Happy birthday America! – my adopted home, and land of liberty…we love celebrating the 4th of July every year with special friends, fireworks and festivities and great food – as always – and this year I wanted to share with you one of my favorite summer salad recipes, my Roasted Beet Salad with Crème Fraiche, Sunflower Seeds and Parsley
Enjoy the fun and spectacle of the 4th in style…
What you’ll need…
1 ½ Lbs Beets (6 medium size beets)
1/2 red onion (thinly sliced)
½ cup Crème Fraiche
2 Tbsp Lemon juice (and zest)
3 Tbsp parsley (chopped)
3 Tbsp sunflower Seeds (toasted)
Drizzle of good olive oil
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt.
How to make it
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Brush beets with olive oil and wrap in tin foil and set on a baking sheet to roast for 40 minutes .
While the beets are roasting combine the Crème Fraiche, Lemon juice and zest together.
Allow the beets to cool, slice and toss in the Crème Fraiche dressing. Stir in the chopped red onion, 2 Tsp of the parsley and toasted sunflower seeds and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
To serve drizzle with olive oil and the remaining parsley.
After almost twenty years living and working in this wonderful land we now call home, it is our honor to celebrate the birth of America every 4th of July.
We just love the tradition of this holiday with families gathering together to eat, laugh, love have fun with fireworks. The red, white and blue is alive and well, and to honor this day I have created a patriotic dessert for everyone to enjoy while we wait on the pyrotechnics!
Summer Berry Pavlova
4 egg whites (room temperature)
1 1/3 cup (8oz) extra fine sugar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 vanilla bean (split lengthwise) or 2 tsp of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
(topping and assembly)
½ cup heavy whipping cream (1 cup whipped)
2 tsp extra fine sugar
1 ½ cups mixed summer berries (washed and sliced)
1 Tbsp of reduced balsamic vinegar
How to make it
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line and grease a baking sheet with parchment wax paper.
In electric mixer beat egg whites at room temperature. Slowly incorporate sugar one teaspoon at a time. Blend in the cornstarch and wine vinegar and vanilla.
Spread meringue in a circular fashion on lined baking sheet, building up the edges a little higher than the middle.
Place Pavlova in the oven and reduce temperature to 300 degrees F. Bake for 1 ¼ hours and then switch off the oven allowing the Pavlova to dry out for another hour so that it becomes crunchier on the outside but still has a lovely soft center.
Whip fresh cream, vanilla and sugar to soft peaks appear.
To assemble the Pavlova spoon the top with fresh cream. And then garnish with the seasonal berries. Drizzle with reduced balsamic.
Summer again, and we all need a superb dessert option to impress our friends with at 4th of July cook outs and summer garden parties, right -and this is a rather indulgent and super rich cheesecake is a winner. Always a really popular dessert on my catering menu with the Ulster Kitchen, and once you read through the list of ingredients you will see why! The decadent and splendid combinations of Irish whiskey truffle cream with a chocolate ganache, rich Irish cream and fresh raspberry sauce are the stuff of legends. Bring this delight to any summer garden party or event and you will be the talk of the town and the envy of all!
Boozy Irish whiskey cheesecake :
(For the base)
8 oz. (2 cups) crushed digestive biscuit (or graham crackers)
4 oz. (½ cup) butter
(For the Irish whiskey truffle layer)
24 oz. (4 cups) semi sweet chocolate chips
4 oz. (½ cup) butter
1 lb. cream cheese
2 oz. (6 tbsp) powdered sugar (sifted)
½ pint (1 cup) heavy whipping cream
4 tbsp. (¼ cup) Bushmills Irish whiskey
(For the Irish cream Layer)
8 oz. cream cheese
5 ½ oz. (1 cup) powdered sugar
6 fluid oz. (¾ cup) heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp Irish Cream liquor
(For the chocolate ganache layer)
5 oz (¾ cup) quality milk chocolate
2 fluid oz (¼ cup) heavy whipping cream
How to make it:
To begin, melt the butter and combine with the digestive biscuit cookie crumbs, or graham cracker crumbs. Then press the mixture into the base of a 8” spring form pan.
In a double boiler melt the chocolate and butter over low heat. Allow to cool slightly.
Beat the cream cheese and sugar stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add chocolate mixture and Irish whiskey.
In a clean bowl beat whipping cream and then fold in to chocolate mixture.
Pour filling on top of cookie base. Allow at least 45 minutes for the cheesecake to set in the refrigerator.
Prepare Irish Cream layer by beating the cream cheese with powdered sugar then gradually add the heavy whipping cream and the Irish Cream.
Pour over chocolate layer. Allow to set in refrigerator for 45 minutes.
Prepare chocolate ganache layer by melting the chocolate and cream in a double boiler. Allow to cool slightly before pouring over cheesecake.