Pepper Moon Catering Shares 4th Of July Cookout Recipes

7:59 AM, Jul 3, 2013   |    comments
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WFMY -- A lot of us have plans to attend a cookout on the 4th of July or host one. This big question is, what's on the menu?

Anyone can throw burgers or hot dogs on the grill, so we wanted to help you think outside the box with creative crowd-pleasers.

Meredith Williams, co-owner of Pepper Moon Catering, shared some of her delicious ideas with the Good Morning Show crew.

Williams said if you're headed to a potluck picnic, her favorite go-to side dish is a tortellini salad.

Here's her tortellini salad recipe:

1 pound tri-color tortellini, cooked per directions and chilled
1/3 cup red onion, large diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 cup fresh baby spinach, stemmed
Champagne Vinaigrette, per recipe

Champagne Vinaigrette
1 cup champagne vinegar
¼ cup salad oil
1/3 cup sugar
2 T fresh herbs, chopped (may be any combination of chives, rosemary, parsley, thyme)
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix and chill.

Mix all ingredients. Let sit 30 minutes before serving. If not serving immediately, chill.
(Yield: 4 - 6 servings)

Williams said if you're hosting a celebration, it's good to put out an appetizer that guests can munch on before the main course is ready. For that, she relies on her special guacamole.

Here's "Meredith's Fast Favorite Guacamole" recipe:

Guacamole is one of those recipes that can be made to fit personal preference; there is no wrong or right way to make it. This is Meredith's favorite.

2-3 ripe avocados
1 medium to large tomato, chopped
1 small to medium red onion, chopped
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
2 limes
Kosher salt to taste

Cut through avocado peel, remove pit, score avocado into small cubes, remove from peel and place in bowl.
Add tomato, red onion, cilantro.
Roll limes and cut one in half.
Add juice of one lime to bowl.
Add salt.
Taste to determine if need juice from second lime.
Eat immediately.
Serve with tortilla chips or fresh vegetables.

(Yield: 4-8 servings -- depending upon consumption!)

Williams said a great alternative to burgers is a pork ribeye with homemade Tequila marinade. Here's her recipe:

This marinade can be served with beef or pork; do not recommend chicken.

½ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup olive oil or salad oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
¼ cup tequila
7 garlic cloves, minced
2 t lime zest
2 t ground cumin
2 t dried oregano
1 t ground black pepper
4# beef or pork

Mix all ingredients together.
Place meat in Ziploc bag and marinate overnight. Turning occasionally.
Heat grill or heat oven and cook meat to desired temperature.
Discard any leftover marinade.

(Yield: 6-8 servings)

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