Everyone has their Fourth of July favorites -- whether from the grill or the kitchen.
Mine is a bit unusual -- a far cry from the traditional burger or hot dog. It was at a July 4 celebration when I had my first taste of hash. Of course, hash is not a Lowcountry dish, but I so look forward to when my daughter, Tonya, brings it to our family gatherings. To get by in between visits, I learned to make a turkey hash. It's not the real thing, but it does the job.
July 4, for me, is always about family and friends. We cook together, eat together, laugh together and, my goodness, we're just glad to be, well, together. There's so much food, with new dishes appearing each year a new member is added to the party.
For us, the celebration is an all-day affair, with the designated chef up and at 'em bright and early. He or she tries hard not to wake the others by banging around in the kitchen -- at least not until there's actually something for everyone to taste.
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I share with you a few recipes from "B. Smith Cooks Southern-Style," by Barbara Smith. You can make hash for Fourth of July or anytime during the summer, really.
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups turkey or chicken stock or broth
4 cups finely diced or shredded roasted turkey
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream, as needed
In a large skillet, melt the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and bell pepper. Stir for 5 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked and the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the flour, incorporating well; then add the stock or broth to the pan. Stir with a whisk until the sauce comes to a boil, thickens slightly, and is smooth. Reduce the heat to low. Add the turkey, parsley, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the hash reaches the desired consistency. Add heavy cream if desired. Serve immediately.
SWEET MAPLE BARBEQUE SAUCE
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups ketchup
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 slices fresh lemon
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon paprika
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook stirring frequently until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ketchup, maple syrup, orange juice, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, lemon slices, dry mustard, salt, red pepper flakes, and paprika to the pan. Stir well to combine, and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. Remove the lemon slices. Serve warm or place in a tightly sealed container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
BOURBON BROWN SUGAR BARBEQUE SAUCE
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large sweet onion (such as Vidalia), finely chopped
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Heat oil and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes, until light golden brown. Stir in ketchup, bourbon, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, molasses, salt and cayenne pepper; mix well. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. Serve warm, or place in a tightly sealed container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition.