Jun 29, 2010

Recipes to try for 4th of July

May I suggest these great recipes, guaranteed to impress your guests at your fabulous 4th of July party? I made these crisp parmesan baskets, a Daniel Boulud amuse-bouche staple, in the past and not only was it easy to make, but it was an absolute crowd pleaser. For dessert, a simple–to–make vanilla–raspberry sundaes from Martha Stewart is a perfect ending to a wonderful meal. I admit, this recipe is more for presentation but it is so appropriate for this 4th. With just a little bit of research and preparation, you can surprise your guests without breaking your budget. Also revisit my past posts (Friday Frugal Finds and Memorial Day must–haves) for more inspirations. 

Crisp parmesan baskets filled with goat cheese
2 cups very finely grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounce goat cheese, softened
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, cilantro or parsley, or a combination
3~4 tablespoons milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Walnut pieces (or nuts of your choice) or fresh herbs

Preheat the oven to 400ยบ. Spoon 6 evenly spaced tablespoon–size mounds of the grated Parmesan cheese on a heavy nonstick baking sheet. Pat each mound into a fairly even 3–inch round. Bake for about 3 minutes, or until bubbling and golden brown. Working quickly, remove the lacy rounds from the sheet and drape them over an upturned paper egg carton to mold them slightly. They will crisp up as they cool. Repeat with the remaining Parmesan.

In a mall bowl, combine the goat cheese, olive oil, vinegar and chopped herbs and stir until smooth. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the cheese is easily spreadable. Season with salt and pepper. Using 2 teaspoons or a pastry bag fitted with a small tip, fill each basket with a little dollop of goat cheese. Decorate with the garnishes and serve.

Vanila–Raspberry sundaes 
2 quarts vanilla ice cream, softened
2 quarts raspberry sorbet, softened
Blueberries, for garnish

In 8 small bowls, layer 1/4 cup ice cream, 1/2 cup sorbet, and another 1/4 cup ice cream. Garnish each sundae with blueberries.

{Images credit: Daniel's Dish, and Martha Stewart} 
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