Officials dish about Fourth of July menu

Freedom New Mexico: Liliana Castillo James Burns, owner of Burns Do It Center, explains the benefits of using pellets instead of charcoal while grilling. Burns said Friday the rain won’t stop him from grilling for the Fourth of July.

The Independence Day weekend is here which means the patio table is set, the American Flag is flying proudly in the front yard, and it’s time to fire up that grill.

So what are area officials and residents throwing on the grill this year?

Clovis Fire Chief Ray Westerman said he likes a big hearty New York strip steak, which is the tender part of a porterhouse steak, according to www.recipetips.com.

“It’s a good cut of meat,” said Westerman, adding a rib-eye steak makes for a good alternative.

Steak might be a tradition among many BBQ buffs, but beef and pork ribs are the dominant favorite among officials like State Police Captain Jimmy Glascock and Portales Fire Chief Gary Nuckols.

Nuckols said smoked pork ribs are his favorite when served with the routine fixings’ like coleslaw, beans and potato salad.

When Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield welcomes her 75 family members to her home each year for the Fourth, she said she lets her husband cook the ribs using a unique mixture of BBQ sauces, while she makes the potato salad.

“I’m not known for my cooking skills, but I do make a good potato salad,” said Brumfield.

Sheryl Borden, host of Creative Living on KENW-TV at Eastern New Mexico University, said she has switched to heart-healthy chicken and turkey breast as a substitute for beef in recent years. But Borden said her family is making an exception this Independence Day.

“Sometimes we cook the bratwurst, and my son-in-law likes to cook the baby back ribs. In fact, I’m going to the store this afternoon to buy all of that,” Borden said, noting propane grill users should try adding liquid smoke flavoring to their BBQ sauce.

A good meal isn’t a good meal without the desert. Borden said she makes her homemade sour cream ice-cream each year.

Glascock offered up a unique desert idea. Glascock said he enjoys grilling fresh pineapple topped with a thick layer of brown sugar.

“Now that’s good stuff,” he said.