Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What Are You Doing For July Fourth? Some Ideas To Start On Main Street Or On Your Grill

Pork burgers -- portobellos stuffed with ground pork
What are you doing for July Fourth?

It's a weird night for restaurants because people cook out and go out for fireworks.  Portalli's and Diamondback Tavern in Ellicott City sell half-priced gift certificates on Thursday -- their recent tradition to bring people down to Main Street on the holiday.  The only hitch is that you can't use them on July 4.  You get a deal, but you need to go back.

Walking around Main Street should be a nice time if the weather stays good.  Folks say that Scoop-Ah-Dee-Doo is scooping ice cream, and the new Matcha Time Cafe has opened with Japanese food.

Even in the heat, I recommend a walk along the tree-lined path that runs between Main Street and the Breadery bakery in Oella.  That's a hill to walk up, but it's shady and way cooler than most of the outside.  Plus, you can start or end with coffee, sweets, bread and other treats at the Breadery.

If you're staying home, consider expanding your grill skills.  Bacon-grilled eggplant.  Grilled haloumi cheese from Pars Market.  The "firecracker" burger mix at Laurel Meat Market.  Or consider a mushroom stuffed with ground pork below.  It's more of an idea than a recipe.  You could stuff the mushrooms with all kinds of meat options and have a good time.

What are you doing?  Where do you recommend?  If you're going to Portalli's or Diamondback, check out their hours on July 4th.  I think it's noon to 4 pm and noon to 7 pm respectively.

Mushroom Burgers With Ground Pork
serves four

4 med. portobello mushrooms
1 lb. ground pork
1 small onion, diced

1) Clean the mushrooms, removing the stem and the the gills on the underside.

2) Sauté the onion until tender, then add to the ground pork.

3) Put about a quarter of the pork mixture inside each mushroom.  Press it into the mushroom to make a burger shape.

4) Grill, starting on the mushroom side.  Cook them until the mushroom is tender and the pork is cooked through.

Variations:  Use a mix of ground pork and pork sausage.  Buy a bunch of small mushrooms and served the stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer or party food.

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