- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 27, 2007

For the first time in several years, my husband and I will be in the United States on July Fourth. We’ve spent the last few summers in Paris, where he has done research, and have found ourselves celebrating Independence Day with other ex-pats.

This year, though, we scheduled our travels so that we would be on this side of the Atlantic. I can’t wait and have already called friends to arrange a get-together.

I’m going all out, too, with a red, white and blue menu of barbecued ribs, corn and potato salad — that trio of all-American favorites. I’ll bake baby back ribs, finish them on the grill, then slather them with a spicy sauce.

The corn will become a pudding seasoned with grated Jack cheese. A platter of sliced tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar and another of warm buttered green beans tossed with herbs will provide bursts of color. And, for the potato salad, I have a new recipe, one with a delicious twist on tradition.

Small red-skin potatoes, boiled in their skins and quartered, and chopped hard-boiled eggs form the base. They are accented by bits of chorizo, a smoked Spanish sausage available in many supermarkets. It is the chorizo with its subtle smokiness that makes this potato salad so distinctive. These three ingredients are tossed together in a mustard and shallot vinaigrette, then sprinkled with snipped chives.

This salad, which tastes even better when assembled several hours in advance, serves 8 but can be increased easily if necessary. It makes a fine accompaniment to ribs but would be just as tempting as a side to burgers, barbecued chicken or grilled steaks.

Wherever you’re celebrating our national holiday, this is a side dish certain to add some spark to your table.

Potato salad with chorizo and chives

This salad can be prepared 6 hours ahead, as the salad improves in flavor; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

DRESSING:

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons olive oil

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