There’s nothing about the menu I made for this year’s 4th of July that screams patriotism. Except maybe the strawberry shortcake, but mom ended up bringing that, so I can’t even take credit for it. I’m trying to get into a more regular blogging habit so I figured I might as well work on some of my recipes for the “cookbook” I’m supposed to be writing this year. Did I say supposed? I mean, the cookbook I said I’d work on this year. There, that’s better. Less pressure on me.
I made a very traditional bbq chicken breast and a few unconventional sides. I love watching Giada DeLaurentis cook and I even have a few of her cookbooks, but I don’t make a lot of her food. Yesterday I watched a show and was very intriuged by two dishes so I decided to give them a whirl.
One was herbed cheesed stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto. Easy enough until I had to find mascapone cheese. Apparently it’s extremely hard to find in regular stores in the midwest and when you do find it, it’s ridiculously expensive. I sucked it up and paid an exorbitant amount for a small container. Soft, creamy goat cheese is also expensive when you don’t buy it in bulk at Sam’s, but again, I took one for the team. The other two ingredients are fresh basil (something I can’t live without) and dates.
Herbed Cheese-stuffed Dates with Prosciutto
Use about a quarter cup of each cheese (at room temperature) and mix together until combined.
Chop basil leaves finely.
Mix all items together and add salt and pepper to your preference.
Pit the dates, if they aren’t already, and stuff each one with a spoonful of cheese
Wrap each date in a piece of proscuitto (I cut them in half lengthwise)
That’s it! Super easy. *sidenote – I discovered bacon wrapped dates a few years ago, and promptly introduced them to all of my friends. They are so good!*
The other recipes will come soon, in the meantime you’ll have to be satisfied with a few photos. I spooned some of the extra herbed cheese on the warm potato and zucchini pancakes as well as some unsweetened applesauce. Delicious! These pancakes were finished on the grill, so they have a little extra char!
Here’s a picture of the whole meal. The green beans were grilled with olive oil and garlic. Aren’t those tomatoes beautiful? They were the most lovely yellow and orange heirloom tomatoes I bought at the farmer’s market last week. BBQ chicken rounds out the meal. Simple but tasty.
Another photo of the tomatoes. (I really love the macro zoom on my camera.) One thing I love about food, besides eating it, is how beautiful it is. The colors of these tomatoes reminds me of changing leaves in the Fall (my favorite season!)
Finally, dessert! Mom brought strawberries with vanilla and hazelnut syrup and homemade whipped cream. (something I love, but have little patience for, unless I’m making a trifle). We bought the traditional spongecake cups, but a chocolate version. Who knew??
Happy 4th of July! Thanks to all of the people who have and are selflessly serving our country every day.