Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 4th Family Cookout

4th Of July Celebration

      On July 4th we celebrate the United States' anniversary of their Declaration of Independence. We commemorate this day with fireworks, baseball games, parades, and lots of barbecue; But whatever way you celebrate its always with family and friends.  Cooking for 4th of July should be fun and relaxing so instead of slaving over the stove sit out back with a beer in your hand and fire up the grill.  The chefs at RMR will give you the secrets to their favorite Independence Day dishes. 

       There are a million ways to incorporate red, white, and blue into your decor for the 4th of July, and our designer Ms. Eliot is here to show you a few of her tips.

  • You can incorporate the American Flag into almost any part of your table.Create a simple and elegant centerpiece of small flags and a few fresh flowers.
  •  July 4th is about having fun outdoors, don't worry about setting the table. Make a station where everyone can grab their own glass, plate, and silverware. 
  • Glassware doesn't need to be fancy, using a universal size for all beverages makes it easy and simple mason jars evoke a country feeling.
  • A colored tablecloth can change the entire room and bring together the theme, she suggests light blue because of its calming effects.
  • Using plastic plates and silverware can be the key to an easy clean up, but make sure its high quality so it can handle all that barbecue.

      Barbecue meat is the quint essential flavor of the summer. With the many regional variations of barbecue available throughout this country its hard to choose just one. Our favorite combination is a Memphis style rub with a Kansas style sauce. This combination lends both a sweet and spicy rub to the ribs and is then topped with a thick tomato based sauce for finger lickin' goodness.

Sweet and Spicy Smoked Baby Back Ribs
Yield: 6 lbs, 8-10 servings
Prep time: 24 hours
Cook time: 4 hours

Rub Ingredients
4 racks baby back ribs (about 8 lbs)
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp mustard powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp instant coffee

Sauce Ingredients
1 large onion, diced
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup ketchup
1 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 bay leaf

1. In a bowl combine the all the dry ingredients to create a spice mixture. Rub the mixture on both sides of the ribs until all racks are completely covered. Lay the racks into a baking dish, cover with plastic, and refrigerate overnight.
        The RMR chefs prefer to use a charcoal grill for ribs because its infuses the meat with that extra smoke and char flavor like a true bbq pit would.
2. To prepare the grill; light a chimney full of natural lump charcoal and burn until it has all turned white. Pour the charcoal out into the base of the grill and spread the coals out to the edges creating radiant heat.
3. Unwrap the racks of ribs and place them in the center of the grill. The ribs will take about 4 hours to cook. Flip every thirty minutes and using the vents maintain the temperature at 250F.
4. Halfway through cooking the ribs, begin to baste with the barbecue sauce. You can use whatever sauce your family prefers or create your own. To make our sauce begin by sauteing the onion and garlic in a bit of vegetable oil until browned. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium low heat for 30 minutes.
5. Continue to baste and flip the ribs until they have developed a dark brown crust and the meat is tender.

The Maize
      If their was one vegetable or crop that summed up the entire season of summer it would be corn. An ingredient that is ever abundant, fresh, and incredibly versatile. Corn on the cob is a classic picnic or barbecue side dish and their is no reason to change that. Just by adding a few ingredients you can take this simple ear of corn to the next level.

Grilled Corn with Chili Honey Butter
Yield: 8 ears
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

8 ears yellow sweet corn
1 lb unsalted butter
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1. Prepare the compound butter ahead of time. Soften the butter to room temperature and add to a bowl, Add the rest of the ingredients to the butter and mix thoroughly. Chill until ready to use.
2. Peel the very green outer leaves of the corns' husk away leaving just the tender inner coating.
3. Soak the ears of corn in water for 30 minutes before grilling
4. Preheat the grill to medium heat and place the corn directly on the grate. Cook for 20 minutes, turning the corn every five minutes until the kernels have turned tender and bright yellow.
5. Remove the charred husk and slather with chili butter.

The Side Dishes
      No barbecue is complete without a few bowls of salads. The creaminess or acidic bite of picnic salads is what breaks up and compliments the deep smokey flavor of those ribs. You can choose any adaptation of coleslaw, macaroni salad, potato salad, egg salad, or cold vegetable salad.Here at RMR there are two standards that we always go back to.

Red Bliss Potato Salad
Yield: 2 quarts, 8-10 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

3 lbs small red skin potatoes
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup celery, small dice
1/2 cup red onion, small dice
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

1.  Place the potatoes in a medium sauce pot and fill with water. Add a few tablespoons of salt and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, cook the potatoes for 10 minutes until just tender.
2. Once tender drain the potatoes in a colander and then pour back into the pot. Allow to steam and dry out in the pot for another 10 minutes.
3. In a bowl combine the mayo, mustard, lemon juice, celery and red onion.
4. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into halves or quarters to create about one inch pieces.
5. While the potatoes are still warm pour them into a large bowl with the dressing and toss to combine. Chill the salad until ready to eat.
6. When ready to serve adjust the seasoning with the salt and pepper and stir in the fresh dill.

Mozzarella and Tomato Salad
Yield: 2 quarts, 8-10 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes

4 cups mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup small fresh mozzarella balls, halved
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade

1. In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, mozzarella, and red onion.
2. In a small bowl whisk together the garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil. Pour the dressing over the tomatoes and toss to combine.
3. Cover with plastic and chill the salad. Before serving toss in the fresh basil and enjoy.

Happy July 4th Everyone

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