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Brazilian Barbecue

Summertime barbecues with family and friends are one of the season’s simple pleasures. This summer, add a Brazilian flavor to the American pastime with rodizio recipes from Pampas Grille (561-444-2147) at CityPlace in West Palm Beach. Throughout July and August, the restaurant is offering mouthwatering barbecue-style items like grilled baby-back ribs with watermelon barbecue sauce, homemade biscuits and strawberry tallcake. Get the recipes for each below. 


Pampas Grille - Grilled Baby-Back Ribs with Watermelon Barbecue Sauce - Photography by Reynaldo MartinGrilled Baby-Back Ribs with Watermelon Barbecue Sauce

  • 3 lbs. pork baby-back ribs
  • Watermelon barbecue sauce (see recipe below)


  • Rib rub (see recipe below)


  1. Preheat gas grill for high heat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix all the watermelon barbecue sauce ingredients (see below).
  3. Trim off the membrane sheath from the back of each rack. You can do this by running a small, sharp knife between the membrane and snip or "shimmy" off the membrane as much as possible. Don't skip this step because it prevents the ribs from being chewy.
  4. Marinate the ribs by placing them in a large freezer bag and pouring in the watermelon barbecue sauce over them. Marinate overnight.
  5. Reserve 2 cups of sauce for glazing.
  6. Place aluminum foil on lower rack of grill to capture drippings and prevent flare-ups.
  7. Brush grate with oil, and lay ribs on top rack of grill.
  8. Reduce heat to low, shut grill and leave undisturbed for one hour. Do not lift lid at all during this time period.
  9. After one hour, check for doneness. Depending on grill, you may need to continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes. Brush ribs with barbecue sauce, and grill an additional few minutes until sauce is slightly absorbed and a little brown around the edges.
  10. Serve ribs as whole rack or cut between bones and pile individual ribs on the platter. Serve with a side of watermelon barbecue sauce for dipping.


Watermelon Barbecue Sauce

  • ½ cup watermelon juice
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup chili sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes

Stir together watermelon juice, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, oil, chili sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour enough sauce over vegetables, chicken, pork, fish or shellfish to marinate. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Baste with additional sauce while grilling or broiling. Sauce not used for marinating or basting can be spooned over cooked vegetables and meats.

Rib Rub

  • ½ cup Kosher salt
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 lb. brown sugar
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • ¼ cup dry mustard
  • ¼ cup cumin
  • ¼ cup mesquite seasoning
  • ¼ cup onion powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup granulated garlic
  • ¼ cup paprika

Place all ingredients in a suitable bowl and mix well; make sure all components are blended thoroughly. Place in a sealed freezer bag for storage.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

  • 6 ears corn
  • 6 tbsp butter, softened
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 oz. apple juice
  • Ruby rub


  1. Preheat outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate.
  2. Peel back corn husks and remove silk. Place 1 tbsp butter, spray of apple juice, spray of of Ruby rub, salt and pepper on each piece of corn. Close husks.
  3. Wrap each ear of corn tightly in aluminum foil. Place on the prepared grill. Cook approximately 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until corn is tender.

Strawberry Tallcake - Pampas Grille CityPlace - Brazillian barbecue - Photography by Reynaldo MartinStrawberry Tallcake


  • 3 baskets of fresh strawberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Whipping cream
  • Vanilla


  1. Remove the stems from the strawberries.
  2. Cut strawberries into slices about ¼-? inches thin and place into a large bowl.
  3. Depending on how sweet the strawberries are, add ¼-½ cup of sugar and mix into strawberries.
  4. Set aside for about 20 minutes at room temperature to macerate (which means the sugar will soften the strawberries and help release their juices).
  5. After about 20 minutes, lightly mash strawberries with a potato masher to get more juice out of them.
  6. Whip the cream, adding a drop or two of vanilla and a teaspoon of sugar.
  7. To serve, slice two biscuits (recipe below) per person. In bowl, place one slice of biscuit, top with strawberries and whipped cream. Repeat three more times to make a tall cake.

Biscuits from Scratch

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1½ tbsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract 


  1. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Toss with a fork to combine.
  2. Cut butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or fork until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. (Or, pulse several times in a food processor.)
  3. Combine the cream and vanilla in a liquid measure.
  4. Make a well in center of flour, and and pour cream mixture into the well.
  5. Mix with a fork until dough is evenly moistened and just combined; it should look shaggy and still feel a little dry.
  6. Gently knead by hand five or six times to create a loose ball.
  7. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat into an 8-inch square, ¾-1-inch thick.
  8. Transfer dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat, cover with plastic and chill for 20 minutes in refrigerator. Heat oven to 425ºF.
  9. Remove dough from refrigerator. Cut dough into nine even squares, and spread them about two inches apart from each other on baking sheet. Bake 18-20 minutes, until biscuits are medium golden brown. Makes nine biscuits.

Gluten-Free Biscuits

  • 1½ cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour (Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. guar gum
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 large egg white


  • Preheat oven to 350º. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or grease lightly.
  • In food processor, pulse dry ingredients (flour through salt) with shortening until mixture is consistency of small peas. Add milk and egg white. Blend until dough forms ball, scraping down sides with spatula, if necessary. Dough will be somewhat soft.
  • Place dough on parchment-lined or greased baking sheet that’s been lightly dusted with rice flour. Gently pat to ¾-inch-thick circle with hands or spatula. Lightly dust dough with rice flour. Cut into 10 two-inch circles with floured biscuit cutter. Shape remaining dough to ¾-inch thick and cut again. If dough is sticky, lightly dust with more flour. Arrange evenly on baking sheet.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes or until nicely browned. Best when served warm or gently reheated in microwave oven. Serves five.
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January 2017