There is nothing more American than a backyard barbecue to celebrate Independence Day. But here in la Nouvelle Orleans, a city so deeply entrenched in the history, spirit and flavors of France, we are known to do things a little differently. We call doughnuts “beignets” and eat everything from seafood to vegetables in an “au gratin” fashion. So on the Fourth, while the rest of the country enjoys a good ol’ hamburger with a side of baked beans and not-so-French fries, give your guests a little lagniappe by incorporating these fabulously French ingredients. But if your menu and your mind are already set on the mouthwatering taste of more traditional fare, you still have another chance to try these recipes this month — July 14 is Bastille Day!
Blackened Bleu Burger
4 8-ounce hamburger patties
4 ounces red onions
2 teaspoons olive oil or butter
4 ounces bleu cheese
4 tomato slices
Cajun seasoning to taste
French bread or hamburger buns

Grill patties over white-hot coals, and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning. Sauté the red onions using 2 teaspoons of olive oil or butter. Top each patty with a heaping of sautéed onions, bleu cheese and tomato slices. Serve on freshly grilled French bread or a hamburger bun. Serves 4.

Roasted Haricot Verts, Fennel and Potatoes
2 bulbs of fennel (approximately 1 1/4 pounds)
1 1/2 pounds small new red potatoes
1 1/2 pounds haricots verts (green beans)
2/3 cup olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the tops off of the fennel, and cut the bulbs into quarters. Peel and thinly slice potatoes. Snap the ends off of the haricots verts.

Toss the fennel and potatoes with the olive oil, and lay out on a baking sheet.

Sprinkle with salt, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven. Toss haricots verts with fennel and potatoes in remaining olive oil. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. Sprinkle with black pepper, and serve hot or
at room temperature.

Recipes courtesy ofwww.cooks.com