I know it’s a few days late, but I wanted to talk about the fantastic meal I had for my 4th of July holiday.
Because Jim and I had the entire house to ourselves this 4th, we decided to skip the picnics, fireworks, and other assorted crowded affairs and opt to enjoy the relaxing weather by the pool and in the kitchen.
The night before, I hastily ran into a local grocery store (with absolutely no idea what I was going to make for dinner the next night) and scooped up a plethora of tasty ingredients:
1 container of raspberries
1 container of blueberries
1 box of sliced Crimini Mushrooms
1 bag of Mung Bean Sprouts
1 container of alfalfa, onion, and dill sprouts
2 New York Strip Steaks
1 bottle of Mediterranean Olive Oil (with spices and red wine vinegar mixed in)
1 loaf of French Bread
and 1 Angel Food Cake
Before breakfast on the 4th, I threw the steaks in a bag with some chopped rosemary and some of the Mediterranean Olive Oil to marinate while we went about our day. Using half of the blueberries, Jim made blueberry pancakes and I made a sweet raspberry sauce for on top (lower calories than syrup and a million times better). The sauce is simple, just toss some fresh (or thawed) raspberries in a small sauce pan with a Tbsp of water and a tsp (or 2) of sugar to taste. Break up the raspberries with a spoon as they cook over low heat until the pancakes are ready. Top the pancakes with the raspberry mixture. It is a fantastic alternative to syrup. Check out my Tasty Planner recipe for Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce.
After breakfast we lounged by the pool and awaited the yummy dinner that sat waiting in the fridge. It, like it always does on the 4th, began to rain so we had to head inside. Passing the kitchen I removed the steaks (to allow them to reach room temperature before we grilled them) and Jim and I watched the first half of Serenity with a popcorn snack. (The snack, of course consisted of popcorn smothered in nutritional yeast, see the recipe here.) I can’t believe how excited we were about dinner that evening. It was all I had thought about all day. By the time the Serenity crew met up with Mr. Universe, Jim and I had a hankering for our 4th of July feast so we paused the DVD and headed to the kitchen.
I began with the sprout salad. It consisted of a generous handful of mung bean sprouts, and 1 cup of alfalfa/onion/dill sprouts mixed and about 1/4 cup of the Mediterranean Oil. After mixing that with a fork, I added freshly ground salt and black pepper (to taste). Click here to add this quick and flavorful recipe to your planner. I then poured the same oil I used on the salad (which was also the marinade for the steaks) into saucers, cut up some fresh French bread and used it as a dipping oil. I do realize that a mung bean sprout salad, French bread, and dipping oil aren’t necessarily “American” recipes for a 4th of July dinner, but aren’t we supposed to be some sort of melting pot?
Anyway, after the salad was finished (which took all of 5 minutes), Jim turned on the grill to warm it up while I chopped up some garlic. I tossed that in a pan with some hot olive oil and sauteed the garlic with the sliced mushrooms. While I was messing around the kitchen, I poured the remaining blueberries and raspberries in a large bowl with some sugar to warm up and to allow them to juice for dessert.
Jim grabbed the steaks and gave them a hearty salt and pepper crust and threw them on the grill. They were New York Strips, so he only flipped them twice and cooked them about 4 min each flip. The end result was a piney rosemary seared medium steak. Of course, while he was still tending to the steaks, I finished up the succulent garlic mushrooms in the kitchen and after he slapped the hearty steaks on the plates, I dressed them and we had a fantastic dinner that took 30 minutes to prepare. We truly work like a well oiled machine. Here is the final outcome of all our hard work.
Here is a bite-sized idea of the meal, piece by piece. Are you starting to see how yummy it is? The steak was a perfect medium, the mushrooms were hot and garlicly, the salad was refreshing and cool, and the French bread with the dipping oil was a good way to sop up all the juicy flavorful goodness that was left all over the plate.
So, after we cleaned up what little mess I made in the kitchen (I am a firm believer in cleaning as you cook), I cut up the angel food cake added some of the berry mixture and had a fantastic summertime red, white, and blue dessert that took 5 minutes to prepare. I couldn’t really tell you what was better, dinner or this simple yet fantastic dessert. It is light and sweet and yet very satisfying. The blueberries just burst open in your mouth while the raspberries just melt away on your tongue. Berries are perfect this time of year and I am in love with raspberries this season. This dish is so simple, everyone should make it before summer’s over.
Like I said before, from prep to the table this meal took a total of 30 minutes. It was simple yet delicious and the perfect Fourth of July dinner. Below is a list of all the Tasty Planner recipes used for this meal. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Happy Cooking!