What’s Cookin’ in the Country?

With Fourth of July coming up next weekend,  I thought I’d pull some of my favorite menu items from my blog and make a few suggestions for your cookout, just in case you’re looking for some new ideas!

Let’s start with the main course:

You can’t beat a hamburger on the grill, and this Herb and Cheese Stuffed Burger is one of the best!  It takes the term “Cheeseburger” to a whole new level!  The cheese is inside the burger, and it’s not just some cheese-flavored slab, this is an herb cream cheese, friends!

Herb & Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Ingredients
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
I1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried sage leaves
1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
4 rolls, split

Directions
In a small bowl, combine the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, parsley and 1 teaspoon mustard; set aside.
In another bowl, combine the onions, bread crumbs, ketchup, salt, rosemary, sage and remaining mustard. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.
Shape into eight thin patties. Spoon cheese mixture onto center of four patties; top with remaining patties and press edges firmly to seal.
Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160° and juices run clear. Serve on rolls with lettuce and tomato if desired. Yield: 4 servings.
Lettuce leaves and tomato slices, optional

If you’re going to grill steaks, use a great marinade to make them even more flavorful!  Here’s my go-to recipe:

Teriyaki Sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup salad oil
2 tbl molasses
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp dry mustard
3 cloves, garlic, minced

Mix well, then marinate meat at least one hour.

Oh, and if you need a side for either the burgers or the steak, the Onion Rings pictured above are some of the best!

Golden Onion Rings
Combine 1 cup plus 2 tbl all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 slightly beaten egg, 1 cup milk, and 2 tbl salad oil. Beat together just till dry ingredients are well moistened. Coat onion rings with batter. (I prefer a vidalia onion) Fry a few at a time in deep hot oil (375 degrees), stirring once to separate rings. when onions are golden, drain on paper towels. Just before serving, sprinkle with salt.

Now, let’s finish with a refreshing dessert!

Homemade Vanilla Ice cream is always a great option for the Fourth of July, but if you don’t have the equipment, here’s a fabulous ice cream dessert using purchased ice cream.  This is a show-stopper ice cream dessert!

Caramel Ice Cream Dessert
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
(I like any vanilla based ice cream with this – pralines and cream is super good)
  • Combine first 4 ingredients, and stir in melted butter; press mixture firmly into a lightly greased 15 x 10 x 1 inch jellyroll pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until lightly browned; remove cookie to wire rack. Cool and crumble.
  • Combine 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, and evaporated milk in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil 3 minutes. Cool caramel sauce.
  • Sprinkle half of crumbs into bottom of a lightly greased 10-inchspringform pan. Drizzle with half of caramel sauce. Spread ice cream over sauce. sprinkle with remaining crumbs.
  • Cover and freeze until firm.
  • Pour remaining warmed sauce over each slice at serving time.
Yield: 12 servings
One other suggestion – Strawberry Pizza!  This is a delicious summery treat!

Strawberry Pizza
Ingredients

Crust:
1 C flour
1/4 C powdered sugar
1/2 C butter

Filling:
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Topping;
1 C fresh strawberries, mashed
4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
8 – 10 strawberries sliced.
Instructions

Crust:
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar and butter.
Form into a ball with hands and press into a 14 inch ungreased pizza pan (I used my Pampered Chef pizza stone) I floured my fingertips to keep it from sticking and I pressed it out with my hands.
Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool.

Filling:
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and lemon juice.
Spread on cooled crust.
Topping:
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine strawberries, sugar and cornstarch.
Simmer until thick and glossy. Cool.

Spread on top of cream cheese filling.  Cut fresh strawberries crosswise to make rounds that resemble pepperoni, place on pizza and serve.

I hope that inspires you to plan ahead for a fun and delicious 4th Of July menu!  

Anyone have a traditional recipe that you always fix for your family cook-outs?

With love from my country kitchen,

2 thoughts on “What’s Cookin’ in the Country?”

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