A Festive Fourth: casual, but elegant

Here’s to a Festive Fourth.
Make it casual, but elegant.  Simple, but sophisticated.
The oohs and ahhs won’t be the fireworks, but your handsome menu.
The Menu Shoppe has it covered…great ideas for great holiday menus.
Here’s to a Happy Fourth of  July!
Marinated Goat Cheese, Olives, Artichokes and Tomatoes
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 1/2 pounds fresh goat cheese, softened
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
1/2 teaspoon piment d’Espelette pepper (see Note) or hot paprika
Salt to taste
1 quart extra-virgin olive oil
20 cooked baby artichoke hearts, from the deli counter
1 cup red cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
1 cup Niçoise olives
Toasted baguette slices, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the pine nuts in a pie plate and bake for 10 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate and let cool. In a standing mixer, using the paddle, blend the goat cheese with the toasted pine nuts, rosemary, thyme and piment d’Espelette. Alternatively, blend the cheese in a bowl using a wooden spoon. Season with salt. Shape rounded tablespoons of the seasoned cheese into balls. Pour 1 inch of olive oil into a tall 1-gallon glass container. Layer the cheese balls, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes and olives in the container with enough of the remaining olive oil to cover. Let marinate at room temperature for 24 hours. Serve with the toasted baguette.
NOTE: The fruity, mildly spicy piment d’Espelette from France’s Pays Basque region is available from L’Epicerie  lepicerie.com
Bleu Cheese Potato Salad
5 pounds red  potatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
1 1/4 cups sour cream
2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 pound blue cheese, crumbled
5 green onions, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
Place potatoes in large pot. Cover with cold water. Boil until tender. Drain. Cool slightly. Peel potatoes. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Transfer to large bowl. Add wine, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cool. Combine all remaining ingredients. Mix with potatoes. Adjust seasoning. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature before serving ).
Grilled Sausages with Mixed Pepper Compote
2 sweet onions, sliced into 1/2 inch rings
Salt and pepper to taste
12 chicken, turkey or pork sausages
12 top-sliced hot dog buns
Preheat grill to medium-low. Push a metal skewer through onion rings horizontally. Mist onion rings with nonstick cooking spray; season with salt and pepper. Grill for 20 minutes, turning often, until tender. Remove from grill, cut each ring in half and separate. Set aside. Grill sausages, turning often, until a meat thermometer registers 170°F when stuck into thickest part, 20 minutes. Serve in buns with onions and pepper compote.
Rum-Spiked Grilled Pineapple
1 pineapple, peeled, cored, halved and sliced lengthwise into 12 planks
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup dark spiced rum
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
 ice cream, optional
Combine sugar and rum in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Brush rum mixture evenly over pineapple wedges.  Melt butter in a grill pan over medium-high heat. Add pineapple to pan; grill 3 minutes on each side or until grill marks form and pineapple is thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with coconut.
Optional: fabulous dress up for ice cream…custard…flan.
The Menu Shoppe is America’s number one source for menu covers for restaurants.
This entry was posted in appetizer, barbecue, cheeses, fruits, holiday, LED Specials Board, picnics, sandwiches and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Festive Fourth: casual, but elegant

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