I love the Fourth of July. When I was a kid, this holiday brought the entire family together for a day of endless fun and wonderful food. The day started early for the men, setting up the bbq for a glorious day of cooking. The women played Tetris in the fridge, carefully balancing their jello molds and relish platters, while us kids ran around and played endless games for the day. One family favorite was lawn darts! You know, the darts with an 8-inch metal tip that I would toss sky high and manage to land inside the ring, inches away from my sister’s head. Two points!
Once the smell of grilled meat hit the air, we knew it was going to be an amazing day. The men put a good dent in the beer stash from the garage fridge, while the women were busy little bees humming along and orchestrating the food to their own holiday symphony. As more smoke filled the air and the aroma of grilled ribs hit our noses, we knew dinner was close!
Once it was time to eat, our entire family sat down at long tables to enjoy the feast. Memories like these are priceless for me as an adult. This holiday symbolizes not only family coming together, but also the amazing food at our table. Before we began to eat, I remember my father would ask, “Aren’t we lucky?” as we would all look around at one another. As an adult, I often think of that simple question, and it makes me realize how lucky I really was growing up. I was extremely fortunate to have such an amazing family who loved me and took the time out of their busy lives to make sure us kids understood how important it was for family to spend time with one another on holidays like this.
Today, as I sit here typing this recipe as a professional chef, I realize how lucky I was to have a family who spent hours, if not days, preparing the food and putting such love into cooking. I can say with confidence, “I AM LUCKY” to have these memories of the Fourth of July because these memories and my family have fostered my love and passion for cooking, and I couldn’t be more grateful!
The three recipes I am sharing with you today are great for feeding a large group and, most importantly, allow you to get the prep done ahead of time! The potato salad you can do the day before, which I highly suggest for optimum flavor. The granita can also be prepared the day ahead. I love serving granita as a dessert because it is light and cleanses the palate after a meal rich in flavor. That leaves just the ribs to slow cook the day of. Just a few simple steps of prep for the ribs, and you can sit back and enjoy your company as the ribs slow cook in your Bull BBQ. I will top the ribs with Bull BBQ Sauce before placing on the grilled bread and slicing for my guests. Jazz up the rib sandwich by offering additional fun toppings, such as caramelized onions, sweet slaw, pickled red onions, or a jalapeno and cilantro mix. Be safe, enjoy the holiday, and may you create wonderful memories with your family and friends. Don’t forget to ask, “Aren’t we lucky?”
Chef’s Note: If you do not own a gas grill or charcoal bbq, the ribs can be cooked inside your home oven. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and cook the ribs wrapped in foil for 3 hours. When it’s time to add the bbq sauce, set the oven on broil, and place the ribs back in for 5 minutes to caramelize the sauce on top before serving. While the ribs are resting, set the oven back to 350 degrees and bake the bread to serve. Also, try grilling your fruit for the granita to give a smokey flavor!
- 1 rack of baby back or spareribs, beef or pork
- 4 tablespoons Bull Sweet Heat Dry Rub
- 1 cup Bull BBQ Sauce
- 1 loaf bread of choice, ciabatta or french loaf
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Turn the grill on low and preheat to 300 degrees.
- Place the ribs in foil and generously season both sides with the Bull Sweet Heat Dry Rub.
- Enclose the ribs within the foil and place on the grill.
- Close the lid and let the ribs cook on low, around 300 degrees, for 3 hours.
- Carefully open the foil and check the ribs for doneness.
- Brush on the Bull BBQ Sauce on top of the ribs and leave open for 10 minutes to caramelize the sauce on top inside the grill.
- When ready, remove the foil from the grill. Carefully remove all the bones from the rib meat with a pair of tongs or with your hands using a towel.
- With a long spatula, carefully remove the de-boned rib meat from the foil and place onto a sheet pan.
- While the ribs are resting, brush the olive oil onto the sliced bread, and grill the bread for a couple minutes.
- To serve, place the rib meat inside the grilled bread, and cut into slices for your guests. Place some more bbq sauce and fun toppings, like caramelized onions, and enjoy!
- 6 # yellow potatoes, small
- ½ cup mayo
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon dill, minced
- 3 green onions, cleaned, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled, shredded
- 3 eggs, hard boiled, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- Wash the potatoes well. Place them in a pot of cold water and place on top of the stove.
- Bring to a boil and add salt.
- Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium to a soft boil.
- After 2o minutes, gently cut into the center of the largest potato with a knife to check for doneness. The potatoes must be fully cooked for the salad.
- Once done, pour the cooked potatoes into a colander to strain off the liquid and let them cool.
- Place them in a container and put into the fridge to further cool.
- In an extra large bowl, add the minced dill, thinly sliced green onion, shredded carrot, roughly chopped hardboiled eggs, sweet relish, mayo and sour cream. Mix well.
- Cut the potatoes into a small-medium dice and add to the bowl and mix well.
- Season with salt and pepper and transfer into a container. Cover and set overnight.
- The day of, taste and adjust seasoning. The mixture usually needs a little more salt.
- To serve, place in decorative bowl and top off with some fresh dill. Enjoy!
- 4 cups watermelon, seedless, cut into cubes
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 lemon, juice only
- Puree all the ingredients in a blender.
- Place mixture in a metal container and place into the freezer.
- After one hour, with a fork, scrape the mixture and set back into the freezer for another 2 hours.
- Use the fork to scrape the mixture one more time to form flakes of watermelon ice.
- To serve, place in a clear glass and top with a piece of mint. Serve immediately!
♥ Chef Amy