Fourth of July = red, white and blue. How about Fourth of July menus = red, white and berry? It’s high summer. Berries are at their peak. Celebrate the holiday and the harvest with delicious fresh berries.
Christina Conde’s Red, White and Blueberry, Strawberry and Jicama Salsa
Conde is executive chef of Gather, the restaurant at Atlanta’s Grant Park Market. She created this recipe to highlight Latin flavors, including cilantro and jicama. She suggests you control the heat in this salsa by deciding how many jalapeños to use and whether or not to add the jalapeños’ seeds. And she suggests this is a great topping for grilled fish or chicken. For our photo, she garnished the salsa with watercress microgreens.
Jamie Adams’ Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Blueberry Gastrique and White Grits
Adams is executive chef of il Giallo Osteria & Bar in Atlanta. He created this recipe as a play on one of the quintessential dishes of northeastern Italy — roasted venison with blueberry gastrique.
Adams recommends using old-fashioned long-cooking stone ground grits and offers a few tips for grilling steaks. “If using a gas grill to cook the steaks, cook on high. A medium-rare steak will take 7 to 9 minutes. I recommend using a thermometer to check the temperature. Rare is 120 to 125 degrees, medium-rare 130 degrees, medium 135 to 140 degrees, medium-well 150 degrees and well-done 160 degrees. Remember to pull the steak off the grill when it’s several degrees below your target temperature, as it will cook after you remove it from the grill.”
Elliot Cusher’s Whipped Ricotta with Pound Cake and Blueberries
Cusher is executive chef at Donetto in Atlanta.
He took delicious homemade ricotta and paired it with pound cake, making a dessert reminiscent of the shortcakes his mom would purchase and top with macerated strawberries and whipped cream.
This is a completely do-ahead dessert and about as easy as they come. Find a pound cake you like, make the ricotta a few days ahead and refrigerate your berries. When ready to serve, the most complicated step is warming the pound cake.
For the photo, he garnished the dessert with hazelnuts.
I’ve made lots of homemade ricotta in my day. This is the best recipe I’ve tried, hands down. Tangy from the buttermilk and lemon, then sweetened with a little powdered sugar and given the bright addition of lemon zest, it’s definitely a keeper. Use any extra for filling crepes or just spreading on pancakes.
The liquid that drains off the ricotta curds is called whey, and this recipe will yield about 2 cups. If you’re a bread baker, save at least some of the whey from this recipe to substitute for water in your next batch of bread. People also use whey to ferment vegetables or cook grains.
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