It's almost time to officially kick off summer, which means warm weather, hot grills, cold drinks and delicious food among friends.
Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, "Good Morning America" found a few summer staples and must-have grilled dishes for any holiday barbecue. And since some recipes encourage a day of prep to marinate or come together, it's a great time to get a jump on everything you'll need to execute this weekend with ease.
Hospitality expert, New York City restaurant operator, chef and recipe developer Christine Cole, founder of Flaweless, shared her spare rib recipe, which she said is a requirement for summer gatherings. Plus, this dish can be seasoned, prepped and baked ahead, so all that's left is finishing on the grill when guests are ready.
BBQ Spare Ribs
"My guests truly go nuts over this dish," Cole said. "It's become a staple in my summer entertaining and is so loved that my friends actually request it for get-togethers -- summer gatherings simply require these ribs."
2 racks St-Louis Style pork spare ribs
3 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup ground black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup red pepper flakes
1/3 cup kosher salt
BBQ sauce (optional)
1/2 a bottle of beer (optional)
Place racks inside a large turkey brining bag. Alternatively, lay them on top of a few large pieces of cellophane.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, pepper, garlic, red pepper, and salt. Using the palm of your hand, liberally spread the mixture onto the top and bottom sides of the racks until they're completely coated.
Seal the bag or wrap the cellophane tightly around the ribs.
Place the ribs on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil and place one rack on each.
Bake for 4-5 hours until meat is pulling away from the edges of the bone.
Remove from the oven and tent with foil until you're ready to serve.
To finish the ribs: Preheat a gas or charcoal BBQ to medium high.
For "dry" style, place racks on the grill and simply reheat them.
For "wet" style, place them on the grill and baste them with a bottle of BBQ sauce diluted with 1/2 a bottle of beer (or even some bourbon!). Heat through, allowing the sauce to caramelize slightly.
Slice racks into two or three rib sections and transfer to your serving platter.
Recipe reprinted courtesy of Flaweless.
The Ultimate Grilled Chicken Marinade
Private chef and food blogger Kathleen Ashmore of Kat Can Cook fame on TikTok, shared a few of her summer favorites, starting with her go-to marinade for chicken that can be used all grilling season.
1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts
1/4 cup olive oil
1 orange, juiced
2 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Cut chicken in half horizontally and open like a book, slicing in the middle to create two breast halves.
Season chicken breasts with salt and set aside.
Whisk all marinade ingredients in a large bowl and add chicken breast halves.
Toss chicken to coat fully and submerge as much as possible in the marinade.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, tossing halfway through to evenly marinate the chicken.
Remove chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you plan to cook.
When ready to cook, preheat the grill and oil the grates.
Grill chicken on medium high for 4-6 minutes per side or until cooked through. Let rest for 15 minutes, and serve.
Revolutionary Broccoli Salad
If you're looking for a fresh vegetable to add to the smattering of usual BBQ sides, this broccoli salad is just the ticket.
The addition of quinoa, cherries and nuts give it a sweet, tart, chewy, and crunchy flavor and texture, plus she said "it will keep all week in the fridge" so if you make it ahead of the party, it'll be ready when you are.
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 large heads of broccoli, stalk and ends trimmed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup dried cherries, halved if they are large
4 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, diced small
4 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
2/3 cup sliced, toasted almonds
1/3 cup hemp seeds
Fresh cracked black pepper
Fill a small, lidded pot and a large lidded pot with heavily salted water and bring to a boil.
Cut the broccoli heads into small florets and the stalk into 1/2 inch pieces and reserve.
Cook quinoa in the small pot for 10-13 minutes until cooked. We are cooking this like pasta, so don't worry about water to quinoa ratio.
Drain quinoa, put back in the pot and cover top of pot with a paper towel. This will help the quinoa get fluffy rather than soggy as it cools since the paper towel absorbs water.
When the large pot of water is boiling, blanch all of the broccoli for 5 seconds only, then strain the whole pot into a colander. Run cold water over the broccoli to cool it quickly and keep it from continuing to cook.
In a large bowl combine quinoa and broccoli. The quinoa will still be slightly warm, so now is the time to add the olive oil, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Add in cherries, cheddar, scallions, almonds, hemp seeds, and a few cracks of black pepper.
Let sit, covered, for at least 30 minutes before serving, or refrigerate and enjoy all week!
Whipped Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers
Serves: 20-30 people
3 lbs of mini peppers (yellow, red, orange, or assorted)
8 oz. goat cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/3 cup fresh basil
1 tsp Kosher salt
10 oz. fresh arugula, for serving
Slice peppers in half and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Set aside.
Blend goat cheese, cream cheese, olive oil, vinegar, basil, and salt in a food processor until very smooth.
Fill a pastry bag, or ziplock plastic bag, with the goat cheese mixture.
If using a plastic bag, snip off the tip with a pair of scissors.
Pipe the goat cheese filling onto each pepper half and top with a few pieces of arugula. Arrange on a large platter and serve.
Green Goddess Party Dip
Every backyard BBQ party needs a good dip, and this one from Ashmore is simple and screams summer with the vibrant green hue and fresh flavors to go with any grilled foods.
Makes: 2 cups
1 1/2 cups whole milk cottage cheese
3 oz. goat cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small garlic clove, smashed
2 cup mixed fresh herbs: parsley, basil, chives
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
In the bowl of a food processor combine ricotta cheese, goat cheese, fresh herbs, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Process until well combined, smooth and whipped. Add more olive oil if the consistency is too thick.
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 5-7 days, then serve with fresh veggies and crackers. Enjoy!
Easy Peach Cobbler for One
Youtuber Joanne Molinaro, aka The Korean Vegan, shared her single serving dessert that's easy to batch out based on the crowd size and means there's little to no food waste. If you're keeping the crowd smaller this summer, this is a great option for individual dishes.
1/2 small peach
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch baking soda
pinch ground coriander
1 tablespoon vegan butter
2 tablespoon plant milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make the filling: Slice the peach half into thin slices. You can also chop them up into small chunks, whatever is your pleasure. Add the brown sugar, corn starch and salt. Add lemon juice. Mix everything together and set aside.
To make the cake topping: Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, coriander, and salt into a large bowl. Stir with whisk until well combined. Add vegan butter and plant milk, as well as vanilla extract. Stir with whisk–your batter will be thick and sticky.
Place the peaches into a small individual sized ramekin that has been buttered or sprayed with cooking spray. Scoop the cake batter over the top. Smooth the cake batter with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with a little brown sugar.
Place the cobbler in your preheated oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
Recipe reprinted courtesy of the Korean Vegan with permission from YouTube.