Thursday, June 30, 2011

4th of July Dinner

I'm openly a hamburger, hot dog, chips and watermelon gal when it comes to Independence Day food. But, that doesn't mean you can't add a little extra variety to the spread. The Father's Day dinner I made this year turned out so yummy, I thought it would be perfect for the big grill day.

On the menu. 

  • Grilled Shrimp marinated in lemon juice, fresh garlic and salt.
  • Grilled green peppers.
  • Grilled zucchini. 
  • Watermelon of course. Along with pineapple, mango and berries.
  • Chips and my super yummy salsa. (this post sees more traffic than almost any other one on my blog)
  • Chunky guacamole
And the stars of the table - 

Beef Empanadas with Creamy black bean dipping sauce.

Recipe from last month's Bon Appetit Magazine. I changed the amounts a bit to make fuller empanadas than what it called for. I thought they needed more filling. My version will make 16 empanadas. 

-2 T. olive oil
-1 lb. ground beef
-6 garlic cloves, minced 
-2 T. tomato paste
-1/2 t. cayenne pepper
-2 t. ground cumin
-1 cup chopped cilantro
-Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
-2 Thawed 17.3 oz. packages of frozen puff pastry 
-2 egg yolk, beaten 

1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, add beef and garlic; cook, stirring and breaking beef into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until beef is cooked through.
2. Add tomato paste, cumin, and cayenne. Cook, stirring often, for approximately 4 minutes. 
3. Add cilantro, season to taste with salt and pepper. 
4. Preheat oven to 375. 
5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut each pastry sheet into 4 squares, totaling 16.

6. Spoon filling equally into the center of each square. Fold edges over, forming triangles, and press to seal. 
7. Crimp edges with fork.
8. Divide empanadas between sheets.
9. Brush tops with beaten egg yolk.

10. Bake until tops are puffed and golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
11. Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce. 

Dipping Sauce 
-1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
-1/4 to 1 cup sour cream
-1 tomato chopped
-2 large scallions, chopped
-Garlic salt &; freshly ground pepper

Puree beans and sour cream until smooth. Stir in half of the tomatoes and half of the scallions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the remaining tomatoes and scallions over top.

Not too shabby.

The next day I reheated the Empanadas in the oven and served with sauteed haricot verts. (My favorite veggie!) It was absolutely divine.


Oh. Can't leave you hanging for dessert now can I? This is the scrumptous treat I came up for last year for 4th of July.

I wanted a red, white and blue dessert, but I didn't want to go the regular routes. Instead I decided on key lime pie. With red food coloring. Genius? Yes. Add a star of blueberries and you have a perfectly refreshing and festive dish for your fourth of july barbeque.

Hope this gives you some ideas for this weekend. I'm going on vacation! See you next week :)


kristi lee said...

love that i'm part of the salsa post. we should have done more of those!!!

Laura said...

Oh now I'm going to have to make the beef empanadas! I've been eyeing them but been busy with other recipes!

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