02 Jul Special of the Day: Festive Foods for the Fourth of July!
Having the fourth of July fall on a Friday this year gives you a good excuse to get friends together and throw a festive fete over the holiday weekend.
Baking a light and luscious Lemon Blueberry Dutch Baby for breakfast is an almost effortless way to indulge any overnight guests visiting over the weekend. Easy as 1, 2, 3, all you do is: 1-Blend ingredients, 2-Pour into a preheated pie plate and 3-Bake.
Set aside a few minutes to make the super simple Sundried Tomato Pesto Chicken Salad and bake the puff pastry stars ahead of time, then stack the stars and filling just prior to serving these sure-to-please celebratory snacks, perhaps paired with a fresh fruit salad for lunch.
Planning to assemble the Red, White and Bleu Cheese Steak Skewers ahead of time will free you up to enjoy spending time with your guests. These scrumptious all-in-one (protein/starch/vegetable) entrée skewers cook quickly on the grill while the balsamic reduction simmers on the stove, simplifying your supper preparation and setting you up for rock star party hostess status.
Roll out the red, white and blue carpet for guests with this week’s Special of the Day: Festive Foods for the Fourth of July and recipes for Blueberry Lemon Dutch Baby, Sundried Tomato Pesto Chicken Salad Stars and Red, White and Bleu Cheese Steak Skewers. Enjoy!
Recipes and food photography by Sydne George
Blueberry Lemon Dutch Baby
(serves 4 to 6)
¼ cup butter
½ cup milk
½ cup flour
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ cup blueberries
1 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. lemon peel
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place butter in glass pie plate and set in preheated oven to melt.
Whisk together eggs, milk, flour, salt, ¼ cup sugar and vanilla until well-mixed.
Toss blueberries with 1 tbsp. sugar and lemon peel.
Remove pie plate from oven when butter has melted and immediately pour batter into hot pie plate.
Sprinkle blueberry mixture over batter.
Return to oven and bake for about 12 minutes, until puffed and golden brown on edges.
Remove from oven.
Dust with powdered sugar.
Slice into wedges and serve hot.
Sundried Tomato Pesto Chicken Salad Stars
(makes about 20 bite-sized appetizers)
1 package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed according to package instructions
1 tbsp. water
12.5 ounce can white premium chunk chicken, drained
¼ cup sun-ripened tomatoes in olive oil
2 tbsp. walnuts
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk egg and water together in small bowl.
Unroll thawed puff pastry on work surface.
Use small star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out 40 stars.
Transfer puff pastry stars to greased baking sheet.
Brush puff pastry stars with egg wash.
Bake puff pastry stars in preheated oven for about 6 minutes, until golden.
Remove from oven and let cool.
Add sun-ripened tomatoes, walnuts, garlic, salt and pepper to blender or food processor and blend until well-mixed.
In medium mixing bowl, combine chicken and sun-dried tomato mixture. Stir until well-mixed.
Spoon a teaspoon of sun-dried tomato chicken salad on top of 20 of the puff pastry stars. Top each with a puff pastry star and secure with frilly toothpick. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Red, White and Bleu Cheese Steak Skewers
2 pounds tenderloin steak
Freshly ground pepper
½ cup sweet onion, sliced
½ cup grape tomatoes
¾ cup petite yellow potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
6 ounces bleu cheese, cut into small slices
¾ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. butter
Preheat barbecue to 350 degrees.
Season steak with salt and pepper. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Thread steak, potatoes, tomatoes and onion slices on metal skewers.
Grill skewers about 5 minutes on a side, then turn and grill other side.
Remove from grill and top with bleu cheese slices. Let rest briefly.
While skewers are grilling, make the balsamic reduction.
Bring balsamic vinegar to a simmer over medium high heat. Simmer until reduced to ¼ cup.
Whisk in butter until melted.
Drizzle balsamic reduction over steak skewers and serve hot.
Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.