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Backyard BBQ: Blue cheese burgers and more July 4 recipes from Martha Stewart

July 2, 2014 at 10:01 AM ET

With the warm, sunny weather of summer in full swing, it's hard to stay inside long enough even to cook. Martha Stewart shares with TODAY her best recipes for an outdoor BBQ, from steak house burgers on the grill to toasted marshmallows (with chocolate fondue!) over the camp fire. 

Video: The cooking maven joins TODAY to show us how to make a delicious steak house burger with grilled onions and mustard for your July 4 celebration.

Steak house burger
Serves 4

  • 11 oz. boneless short ribs, trimmed of any large pieces of fat
  • 11 oz. sirloin steak, trimmed of any large pieces of fat
  • 4 slices red onion, each 1/2-in. thick
  • 2 oz. blue cheese, sliced
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • Coarse salt
  • 4 sesame-seed brioche buns
  • Equal parts Dijon mustard and whole-grain mustard mixed together, for serving 
  • Romaine lettuce leaves, for serving
  • Thinly sliced tomatoes, for serving (optional) 

Cut both meats into small pieces. Grind through the large holes of a meat grinder. Combine in a bowl, then grind together through the small holes of the grinder. Divide into 4 equal parts (each about 5 1/2 oz.). Form into patties, each about 3 1/2 in. in diameter. 

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Skewer onion slices crosswise with pre-soaked skewers and brush both sides with oil. Season both sides of the burgers with salt, then grill 2 1/2 minutes on each side for medium-rare, placing cheese on burgers at the last minute. Transfer to a plate.

Grill onion until tender and lightly charred (about 4 minutes each side). Meanwhile, grill buns until toasted (about 30 seconds). Sandwich the burgers and onions (removed from skewers) on buns with the mustard mixture, lettuce and tomatoes.

Martha Stewart and Matt Lauer cook on the TODAY show in New York on July 2, 2014.
Lance Booth/TODAY

Grilled corn with lime and chili
Serves 6

  • 6 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
  • Safflower oil, for brushing
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Coarse salt, for serving
  • Chili powder, for serving 

Preheat grill to medium-high heat and lightly brush hot grill with oil. Grill corn, turning occasionally, until kernels are tender and charred in spots, about 20 minutes.

Transfer corn to a serving platter and serve with lime wedges, salt and chili powder. 

Martha Stewart and Matt Lauer cook on the TODAY show in New York on July 2, 2014.
Lance Booth/TODAY

Watermelon punch bowl

Serves 10

  • 1 oblong, seedless watermelon (about 14 lbs.)
  • 3 cups seltzer

Cut top third off watermelon, and trim the bottom just enough to make a flat surface. Scoop out the flesh. 

Working in batches, puree watermelon in a food processor. Strain through a fine sieve, discarding the solid pieces. (You should have about 9 cups of juice). Cover rind with plastic wrap. Refrigerate juice and rind until chilled (about 1 hour). 

Combine juice with seltzer; transfer to rind. 

From quick recipes to cleaning tips, Martha Stewart shares how to host a last-minute July 4 bash

Beer margaritas 

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 5 lime wedges
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 cups ice
  • 3/4 cup silver tequila, chilled
  • 1 (12-oz.) bottle Mexican beer 

Place sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir in lime juice and transfer to refrigerator until chilled.

Rub a lime wedge around the rim of each of 4 glasses. Fill a saucer with salt, and dip the rim of each glass into the salt to coat. Fill each glass with 1/2 cup ice and set aside. 

Stir tequila into the lime mixture, and divide evenly among the prepared glasses. Top with beer, and stir. Garnish each glass with a lime wedge, and serve immediately.

Martha Stewart and Matt Lauer cook on the TODAY show in New York on July 2, 2014.
Lance Booth/TODAY

Toasted marshmallow, charred bread and banana sticks with chocolate fondue 
Makes 8

For the fondue: 

  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (1 1/2 cups) 
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp. bourbon (optional)

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan set over a campfire or on a medium-high grill, then pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the bourbon. 

For the skewers

  • 2 rolls skillet bread, cut into 1 1/2-in. cubes
  • 4 ripe, but firm bananas, cut into 1 1/2-in. thick pieces
  • 1 bag (10 oz.) marshmallows

Thread the bread, bananas and marshmallows onto 8 skewers. Toast over campfire. Serve with the chocolate fondue for dipping. 

Martha Stewart and Matt Lauer cook on the TODAY show in New York on July 2, 2014.
Lance Booth/TODAY


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