4 Red-Hot Grilling Surprises for July 4th

Costolette di Maiale 'Riganatu (Sicily) (2) July Fourth begs for a magnificent grill party. It’s summer, it’s a great celebration of the nation’s birth and everyone is outdoors and in party mode. Why hold back on July Fourth? Why not grill everything? With a couple of days’ planning, you can really do something amazingly and deliciously different.

Here are four great ideas for the barbecue. There’s no reason why you can’t do all of the these dishes, although it does require that planning. You will have to consider how many people you’re cooking for, think about how large your grill is and make plans for placing all the dishes on the grill. READ MORE

The Best Meat Lover’s July 4th Grill Party Appetizer

Beef Short Ribs, grilled When you’ve got a barbeque going I’ve always thought it silly and wasteful to spend all that time building the fire and then grilling that steak for all of 10 minutes. Nothing wrong with a steak but letting things cook long and slow–a real BBQ always seemed more fun and a great way to precede the steak. Here’s an idea for starting your grill party with a grilled food that no one has to wait for since you need to have the charcoal going many hours before anyone arrives. And how cool is it to be able to pass off a grilled appetizer when people arrive and are hungry to munch on something? These beef short ribs have to cook a good long time because they need to be tender enough to eat without utensils. I’m providing two spice rubs for you to choose from and both are delicious.
Barbecued Beef Short Ribs
Cajun-style spice mix
1 tablespoon hot paprika
3 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Simple spice mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Extra-virgin olive oil
For the ribs
4 pounds beef short ribs

1. Prepare a hot charcoal fire with double the amount of coals you would use for grilling a steak and when the coals are glowing push them to one side of the grill and let the fire die down until the heat is medium or preheat a gas grill on medium for 15 minutes.
2. Choose your spice mix. Combine the spice mix, then rub all the surfaces of the ribs with it. Place the ribs on the grill on the opposite side from where the coals are, partially cover, and slowly barbecue until tender, about 6 hours, turning the ribs every 15 minutes, and uncovering the barbecue if they seem to be blackening and cooking too quickly. Add coals if and when necessary. Cook until crusty on the outside and the meat can be pulled off with your fingers.
Makes 4 to 6 servings

4 Easy — And Cool — Pasta Dishes For Summer

Farfalle with Raw Sauce (CAWCOM) (3)

Everyone loves pasta, but during hot summer days a bowl of steaming pasta doesn’t sound that appealing. Some people make cold macaroni salads, but I think pasta is not meant to be eaten cold and besides, those macaroni salads usually have … [Continue reading]

Old-fashioned Breakfast Eggs Mornay

Eggs on Mornay sauce (2)

There’s nothing wrong with old- fashioned, and eggs Mornay certainly are that. They may seem extravagant for a home-cooked Sunday breakfast, but they are neither hard nor time-consuming to make. A Mornay sauce is a Béchamel sauce with cheese, and a … [Continue reading]

Simple Cast Iron Cooking: Lamb and Broccoli

Griddled Lamb and Broccoli (2)

You can safely say that I've gone cast iron crazy ever since my Cooking with Cast Iron class was produced for Craftsy.   Sure I've owned and used plenty of my cast iron cookware over the years, but since March I hard put my skillet away and just leaf … [Continue reading]

Cast Iron Griddle and a Simple Fish Halibut

Halibut, griddled

Cooking with cast iron is an overlooked, yet simple and convenient way of cooking food.  Here I take a halibut steak and simply place it on a preheated griddle to cook to perfection.  You can learn more about cast iron cooking by taking my Craftsy … [Continue reading]

Fabulous Fava for a Spring Pasta Dish

Pappardelle with Rock Shrimp, Porcini Mushrooms, and Fava (CAWCOM)CC

Pappardelle with Rock Shrimp, Porcini Mushrooms, and Fava Beans This extraordinary preparation is a special spring dish. In this case, if you can manage it, everything should be homemade and fresh, the pasta, the shrimp, the porcini, and the fava … [Continue reading]

Rabbit on the Grill for a BBQ Season Opener

Coniglio all Molisana (Molise) (3)

As warm weather tempts Americans to launch our annual outdoor-cooking adventures, most of us are too content with traditional American fare for the grill. Steaks and burgers are fine, but to wow the crowd consider some Italian classics well-suited … [Continue reading]

Cooking with Cast Iron

 Sign up for COOKING WITH CAST IRON … [Continue reading]

Cooking with Cast Iron


Everyone has a cast iron skillet or griddle or should have one as they are easy to use, cook food beautifully from pan-searing steaks to simmering stews. Check out my new Craftsy.com class on COOKING WITH CAST IRON.   … [Continue reading]

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