for Jewish people to live is Israel, a lot of us live in America. Celebrating July 4th gives us an opportunity to give appreciative recognition to the country that gives us significant religious freedom. It also gives us a great excuse to have friends and family over for a barbecue party! Our family loves to grill all year round, but the middle of the summer weather makes it much more fun. While the Designated Griller grills the food, the kids run in the sprinkler, color with chalk, and play catch while the grownups run in the sprinkler, color with chalk, and play catch! Just kidding…although it is a great time for everyone to kick back and enjoy each others company while eating great and healthy food.

All the recipes I’m going to share with you are also great for friends and family that are GFE’s (Gluten Free Eaters).

I hope you enjoy these summertime recipes.


My mother-in-law, the nutritionist, gave me this terrific recipe which takes the traditional potato salad and makes it lighter. No mayonnaise, but packed with delicious and healthy corn and fresh parsley from the garden, this recipe is a barbecue favorite.

You can use large or small potatoes. I have even seen an assortment of multicolored small potatoes (purple!) in the store, which would make for an unusual, and colorful, summer salad! You can also use 20 ounces of canned corn instead of the frozen variety – whatever you have on hand!

  • 2 pounds potatoes (approximately 4 large)
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 dash garlic powder
  • 1 dash black pepper
  • 1 pound frozen corn, defrosted

In a large stockpot, cover the potatoes with water and cook for 20-30 minutes until fork tender. Remove from water and let cool.

Cut the cooled potatoes into 1 inch cubes. You can leave the peel on for a healthier and more rustic salad. Place into a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients. Toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors of the salad blend. Serve to your favorite barbecue guests!


Although I serve it year round, this is one of my personal favorite potato salads. It gets its crunch from sweet apples, healthy celery, and flavorful chopped pecans.

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 large)
  • ¼ cup limes juice
  • 2 large apples, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup lowfat mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar

Place the potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover the potatoes and cook for 20-30 minutes until fork tender. Remove from water and let cool.

Drain potatoes and allow them to cool enough to peel. Cut into 1 inch cubes. Place in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with lime juice. Add the diced apples, celery and nuts to the potatoes. Add enough mayonnaise to coat well. Chill before serving.


What’s a birthday party without a cake? Who would expect a GRILLED HAMBURGER CAKE? This surprise cake is one of the highlights of the Fourth of July celebration. Yes, you read that right! Two huge grilled hamburgers “frosted” with smooth mashed potatoes and decorated with drizzled ketchup or barbecue sauce. This “cake” combines two of my favorite activities – grilling and cake decorating.

For more information about this recipe go to

  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • 7 cups instant dried mashed potatoes
  • ¼ cup chicken consume mix
  • 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 10 cups boiling water
  • ketchup for garnish

Heat grill to medium heat. Divide beef into two. Form two large patties from the ground beef. Grill until cooked through, flipping once – around 10 minutes. Spread barbecue sauce on burgers during grilling. Remove from grill.

While the beef is cooking prepare the potatoes. Combine all the dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Add boiling water and margarine and stir until completely smooth.

Place one of the patties on a large heat-proof plate. Cover generously with mashed potatoes and smooth. Top with the next patty. “Frost” the layers with rest of the potatoes. You can use a pastry bag to pipe borders and decorations on the “cake”, and can make a “ridged” edge by running a serrated knife along the outside of the “frosted cake”. Drizzle ketchup along the edge of the cake for additional decoration.

Slice and serve warm to your surprised guests!


What’s more American than apple pie? These are a lighter alternative to the traditional apple pie. Caramelized apple pie filling is sandwiched between creamy “apple pie” whipped cream. Topped with a cinnamon granola crunch and patriotic decorations, you’re ready for Fourth of July fireworks with dessert in hand!

If you don’t have fancy parfait glasses, use clear plastic cups, or just scoop this delicious dessert into bowls. If you don’t have time to peel and cook the apples or to make the home made granola topping, you can use store bought apple pie filling and granola – but the home made version is way better! For the GFE – omit the crunch topping and replace with a gluten free store bought variety.

  • 8 large apples, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups pareve heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 tablespoons margarine
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • non-stick vegetable spray

Preheat oven to 350° F. Cover a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil, then spray with non-stick vegetable spray. In a medium bowl combine the rolled oats, margarine, brown sugar, flour and chopped pecans. Blend together with a fork until only small lumps remain. Spread out on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally, until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, coat the apple slices with the lemon juice. Melt the margarine in a large skillet, over medium-high heat,. Add the apples, sugar, and brown sugar, and cinnamon and sauté until the apples are soft and caramelized, about 25-30 minutes.

In a small bowl or measuring cup combine the cold water, corn starch, and vanilla. Stir until the corn starch is completely dissolved. Add to the apples and cook over medium heat until the liquid thickens. Set aside and cool completely.

Remove 1/3 of the apple mixture, and place in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Blend in the processed apples, thoroughly combining.

Layer the cream and apples in large parfait cups (cream, apples, cream). Top with crunchy toppings and additional decorations. Makes 12 large parfaits.

Note: You can use 2 cups of whipping cream instead of 3 for a cream with more apple flavor.


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