Salute Fourth of July with this star-spangled soirée
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all parties aren’t created equal. Coastal Texans understand how to throw a Fourth of July party — always breezy, never dull.
So, celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of summer happiness with this star-spangled and sea-inspired soirée.
Yield: 4 servings
1 bottle of rosé, chilled
3 ounces Aperol
2 ounces simple syrup
2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 ounces water
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After 15 to 20 minutes, the mixture should become slushy. Pour into chilled glasses and serve immediately.
Alternative: If you don’t own an ice-cream maker, carefully pour the mixture into a shallow freezer-safe pan and freeze for 4 to 6 hours. The alcohol will prevent the mixture from freezing completely. Scrape/stir the mixture to a slushy consistency with a fork. Scoop the mixture into chilled glasses and serve.
Yield: 4 servings
½ cup vegetable oil, or more, as needed
1 cup buttermilk
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 large egg
1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup Panko
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian blend seasoning
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Heat vegetable oil in a large braiser or skillet over medium high heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, flour, cornstarch, egg, Sriracha, salt and pepper, to taste; set aside.
In a shallow dish, combine Panko, onion and garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste; set aside.
Working one at a time, dip shrimp into buttermilk mixture, then dredge in Panko mixture, pressing firmly to coat.
Working in batches, add shrimp to the skillet and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Serve immediately.
Homemade Cocktail Sauce
Yield: 16 servings
½ cup ketchup
1 cup tomato-based chili sauce
¼ cup prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Sriracha, more to taste
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon onion powder
Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Add additional Sriracha as needed. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Homemade Dill-Caper Tartar Sauce
Yield: 8 servings
1 cup mayonnaise
5 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
4 tablespoons drained capers
4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
4 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickles, squeezed in a paper towel to absorb juices
1½ tablespoons pickle juice from jar
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Mix ingredients in bowl. Season with pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Coleslaw Salad with Yogurt Dressing
Yield: 8 servings
6 cups mixed, shredded red and green cabbage
1 (12-ounce) bag broccoli slaw mix
1 cup shredded carrots
½ cup thinly sliced scallions (about 4)
1 cup Greek yogurt
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated garlic
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 green apple
Combine cabbage, broccoli slaw, carrots and scallions in a large bowl. Toss to mix well.
Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice and garlic in a medium bowl until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover separately and chill.
Just before serving, core the apple and cut it into matchstick-size pieces. Add apple to slaw and toss to combine. Add dressing and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Kale and Basil Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes
Yield: About 20 tomatoes
1 cup olive oil
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2-3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups basil leaves
2 cups kale, rib removed
3 tablespoons pine nuts
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 containers San Marino tomatoes
Place all ingredients into a Vitamix container or blender and secure lid. Blend for 30 seconds or until desired consistency is reached.
Core tomatoes, removing seeds and juice. Spoon pesto into tomatoes. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Watermelon Salad Sailboat
1 large watermelon
Decorative craft paper
Long wooden skewers
Split watermelon in half, lengthwise. Scoop flesh out of one half and chop into bite-sized pieces. Chop pineapple and cantaloupe into bite-sized pieces.
Gently combine pineapple, melons, grapes and berries. Fill carved watermelon with salad. Cover and chill.
Meanwhile, cut a large triangular sail from craft paper and tape to skewer, leaving plenty of room to insert the bottom of the skewer into the salad. The sail should “fly”above salad.
When ready to serve, remove cover and insert sail.
DIY Sea-ing Stars and Stripes Wreath
Metal wreath form
Wide burlap ribbon
20 assorted starfish
Red, white, blue craft paint
Decide how many solid, striped and polka starfish you would like to create for your wreath. For striped starfish, apply strips of washi tape to the starfish body evenly alternating taped and untaped sections. Paint accordingly. Add small, white dots to solid blue starfish to create polka-dotted stars. Allow to dry overnight.
Wrap metal wreath form in burlap ribbon, covering form completely. Tie the ribbon’s end on the backside of wreath. Using a glue gun, glue starfish to wreath, carefully applying pressure. Layer starfish for desired effect, securing starfish to one another with hot glue.
Make a loop of burlap ribbon, tie on the backside of wreath and hang.
Are you wondering where can you find some of these items for your star-spangled soirée?
The following items are available at The Kitchen Chick, 528 23rd St. in Galveston’s downtown: KAF Red Gingham Apron; squared compass rose platter; anchor serving bowl; ruffled white platter; and Le Creuset stoneware cocottes.
Vintage shrimp boat serving dishes purchased on Etsy.