‘Live-Fire’ Cooking Recipes For Your July Fourth Weekend

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<p>(Courtesy OAK at fourteenth)</p>
<p>Shishito peppers cooked over a live fire top a dish at OAK at fourteenth restaurant in Boulder.</p>
Photo: Front Range chef Steven Redzikowski
Steven Redzikowski co-owns and runs two popular Front Range restaurants: OAK at fourteenth in Boulder and Acorn in Denver.

For many Americans, the Fourth of July holiday is prime time for grilling. Steven Redzikowski has some tips for cooking outdoors this weekend.The chef co-owns two popular Front Range restaurants: OAK at fourteenth in Boulder and Acorn in Denver.

Live fire cooking, he says, is huge right now in the industry and this culinary technique can be achieved right in your own backyard -- even without a grill. Redzikowski spoke with Colorado Matters' Andrea Dukakis. Audio from the interview will be attached after noon.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Fires should be in a contained grill. Check with your local fire agency for regulations on cooking over live fires at home.

Try live fire cooking with these recipes:

Grilled Artichokes and Burrata
Serves two to four

2 large artichokes (peel all the outsides and stem)
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
3 tablespoons olive oil
7 Calabrian chilies
¼ cup golden raisins
8 tablespoons of burrata cheese
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Cut the artichokes in half, remove the choke and toss in mixture of salt, pepper, thyme, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Place on hot grill so that the flat side of artichoke is face down for two to three minutes, or until there’s some color. Flip over artichokes and place on cooler edge of the grill; cook slow and low for 12 minutes. To check if artichokes are ready, put paring knife into stem; it should go in easily without much resistance. Take artichokes off grill.

Roughly chop the Calabrian chilies and golden raisins until fine, and scoop mixture into the cavity of the artichoke. Top that with burrata cheese (two tablespoons of burrata cheese in each half).

Place breadcrumbs and two tablespoons of olive oil in saute pan and stir over medium heat forfive to six minutes, or until golden brown. Pull off heat and add parsley. Sprinkle on top of artichokes.

Photo: Live fire cooking shishito peppers recipe
Shishito peppers cooked over a live fire.

Grilled Shishito Peppers
8 Shishito peppers
¼ cup Feta cheese

Make a small cut in each pepper and stuff with feta. Skewer on tooth picks or metal skewers. Place on grill and cook unroll lightly charred. Remove from heat and serve with Harissa sauce

For the Harissa:

1 cup Piquillo peppers
1 Ancho chili
3 tablespoons Olive oil
1 Garlic clove
1 Chili darbol
1 teaspoon Cumin seed
1 teaspoon Coriander seed
Salt and pepper to taste

Place chilies in water to hydrate. Once tender, remove seeds and stems. Place chili and all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Place in side dish and reserve to serve with peppers.

Wood-grilled Chicken Thighs with Spring Asparagus & Wild Mushroom Hash, Watercress, Lemon & Oregano Vinaigrette
Serves two

For the chicken:
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
½ tablespoon olive oil
½ lemon (remove seeds; roughly chop pulp and skin)

For the asparagus and mushroom hash:

1 bunch (approximately 8 ounces) of pencil asparagus (cut off bottoms)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Olive oil, to taste
½ cup morels or other wild mushroom (clean thoroughly)
1 tablespoon butter
1 sprig rosemary
½ tablespoon chopped thyme
Handful of watercress (or arugula)

For the vinaigrette:

¼ cup olive oil
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped oregano

Whisk all together and set aside.
Pre-heat the grill to high. Mix salt, pepper, parsley, olive oil and lemon in a bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. By now, the grill should be nice and hot. Place the chicken thighs skin-side down for five to six minutes to let caramelize. Then turn the grill down, close the lid, and let sit for five minutes.

While waiting on the chicken, toss asparagus with olive oil and salt and pepper (just a coat). Make a pocket of aluminum foil and lay mushrooms inside evenly (not on top of each other), along with butter, rosemary and thyme; leave the pocket open.

Open the grill lid; the skin on the chicken should be nice and rendered out. Put the grill on low and flip over the chicken thighs. Place the asparagus and mushroom pocket on the grill, close, and let sit for six minutes. To check the chicken, poke the thighs where the bone is with a paring knife and make sure the juice has run clear.

Mix asparagus and mushrooms in a bowl. Add watercress and toss with one tablespoon of the vinaigrette. Add a touch of vinaigrette on top of the chicken thighs -- just enough to coat -- and place on the plate. Arrange the hash/salad around the chicken thighs.