We’re in the celebration months of the year when it comes to patriotic parties, outdoor barbecues and fun get-togethers. I think we’re all suckers for a fun-filled themed party, so here are a few ideas to bring the patriotic theme of true American red, white and blue into your recipes. Have fun and let’s celebrate an All-American summer!
For the crust:
2 c. natural granola (make sure it’s gluten free if you are on a gluten free diet)
1/2 c. walnut pieces
4 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
1 Tbsp. agave syrup
For the filling;
1 qt. vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, softened to spreadable consistency
For the berry topping:
6 oz. fresh raspberries (about 1 1/4 c.)
6 oz. fresh blueberries (about 1 1/4 c.)
2 Tbsp. agave syrup
2 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, pulse crust ingredients until combined and granola is ground to crumbs. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray and press crust into bottom of dish and up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely.
In a small saucepan over medium high heat, stir together raspberries, 1 tablespoon agave syrup, 1 tablespoon water, juice of 1/2 the lemon, and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch.
In another small saucepan over medium heat, stir together blueberries, 1 tablespoon agave syrup, 1 tablespoon water, juice of the other 1/2 of the lemon, and the other 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch. Simmer both saucepans of berries until berries have broken down and sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally with a whisk, about 10 minutes. Cool and pour each sauce separately through a fine mesh sieve into small separate bowls. Let sauces cool completely.
Pour sauces into re-sealable sandwich bags. Snip a tiny amount off one of the corners of the bags. Alternating bags, pipe circles about 2-inches apart over the pie starting in the center and working outward. Drag a toothpick from the center of pie outward to the crust so that the berry sauces are pulled upward. Drag toothpick back in the other direction (from crust to center) about 2-inches away from the first line. Continue around the pie. Freeze uncovered at least 3 hours. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve. Serve with additional berries and any remaining sauces.
Blue Cheese Red Potato Salad
8 c. red potatoes, boiled and cubed
1/2 c. green onions, chopped
1/2 c. celery, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 c. slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 tsp. celery seed
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese
2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
Combine potatoes, onions, celery, parsley, almonds, celery seed, salt and pepper in a large serving bowl; set aside. Mix together blue cheese, sour cream and vinegar in a small mixing bowl. Pour over potatoes, tossing to coat. Chill overnight and then enjoy as a side dish at your next barbecue.
All-American Apple Pie
3 c. all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ c. pecans, finely ground
½ c. butter-flavor solid vegetable shortening
7-8 Tbsp. ice water
2 large Rome Beauty apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
⅓ c. sugar
¼ c. light brown sugar
½ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
½ c. cold butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ c. walnuts, chopped
To make crust, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon and pecans in a large mixing bowl.
Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and toss the mixture with a fork. Roll in a circle ¼-inch thick. Line a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan with dough; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make the filling, toss apples with sugar, flour and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine egg and cream until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Place apples in prepared crust. Gently pour cream mixture over apple mixture. Bake pie in the lower one-third of oven for 20 minutes.
To make the streusel, combine sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in the bowl of a food processor. Process until well combined. With processor running, add the cold butter one piece at a time and process until crumbly. Toss in pecans. Remove pie from oven and shield crust with foil. Sprinkle prepared streusel over pie. Return to oven, and bake 45 minutes or until pie puffs.
Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken
8 pieces of chicken
1 qt. buttermilk (I used Cruze Farm’s, if you can get it, I recommend it)
1 c. water
1/8 c. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
1 Tbsp. Frank’s Hot Sauce (or other vinegar based hot sauce)
1 Tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 c. honey
Cayenne or hot Hungarian paprika to taste (optional)
A few sprigs of thyme (optional)
3 c. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1-2 tsp. kosher salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp. freshly grated black pepper
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 c. buttermilk
Oil for frying (you need enough to come about 1/3 of the way up the pot or 2 inches)
Kosher salt for sprinkling
For the brine: Combine all the ingredients for the brine except buttermilk in a small pot and heat over medium, dissolving all the salt and honey. Remove from heat and cool by adding ice cubes and stirring. In a large mixing bowl combine buttermilk and cooled seasoned water. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Divide all pieces of chicken between two large Ziplock bags. Pour half of buttermilk brine in each, close, and place in the refrigerator overnight (or up to 12 hours).
1-2 hours before you fry, rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry. Let the chicken come to room temperature, half an hour to one and a half hours, on a parchment lined baking sheet covered with paper towels. Preheat oven to 350°.
Mix all of the ingredients for the coating together in a large bowl, transferring half to a second bowl. Fill a third bowl with the 2 cups of buttermilk. The easiest way to coat the chicken is to have a line set up: uncoated chicken, flour coating, buttermilk, 2nd bowl of flour coating, wax paper-lined baking sheet for the coated chicken.
Pour the oil into your pot. It should come at least two inches and no more than 1/3 of the way up the side of the pot. Turn the heat to low, clipping a frying/candy thermometer to the side of your pot.
Dredge each piece in the coating, dust off all excess, dip into the buttermilk, and then into the second bowl of coating, letting the second coating be clumpier, but still patting to get rid of excess that might fall off in the oil. Place coated chicken on the wax paper lined tray.
Turn the oil up to high and let it come to about 350° F. When it reaches temperature, very carefully place 4 pieces of chicken at a time in the hot oil and fry, adjusting the temperature as needed to maintain a frying temperature between 310° -325° F. Fry dark meat first, as it takes longer. Fry the chicken for about 13-20 minutes, moving the chicken gently (you don’t want to knock the coating off!) after the first five minutes to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom. Be careful to monitor your chicken, watching the oil temperature closely and not letting the chicken get too dark.
Remove chicken from the oil with a spider or slotted metal spoon when it is golden brown, and place it on a cooling rack over a paper towel lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. Fully cooked chicken will read 160 degrees and can be served then if desired. If the temperature is lower than that, it must be finished in the oven.
Fry the second batch and then place it on the rack. Place the rack in the oven for ten minutes. Check the internal temperature to make sure the chicken is cooked through, let rest 10 minutes, and serve hot. If all the chicken is cooked through and you want to keep it hot, you can hold it in a 250 degree oven.
Maple-Mustard Grilled Corn with Bacon
12 ears corn, husked
Olive oil for grilling
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 pinch allspice
6 slices bacon
Brush 12 husked ears with olive oil. Grill on medium-high until tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup maple syrup, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, and a pinch of allspice. Cook 6 slices of bacon until crisp, about 6 minutes; drain on paper towels. Finely chop bacon and set aside on a platter. During the last 3 minutes of grilling, baste corn with maple-mustard glaze. Roll corn in bacon. Serve immediately.