This Fourth of July, take your backyard barbecue staples from basic to bold with knock-out burgers, grilled fruit steaks and festive red, white and blue-colored desserts.
Opt for burgers with a brazen rub that creates a caramelized outer layer. Make the meal an epic Fourth of July feast with a side of grilled watermelon steaks, marinated in white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and rosemary, and topped with walnuts, lemon zest and fresh parsley.
Burgers are an Independence Day mainstay, but that doesnt mean they have to be boring, said McCormick Executive Chef Kevan Vetter. Pick a flavor combo that packs a real punch for the rub, then build out the burger with toppings and condiments to match that taste. For example, use Smoky Montreal Steak Seasoning, chili powder and brown sugar to make a sweet and smoky rub, then top with a rich BBQ mayonnaise, melty cheddar, grilled pickle slices and crispy onion straws.
Cowboy Burger with Grilled Pickles and Crispy Onion Straws
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Stubbs Original Bar-B-Q Sauce
Crispy Onion Straws
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon McCormick Ground Black Pepper
1 medium onion, very thinly sliced and separated into rings
vegetable oil, for frying
4 teaspoons McCormick Grill Mates Smoky Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 tablespoon McCormick Chili Powder
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 1/4 pounds ground beef
4 slices mild Cheddar cheese
1 dill pickle, sliced lengthwise 1/4-inch thick
4 Kaiser rolls
4 lettuce leaves
For the BBQ Mayonnaise, mix mayonnaise and Bar-B-Q Sauce in small bowl until well blended. Cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the Onions, mix flour, salt and pepper in large resealable plastic bag. Add onion; toss to coat well. Pour oil into deep fryer, large heavy skillet or saucepan, filling no more than 1/3 full. Heat oil on medium-high heat. Carefully add onion rings to hot oil. Fry 4 to 5 minutes, turning once to brown evenly, until onions rings are golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.
For the Burgers, mix Seasoning, chili powder and brown sugar in small bowl. Shape ground beef into 4 patties. Coat surface of each patty evenly with the rub mixture. Grill over medium heat 4 to 6 minutes per side or until burgers are cooked through (internal temperature of 160ºF). Add cheese slices to burgers 1 minute before cooking is completed. Grill pickle slices 2 to 3 minutes per side or until grill marks appear. Toast rolls on the grill, open-side down, about 30 seconds, if desired.
Serve burgers on rolls topped with grilled pickles, Crispy Onion Straws and lettuce. Serve with BBQ Mayonnaise.
Grilled Watermelon Steaks with Walnut Gremolata
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
1/2 small seedless watermelon
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Crushed Rosemary
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt from McCormick Sea Salt Grinder
1/2 teaspoon McCormick Coarse Ground Black Pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
Cut 4 (1-inch thick) half-moon slices of watermelon. Reserve any remaining watermelon for another use.
Mix vinegar, oil, lemon juice, rosemary, salt and pepper in small bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons for drizzling grilled watermelon.
Place watermelon steaks in glass dish. Add remaining marinade. Refrigerate 20 minutes, turning watermelon halfway through marinating time.
Meanwhile, for the Walnut Gremolata, mix walnuts, parsley and lemon peel in small bowl. Set aside. Remove watermelon steaks from marinade. Reserve leftover marinade for brushing watermelon during grilling.
Grill watermelon steaks over high heat 2 to 4 minutes per side or until grill marks appear, brushing with leftover marinade.
To serve, cut watermelon steaks in half. Drizzle with reserved 2 tablespoons marinade. Sprinkle with Walnut Gremolata.
Red, White and Blue Mousse Parfaits
Prep time: 30 minutes
Serving size: 1 parfait
3 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 teaspoons McCormick Extra Rich Pure Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons McCormick Red Food Color
1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Lemon Extract
McCormick Assorted NEON! Food Colors & Egg Dye
2 tablespoons white chocolate chips
Beat 1 1/2 cups of the heavy cream, cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Add red food color; stir gently with spatula until evenly tinted.
Beat remaining 2 cups heavy cream, remaining 1/2 cup sugar and lemon extract in large bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Remove 1 cup. Add 3/4 teaspoon neon blue and 5 drops neon purple food colors; stir gently with spatula until evenly tinted.
To assemble parfait, alternately layer red and white mousses in dessert glasses. Top with blue mousse and white chocolate chips. Refrigerate until ready to serve.