With in-person gatherings back in full swing, Milk Street is ready to celebrate this Fourth of July weekend. Make your Independence Day a truly delicious event with 14 of our favorite cookout recipes. From juicy beef burgers with an irresistible cheese sauce to fudgy, nutty brownies with a twist, we’ve made sure there’s something for everyone.
Bold and saucy, our South African Piri Piri Chicken gets its heat from Fresno chilis, brightness from fresh lemon juice and smokiness from warm spices and time spent on a screaming-hot grill. For even more smoky flavor, we like adding apple, cherry or hickory wood to the fire.
To give these pork burgers spicy-sweet flavor and mild garlickiness, we mix in Asian chili-garlic sauce and a little brown sugar. We also smear the buns with a chili-garlic mayonnaise. Pillow-soft, subtly sweet buns are a particularly good match for the tender, juicy burgers—we especially like potato buns or rolls. Serve with lettuce, sliced tomato, pickles or any of your favorite burger toppings.
No mayo? That sets this nonetheless creamy potato salad apart from the rest. Instead, we create a tangy emulsion with mustard, oil and vinegar. The potatoes’ starchy cooking water also helps to thicken the dressing.
Fresh basil and tarragon, garlic and olive oil are all you need for this speedy recipe that gives a double douse of flavor. The same sauce first is used as a marinade, then finishes the shrimp as a sauce after cooking. The result is flavors that are both deep and fresh.
Tart and vibrant, sumac is a common seasoning in Middle Eastern cooking. We use it here to balance the sweetness of tomatoes, mixing it into an oniony vinaigrette. The tomatoes, along with an abundance of herbs, get tossed in the vinaigrette while a final sprinkling of sumac and crumbly feta cheese add finishing touches of color and flavor.
Let’s do a deep dive in building a better cheeseburger. These deeply savory-cheesy burgers were inspired by a recipe by Ignacio Mattos, chef of Estela in New York and author of a book by the same name. Salty, umami-rich Worcestershire sauce, along with rosemary and garlic, creates a rich baste for the meat. Now add a simple taleggio cheese sauce and you get burgers richer, more elegant and far more flavorful than your average cheeseburger.
Lime juice, coconut milk and fish sauce—an unlikely trio of bold, creamy and tangy flavors that made us rethink the basic summer slaw. The crunchy, bright slaw pairs perfectly with savory meats off the grill.
Grilling burgers? The freezer is your best friend. Supermarket ground beef tends to be bland and tough. But we learned that partially freezing it before mixing in spices prevents the meat from becoming compacted during mixing and shaping. Try it in these Cuban-spiced beef burgers.
Want a better glazed and grilled chicken? Crack a can of soda. It’s the unlikely secret to the perfect chicken in the Philippines. Lemon-lime soda such as Sprite or 7Up, is the go-to ingredient for a better glaze. Sticky-sweet, tangy and rich with black pepper and soy sauce, this lacquered grilled chicken is a staple Filipino street food we love for backyard grilling.
Move over cocktail shaker. Make way for the stand mixer. In this clever cocktail, a stand mixer makes muddling mojitos en masse a breeze. We also find that chopping the limes—rather than quartering them—releases more of their juice during muddling.
This white sangria, our adaptation of Janet Mendel’s Manchegan white wine cooler from “Cooking from the Heart of Spain,” is light, refreshing and relatively low in alcohol, making it a great choice for summer sipping. You might expect a base of Spanish wine, but we preferred Portuguese white vinho verde, an inexpensive young wine with citrusy notes and bright acidity.
Forget fussy baking and make gâteau au yaourt, a cake so easy that it’s often the first thing French children learn to bake. It’s typically made with a full container of yogurt that’s then used as the measuring cup. We’ve standardized the recipe and added flavor with orange zest and toasted coriander.
Rich and fudgy with every bite, these swirled sweets get their savory nuttiness from creamy tahini and deep chocolatey flavor from both bittersweet chocolate and coca powder.
Airy and luscious, these soufflés, adapted from a recipe in “Deep Run Roots” by Friend of Milk Street Vivian Howard, get their subtle sweetness and tender texture from fresh corn. Serve hot from the oven with fresh blackberries, raspberries and/or blueberries.
Still hard boiling your eggs? There’s a better way!
If potato salad is on the menu this holiday weekend, chances are good you’ll need some hard-cooked eggs. But there’s a better way than boiling. We find steaming cooks them perfectly every time, with no risk of rubbery overcooked eggs. For perfect hard-cooked eggs, fill a large saucepan with 1 inch of water. Place a folding steamer basket in the pan, cover and bring to a boil over medium-high. When the water is boiling, add large eggs to the steamer basket, cover and cook for 12 minutes. Immediately transfer the eggs to an ice bath and let stand 5 minutes until the eggs have cooled.