Home Cooking Recipes
home cooking recipes                                            home cooking recipes
Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour


The Fourth of July feast is closing in fast

What is the secret to a bang-up July Fourth celebration? Bang-up Fourth of July food, of course. Everyone has memories of fireworks from their childhood but for those of us past the hot dog appreciation years, we probably get more inspiration from delicious food than we do from loud bangs and bright baubles hanging in the sky. Can't say that I don't relish those fireworks, though.

So on to the feasting to celebrate our independence. What better cause?

Let the barbecue grills fire up, the watermelons roll and the glasses be filled. Here is some fuel for friends who gather together for the red, white and blue celebration of our forefathers who gave us our freedom.


Honey-Ginger Grilled Salmon

This recipe works equally as well with 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. An easy and handsome go-along is steamed white rice tossed with grilled vegetables.

1 teaspoon ground ginger, or use grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder, or 1 large clove, finely chopped
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
1 scallion, including stem, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pound salmon filet

In a large self-closing plastic bag, combine ginger, garlic powder, soy sauce, orange juice, honey and scallion; shake to mix well. Place salmon in bag and seal tightly. Turn bag gently to distribute marinade. Refrigerate 15 to 30 minutes turning bag occasionally. Lightly grease grill rack. Preheat grill to medium heat. Remove salmon from marinade; reserve marinade. Grill 12 to 15 minutes per inch of thickness or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Brush with reserved marinade during cooking. Discard any leftover marinade. Makes 4 servings.


Luscious Pork Burgers with Easy Chipolte Aioli

When they stripped the fat away from pork they robbed it of much of its flavor. Fortunately, we can now again find marbled pork. However, if only the pure pink, no-fat-at-all pork is available to you, add more of the hot Italian sausage or substitute pork sausage in this recipe.

1 1/2 pounds ground pork
4 ounces hot Italian sausage, casing removed and crumbled
2 slices bacon, thinly chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup minced shallots or red onion
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Chipotle Aioli

1 cup mayonnaise
1 or 2 canned chipotle chilies, finely chopped

Mix all of the ingredients together well and shape into 4 equal patties about 3/4-inch thick. Lay burgers on a grill over a bed of medium-hot coals or medium-high heat on a gas grill (you should be able to hold your hand at grill level only 3 to 4 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook burgers, turning once, just until no longer pink in the middle, 13 to 15 minutes total. Keep a spray bottle of water handy to douse any flames. Makes 4 great burgers. Chipotle Aioli: Combine mayonnaise and chipolte chiles and serve with burgers.


Grilled Steakhouse Salad

Stretch that expensive steak by using Portobello or other mushrooms. Portobellos can be grilled like meat on the grill. Smaller varieties are harder to grill but can be cooked in a small skillet with a bit of olive oil or salad dressing and used in the salad.

1 1/2 teaspoons cracked or coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/4 pounds beef flank steak, about 3/4-inch thick
3/4 cup Italian salad dressing
1/4 pound Portobello mushrooms
4 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon live or vegetable oil
6 slices French bread, each about 3/4-inch thick
6 cups torn spinach leaves, or leafy lettuce
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup shaved or coarsely grated Parmesan cheese

Pat the pepper into both sides of the steak. Place in a shallow dish and smear with about half of the Italian dressing. Marinate meat in refrigerator 3 to 24 hours. About 15 minutes before cooking, add mushrooms, turning to coat with marinade. Set garlic in double thickness of aluminum foil. Drizzle with oil and fold up foil to enclose garlic completely. Set foil wrapped garlic at edge of coals and grill until garlic is very soft, about 20 minutes. (Or, bake garlic in 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes.) Grill steak over medium-hot coals or broil in oven about 3-inches from heat) for 12 to 14 minutes for medium doneness, turning once. Grill mushrooms, turning once, until tender, about 10 minutes. About 3 minutes before meat is done set bread at edge of coals, turning once to toast lightly on both sides. To serve: Brush roasted bread with 1 tablespoon of remaining Italian dressing. Unwrap garlic and spread on one side of the toast. Toss spinach with remaining Italian dressing and divide among 6 plates. Thinly slice mushrooms and meat across the grain. Arrange over spinach. Garnish salad with cherry tomato halves, grated Parmesan and garlic croutons. Makes 6 servings.


Deep in the Heart of Texas Chicken & BBQ Sauce

You may want to add a few water-soaked hickory or mesquite chips right before the chicken hits the grill. The BBQ sauce keeps at least a week in the refrigerator.

4 chickens, quartered
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 teaspoons thyme
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper

BBQ SAUCE

2 cups ketchup
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon thyme


Chicken: Rub chicken parts with oil and seasonings. When fire is medium hot, arrange chicken, skin side down, on grill. Cover and cook, rotating now and then so the fat is rendered. Turn chicken and cook until almost cooked through (about 25 minutes in all). Generously spoon BBQ sauce over all. Turn skin side down and grill, basting and turning so it doesn't burn. About 10 minutes. Makes l6 servings.

BBQ sauce: Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. Let cool and store in refrigerator. Makes 3 cups.

Let the dinner bells ring!

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