Potato salad, flank steak and cookie recipes perfect for 4th of July or any summer occasion

Chef and cookbook author Ryan Scott shared his go-to family favorites.

July 01, 2021, 8:49 AM
PHOTO: Marinated flank steak with chef Ryan Scott's "zippy" sauce.
Marinated flank steak with chef Ryan Scott's "zippy" sauce.
Chris Andre

Chef Ryan Scott joined "Good Morning America" to share some tasty recipes that are perfect for a 4th of July barbecue or any outdoor summer soiree.

The chef, TV personality and author of "The No-Fuss Family Cookbook," a collection of go-to, family-friendly recipes, offered up a classic party potato salad, marinated flank steak that's perfect for slicing up and sharing, plus a sweet treat filled with nostalgia.

Check out his full recipes below.

Every-Occasion Potato Salad with Bacon-Mustard Vinaigrette

PHOTO: Every occasion potato salad from "The No-Fuss Family Cookbook."
Every occasion potato salad from "The No-Fuss Family Cookbook."
Chris Andre

Makes: 4 servings

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 (12-ounce) package sliced bacon

2 pounds red, purple, and/or yellow creamer potatoes (the littlest ones you can find)

2 tablespoons salt

3 tablespoons chopped jarred pepperoncini

2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh chives

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Cut the bacon into 1⁄2-inch-wide pieces and cook in a large skillet over medium heat until evenly brown, crisp, and cooked. Drain the fat, reserving 1⁄4 cup in the pan. Set the cooked bacon aside in a large bowl and leave the pan with the reserved fat on the stove with the heat turned off.

Rinse the potatoes and put them in a large pot with the salt. Add enough water to cover the potatoes by 2 inches, bring to a boil, and cook until fork-tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes. If they are larger than bite-size, cut them in half or quarters.

Add the pepperoncini, mustards, vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, and pepper to the bowl with the bacon and whisk until combined.

Heat the reserved bacon fat over high heat until melted and hot. Add the potatoes and, using a spatula, smash about one-third to half of them into the bacon fat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook the potatoes, undisturbed, until nicely browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the heat off and pour the dressing over the potatoes in the pan. Add the bacon, chives, and parsley and gently toss to evenly coat the potatoes. Serve this potato salad warm or at room temp.

Note: If you store the potato salad in the fridge for later, try to bring it to room temp before serving; the flavors are more alive and vibrant at room temp than when cold.

Easy Marinated Flank Steak with “Zippy Sauce”

PHOTO: Marinated flank steak with chef Ryan Scott's "zippy" sauce.
Marinated flank steak with chef Ryan Scott's "zippy" sauce.
Chris Andre

Makes: 4 Servings

Total Prep + Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

For the marinated steak

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon chili powder1 (1 1/2- to 2-pound) flank steak

For the zippy sauce

2 jalapeños, seeded, if desired, and coarsely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup arugula

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

In a gallon-size zip-top bag, combine the olive oil, honey, vinegar, pepper, salt, smoked paprika, and chili powder. Put the steak in the bag, seal it, and massage it a little to get the meat fully covered with marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

In a food processor, combine the jalapeños with the lemon juice and pulse to finely chop, then transfer to a medium bowl.

In the food processor, combine the arugula, mint, parsley, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and olive oil and pulse until the mixture looks like pesto. Transfer this mixture to the bowl with the jalapeños and mix it all together. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge until serving time. (The longer the zippy sauce sits, the more the flavors meld and bloom, making it more delicious.)

Heat a grill until it’s nice and hot. Carefully place the marinated flank steak on the grill. Cook, uncovered, for 7 to 8 minutes. You want to really caramelize that honey in the marinade and get some nice dark grill marks. Using tongs, carefully flip the steak and cook for 7 to 8 minutes more for medium-rare (a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak should read 130 degrees.

Transfer the steak to a large cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes so the juices redistribute.

Then cut the meat into thin strips against the grain for maximum tenderness. Spoon the zippy sauce over the steak and enjoy!

Note: When cooking meats, a good rule of thumb is to rest the meat for the same amount of time that it cooked to ensure that the juices have enough time to redistribute and allow the proteins to relax.

super-soft frosted birthday cake cookies

PHOTO: Chef Ryan Scott's soft-baked frosted cookies.
Chef Ryan Scott's soft-baked frosted cookies.
Chris Andre

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Makes: 48 cookies

Ingredients

For the cookies

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

11⁄4 teaspoon salt

2 large egg whites

2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

21⁄4 cups bleached cake flour, sifted

For the frosting

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1⁄4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

3 or 4 drops food coloring (Olive likes pink)

2 to 3 tablespoons fun colorful sprinkles

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl using a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites, cream, and vanilla until well combined.

With the mixer running on low speed, add the liquid mixture in three stages, stopping to scrape the bowl down after each addition. Beat the mixture for 2 minutes, until fluffy.

Add the flour and mix on low speed just until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on low speed for 1 minute more.

Scoop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets, keeping 3 inches between each cookie. Make sure the scoops are very round; a small ice cream scoop works well for this. Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes. They should have almost no color on top, and just the lightest bare amount of light browning at the edges. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets; do not move them to a wire rack for cooling. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.

For the frosting: In a medium bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat the confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla, salt, and food coloring on low speed until the sugar has been fully dissolved by the liquid. Scrape down the bowl and beat the frosting on high speed until light and fluffy.

When the cookies are cool, frost each one with a tablespoon (or more!) of the fluffy vanilla frosting. Use a butter knife or small offset spatula to create a swirl in the frosting on top of each cookie. Sprinkle the frosted cookies with colorful sprinkles. The frosting will form a little bit of a skin as it sits, so be sure to add the sprinkles right away so they stick. Store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. Be sure not to stack them directly on top of each other so that the icing stays pretty.

Notes

Sift the cake flour after measuring for a more accurate measurement.

These cookies are almost more cake than cookie, kind of like handheld mini birthday cakes.

It may seem like you’re using a lot of vanilla and salt, but trust me, these two ingredients are what make this cookie stand out and give them a flavor so reminiscent of the grocery counter favorite we all grew up loving.

Recipes reprinted courtesy of Ryan Scott from his book, "The No-Fuss Family Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Everyday Life," By Ryan Scott. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Paper Over Board.

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