Your Soul Food Lovers' Newsletter


Volume #021

- Happy Fourth of July


Welcome New Friends
What’s New!
Feature Article: Fourth of July Recipes
Soul Food Column - Gas or Charcoal Grill,
Which do you prefer?
Cassandra’s Cooking Tips
Soul Food Care Package
Soul Food Resource Center (New)
Link to Your Gift: New Trends in Soul Food Cooking



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Fourth of July Recipes

By Cassandra Harrell

Many Americans will be firing up the grill to celebrate this fourth of July holiday. There is nothing like the smoky smell of grilled food during this special time of the year. If you plan on grilling, the possibilities are endless when it comes to what to grill. From chicken to burgers, to vegetables, grilling makes it possible for everyone to enjoy and it’s a great opportunity to eat healthier while cutting fat and unwanted calories from your menu.

Most people who grill will tell you that grilling first start with great ingredients, whether its beef, chicken, pork, or vegetables, the quality must be good along with having great recipes to ensure that your food will come out just right.

This is also the perfect time of year to stop by your local farmer’s market for great buys on fresh vegetables for your grilling needs.

Below are great grilling recipes for your picnic. I have also included a wonderful rub recipe that is great on beef, pork or chicken. Also, check out my Tips Section for great ideas on grilling this fourth of July and the Soul Food Column on selecting that perfect grill. Enjoy your day!


4 pounds country style pork ribs
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons prepared mustard

Place ribs in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 1-1/2 hours or until no longer pink. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, saute the onion and garlic in oil until tender.

Stir in the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Drain ribs. Grill, covered, over indirect low heat for 45 minutes, turning once. Baste with barbecue sauce. Grill 15 minutes longer or until meat is tender, turning and basting frequently.

3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon chili sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
6 rib or loin pork chops (3/4 inch thick)

In a large re-sealable plastic bag or shallow glass container, combine the first five ingredients; mix well. Remove 1/4 cup for basting and refrigerate. Add pork chops to remaining marinade; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight, turning once.

Drain chops, discarding marinade. Grill, covered, over medium-hot heat for 4 minutes. Turn; baste with reserved marinade. Grill 4-7 minutes longer or until juices run clear.

4 ears sweet corn, in husks
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Carefully peel back husks from corn to within 1 in. of bottom; remove silk. Combine the butter and parsley; spread over corn. Rewrap corn in husks and secure with string. Soak in cold water for 20 minutes; drain.

Grill corn, covered, over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until tender, turning often. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts: 1 ear of corn (prepared with reduced-fat butter) equals 196 calories, 9 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 24 mg cholesterol, 186 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 8 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fat.

2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Basil Leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons Garlic Salt
1/2 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
1/8 teaspoon Ground Red Pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1 medium red green pepper, cut lengthwise into 6 strips
1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
1 medium yellow squash, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
1 small sweet potato, cut into 1/4-inch rounds

Mix brown sugar with herb and spices; set aside. Place vegetables in large bowl or pan. Drizzle oil over vegetables; toss to coat. Add half the seasoning mixture; toss to coat. Repeat process until vegetables are well covered.

Place vegetables directly on preheated grill or large broiler pan. Grill or broil over medium heat until vegetables are fork-tender, about 10 minutes; turning frequently.

To top off these grilling recipes, try these wonderful baked beans.

2 cups kidney beans
5 cups water
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 ounces cured pork
1/4 cup molasses
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 cup ketchup

In a slow cooker place beans, water, onion, salt and pork. Cover the pot and cook on low for 9 to 10 hours.

Drain beans, saving the liquid. Add molasses, brown sugar, dry mustard, ketchup and 1 cup of the bean liquid. Cover and cook on low for 1 hour.

Recipes are from AllRecipes.

1/4 C. brown sugar, packed
1/4 C. smoked paprika
4 Tbsp coarse-ground black pepper
4 Tbsp coarse sea salt
1 Tbsp minced garlic

1 Tbsp dehydrated onion flakes 1-3 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tsp parsley flakes

Mix all ingredients with a whisk until well blended. Store in an airtight jar away from heat and light to maintain freshness. It will stay fresh up to 6 months. Use 2 to 3 teaspoons per pound of meat.

Coat and grill. Optional: coat and smoke, then grill. A rub can be used beneath a final BBQ sauce or alone.

This rub can be used on beef, pork or chicken.

Recipe from Health & Lifestyle Magazine.


SOUL FOOD COLUMN - Gas or Charcoal Grill- Which do you prefer?

When it comes to selecting a grill, there is really no right or wrong way the only question is which do you prefer?

Grill prices differ from the least expensive to the most expensive however, I believe that what really counts is the results you want to accomplish.

A charcoal grill is usually for people who have a lot of experience barbecuing and it gives you more of the bbq flavor that most of us yearn for.

Below are some benefits of both grills, gas and charcoal to help you decide which grill is best for you::

Benefits of a Gas Grill:

Push Button Convenience
No messy charcoal to deal with
Easy to start
Control temperature with a dial
Can still use wood for smoky flavor
Wind is not a factor

Benefits of a Charcoal Grill:

More heat
Hotter grill
Greater flavor of meat from charcoal
Can use wood chips for smoky flavor
More intense smells
More hands-on experience required

For tips on how to shop for a Charcoal Grill, check out the link below:

Tips on Shopping for a Charcoal grill

For tips on how to shop for a Gas Grill, check out the link below:

Tips on Shopping for a Gas Grill

For expert advice on grilling meat check out this link:

Tips on Grilling Meat



· To avoid flare-ups, trim excess fat from meats.

· Food should be brought to room temperature before placing on the grill. If food is cold, it could burn on the outside before the interior is done.

· Always use tongs to turn meat instead of a fork to avoid piercing and losing juices.

· After cooking meat on the grill, salting will help retain juices in your meat.

· If your marinade is used as a basting or dipping sauce, reserve a portion before adding the uncooked foods and bring it to a rolling boil.

· Make sure your grill is kept clean all season by using a wire brush. Maintain your grill by brushing it with a light coating of cooking oil before grilling. This makes it easier to keep clean.

Watch for more exciting cooking tips!



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Cassandra Harrell is an avid soul food lover and the author of the new Soul Food Lovers’ Cookbook with 250 easy-to-follow soul food and southern recipes from three generations of Southern cooks. Throughout the cookbook you’re find helpful cooking tips and fun recipe stories about the dish.

Cassandra Harrell
Editor & Soul Food Advisor
(c) copyright 2007 Soul Food Advisor