Fourth of July BBQ and Italian Ice

If you can’t beat the heat, join it!

Been trying to get some grilling on for the holiday, like everyone else. In New Orleans, it is actually an important chore during hurricane season to clear through all the major meat products taking up residence in the freezer, just in case we need to evacuate and lose power for a week, it’s best to have a light upper deck between now and November.

Thanks to Pod and Bean for sending THE COCOA EXCHANGE™ POD & BEAN™ BBQ sauces to sweeten the roasts, also to Eat Smart for their perfect timing—the meat thermometer arrived just before the Fourth! Thank you! Not only could I measure my meats, but the ambient roasting temperature as well.

Porchetta for the Grill

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

3 TB fennel seeds

½ cup rosemary leaves

¼ cup fresh thyme

12 garlic cloves

½ cup EVOO

1 pork loin

Make some slashes in your pork loin. Blend all the above ingredients in a food processor. Then rub the stuff into all the creases and wrap tightly in saran. Let marinate like that in the fridge overnight. Transfer to foil, get the grill going and cook until the internal temp registers 190 degrees F. Check it with the Eat Smart thermometer!

You can also do the same thing with Pod and Bean BBQ sauces—I received a delicious package of cacao based barbeque marinades, and I have to say this pork loin with Kansas City BBQ sauce was delicious!

And to keep it cool, I ventured into Italian Ice experiments. Very easy.

Raspberry and Lemon Italian Ice Flag

Adapted from Martha Steward Living

1 1/2 cups plus 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 cups plus 3/4 cup simple syrup*

4 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

Combine 1 1/2 cups each fresh lemon juice and simple syrup in an 8-inch baking dish. Blend raspberries with remaining 3/4 cup simple syrup and 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice until smooth; strain into a second 8-inch baking dish. Freeze both mixtures, raking with a fork every hour, until flaky and frozen, 4 hours. I forgot about mine last night for like 4 hours while I was distracted by fireworks and making s’mores in my front yard. Turned out fine 😊 Blend each flavor with 1 1/2 cups water until smooth. Transfer to paper cups and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.

*I like to make my own simple syrup. Just heat up 2 cups of water and 2 cups of granulated white sugar, stir until dissolves. Seriously, that’s all it is. Don’t buy premade simple syrup, unless you’re an idiot.

And for sides,

Stuffed Peppers with Grits and Sausage

Adapted from Southern Living

3 large red bell peppers (about 20 oz.)

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 hot Italian pork sausage links, casings removed

1 cup chopped sweet onion

1/2 cup coarse cornmeal

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

3 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup), divided

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups heirloom grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup basil leaves

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut bell peppers in half through the stem. Remove seeds and white membranes.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add sausage to skillet; cook 4 minutes, stirring to break into small pieces. Add onion to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until sausage is cooked and onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Remove sausage mixture from pan. Add cornmeal to skillet; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add broth, milk, and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt to skillet; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Stir in parsley, sausage mixture, and half of the cheese. Divide mixture evenly among bell pepper halves. Place side by side on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.

Bake in preheated oven until cheese is browned and peppers are tender, about 30 minutes.

Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, black pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add tomatoes and basil; toss to coat. Serve over peppers.

Off to the pool and the Bayou Boat Parade, and Fireworks!!! Gosh I love vacation.

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One thought on “Fourth of July BBQ and Italian Ice

  1. Yay for some rare vacation time for you, and I am very happy to see you’ve been making the most of it! The Italian ice flag is adorable, as is Izzy in her Mardi Gras mask 🙂 And I adore the photo of a joyful you and KP!

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