Pick your meat, then celebrate Father’s Day, 4th of July

Why not be adventurous this year for Father’s Day and for the Fourth of July by raising the bar a bit on the meats that take center stage.

Then add sweet corn, a huge dark green salad, local cherries or apricots, green onion slices and toasted almonds.

Don’t forget the watermelon and liquefied watermelon ice cubes for the lemonade.

My husband Fred says three meat recipes for a three-day weekend for the Fourth works for him.

Fortunately, my friends at the Pork Council, Turkey Federation (this is National Turkey Month) and the Beef Board have recipes I have used over the years that allow for personal preference to make the recipes your own. Here are some of them.

Happy Father’s Day to my guy and all you caring dads out there.

And Happy Birthday United States of America!

Tomato Note — Dixie: many little tomatoes. Fred: big plants, few little tomatoes. Fred also stealing Dixie’s panty hose ties for tomato plants.

Cherry Glazed Turkey Breast

1 (2 1/2 pounds) bone-in turkey breast half

1/2 cup cherry preserves (use local)

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

I add minced garlic

Prepare grill for indirect heat cooking. Place turkey, skin-side-up on rack over drip pan. Cover and grill turkey breast 1–1 1/4 hours or until meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of breast registers 165 degrees. Combine preserves/vinegar. Brush glaze on breast 1/2 hour before end of grilling. Remove turkey breast from grill; let stand 15 minutes. Slice breast and arrange on platter.

Caribbean Pork Sandwich

10 minutes preparation. 10 minutes cook. Serves 4.

4 loin pork chops, 3/4–1 inch thick

1 tablespoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 cup mayonnaise, OR light mayonnaise (fat free if you want)

1 teaspoon chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced

1 teaspoon lime zest, grated

4 ciabatta rolls

Lettuce leaves

Tomato slices

(Sweet onion slices)

Combine salt, pepper, cumin and allspice. Rub onto both sides of chops. Cover and refrigerate at least 20 minutes.

Prepare medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat gas grill to medium high. Pat chops dry; grill, turning once, about 8–11 minutes or until internal temp reaches 155 degrees.

Place chops on cutting board; cover loosely with foil; rest 5 minutes.

Combine mayonnaise, chipotle pepper, lime zest and juice.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Spread 1–2 tablespoons mayonnaise mixture on top half of rolls. Cut pork into thin slices; place on rolls, chewy country-style bread (whole wheat for me) or wrap in a whole wheat tortilla.

Tuck in leaf lettuce, tomato slices and thinly sliced sweet onions.

T-Bones with Sweet & Savory Steak Sauce

Serves 4.

Some dads just have to have steak on Father’s Day!

2 beef T-Bone steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 16 ounces each)

2 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper

Sweet & Savory Steak Sauce:

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1/3 cup chopped pitted dates (Can’t find dates? Figs or prunes work)

1/4 cup chopped onion

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon molasses

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon minced garlic (we like 2 teaspoons)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine sauce ingredients in saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. Place sauce in blender or food processor container. Cover; pulse on and off for slightly chunky texture. (For a thinner sauce, stir in 1–2 teaspoons water.) Return sauce to saucepan; keep warm until ready to serve.

Press pepper evenly onto beef steaks. Grill steaks, uncovered, 14–16 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 15–19 minutes) for medium rare (145 degrees) to medium (160 degrees) doneness, turning occasionally.

Remove bones; carve steaks crosswise into slices. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with sauce.

Grilled Vidalia Onion with Orange-Honey Vinaigrette

From vidaliaonion.com.

2 large (about 1 1/2 pounds) Vidalia sweet onions cut in 8 (1/2 inch thick) slices

1/4 cup orange or tangerine juice or perhaps, white wine

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons honey or brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pinch-black pepper

Place Vidalia onion slices on grill. Grill until slightly softened and golden brown, about 3 minutes; turn and cook until tender, about 3 minutes longer. Combine orange juice, oil, vinegar, honey, salt and black pepper; spoon over grilled onions.


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