Fire up the grills, shake out the red, white and blue tablecloths and get ready for a delicious Fourth of July weekend. For this week’s , we asked readers “What is Your Best Fourth of July Recipe?” Below, we compiled a few of the answers, along with some tips from the professionals in other Patch locations, for a list of five ideas for feeding your hungry crew.
1. ROASTED SWEET POTATO SALAD
Courtesy of Carol Rosenstock, Needham Youth Services
1 3/4 pounds red potatoes
1 3/4 pounds sweet potatoes
1/4-1/2 cups olive oil, to taste
2 large sweet onions
Ground pepper to taste
2/3 cups low fat mayonnaise
5 1/4 teaspoon parsley
1 3/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Directions: Cut potatoes into small cubes, about 1-1/2-inch, and slice onions into rounds. Toss potatoes and onions in 1/4 cup of olive oil and pepper and spread in one layer in roasting pan. If you feel you need more oil, you can add it at this point. Bake at 425 degrees in the oven for 40 minutes, turning occasionally.
Add potatoes and onions to a bowl. Mix dressing together and toss over the potatoes. Enjoy!
2. FLAG CAKE
Courtesy of Lady Mama columnist Nancy Bradham, as seen on allrecipes.com
Make a flat, 9-by-13-inch cake from box or scratch, depending on your taste. You will need two pints of strawberries, one pint of blueberries and prepared white icing (the allrecipes.com recipe recommends using Fluffy Boiled Icing. Whipped cream/topping could be used as well, but the cake will need to be refrigerated in that case). Wash and drain all the berries; remove the strawberry stems and slice the strawberries in half.
Spread the white icing generously over the cake. In the cake’s top left corner, make an outline of a rectangle (about 5 inches wide by 4 inches tall) using blueberries, pressing the berries into the frosting. Fill in the outline with the rest of the blueberries. (Note: If the blueberries are placed in rows, the icing between them will look like stars.)
Place the strawberry pieces cut side down in horizontal rows across the cake, ending with a red strip along the bottom, as is the case with the real American flag.
For extra effect, add a couple of sparklers to the top of the cake and light them after dark before serving.
3. PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE
Courtesy of Denise Hawes (friend of Patch Editor Becca Manning)
1 box yellow cake mix
1 can pineapple rings in natural juice
12 maraschino cherries
1 stick of butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 9-by-13-inch cake pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the cake according to the package, using the juice from the pineapple rings to replace some of the water in the recipe.
Melt the butter in the cake pan (I use the oven); once melted, spread the butter evenly in the pan and then sprinkle the brown sugar until the bottom of the pan is coated.
Place the pineapple rings on top of the brown sugar and place a cherry in the middle. Slowly cover with the cake batter.
Place in the oven and bake 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Do not cool.
Place waxed paper or foil on a tray large enough to fit the cake and invert the cake onto the tray or platter.
4. GRILLED SALMON WITH LEMON-CHIPOTLE CREAM SAUCE
Courtesy of Chef Roberto Rodriguez, The Oyster House (originally published on )
For the salmon marinade:
3 pounds salmon, cut into filets about 1 inch thick
1 Tablespoon ground garlic
2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper (a couple of pinches)
For the sauce:
1 cup manufacturer's cream
1 Tablespoon chipotle puree
2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Combine and mix well the ingredients for the marinade. Cover both sides of salmon with marinade and let refrigerate at least one hour.
Grill salmon over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes per side (or until firm to the touch). While salmon is grilling, put cream in saucepan over high heat. When it starts to boil, lower heat and add chipotle, lemon, salt and pepper. Allow the sauce to simmer over low heat, with frequent stirring, to reduce and thicken.
Plate the salmon and top with sauce.
5. READY-MADE PICNIC LUNCH
Several Needham restaurants will have special picnic meals ready to order on Friday evening for residents interested in grabbing their dinner and joining their friends and neighbors at , where tables will be set up and many will be enjoying an outdoor meal before the scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. on the Memorial Field stage. (Dining begins at 5:30 p.m.)
Below are a few of the local businesses participating in the Friday evening event, according to the Needham 300 Committee, which is sponsoring the event. Be sure to call ahead to ensure meals will be ready.
• —10 percent discount for picnic orders
• —10 percent discount for picnic orders
• —Picnic for two costs $25 plus tax and includes a medium cheese pizza with two toppings, one small garden salad, four mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce, four chicken tenders with buffalo sauce, two rolls with butter and two bottles of water.
• —Ask for the box lunch (various options are available) at the catering desk. Be sure to mention the July 1 picnic.