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Ask A DFW Chef: Easy Fourth Of July Recipes

It's almost unpatriotic to celebrate the Fourth of July without an outdoor cookout. So whether you're cooking for a crowd or just a small gathering, Chef Jon Bonnell of Waters Fine Coastal Cuisine, Trace "The Rib Whisperer" Arnold of 3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House and Troy Gardner of Samson's Gourmet Hot Dogs have shared some awesome recipes to add flair to your cookout fare.
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(credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for LAXART)

Jon Bonnell
Waters Fine Coastal Cuisine
2901 Crockett St.
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 984-1110

Jon Bonnell, Cowtown's finest seafaring chef and owner of Bonnell's Fine Texas Cuisine and Waters restaurants, offers a tasty ceviche recipe that can be served either as an appetizer or a dip. Bonnell also features this recipe in his new cookbook, "Waters Fine Coastal Cuisine." Bonnell says that flash grilling the fish beforehand gives the ceviche a deliciously rustic flavor. Plan ahead for this dish as it takes two days to prepare.

Ceviche of Grilled Striped Bass
Serves: 2


  • 6 ounces fresh Texas striped bass (snapper, grouper or catfish may be substituted)
  • 2 ounces purple onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Roma tomato, finely diced, seeds removed
  • 1 serrano chile, seeds and veins optional (jalapeño or habañero chilies may be substituted) 
  • 6 limes
  • 8-10 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Freshly fried corn tortilla chips sprinkled with sea salt as an accompaniment


De-bone and skin fish, then grill quickly over high heat just enough to create grill marks, leaving the center raw. Cut cooled fish into medium dice, combine with onions and the juice of 5 limes and refrigerate overnight. On the second day, drain and discard liquid before combining fish with the rest of the ingredients, including the lime juice from the remaining lime. Serve chilled with tortilla chips.

Related: Fourth Of July Party Essentials

Cheesy Corn Bake

Trace Arnold
3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House
4226 Preston Road
Frisco, TX 75034
(469) 287-9035

Not only will you find mouthwatering BBQ at 3 Stacks Smoke House, but you'll also find some delicious sides to go with it, including a scrumptious cheesy corn bake that co-owner and pit-master Trace "The Rib Whisperer" Arnold has shared. This dish can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving.

Cheesy Corn Bake


  • 1 cup fresh corn kennels or 1 can of corn
  • 1 can cream corn
  • 8 oz sour cream or cream cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1 box of Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of jalapeño or other chilies
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all of the ingredients (except the grated cheese) in a large bowl and place mixture in an oiled 9x13 inch pan. Top with grated cheese and bake for 55-60 minutes.

Troy Gardner
Samson's Gourmet Hot Dogs
2615 Oak Lawn Ave., Suite 104
Dallas, TX 75219
(214) 468-4560 There's nothing more traditional than grilling hot dogs on the Fourth of July. But instead of the usual mustard or mayo dressing, take your weenies from dull to delicious with a smoked chipotle sauce recipe from Troy Gardner of Samson's Gourmet Hot Dogs. Gardner serves this sauce at his restaurant on smoked brats with chipotle chili, smoked paprika hummus, guacamole and cheddar. The sauce goes well with an assortment of toppings and it's also awesome on burgers.

Smoked Chipotle Sauce


  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 2 roasted garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 small onion, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked chipotle powder
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil


Over medium heat, sauté onions and garlic in sesame oil until lightly browned. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

Related: Best Grilling Gadgets For Your Summer Cookouts

Ilene Jacobs is a freelance writer living in Dallas, Texas. Ilene enjoys writing about a variety of topics, ranging from food, fitness and travel, to kids, pets and senior care. You can find some of her work at
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