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Variety Spice Of Rib, Burger Grill Recipes

What should the main ingredient be for your Fourth of July barbecue?

How about -- variety?!

That's what grilling expert and cookbook author Elizabeth Karmel believes.

The executive chef of the Manhattan eatery Hill Country showed her stuff with some great burger, ribs and sauce recipes you can dress up any way you want, on The Early Show Friday.

SALT AND PEPPER RIBS

MAKES 4 to 8 SERVINGS

Grilling Method: Indirect/Medium-Low Heat

Applewood chips, soaked in water for 30 minutes (optional)
4 racks baby back ribs, about 3 pounds each
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Build a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill. Set up the grill for indirect heat; if using wood chips, place the soaked chips directly on the charcoal, or in the smoking box of a gas grill.

Remove the silver skin from the back of the ribs, if desired.

In a small bowl, mix the salt, pepper and cayenne pepper together and sprinkle the ribs liberally with the mixture.

Place the ribs, bone-side down, in the center of the cooking grate, or in a rib holder or rack, over indirect medium-low heat. Grill covered (at about 325°F, if your gas grill has a thermometer) for 1 1/2to 2 hours or until the meat is tender and has pulled back from the ends of the rib bones.

Leave the ribs unattended for the first 30 minutes-this means no peeking; especially important if using wood chips. If the ribs start to burn on the edges, stack them on top of one another in the very center of the grill and lower the heat slightly. Twenty minutes before serving, un-stack if necessary and brush the ribs with the barbeque sauce.

Remove the ribs from the grill; let them rest for 10 minutes before cutting into individual or 2 to 3 rib portions. Warm any remaining sauce in a saucepan and serve on the side.

Recipe adapted from "Taming the Flame," by Elizabeth Karmel
(John Wiley & Sons, 2005, $24.95).

BUILD-YOUR-OWN BURGER BAR

MAKES 6 SERVINGS

1 pound ground sirloin
1 pound ground chuck
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Coleman's dry mustard
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
Softened butter

ROLLS
Kaiser
Hamburger
Seeded
Onion
Rye Bread
Bagels

TOPPINGS
Sliced Swiss cheese
Sliced cheddar cheese
Sliced provolone cheese
Blue cheese sliced from a wedge
Sautéed onions
Sautéed mushrooms
Cooked bacon
Fire-roasted peppers
Sliced onions
Lettuce
Sliced tomatoes
Sprouts
Sliced Granny Smith apples
Pickle relish
Dill pickles
Bread and butter pickles
Pickled tomatoes
Hot and sweet pickled peppers
Ketchup
Mayonnaise
Yellow mustard
Dijon mustard
Course-grain mustard
Hoisin sauce
Barbeque sauce
Steak sauce

Build a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill.

Being careful not to overwork the meat, season it with the Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, salt, and pepper, and mix just until combined. Gently, shape the meat into 6 burgers of equal size and thickness (and ¾ inch thick). Make an imprint in the center of each patty with your thumb. Spread the top and bottom of each patty with a thin layer of olive oil. Sprinkle salt on the tops.

Place the burgers on the cooking grate over direct medium heat, cover, and grill for 4 minutes each. Turn and continue grilling until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink, 4 to 6 minutes more minutes. If making cheeseburgers, top each burger with the guest's choice of cheese after you turn it.

Meanwhile butter both sides of the rolls or bread and grill them over direct medium heat until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve buffet style, and let your guests build their own burgers.

Recipe from "Taming the Flame," by Elizabeth Karmel
(John Wiley & Sons, 2005, $24.95)

FOR MORE OF KARMEL'S RECIPES, GO TO PAGE 2