Creative Cooking

How Not to Singe Your Eyebrows Off While Cooking on July 4

Burn baby burn, just not the eyebrows.
Burn baby burn, just not the eyebrows. Photo by Erik Charlton via flickr
It's time to stock up on fireworks and dust off the grill. Yes, with July 4 right around the corner (Tuesday, actually, which is kind of a strange day to set fire to so many things, no?), here are cooking tips and suggestions for all you hardcore home cooks out there. Have a safe and happy Independence Day, folks.

July 4 is all about the red meat. - PHOTO BY MOLLY DUNN
July 4 is all about the red meat.
Photo by Molly Dunn

The Ten Most Common Grilling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

"Do I still have eyebrows?" my fiancé said to me a couple of weeks ago after he was standing too close to my parents' outdoor grill.

You see, we turned the grill on, started talking and forgot to turn the heat down. Once we opened the grill, a blast of 650-degree heat came shooting out, burning (or singeing) anything it touched. In this case, it was my fiancé's eyelashes and eyebrows. They were both scorched.

Grill teriyaki wings make for a great July 4 snack. - PHOTO BY ISAAC WEDEN
Grill teriyaki wings make for a great July 4 snack.
Photo by Isaac Weden
How to Make Grilled Teriyaki Wings

This week, we’re putting a spin on basic grilled chicken with a recipe for grilled teriyaki wings.

With “teri” referring to shine or luster, the word "teriyaki" likely conjures thoughts of a glossy, sticky-sweet sauce that you often find coating chicken and steak. But there is one important component missing in that thought, and that’s the “yaki” portion of things. "Yaki" refers to the method of grilling or cooking over direct heat. Together, teriyaki is a dish composed of grilled meat or seafood coated in a tare (sauce), which is generally made using soy sauce and two types of rice wine: mirin and sake.

When you don't have a grill to eff with on July 4. - PHOTO BY JEFF BALKE
When you don't have a grill to eff with on July 4.
Photo by Jeff Balke

Delicious Oven-Cooked Barbecue Brisket...Seriously

Okay, before you go on and on about how "real brisket is smoked by manly men with manly intentions" and all that, let me just preface this by saying my father did the majority of the cooking in our house and made one of the most incredible briskets in the history of cattle. And he did it in the smoker I believe he considered his most prized possession.

Photo by J. Sibiga Photography
Sweet Independence: Patriotic Desserts for Your July 4 Bash

They can take away our fireworks, but they can't take away our patriotic desserts. I scoured the Interwebs for a few sweet, flag-themed treats to add a spark to your dessert table this weekend.

Stock up early on the basics, like red and white fruit: strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, raspberries. I'm guessing they will be in short supply soon.

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Gwendolyn Knapp is the food editor at the Houston Press. A sixth-generation Floridian, she is still torn as to whether she likes smoked fish dip or queso better.