Independence Day

If you’d like to try something new for the Fourth of July this year, I came across a menu that looks very intriguing from the heartland of America.

Chilled Blueberry Soup
Barbequed Stuffed Salmon
Roasted Corn
Colorful Cabbage Salad
Drop Biscuits
Flag Cake

This is a little more complex than the usual back yard barbeque, but every once in a while it’s fun to pull out all the stops.  Or—you can pick one or two of these dishes to add to your traditional hamburger cookout—and the dessert is a cinch (also spectacular)!

Chilled Blueberry Soup

1 package unflavored gelatin
¼ cup cold water
4 cups orange juice
3 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup sugar
2 cups fresh blueberries

In a small bowl soften the gelatin in the cold water.  Place the bowl in a pan of hot water until the mixture melts.  It is ready for use at that point.  In a bowl combine the orange juice, sugar, and melted gelatin.  Stir the mixture until both the sugar and the gelatin are dissolved.  Place in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.  Fold the blueberries into the mixture and chill until ready to serve.  Garnish with a mixture of sweetened whipped cream and sour cream and a strawberry half.

Barbecued Stuffed Salmon
(Adapted from the Time-Life Holiday Cookbook)
Serves 6-8

This would be a great use for those whole frozen salmon sold locally at very reasonable prices—wild Atlantic variety.

1 ½ cups dry white wine
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
¼ tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 5-51/2 pound salmon, cleaned and with head and tail removed
1 cup freshly cooked brown rice
¼ cup finely chopped scallions, including 2 inches of the green tops
¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Peel of ½ lemon, cut into julienne strips
1 lemon cut crosswise ¼ inch thick

Combine the wine, lemon juice, ½ cup of the oil, the onion, garlic, parsley, ginger, thyme, Tabasco, salt and pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Pour this marinade into a casserole or roasting pan large enough to hold the salmon comfortably, and set it aside to cool.

Wash salmon inside and out under cold running water and pat it dry with paper towels.  With a sharp knife, score both sides of the fish by making four or five evenly spaced diagonal slits about 4 inches long and ¼ inch deep.  Place the salmon in the cooled marinade and turn it over to moisten it evenly.

Cover the pan tightly with foil or plastic wrap and marinate, refrigerated, for 6 hours; turning the fish occasionally.

Light a layer of briquettes in a charcoal broiler and let them burn until a white ash appears on the surface, or preheat the broiler of your stove to its highest setting.

Transfer the salmon to paper towels and pat it completely dry with more paper towels.  Strain the marinade.  To prepare the stuffing, combine rice, scallions, chopped parsley and lemon strips in a small bowl.  Pour in ¼ cup of the strained marinade and mix well.  Set remaining marinade aside.

Loosely fill the salmon with the stuffing, then close the opening with small skewers and kitchen cord.  With a pastry brush, spread the remaining Tbsp of oil over the hot grill or broiler rack.  Place the salmon on top and brush it with a few spoonfuls of the reserved marinade.  Broil 3 or 4 inches from the heat, basting the salmon frequently with the remaining marinade.  The salmon should be broiled for about 15 minutes on each side, or until it is evenly and delicately browned and feels firm when prodded gently with a finger.  Serve the salmon garnished with lemon slices.

Colorful Cabbage Salad

1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups red cabbage, finely shredded
2 cups green cabbage, finely shredded
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
¼ tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. pepper

In a bowl combine the vinegar, celery seeds, salt, sugar, and pepper.  Whisk to blend.  Slowly pour in the oil and whisk until well blended.  Chill for 10 minutes.  Place the red and green cabbages and the chopped onion in a large bowl.  Remove dressing from refrigerator, whisk again, and pour over cabbage.  Toss well.

Flag Cake

This is really easy—but still delicious and so festive looking.

2 pints strawberries
1 (10.75 oz.) frozen pound cake
1 1/3 cups blueberries
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Slice 1 cup of the strawberries, set aside.  Halve remaining strawberries; set aside.

Line bottom of a 12 x 8-inch baking dish with cake slices.  Top with 1 cup sliced strawberries, 1 cup of the blueberries and all of the whipped cream.  Place strawberry halves and remaining 1/3 cup of blueberries on whipped cream to create a flag design.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Makes 15 servings.

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