Fourth of July Dishes: Celebrity Chef's Favorite BBQ Recipes
Emeril's BBQ oysters. Mario's peppery drumsticks. Six top chefs reveal their grilling favorites for July Fourth.
Mario BataliSpicy Black-Pepper-Coated Drumsticks (Serves 6)
“Buffalo wings go to Italy: drumsticks in a spicy buttermilk marinade, red wine-Gorgonzola dressing, and fennel sticks standing in for the celery. Set out bowls of the sauce for dipping, or let guests spoon it over their chicken and fennel. Either way, everyone will be very happy.”
Partly cooking the drumsticks in the oven ensures that they will cook through on the grill without charring. You can bake the chicken early in the day or even the night before.
12 chicken drumsticksKosher salt1/2 cup buttermilk2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce, preferably chipotle1 tablespoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed in a spice or coffee grinder2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper2 fennel bulbs4 ounces Gorgonzola dolce1/4 cup red wine vinegar1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Place the drumsticks on a baking sheet and season all over with salt. Bake unadorned for 20 minutes (25 minutes if your drumsticks are very large).
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk, Tabasco sauce, fennel seeds, and black pepper. Set a wire rack over a large plate or a small baking sheet.
As soon as the drumsticks come out of the oven, toss them, in batches, into the buttermilk mixture and turn to coat, then place skin side up on the rack to drain. Spoon a little of the mixture, with the fennel seeds and pepper, over the top of each one, and set aside. (The drumsticks can be baked and marinated up to a day ahead; leave them on the rack, cover, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before grilling.)
Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill.
Trim the fennel bulbs, cut lengthwise in half, and cut out most of the core. Cut into 1/4-inch-wide batonettes and toss into a bowl of ice water.
Crumble the Gorgonzola into a small bowl and mash with a fork. Add the red wine vinegar and stir with the fork until fairly smooth. Drizzle in the oil, stirring, to make a dressing. Pour into one or more shallow bowls for dipping.
Place the drumsticks on the hottest part of the grill, cover the grill, and cook, turning occasionally at first and then more often as they start to caramelize, until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
Put the drumsticks on a platter. Drain the fennel sticks, pat dry, and place on the platter next to the wings. Serve with the Gorgonzola dressing.
Recipe Courtesy of Mario Batali’s Italian Grill (Ecco 2008)
Emeril LagasseChipotle BBQ Oysters with Homemade Salsa Fresca (Serves 8)
This dish is definitely an inspiration from New Orleans’ famous Drago’s Restaurant. That and the countless times I’ve been invited to outdoor grilling events and someone would show up with a sack of oysters, an oyster knife, and a bottle of barbecue sauce. Here’s my take on what to do with ‘em.
48 fresh oysters in their shells, scrubbed well under cold running water
Preheat a grill to high.
Shuck the oysters and discard the top, flatter shells. (Loosen the oysters from the bottom shells by running the oyster knife carefully underneath the body of each oyster.) Return each oyster to its bottom, deeper shell. Place the oysters on the grill, shell side down, and cook until the oysters begin to curl around the edges, two to three minutes. Carefully spoon about a teaspoon of the chipotle BBQ sauce over each oyster, and continue to grill until the oysters are just cooked through and the sauce is bubbly around the edges, about two minutes longer. Transfer the oysters to a platter or to serving plates, and top each one with a teaspoon of the Salsa Fresca. Serve immediately. Careful—the shells will be hot!
Chipotle BBQ Sauce
1⁄2 cup sugar1⁄4 cup cider vinegar2 tablespoons tomato paste1 tablespoon dark Asian sesame oil1 tablespoon molasses1 tablespoon soy sauce2 teaspoons chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture starts to become syrupy and dime-size bubbles form, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor, filling it no more than halfway, and place a towel over the top of the machine. While exercising caution (hot liquids can expand when being processed and force the lid off a blender), pulse a few times; then process on high speed until smooth. This will keep up to one month. Makes about 2⁄3 cup.
Homemade Salsa Fresca
1 cup peeled and chopped tomatillos or seeded chopped tomatoes1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice1⁄4 cup minced red onion2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro1 ½ teaspoons minced jalapeño1⁄2 teaspoon salt1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, and mix together thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This will keep up to two days. Makes about 1½ cups.
Recipes by Emeril Lagasse, Emeril at the Grill, HarperStudio Publishers, New York, 2009, courtesy Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
Ming TsaiHoisin-Marinated Chicken Breast with Grilled Mango (Serves four)
"This is my East-West barbecued chicken. It is an outstanding summer dish, just right for cooking outdoors with family on July 4th. Serve it with a light fresh slaw for the perfect contrast to the spicy-sweet chicken. Enjoy!"
4 chicken breasts, skin on1 cup hoisin sauce2 tablespoons sambal oelek1 bunch of scallions, sliced thin, 1/4 cup of green parts reserved for garnish1/2 cup of dry red wine2 tablespoons of garlic, minced2 tablespoons of ginger, mincedKosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste2 ripe mangos, peeled and cut into four perfect halves (any extra is for snacking!)Non-stick cooking spray
In a nonreactive baking dish just large enough to hold the chicken, combine the hoisin, sambal oelek, scallion, wine, garlic, ginger, and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the chicken, turn to coat, cover and marinate, refrigerated, for four hours up to overnight.
Heat a gas grill or prepare a charcoal grill with hot coals to medium high heat. Spray the grill with nonstick cooking spray. Remove the chicken from the marinade and season with salt. Place the chicken skin-side down on the grill, turning once during cooking. Cook for about 10-12 minutes or until juices run clear. Season the mangos halves to grill, cook about two minutes per side. Sliced the grill mangos. Serve with mango slices fanned over chicken. Garnish with scallion greens.
© 2010 Ming Tsai.
Todd EnglishTE Sliders (Serves four)
“TE Sliders, available at The Plaza Food Hall, is a great dish for the Fourth of July because they are crowd-pleasing and easy to make with all the ingredients people love: crispy fried onion, melted cheese, mustard relish and mayo.”
Twelve 2 oz. beef patties (your favorite blend)Salt and pepper to taste6 cheddar cheese slices1 crispy fried onion2 oz. mustard relish4 leaves chiffonade romaine lettuce1 sliced tomatoKetchupMayonnaise12 mini brioche burger buns
Season the burgers with salt and pepper and grill three minutes on each side or longer if you prefer your burger better done. Place a half slice cheese on the top of each burger so it melts. Toast the brioche rolls on the grill. To plate, place the bottom of the burger roll on the plate, add the mustard relish, place onions on top, then the burger, followed by the mayonnaise, lettuce, ketchup and top with the other half of the bun. Serve immediately.
Crispy Fried Onions
2 large Spanish onions, juliennedSalt and pepper to taste2 cups blended oil
Place oil in deep-sided pot and heat over high flame. Drop onions into pot, frying until golden brown. Remove from oil and let cool on absorbent towels to remove excess grease and reserve.
1/2 cup diced 3/4 sour pickles1/2 cup Dijon mustard1/2 cup honey
Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Reserve for plating the burgers.
Martha StewartGrilled Shrimp and Bacon With Lemons (Serves 4)
“Everything in this dish is grilled—even the lemon slices, which you can treat as a garnish or nibble on with the shrimp. Grilling the shrimp in their shells helps them retain their flavor and keeps them from being overcooked. Another tip: Relegate the bacon to the cooler areas of the grill, since the flames will flare up as the fat drips.”
16 large shrimp (about 1½ pounds), shells split but not removed, deveined2 lemons1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil4 slices thick-cut bacon (about 6 ounces)
Toss shrimp in a large nonreactive baking dish with zest and juice of 1 lemon, the Old Bay seasoning, and oil. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Heat grill to medium-high. Slice remaining lemon into ¼-inch-thick slices. Grill lemon slices, shrimp, and bacon directly on grates until lemon slices are caramelized (two to three minutes per side), shrimp are cooked through (about three minutes per side), and bacon is lightly charred and crisp (four to five minutes per side). Transfer lemons and shrimp to a bowl, and the bacon to a plate. Let cool slightly.
Tear bacon into 2-inch pieces, and add to bowl with lemons and shrimp. Toss until well combined.
Copyright © 2011, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.Originally published in the July 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine.
Rick BaylessChipotle-Glazed Baby Back Ribs (Serves 8)
“This is a rather unconventional approach to rib cooking: First, baby back ribs—not the larger spare ribs—are showered with a dry rub that’s not too far from the one I learned in my parents’ barbeque restaurant in Oklahoma City; overnight the rub cures the flesh lightly, ensuring a juicy outcome. Then they’re slowly baked until they’re juicy-done. And, when all the hungry have assembled, the ribs are grill-singed and slathered with a sticky chipotle chile glaze—smoky, sweet, porky and anything but faint hearted.”
For the dry- rub:
4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped1/3 cup ground ancho chile4 teaspoons brown sugar1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican½ teaspoon ground cumin4 teaspoons ground black pepper5 teaspoons salt
For the ribs and glaze:
4 large slabs (about 6½ pounds) baby back ribs1 7.5-ounce can chipotles en adobo¾ cup honey
Season the ribs. Combine all the dry-rub ingredients in a food processor and run until thoroughly blended. Sprinkle the mixture on both sides of each slab of ribs, rub it in to ensure even coverage, then cover and refrigerate overnight. You’ll probably have a little dry-rub left; in a tightly closed jar in the refrigerator it will last several months.
First rib cooking. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Lay the ribs in a single layer on two rimmed baking sheets and bake for about 1¼ hours, until the meat is tender when tested with a fork. (This cooking may be done early in the day you’re serving. Cover and refrigerate the cooked ribs until an hour before serving.)
Second rib cooking. Turn on a gas grill to medium or light a charcoal grill and let the coals burn until medium-hot and covered with white ash.
In a food processor, blend the can of chipotles with the honey. Scrape into a small bowl and carry to the grill, along with a basting brush.
Lay the ribs on the grill, convex-side down. When hot and well browned, about three minutes, flip them over and brush liberally with the chipotle glaze. Cover the grill and cook about seven minutes for the glaze to set and begin to brown a little. There will likely be leftover glaze, which can be covered and refrigerated for a week or two.
Cut the ribs apart (that’s my preference) and serve right away.
Rick Bayless is a member of the Macy’s Culinary Council.