The Fourth of July is a day off from work for many to celebrate the independence of the United States of America, and with that holiday comes relaxing time spent with family and friends, fireworks and outdoor barbecues – oh, food, glorious food.
Ribs, hummus and melon salad, anyone? To celebrate Independence Day, five Spokane chefs share their go-to recipes to commemorate the red, white and blue and summertime.
Three of the culinary pros are from Eat Good Group, the folks behind the Crave Food and Drink Celebration from July 11-13 at CenterPlace Regional Event Center in Spokane Valley.
Honey Garlic Baby Back Ribs
Philip Stanton, chef and owner of Park Lodge Restaurant
A favorite Fourth of July recipe is my Honey Garlic Baby Back Ribs. I like spending my Fourth grilling in the backyard and have developed this to produce fantastic ribs using a simple charcoal grill, no fancy smoker or elaborate cooking required. For me, simple and delicious with no fuss or thinking is my way to relax at home.
13 cups water
4 1/2 pounds ice
12 ounces kosher salt
6 ounces raw cane sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
2 racks of baby back ribs
2 cups peeled garlic
2 cups honey
1 bottle barbecue sauce of your choice
Start with a 3-hour 7% brine on the ribs, so for 13 cups of water, we use 12 ounces kosher salt, 6 ounces raw cane sugar, a few sticks of cinnamon, 2 tablespoon of mustard seeds and a few star anise. These should be simmered in 13 cups water, then poured over 4 1/2 pounds ice to rapidly cool brine.
In a blender, purée 2 cups of garlic with 2 cups honey. After the meat is removed from brine and dried, coat the meat in the honey-garlic purée for 24 hours. Garlic and honey contain protease, an enzyme that helps to break down the protein structure and tenderize the ribs, as well as infuse the meat with a fantastic deep flavor.
Remove meat from marinade and wipe off any excess honey-garlic. Gently grill on all sides after first coloring; brush with your favorite barbecue sauce and char again over coals, going slowly and developing a bark on all sides of the ribs. This process should take several hours and multiple additions of charcoal to keep a low, steady heat on the grill.
Emily Crawford, baking and pastry director of Doughlicious and Eat Good Group
In my family, we barbecue pizza in the summer. Here’s my dough recipe. We top it with whatever is fresh and seasonal. Pesto, buffalo mozzarella and fresh veggies are a favorite.
The baker in me simplifies a load.
3 1/2 cups high gluten flour
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/8 cup active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
7 cups of water, divided
Bloom yeast with one cup of water and the sugar. . Add everything but salt. Knead until stiff, then add salt. Knead until salt is incorporated. Form into 10 equal portions. Proof until doubled. Hand stretch, then brush with olive oil. Place onto barbecue. Flip and add toppings.
Red, White and Blue Potato Salad
Rachelle Minez, offsite catering manager of Eat Good Group
One of my favorite recipes is a red, white and blue potato salad. I love the flavor that the fresh herbs add to the salad, along with the uniqueness of the bleu cheese.
2 pounds baby red potatoes
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
6 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
5 ounces blue cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon dill
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium heat.
Chop the baby red potatoes into small, 1-inch cubes, place into the boiling water and add the coarse sea salt. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and tender and able to be mashed with a fork.
Remove the pot from the heat and pour the potatoes into a strainer to drain all the water. Place potatoes into a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature or place into the refrigerator to cool down. Once cooled, add the bacon, cheese and green onion.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, dill, salt, ground mustard and onion powder. Stir to combine. Add to the potatoes and stir until completely coated. Serve immediately and enjoy.
My dish is hummus. I make this every Fourth of July. It can be served alongside a main course or as an appetizer. You can use hummus as a dip for vegetables, but my favorite use for hummus is with warm pita bread.
2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup tahini
1 lemon juiced (approximately 2 tablespoons)
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup olive oil
Water as needed
Place first six ingredients in the food processor and puree with 1/4 cup water. Work in batches if needed. Transfer to blender using a spatula to scrape all the hummus out of the food processor.
Mix oils and set aside. Turn on the blender and add the oil slowly. Blend until silky and there are no lumps. Taste for seasoning. Garnish with blanched asparagus, warm feta, olive oil, balsamic and orange zest.
Marinated Melon Salad
Travis Dickinson, chef and co-owner of Cochinito Taqueria
My marinated melon salad with cucumber, avocado, cotija and candied pepitas is a super-easy, super-refreshing summer salad that has become a summertime favorite of mine at Cochinito and every summer barbecue.
It is very easy to make the bulk of the salad the night before and dress it up at party time. We use the Spiceology brand chile lime blend. Tajin seasoning also is great and available at most grocers. And you can substitute any fresh fruits – pineapple, mango and peaches are all awesome – with this, as well.
1/2 watermelon and/or cantaloupe, oblique cut (see note)
2 cucumbers, cut in fourths, seeded and sliced thin
2 tablespoons Spiceology chili lime seasoning
1 lime, juice and zest
1/3 ounce mint
1/3 ounce basil
1 avocado, diced small
6 ounces cotija, crumbled
6 tablespoons candied pepita
Small mint and basil leaves for garnish
Combine the melon, cucumbers, seasoning, lime juice and zest and herbs together and allow to macerate. The shelf life is two days. To serve, toss the salad with diced avocado and cotija, then top with candied pepita and the mint and basil leaves. Line neatly on a rectangle plate.
Note: To make an oblique cut of melons, slice the fruit into wedges, then cut into smaller triangles, removing the rind as you go.
3 cups pepitas
4 tablespoons water
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon glucose
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons Turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 pinch Cayenne powder
1 pinch Ancho powder
Simmer water, sugar and glucose and stir in pepitas and chili powders. Remove from heat and stir in salt and Turbinado sugar. Bake on a Silpat baking sheet in a 350-degree oven until golden brown, then break apart when cool.
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