Photo courtesy of Recipes Hubs

Delicious dishes this Fourth of July celebration

Check out some of these recipes recommended by Chef William Rini that will make your Fourth of July celebration more festive.

Everyone looks forward to the fireworks every Fourth of July. But, the real show stealer is the fantastic food at the Independence Day bashes. So, to make your gathering more fun and exciting, here are some fantastic recipes that will create a flavor explosion this weekend.

 

The Ultimate Barbecued Chicken
Brine:
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a large knife
4 sprigs fresh thyme
6 chicken legs and thighs, still connected, bone in, skin on, about 10 ounces each

The Ultimate Barbecue Sauce:
1 slice bacon
1 bunch fresh thyme
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika if available
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. For the brine, in a mixing bowl combine the water, salt, sugar, garlic, and thyme. Transfer the brine to a 2-gallon sized re-sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken, close the bag and refrigerate 2 hours (if you’ve only got 15 minutes, that’s fine) to allow the salt and seasonings to penetrate the chicken.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Wrap the bacon around the bunch of thyme and tie with kitchen twine so you have a nice bundle. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the thyme and cook slowly 3 to 4 minutes to render the bacon fat and give the sauce a nice smoky taste. Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly without coloring for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, give the sauce a stir, and turn the heat down to low. Cook slowly for 20 minutes to meld the flavors. Once the sauce is done cooking, remove about 1 1/2 cups of the sauce and reserve for serving along side the chicken at the table. The rest of the barbecue sauce will be used for basing the legs.
  3. Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
  4. Preheat a grill pan or an outdoor gas or charcoal barbecue to a medium heat. Take a few paper towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. Blot a small amount of oil on the paper towel and carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill to make a nonstick surface. Take the chicken out of the brine, pat it dry on paper towels. Arrange the chicken pieces on the preheated grill and cook, turn once mid-way, and cook for a total of 10 minutes. Transfer the grill marked chicken to a cookie sheet and then place in the oven. Cook the chicken for 15 minutes, remove it from the oven and then brush liberally, coating every inch of the legs with the barbecue sauce and then return to the oven for 25 to 30 more minutes, basting the chicken for a second time half way through remaining cooking time. Serve with extra sauce.

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence.

 

Sliders
2 pounds premium ground beef (80 percent lean and 20 percent fat)
1 tablespoon good Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for brushing the grill
1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
3 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces grated Gruyere
12 small Brioche buns
4 ounces baby arugula
3 medium tomatoes, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds
2 small red onions, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds
Ketchup, for serving

  1. Build a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill.
  2. Place the ground beef in a large bowl and add the mustard, olive oil, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix gently with a fork to combine, taking care not to compress the ingredients. Shape the meat into 12 (2-inch) patties of equal size and thickness.
  3. When the grill is medium-hot, brush the grill grate with oil to keep the sliders from sticking. Place the sliders on the grill and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the sliders over with a spatula and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes, until medium-rare, or cook longer if you prefer the sliders more well done. For the last 2 minutes of cooking time, place 1/2-ounce Gruyere on the top of each burger and close the grill lid. Remove the sliders to a platter and cover with foil.
  4. Slice the buns in half crosswise and toast the halves cut side down on the grill.
  5. Divide the baby arugula among the 12 bottom buns, top each with a slider, and finish with a slice of tomato and red onion. Cover with the top of the bun and serve hot with ketchup.

Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten.

 

Bulgur-Stuffed Summer Vegetables
1 cup bulgur wheat
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
2 bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow)
2 zucchini and/or yellow summer squash
2 tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 pound crimini mushrooms, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the bulgur in a heatproof bowl. In a sauce pan, bring the chicken broth and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. When the liquid has come to a boil, pour over the bulgur. Let sit until the bulgur absorbs the liquid, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prep the vegetables: Cut off the top third of the bell peppers. Remove the seeds and ribs leaving a ‘cup’ for the stuffing. Dice the flesh from the top 1/3 and reserve. Cut a 1/3 of the zucchini lengthwise to reveal the seeds. Scoop out the seeds to create a boat. Dice the remaining 1/3 pieces. Slice the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds to create a cup.
  3. In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sweat until translucent. Add the reserved chopped peppers, squash, mushrooms, and garlic to the pan. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the cooked vegetables, if necessary, and add to the cooked bulgur. You may need to drain the excess liquid from the bowl of bulgur, too.
  4. Stir in the chopped tarragon.
  5. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the inside of the vegetable ‘cups.’ Stuff the vegetables with the bulgur mixture, place in a shallow baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, then bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is brown and melted.

Recipe courtesy of Melissa d’Arabian.

 

Star-Studded Berry Tarts
For the crusts:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 cup pecans
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large egg, beaten

For the pastry cream:
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons buttermilk
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 pint raspberries
1 pint blueberries
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

  1. Make the crusts: Pulse the flour, pecans, granulated sugar and salt in a food processor until the nuts are finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Drizzle in 6 tablespoons ice water and pulse until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a disk; wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Lightly flour a large sheet of parchment paper. Roll out the dough on the parchment into a 9-by-13-inch rectangle. Trim into an 8-by-12-inch rectangle (reserve the scraps). Cut into eight 3-by-4-inch rectangles. Separate the pieces slightly on the parchment, then use your fingers to crimp the edges. Slide the parchment onto a baking sheet. Roll out the scraps until 1/4 inch thick. Cut out 8 stars using a small floured star-shaped cookie cutter; arrange on the baking sheet around the crusts. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Poke holes in the crusts with a fork. Brush the stars and the edges of the crusts with the beaten egg. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes; remove to a rack to cool completely.
  4. Make the pastry cream: Combine the milk, 1/3 cup granulated sugar and the vanilla in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk 1/2 cup buttermilk, the egg yolks, cornstarch and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a bowl. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook, whisking, until thick and bubbling, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons buttermilk. Lay plastic wrap on the surface and refrigerate 45 minutes.
  5. Carefully transfer the crusts to a platter. Spread the pastry cream on the crusts, then top with the berries. Top each tart with a star. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine.