Amidst major thunderstorms, Bryan and I, and a few old and new friends, managed to pull off a great Fourth of July dinner. The town of “Mayberry” is the place to be on the fourth of July. Humphrey and I enjoyed the parade (in 100 degree heat) and then a bunch of random (great random) guests gathered at our house for dinner. Bryan grilled the chicken, ribs, sausages, kabobs, vegetables, and corn in a literal downpour – there was large hail at one point (it reminded me of an episode of Extreme Chef). Our neighbor and dear friend Walt served as the umbrella valet. In addition to the grilled items, we enjoyed jalapeno pork poppers, deviled eggs, potato salad, Caprese salad, three bean salad, broccoli rice casserole, and a fabulous dessert of strawberry shortcake. And, of course, the cocktails were flowing. While the concert in the park was cancelled – it was raining cats and dogs, and the back-up Recreation Center had no power, the fireworks prevailed, and we ran to catch the finale.
I was only responsible for the deviled eggs, the jalapeno pork poppers, the Caprese salad, and the potato salad; Bryan handled the barbequed ribs and chicken. I would have to say that all of the other dishes were great, and I will ask the preparers to share their recipes as guest bloggers. I can’t take credit for the jalapeno popper recipe because it came from Bryan’s sister, and I don’t know from where she acquired it. The difficulty with cooking for a party is that it’s not conducive to taking photos for a food blog. So, I will share the jalapeno pork popper recipe along with Bryan’s recipe for barbequed ribs (though he won’t yet give up his secret barbeque sauce recipe). I’ve already shared my potato salad recipe (although I used more eggs in this batch, and liked it better). I have also blogged my recipe for deviled eggs
For the Barbequed Ribs:
- 2 Slabs Baby Back Pork Ribs
- 2-3 Cups Barbeque Sauce (your favorite prepared – because Bryan won’t reveal his recipe)
- 8-10 Cloves Garlic – finely chopped
- 4 TBS. Mixed-up Salt
- 3 TBS. Seasoned Pepper
- 4 TBS. Italian Herbs (dried)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice ribs into 2-3 bone sections. Place 1 slab cut ribs in a 10 x 12 deep dish aluminium pan. Smother with half of the chopped garlic, and sprinkle with 1/2 of the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Place a second layer of cut ribs on top of first layer and smother/ sprinkle with remaining ingredients. Cover tightly (make sure it is tightly sealed) with aluminium foil and place in oven. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, remove foil and rotate layers of ribs. Re-cover and cook for an additional 1 1/2 hours. Repeat rotating process and cook for an additional 3o minutes. Heat a grill to 350-400 degrees. Pour barbeque sauce into a large saucepan and heat over medium until bubbling- stirring occasionally. Move barbeque sauce and ribs to grilling area. Dunk ribs in barbeque sauce and place on grill meat side down, grill to desured crispiness. Flip ribs, re-baste and cook until bottom side reaches desired crispiness.
- 18-20 Large Jalapeno Peppers – cut in half lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed
- 1 Lb. Pork Sausage (medium or hot)
- 12 Oz. 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese – softened
- 1/2 Cup Shredded Mexican Cheese (not Taco cheese)
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro – finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 TBS. Chili Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/4 tsp. Freshly Ground Pepper
Preheat Broiler or Grill. In a large skillet, cook pork (crumbling as you go) over medium heat until cooked thoroughly. Set pork aside to cool. In a medium non-reactive (glass or plastic) bowl, combine softened cream cheese, cilantro, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add cooled pork to cream cheese mixture and mix until well combined. Generously fill each jalapeno pepper. Grill over medium heat, or place on an aluminium foil lined baking sheet an place under broiler. Broil or grill until peppers start to brown and stuffing is warmed (12-15 minutes(. Serve immediately.