Ask A Baltimore Chef: Easy 4th Of July Recipes

June 18, 2014 6:00 AM

Just in time for the 4th of July holiday season in Baltimore, two of the area’s top chefs share simple-to-replicate warm weather recipes. Before perusing grocery shelves for divine inspiration or firing up the all-dependable cookout grill, be sure to check out the following scrumptious ideas. Your summertime guests will thank you!
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Chef Duff Goldman 
Charm City Cakes
2936 Remington Ave.
Baltimore, Md. 21211
(410) 235-9229

Born and bred in Baltimore, internationally renowned chef, CEO, TV personality and musician Duff Goldman attributes much of his success to a solid support system and positive childhood rearing. Fittingly so, this easy-to-follow recipe comes directly from one of his greatest sources of inspiration – mom Jacqueline Winch.

“This is the basic recipe, but whenever I make it, I usually double or triple,” Goldman said. “Also, the casserole cannot be too shallow for the amount. I always just used my judgment. It’s really hard to screw this up, unless you burn it.”

Duff’s Mom’s Baked Beans


  • 2 lbs. canned pork and beans in sauce
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar (either light or dark or mix them – to taste)
  • 1 1/2 t. dry Coleman’s mustard
  • 6-8 slices chopped bacon
  • 1/2 cup ketchup or 1/4 cup ketchup mixed with 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 t. liquid smoke


  1. Empty both cans of beans into bowl and stir in smoke.
  2. Take half the beans and put in casserole.
  3. Combine brown sugar and mustard and sprinkle half over beans.
  4. Pour in remaining beans and top with remaining brown sugar/mustard mixture, the chopped bacon and ketchup/BBQ sauce.
  5. Bake uncovered at 325º F for 2 hours.

Recipe Variations/Tips:

  • Increase the Coleman’s for more zip.
  • Stir in some molasses for deeper/layered flavor.
  • Some people add onion. I don’t.
  • Cook bacon ahead of time but not crisp and break into bits – stir into beans before baking.
  • Add bits of pulled pork (I use shoulder when I make pulled pork).
  • Make beanie-weenie with bite-size pieces of hot dogs or knockwurst, bratwurst, etc.
  • One could get lazy and use all BBQ sauce but don’t – the ketchup is a good thing.

Related: Best French Fries In Baltimore

credit: Courtesy of Chef Jessica Swift

credit: Courtesy of Chef Jessica Swift

Chef Jessica Swift
Personal Chef / Registered Dietician

Meet the acquaintance of a wonderfully talented, widely-acclaimed local chef/registered dietician who knows exactly how to cook up holistic meals that’ll be sure to make your abdominal cavity smile. Chef Jessica Swift’s salubrious concoctions were recently featured on The Food Network. She excels at revolutionizing clients’ daily alimentary needs by employing fresh ingredients such as those found in the following recipe. This light, refreshing and colorful summer dish will excite taste buds without expanding waistlines.

Cumin Spice Shrimp with Grilled Watermelon Salsa (Courtesy of Chef Jess)

Cumin Spice Shrimp with Grilled Watermelon Salsa (Courtesy of Chef Jess)

Cumin Spice Shrimp with Grilled Watermelon Salsa

Shrimp Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 t. cumin, ground
  • 1/2 t. oregano
  • 1/4 t. each (coriander, crushed red pepper, granulated garlic, black pepper)
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 t. of olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 t. each (mint, basil) chopped

Salsa Ingredients:

  • 2 1-inch slices of watermelon (approximately 5 inches in diameter)
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 2 ears of fresh corn, husked
  • 1 T. each (cilantro, mint, basil)
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced – may use whole jalapeño if you prefer more spice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. For shrimp – combine all spices in a medium bowl, add shrimp and olive oil. Make sure shrimp is fully coated and place in fridge and let marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat grill pan over medium-high heat and spray with oil. Grill corn 7 minutes per side, kernels should start to brown. Remove and allow to cool. Cut corn off of the cob and place in bowl.
  3. Grill watermelon slices 2-3 minutes per side. Let cool for 15 minutes, then dice.
  4. Place watermelon in bowl with corn and add remaining ingredients, stir, cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  5. Spray grill with oil and grill shrimp over medium high heat 2 minutes per side or until shrimp turns pink.
  6. Place in bowl and toss shrimp with lime, mint and basil. Serve shrimp with salsa.

Related: Best Seafood Restaurants In Baltimore 

Keisha Oduor is a professional writer and entrepreneur who resides in Baltimore, Md. She has a degree in communications and French from New York University with work experience in publishing, nonprofits, healthcare administration and program management. Her work can be found on

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