Nothing says summertime like firing up the grill. With social distancing mandates beginning to relax, many are welcoming a handful of guests into their backyards for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic swept New York in March.
With the weather warming up and face-to-face gathering with friends (while still maintaining a safe six-foot distance) becoming a part of our post-pandemic normal, manning the grill is starting to sound like a great way to entertain.
Celebrity chef Edward McFarland knows his way around the barbecue. You may recognize the New York City native from his appearances on Toni On! New York, The Flay List, The TODAY Show, Fox and Friends, the Martha Stewart Show, as well as Food Feuds on the Food Network. Or, perhaps, you’re familiar with McFarland’s two restaurants, Ed’s Lobster Bar in New York City and Sag Harbor. (Must-try eateries for lobster roll lovers).
Even if you don’t know his name yet, you can certainly appreciate the French Culinary Institute-trained chef’s summertime recipes. McFarland comes from a long line of food lovers. His mother made every meal special by using a sprinkling of home-grown herbs or vegetables. These formative years were the perfect springboard for a future chef, who went on to perfect his cooking techniques under the guidance of some of New York City’s most renowned chefs.
In honor of Father’s Day, and summer in general, McFarland is sharing his favorite warm-weather recipes: his brisket burger and fried calamari. These two easy-to-make recipes will kick your next barbecue up a couple of notches.
Ed McFarland’s Brisket Burger from Ed’s Lobster Bar
8 oz. burger patty
1 slice American cheese
1 oz. tartar sauce
2 oz. pickles
3 oz. Old Bay fried onions
Salt and pepper to taste
Season burger patty lightly with salt and pepper. Heat up pan and sprinkle salt in the pan. Place burger patty in a pan once it is hot. Press burger patty to sear on one side. Flip patty over. Add cheese and cover with lid. Place on warm pork bun. Add tartar sauce, then pickles, then fried onions, then top of pork bun. Serve with french fries and coleslaw.
6 oz. cleaned squid (tubes cut into rings, tentacles left whole)
1 cup flour
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Vegetable or canola oil (for deep frying)
1 wedge of lemon (⅙ lemon)
3 oz. marinara sauce
1 tsp parsley (chopped)
Salt to taste
Preheat frying oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit in a deep fryer or large cast-iron pot (no more than half full). In a medium mixing bowl, whisk to combine flour and cayenne. Dredge each piece of calamari in the flour mixture. Fry calamari in batches for about 2-3 minutes total until it is golden brown. Pat calamari dry with a paper towel. Season calamari generously with salt. Sprinkle chopped parsley over calamari. Plate the calamari with a lemon wedge and marinara sauce in a ramekin.