Many moons ago, and I mean turn-of-the-century moons ago, I spent my second year of Uni living and studying in the US. A pre-planned exchange year as part of my degree it remains one of the best decisions I made to spend the year away from home at 19 and immerse myself in a different life, meeting other international students from all over the world who are still friends more than 15 years later.
Ever since then and especially as I’ve been working for a US company for the last 13 years I’ve never really been able to escape American public holidays and know exactly when they all are as well as any UK ones. So when I was asked to come up with some Independence Day recipes using Frank’s and French’s sauces it seemed like a logical challenge to embrace using their iconic range of mustards and BBQ sauces especially since they’re all gluten-free.
I based the recipes around the idea of catering for an Independence Day party (which basically means Pete and I now have food lined up for the week) and tried to keep it as healthy as possible – with the exception of the sauces, generally low-fat and high-protein, as well as simple, quick and easy to make recipes. Needless to say I’ve been doing a lot of sampling and feel ever so slightly full…so here goes:
Smoky BBQ Beans – serves 4-6
2 x 400g cans of pinto or borlotti beans, drained
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Half a large onion, finely chopped
80ml French’s Classic Yellow Mustard
2tbsp black treacle
2tbsp tomato puree
80ml white wine vinegar
175ml maple syrup
1tbsp worcester sauce
Salt & pepper
- In a large saucepan, fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat until translucent
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes or until the liquid has reduced
Fiery Chicken ‘Nuggets’ – serves 2-3
1 x pack of chicken fillets/strips
Half a bottle of Frank’s redhot pepper sauce
1 x bowl of polenta or cornmeal
French’s Kansas City BBQ Sauce, for dipping
- Place the chicken fillets into a bowl and add the pepper sauce to marinade for at least 3-4 hours and ideally overnight
- When ready to cook, place each fillet into the bowl of polenta and ensure it’s covered thoroughly before placing onto a baking tray and cooking in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree for 25 minutes
- The polenta should give the chicken strip a slightly crunchy texture on the outside, like a chicken nugget
GF Hot Dogs with Spicy Coleslaw
1 x gluten free ciabatta roll per person
1 x gluten-free hot dog or sausage (since I don’t eat red meat, I used Linda McCartney Red Onion & Rosemary sausages) per person
1 x celery stick, roughly chopped
1/2 red pepper, roughly chopped
1/4 white cabbage, roughly chopped
2tbsp French’s Classic Yellow Mustard
2tbsp soured cream
1tbsp white wine vinegar
- Cook the hot dog or sausages according to pack instructions
- Mix the celery, red pepper and cabbage together in a large bowl
- Mix the remaining sauce ingredients together in a separate bowl and then pour into the vegetable bowl, mixing thoroughly.
- Slice your ciabatta roll and place a small amount of slaw into the roll before placing the hot-dog or sausage on top. Top with some more slaw and extra mustard if you wish
Baked Sweet Potato Skins with BBQ Chicken – serves 8
4 x sweet potatoes
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1 x pack of chicken fillets
1/3 bottle of French’s Kansas City BBQ Sauce
1 x large bag of spinach
Salt & Pepper
- Wash the sweet potatoes and pat dry before placing on a baking tray and baking in the oven for approximately 50 minutes at 180 degrees. When they’re done a knife should be able to pass all the way through
- In the meantime, heat up some olive oil and pan fry the chicken breasts for about 15 minutes. Don’t overcook since the chicken will be baked in the oven at a later stage. Once it’s cooked, shred it using two forks to tear it apart. It should be tender and juicy at this point.
- Mix the BBQ sauce into the shredded chicken and set aside
- Fry the chopped onion over a medium heat for a few minutes before adding the spinach and sauteeing until wilted
- Slicing the sweet potatoes in half lengthways, scoop out most of the potato flesh and pop it in a bowl to which you can add the chicken and spinach mixtures and mix well together.
- Spoon the mixture back into the potato skins and bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes at 180 degrees
So there we go, my super-easy recipes to host a fun and filling Independence Day party. The best thing of all is that all of the recipes can be so easily adapted to suit your own tastes and health requirements – Pete is having a vegetarian sausage even though he eats red meat but he’s having a normal hot dog bun instead of one of my gluten-free ones. Win win!
This is a collaborative post and the sauces were sent to me free of charge in order to create some recipes. All words, opinions and images are my own unless otherwise stated.