Food Network comes Fourth with Independence Day meal ideas

Fourth of July – Food Net has you covered

Valerie Bertinelli

The Fourth is nearly with us and you’d better be on your game.

Whether it’s a backyard barbecue, a lavish dinner party or even just cocktails and hors d’oeuvres you’re planning for the Independence Day holiday, a little extra knowledge can go a long way toward making your get-together a success and impressing your family and friends with your culinary know-how.

The experts at Food Network have a few ideas toward that end, so tune in this week and check out their suggestions.

Valerie Bertinelli certainly has a few in her Sunday, June 28, edition of “Valerie’s Home Cooking,” which finds her celebrating the holiday with friends with a menu of mini-pepper poppers with bacon, chipotle barbecue ribs and kale and carrot slaw. And for dessert, she offers up frozen watermelon mint pops with prosecco.

Monday, June 29, on “The Kitchen,” it’s a veritable cornucopia of holiday-themed comestibles, ranging from Katie Lee’s grilled firework onion and Sunny Anderson’s steak supreme to Jeff Mauro’s cheesy and spicy reuben-style brats and Michael Symon’s blackberry barbecue chicken. There is also a how-to on serving a fruit salad from a watermelon grill.

If the backyard grill is your preferred mode of food prep, Kardea Brown has you covered in her Tuesday, June 29, episode of “Delicious Miss Brown,” in which she fires up the old-fashioned barbecue for a family meal consisting of pimento cheese-stuffed burgers and grilled sea island wings with a side of southern pickles and okra. And for dessert, try out a grilled peach crumble.

Then on Saturday, July 4, “The Kitchen” is back with a “Star Spangled Spread” highlighted by Mauro’s grilled triple decker hot dog sandwich, Anderson’s all-American cola-glazed short rib, Jet Tila’s bacon, egg and potato salad and Jocelyn Delk Adams’ no-bake strawberry cheesecake bars.

Immediately following on “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen,” family recipes are the order of the day as host Trisha Yearwood introduces a menu of pork candy, baked beans, corn on the cob grilled in the husk and a dessert of grilled pineapple served with ice cream and a warm apricot sauce.

Not to be outdone, Ree Drummond has her own “Fourth of July” spread planned in a so-named episode of “The Pioneer Woman,” which finds her at her ranch prepping a meal for hundreds, with the menu including grilled steak, baked beans, a Caprese salad and a peach crisp with maple cream for dessert.

Of course, if none of the above sparks your imagination, you can always head over to the Food Network website ( for a library’s worth of meal ideas for any occasion.

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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