To all my friends, family and loved ones in New York as well as from sea to shining sea and across the fruited plains…(Alaska and Hawaii too!) I want to send my love, thoughts and prayers to everyone dealing with the corona virus and all things affiliated. This has been a trying time for many of us and because we are all fed up with press conferences and bad news etc., etc., I thought what better way to welcome summer with wide open arms than to publish my personal menu and the recipes that I enjoy when I host my epic barbecues!

Summer is the time when being an American is most fun, nobody knows how to have a good time quite like we do, so here is to us; We the People! The following recipes are all very simple to follow, relatively cheap to recreate and majorly delicious! For our menu we will start with the side dishes and move our way through the main dishes! I really hope you enjoy these family favorites of mine with you and your family and friends this summer!

Red & White Cole Slaw

White Cabbage ½ head medium size

Red Cabbage ½ head small to medium size

White Onion ¼ small dice or mince

Mayonnaise 1-2 Cups depending on volume of cabbage and desired texture

Red Wine Vinegar 2 TBSP

Kosher Salt 1 TBSP

Black Pepper ½ TBSP

Dried Parsley 1 TBSP

Celery Seed 1 TSP

Paprika 1 TSP

Granulated Garlic 2 TSP

Granulated Onion 2 TSP

Fresh Lemon ½

Take the 2 halves of the cabbages and slice them into quarters, next slice the quarters of cabbage as thin as you can. Once the cabbage is processed, take your minced onion and dry spices and add them to the cabbage in a bowl vigorously mixing, next add your lemon juice and continue to mix fervently. Lastly add your mayo and mix together very thoroughly for 2 minutes. Put in a container and let chill for up to 2 hours prior to serving. For best results make the night before!

Chef Ricco’s Red Onion Sauce

White Onions 2 large onions diced

Olive Oil 2 TBSP

Ketchup 4 TBSP

Goulden’s Spicy Mustard 2 TBSP

Tomato Sauce 8 OZ

Salt 1 TSP

Black Pepper 1 TSP

1 TSP Crushed Red Pepper

Dried Parsley 2 TSP

In a large frying pan, add the olive oil and bring up to temperature. Add the diced onions and sauté until translucent. Add your dry spices and mix in, then add your ketchup, mustard and tomato sauce and vigorously sauté until well incorporated. As the mix begins to tighten up and especially as it gets a little dry you can add 4 ounces of water to help loosen it up and further soften the onions. Once the mixture a nice rich red color and the onions still have their shape but are nice and soft it’s ready to eat! This onion sauce is traditionally served as a hot dog topping but honestly you can put them on hamburgers and anything in between! Make a day or two in advance it keeps beautifully in the refrigerator!

Roasted Peppers, Onions and Potatoes

Fresh Bell Pepper 2-3 Whole peppers cut into strips

3 med or large white onions cut in half then sliced about ¼ inch thick

2-3 Potatoes Sliced long ways in half and then cut into ½ inch half-moon pieces

2 pcs. of fresh peeled garlic chopped

Olive oil 3-4 TBSP

Kosher Salt 1 TBSP

Black Pepper ½ TBSP

Fresh Parsley 6-7 stems chopped fine (leaf only)

Paprika 2 TSP

In a large bowl mix all the vegetables and toss in the olive oil, next add the spices and garlic and coat everything until nice and glossy. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and place the peppers, onions and potatoes on a baking sheet or roasting pan and cook uncovered occasionally opening the oven and tossing the mixture. Once the peppers and onions start to brown on the ends and the potatoes are fork tender, they are done. Place in a bowl or container and serve with your sausage on a hero or a plate. (The next day if you have leftovers, in a skillet take the peppers. Onions and potatoes and heat up, then add eggs and scramble together. Get some great seeded bread from Russo’s Bakery and have yourself a sandwich I lovingly refer to as an Uncle Gussie!)

Italian Grilled Corn

Get fresh ears of corn on the cob, peel and husk the ears and place on a baking sheet. Take olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika and whisk together. Take the mixture in a small sauce pan and add 2 TBSP of butter and melt down. Let the mixture cool a little, rub the mixture onto the corn and then roll the corn in aged pecorino Romano cheese. Take the dressed ears of corn and wrap them well in aluminum foil. Place on the grill and let them cook for about an hour on the above rack, always be moving the corn around evenly. If you cook them directly on the fire, they will cook a little faster, once they are ready unwrap and serve! Eat ‘em hot, cold or in between!


Ground Beef 80%-20% blend 2 Pounds

Worcheshire Sauce 2 TSP

Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce 2 TBSP

Kosher Salt ½ TBSP

Black Pepper ½ TBSP

Granulated Garlic & Onion 1 TSP each

In a large mixing bowl add the beef, the wet and dry ingredients mix thoroughly but not to finely. Once the mixture is done weigh out 8- 4Oz patties or 4 8Oz patties. Make a deep indent in the middle of each burger and make sure to put the hole side on the grill. This will create a place for the juices to collect instead of running off into the fire and it makes the burgers extra juicy and tasty of course! It’s best to make the burgers at least 2-3 hours prior to grilling. Serve your burgers on either a beautiful brioche bun from Russo’s Bakery, a Martin’s Potato Roll or any fine baked sesame bun!


Simply put you can either get a broccoli rabe or parsley & cheese pin wheel or regular links of hot or sweet sausage from some of my personal favorite meat markets: Iavarone Brothers, Mario’s Meat Market or Western Beef. Grill your sausage to perfection and place on a beautiful seeded loaf of Italian Bread from Russo’s Bakery and serve with the peppers, onions and potatoes! Another great sausage idea is to get some good fresh chorizo and grill that, serv with the peppers, onions and potatoes as well!

Hot Dogs

In my mind there are 2 great dogs out there, the first being a Sabrett Natural Casing Hot Dog or the Sabrett Hot Sausage! These 2 are my favorite hot dogs to grill! Use your favorite and add sauerkraut, mustard and onions for the purely authentic New York Hot Dog the way it was supposed to be enjoyed! I like my dogs on a regular old bun, however a Martin’s Potato Roll is also great and you can pile on more onions & Kraut too!

Grilled Chicken

Chicken Breast – 2 whole breasts sliced into cutlets

In a mixing bowl add 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil, 4 pcs of peeled garlic minced,

1 ½ TBSP of Kosher Salt, 1 TBSP Black Pepper, 2 TBSP Dried Parsley, 1 TSP Granulated Garlic, 1 TSP Granulated Onion, 1 TSP Cumin, 1 TSP Paprika, 1 TSP Dried Basil, ½ TSP Dried Oregano, The juice of 2 Lemons, Zest of a ¼ lemon 1 package of Sazon with Achiote. Whisk the ingredients very vigorously until smoothly blended and then pour over your chicken. Mix together very thoroughly until the entirety of the cutlers are nicely coated. Let marinate for 2-3 hours and then grill. This can be served over a salad, on a hero with peppers, onions and potatoes or plain and simply on a plate.

Pork Spare Ribs

1 Rack of Pork Spare Ribs

In a bowl combine 2 TBSP of Kosher Salt, 1 TBSP of Paprika, 1 TBSP Dried Chipotle Powder, 1 TBSP Black Pepper, 1 TBSP Granulated Garlic, 1 TBSP Granulated Onion, 1 TBSP Mustard Powder, 2 TSP Celery Seed, 1 TSP Cumin, 1 Pinch Cinnamon, 1 Pinch Nutmeg. Mix these ingredients very well and once done dry rub the ribs pressing the rub firmly onto the meat. Make sure to get every inch of the meat and bones covered well and then wrap in plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator over night or at least 2-3 hours before grilling. To cook place the rack of ribs bone side down and cook on med-high flame. As the ribs begin to char on the bone side turn them over cook on the meat side. Once the ribs have a nice crust all around and they start to loosen from the bone, take off the grill, cover them and let sit 5-10 minutes before cutting up and enjoying!