Chef Eric Shares His Favorite Foods for July 4! #Recipes, #photos

I love summer holidays because they give us time to cook outdoors and indoors. The house doesn’t heat up and the doors and windows are open and it’s more relaxed than winter holidays. I turned to Chef Eric of Chef Eric’s Culinary Classroom in West Los Angeles
Chef Eric has been featured on this blog before: Valentine’s Day was the most recent feature.

Chef Eric has kindly offered to provide some of his favorite dishes for Fourth of July BBQs (or for any other BBQ) along with sweet treats and side dishes. I am going to shut up now and show you the recipes and great photos.

Cornmeal Crusted Fried Chicken

While it’s a time-consuming dish to prepare , fried chicken for picnics and family events is a traditional meal. Not as sophisticated as some dishes, it only requires a bite or two to create a feeding frenzy!
Cornmeal-Crusted Fried Chicken with Orange Zest

Yield: Serves 4

Whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces 3 pounds
Orange 1 each
Milk 1 cup
Flour 2/3 cup
Yellow cornmeal 2/3 cup
Sunflower or vegetable oil 4 cup
Salt 1 teaspoon
Pepper 1 teaspoon


1. With a sharp paring knife, citrus stripper or zester cut several long, thin strips of orange peel. From remaining peel, grate 2 tablespoons of zest. Then squeeze the juice.

2. In a large bowl, combine orange zest, 2 tablespoons of orange juice and the milk. Soak the chicken and orange-peel strips in the mixture for 30 minutes.

3. In a shallow dish, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper. Coat the chicken pieces with the flour mixture, then coat the orange-peel strips.

4. In a large skillet, heat 2 inches of oil to 350 degrees. Fry the chicken on all sides until golden and fully cooked, 18-20 minutes, then drain on paper towels.

5. Serve chicken hot or cold, garnished with the fried orange-peel strips.

Spice-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs (Baby Rack, St. Louis or Spare Ribs!)


Spice-Rubbed Pork Ribs with Deep South Barbeque Sauce
Yield: 4-6 Servings
Spice Rub:
Mexican style chile powder 3 Tablespoons
Kosher salt 4 Tablespoons
Granulated garlic 2 Tablespoons
Sugar 2 Tablespoons
Ground cumin 2 Tablespoons
Ground black pepper 2 Tablespoons
Ground dried thyme 1 Tablespoon

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or container and stir well to blend. If mixture lumps up, break up the lumps. Shake or stir before use.


Baby Back Pork Ribs 4 pounds
Dark Beer 12 ounces
Spice rub 1/4 cup

1. Preheat and oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is heating, place the beer in a small pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the beer to a simmer and reduce to about 1 cup. This should take about 5 minutes.
2. While the beer is reducing, place ribs in a heavy roasting pan. Rub the spice mixture all over the ribs. Pour the beer around the ribs, then cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Make sure that the plastic wrap is covered by the foil!
3. Bake the ribs until they are fork tender, about 1 ½ hours. Check the ribs occasionally. While the ribs are baking, make the barbeque sauce (recipe follows on next page.). When ribs are tender, remove from oven and let cool.
4. To serve, brush the ribs with the sauce and grill over medium heat for about 3 minutes per side. Brush with more sauce and serve.

Deep South Barbeque Sauce Yield: 2 Cups

Chicken broth or stock 3/4 cup
Fresh Brewed Coffee 1/2 cup
Ketchup 1/2 cup
Brown sugar, packed 1/2 cup
Grated Onion 1/3 cup
Bourbon 1/4 cup
Cider Vinegar 1/4 cup
Mustard 2 Tablespoons
Worcestershire Sauce 1 Tablespoon
Canned chipotle chile, minced 1 1/2 teaspoon
Adobo sauce from chipotle 1 1/2 teaspoon
Garlic cloves, minced 3 each
Salt 1/4 teaspoon
Vegetable oil 1 Tablespoon

1. Combine all ingredients into a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and check for seasoning. If the sauce is not sweet enough, add a little more sugar. If it is not hot enough, add more pepper or chipotle. Continue to simmer until thick, about 5 more minutes.
2. Remove from heat and let cool.

Note:This sauce can be made several days ahead of time. Cool and refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. Sauce will keep for several weeks.

Side Dishes make or break the dinner. It’s not a complete meal without them. Here are some fabulous ones!

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Herb Butter Yield: 6 Ears


Fresh Corn on the Cob 6 ears
Butter, room temperature 4 Tablespoons
Fresh herbs, finely chopped 1/4 cup (chives, parsley, thyme)
Shallots, peeled and minced 1 each


1. Peel back the husk of the corn, but do not remove it from the cob. With a kitchen towel, rub the silk off of the cob. Set the corn aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine the butter with the herbs and shallots. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. Rub the corn cobs with an equal amount of butter. Wrap the husks over the cobs and then wrap the cobs in foil.

4. Grill the cobs over medium-high heat until the corn is heated through and the butter is melted, about 5-10 minutes.

Traditional Potato Salad Yield: 2 Cups


Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes 2 pounds
Dijon Mustard 1/3 cup
Olive Oil 1/4 cup
Sherry Vinegar 1 Tablespoon
Chopped Chives, Parsley, & Chervil 3 Tablespoons


1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add a large pinch of salt. Peel and cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces.

2. Cook the potatoes in the water until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain the potatoes.

3. While the potatoes are cooking, use a whip to blend the mustard, vinegar and oil in a large bowl.

4. Add the cooked potatoes to the bowl and stir to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with the herbs. Serve warm or room temperature.

Green Veggies bring a great balance and taste to any dinner!

Grilled Vegetable Ratatouille with Roasted Red Pepper, Yellow/Green Zucchini, Japanese Eggplant, Tomatoes, Basil, Italian Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme, Garlic and Red Onion


Yield: 4-6 Servings
Olive Oil 1/4 cup
Garlic cloves, minced 4 medium cloves
Thyme, chopped fine 1 t & sprigs for garnish
Parsley, chopped fine 1 Tablespoon
Rosemary, chopped fine 1 teaspoon
Red Onion 1 large
Basil, chiffonade 2 t & sprig for garnish
Zucchini, large 1 each
Eggplant, large 1 eggplant
Yellow squash, large 1 each
Red Bell Pepper, roasted, peeled &chopped 1 pepper
Tomatoes, roasted, peeled and chopped 2 tomatoes

1. Heat a Grill Pan over medium heat. Combine the oil in a small bowl with garlic, thyme and rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set the bowl aside.
2. Trim the zucchini and eggplant. Peel the eggplant, and slice the eggplant and zucchini into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Peel and cut the onions into 1/2 inch slices. Brush the vegetables with the garlic herb oil.
3. Place the vegetables on the hot grill pan. You may have to grill in batches. Grill, turning the onions several times but the other vegetables once, until dark grill marks appear.
4. Continue grilling until the vegetables are cooked through. While grilling, spread the chopped tomatoes on a platter. Place the finished vegetables on the platter on top of the tomatoes. Garnish with fresh herb sprigs and roasted pepper.

Wine-Roasted Potatoes with Onions and Olives Yield: 8 Servings

Chef Eric-Wine-Roasted Potatoes with Onions and Olives

Baby Red or Fingerling potatoes 4 pounds
Small red onion, thinly sliced 1 each
Nicoise olives, pitted 1 cup
Extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup
White wine 2 Tablespoons
Bay leaves 4 each
Garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced 2 each Salt and pepper


1. Wash and dry the potatoes, peeling them if desired. In a bowl, toss the potatoes with the oil, wine, olive, bay leaves and garlic. Season well with salt and pepper.

2. Tear four sheets of aluminum foil, each one large enough to wrap the potato mixture. Stack two sheets on a sheet pan and pour the potato mixture on top of the foil. Top with the remaining two sheets of foil and seal the edge tightly.

3. Place the package on a hot grill and roast, turning once or twice, until the potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes to one hour.

Desserts are the best part of the meal (ok.. they are to me!) So here are 2 key desserts to have with Chef Eric’s great recipes!

Mini Apple Pies Yield: 6 Servings

Chef Eric-Mini Apple Pies

Crescent Rolls 8 ounces
Golden Delicious or Granny Smith Apple 1 each
Applesauce 6 tablespoons
Sugar 1 tablespoon
Cinnamon 1 teaspoon


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 6-cup muffin tin.

2. Unroll crescent rolls from tube and separate into 2 rectangles. Roll the rectangles with a rolling pin to seal the perforations.

3. Cut 3 circles from each rectangle using a 3-inch round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter. Press dough into each of the 6 individual muffin cups.

4. Peel, core and thinly slice apples. Divide among dough-lined cups.

5. Top each apple cup with 1 tablespoon applesauce. Mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over all of the apples.

6. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before eating.

Shortcake is a popular summer-time dish. Here it is with a serious dose of pizazz!

Strawberry/Blueberry Shortcakes with Whipped Cream Yield: 8 Shortcakes

Chef Eric-Strawberry Blueberry Shortcake with Whipped Cream

Baking mix 2 cups
Milk 2/3 cup
Flour for dusting and rolling
Whipping cream 1 pint
Confectioners’ sugar 2 Tablespoons
Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
Sugar 1/4 cup
Strawberries, sliced 1 pint
Blueberries 1 pint
Fresh mint leaves

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Blend baking mix and milk with a fork in a medium bowl
– the batter will be a little lumpy. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease with butter. Set aside.
2. Slice the berries and put into a bowl. Set aside.
3. In a bowl, combine the cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Pour 2 Tablespoons into a small bowl and set aside.
4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured board to 1/ 2 inch thickness. Use a 2 inch round cutter and cut 8 biscuits. Place on greased baking sheet 2 inches apart.
5. Brush the tops with 2 Tablespoons of the flavored cream. Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon sugar. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool 5 minutes.
6. While the biscuits are baking, whip cream in a jar by shaking the rest of the bowl of whipping cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract together for 2 to 5 minutes ONLY, until stiff peaks form. Do not over shake. When finished, put the container in the refrigerator.
7. Slice biscuits horizontally and top the bottoms with approximately 2 Tablespoons each of the berries and whipped cream.
8. Place the tops on the biscuits and layer more berries and cream. Garnish with fresh mint and serve.

While it’s about 5 days out from Fourth of July, you need time to plan. So here you have it– all the recipes, easy to glean all the 411 on the necessary ingredients. Just add the plating needs and the cocktails and beverages!!

Connect with Chef Eric on the following social media platforms!
For more information on Chef Eric, visit

For more about cooking classes:

2366 Pelham Avenue – Los Angeles, CA 90064 – Phone: 310-470-2640 – Fax: 310-470-2642

This won’t be the ONLY post from Chef Eric this summer. I just can’t fit in ALL the photos and recipes in one post!

Cook well, eat well!

Stevie Wilson,

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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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