This fourth of July I wanted to do something different than the traditional BBQ so we invited 8 guests to join us for a 5 course meal in our sweet little yard. I poured over cookbooks and magazines creating and recreating menus; trying to inject just the perfect amount of red, white and blue into this sit down soiree. The final menu had just enough class and brass for one enchanting evening underneath the bursting fireworks to celebrate our day of independence.
Watermelon Basil Gin Coolers
Firecracker Crab with Three Chili Dipping Sauce
Prosciutto and Melon Purses on Field Greens with Grapefruit Vinaigrette
Beet Ravioli with Independence Corn Relish
Line Caught Wild Alaskan Halibut in a Whiskey Marinade with Dijon Potato Salad
Blueberry Hand Pies with Slow Churned Vanilla Ice Cream
I set the table simply, with white and silver, wanting the bright colors of the food to really pop, bang and BOOM! Hanging large flour sack towels on the back back of the chairs for napkins.
Upon arrival guests were greeted with Watermelon Basil Gin Coolers served in old jars and Chili Popcorn oh and of course Dr. Watson our boston terrier.
Once we all sat down we cleaned our hands with cooled lemon water soaked towels and started tearing into Firecracker Alaskan King Crab Legs dipped into a spicy Three Chili Sauce. The sauce was a play on my grandmothers recipe for crab dipping sauce; dijon, horseradish, lemon, mayo, and a dash of ketchup; I added three different chili sauces to spice it up. I served them in galvanized buckets full of ice; their legs looking like the trails of bursting light from a firecracker .
For the next course, I wrapped up melon with paper thin prosciutto tying up these little purses with a chive and serving them with some organic field greens and a dressing of olive oil, salt, pepper and artisan grapefruit vinegar that was purchased on a trip to Santa Cruz for my little sister Nathalia’s
, founder and owner of Creatively Conscious
Next, I plated up a recipe I altered from Tom Douglas, who altered it from the great Marcella Hazen; cold beet ravioli pared with a delicious corn relish recipe from my talented photographer sister Bianca Sciotto
, It was a bold choice but it was a hit! The relish paired very well with the beets and the corn gave a hint of the traditional grilled corn of the holiday.
Our main course, Fresh Line-caught Alaskan Halibut that my husband Matt and I caught ourselves on our recent trip to Homer Alaska, the “Halibut Capital of the World”. These filets are so fresh, so thick, so white… I was so excited to get creative cooking them up. I let them sit all day in a whisky marinade and then broiled them to perfection. I served the halibut on very simple, very light, red potato salad with my favorite broccoli sprouts on the side. Delish!
Finally for dessert the smallest of blueberry hand pies. I slipped them into homemade wax paper bags to bring back memories of the good ol’ days and served them with little galvanized buckets of dish-yourself, slow churned, vanilla ice cream.
The night was truly perfect, with a nice cool breeze, good friends, wonderful conversation, and a memorable, different meal that won’t fade into the fourth of July BBQ’s of years past.