Recipes for Your Star-Spangled Celebration

red white blue dipBy Michele Errichetti, Deborah SmithMelissa Beveridge and Veronique Deblois 

It’s that time of year again, for getting together with flag-waving friends, firing up the grill and keeping the kids away from your pyro-inclined family members. We’ve got some colorful creations here, some classics, and as with our Thanksgiving Turkey Burger, a unique twist on a barbecue favorite. Happy 4th, everyone. Remember to join in on the JerseyBites fun on Facebook and share pics of your barbecue best.


Red White and Blue Dip and Chips


1 (15 ounce) cans cannellini, beans-drained and rinsed
1 can Rotel, drained
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp paprika
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon rind


1. Place beans, 1/2 cup Rotel, and rest of ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until smooth.

2. Serve in a bowl, topped with remaining Rotel and blue and yellow corn chips. You can also add chopped avocado and or cilantro to topping. (Corn chips with hint of lime go really well with this dip.)

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip


1-10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
4 canned artichoke hearts, well drained
5 tbsp. butter
¼ cup minced onions
2 tsp minced shallots
1 tsp minced garlic
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tbsp flour
2 cups heavy cream
4 ounces (1 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese
6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) shredded Parmesan


1. Drain, then squeeze as much moisture out of the spinach as possible. Break up the clumped spinach and place in a large bowl.
2. Chop the artichoke coarsely and combine with spinach. Set aside.
3. In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté 3 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, nutmeg, salt, pepper and continue cooking 2 minutes.
4. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the sautéed mixture. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook 2 minutes. Slowly add the cream, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, then let simmer 5 minutes.
5. Add mozzarella, a little at a time, stirring until thoroughly melted. Add the Parmesan the same way. Simmer gently another 5 minutes, stirring often to avoid burning. Remove from heat and let cool, 10 minutes.
6. Stir the sauce into spinach mixture, mixing well.  Pour into ovenproof dish. Serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Basil Mint Lemonade


8 lemons, juiced
1 ½ cups raw sugar
1 ½ cups of boiling water
12 to 14 leaves of mint and basil
6 cups of cold water
optional: 12 strawberries

1. Pour hot water over sugar and dissolve completely in a glass pitcher. Set aside to cool.
2. Combine lemon juice and cold water and add mint and basil and muddle by crushing the herbs in the bottom.
3. Add the sugar water and stir.
4. Refrigerate for 2 hours or more and serve over ice with lemon slices and mint on the rim of the glass.
Optional: Float slices of strawberries and refrigerate with the mixture. You may need to double this recipe, as it goes fast!

shrimp cocktail

Warm Shrimp Cocktail
(from Omaha Steaks The Great American Grilling Book)


1 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 tsp minced flat leaf parsley
16 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper

For the Sauce:

1 cup bottled chili sauce
2 tbsp bottled horseradish, well drained
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce


For the shrimp, whisk together the wine, olive oil, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, and parsley in a small bowl. Thread 4 shrimp onto each of 4 skewers. (If using wooden skewers, be sure to pre-soak). Place the skewers in a shallow dish and pour marinade over them. Turn the shrimp to coat, cover with plastic wrap and refriderate 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

For the cocktail sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir until blended. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate up to 5 days.

Preheat and oil grill. Remove the skewers from the marinade and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the skewers on the grill and grill over direct medium-high heat, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes or until the shrimp are nicely charred and cooked through. Remove from the heat and gently push the shrimp off of the skewers.

Arrange 4 shrimp on each of 4 plates. Garnish with lemon wedges. Serve warm with cocktail sauce on the side.


Thanksgiving Turkey burgerThanksgiving Turkey Burger from Omaha Steaks’ The Great American Grilling Book. This is always a huge hit. All of your favorite Thanksgiving flavors on a bun. What could be more All-American than that?


1/2 cup mayo
3 tbsp jellied cranberry sauce
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup minced onion
1 tsp fresh sage, chopped fine
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped fine
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
1 large egg white
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crushed dry stuffing mix
salt and pepper
4 hamburger buns


1. Combine the mayo and cranberry jelly and refrigerate.

2. Melt the butter in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add onion, sage, and thyme; saute about 3 minutes or until the onion is soft. Remove from the heat. Combine the turkey, egg white in large bowl, using hands to blend. Add dried cranberries, onion mixture, and stuffing mix and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Form into 4 patties.

3. Grill patties over direct medium-high heat, about 5 minutes on each side or just until cooked through. Do not overcook; the turkey will dry out quickly. Meanwhile, toast buns until golden brown.

4. Remove patties from the grill and let rest 3 minutes. Coat the cut sides of each bun with the mayo mixture, add patties and serve.

Red, White, and Blue Veggie Burger

(Adapted from the Kitchn’s Best-Ever Veggie Burger)

To make the burger a 4th of July treat, fry up some blue potatoes and serve alongside.


For the beet burger:

1/2 cup quinoa
1 onion, diced small
3 large red beets (about 1 pound), diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp parsley, minced
1 tsp coriander
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper

For the topping:

½ cup sour cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Roughly chopped beet leaves (thoroughly rinsed)


1. Cut the stems (put them aside) off of the beets and scrub thoroughly. Wrap the beets with the skins on in individual foil packets and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in a 400° oven for about 40 minutes. When the beets are cooked and cooled, use the foil to loosen the skins. Then roughly chop the beets and set aside.

2. Cook the quinoa according to package directions and set aside.

3. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and add the diced onion. Cook until the onions are translucent and softened, then add the garlic and the chopped beets. Deglaze the pan using the cider vinegar.

4. Mash up the black beans until slightly chunky, then add the quinoa, beets, lemon juice, olive oil, and spices. Add salt and pepper to taste then add the flour and mix well.

5. Heat a cast-iron skillet over the highest heat with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Shape the mixture into patties and cook for 2 minutes on each side (until a crust forms).

6. Meanwhile, mix the sour cream, lemon juice, and parsley together. Top the beet burgers with the sour cream mixture, and the reserved beet leaves. I serve the burger in a whole-grain pita, but feel free to serve on whatever you like best!


New-York-Style Hot Dog Onions (goes great on practically anything)

2 tbsp canola oil or coconut oil
4 cups sliced sweet onions
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
1 tbsp flour
1 (8 ounce) can red tomato sauce
1 cup water
2 tbsp corn syrup or light brown sugar
2 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground cloves
1 tsp salt or to taste

Heat large, heavy bottom saute pan over medium / high heat. Add oil to coat pan then add onions. Saute, stirring frequently, for approximately 10 minutes, until tender but not browned. Stir in flour and blend well. Add tomato sauce, water, corn syrup or sugar, vinegar, dry mustard, cayenne and cloves. Simmer for 15 minutes until sauce starts to thicken. Add salt if needed.


Coconut Ice Cream with Watermelon and Blueberry Sauce


Coconut ice cream (vanilla can be substituted)
Coconut flakes, toasted
1 quarter seedless watermelon
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cornstarch


Blueberry Sauce

Add blueberries, sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice and 1 cup water to heavy bottom sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for approximately 15 minutes until sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in corn starch. Sauce can sit at room temperature or you can refridgerate until ready to assemble the sundaes.

While sauce is cooking. Cube watermelon and divide among four bowls. Toast coconut flakes under broiler until golden brown. Scoop Ice Cream on top of watermelon, drizzle with blueberry sauce and sprinkle with coconut flakes.