Friday, July 17, 2015

Vacation Roundup - Tastes of July Fourth

Every year my family gathers to celebrate Fourth of July Weekend. This year we did one better, and extended our Long Island vacation for an additional week - a week in which we did almost nothing but spend time together, relax by the water, cook, eat, and enjoy. 

Independence Day started off with a delicious bang thanks to great company and my brother and sister-in-laws outstanding Clam Bake/Seafood Boil which can be done on the stovetop if you choose. It's everything good about summer on a plate. Get the simple recipe HERE.

Stovetop Clambake, Photo: NK

The remainder of our sojourn was dominated by more of our favorite summer fare - dishes that are simple, seasonal and driven by just a few exceptional ingredients

There was no shortage of culinary inspiration either. We were fortunate enough to head out for a special evening out at Tom Colicchio's Topping Rose House (read about last years visit to this lovely and scenic New American restaurant HERE).

Pappardelle with Burrata, Pancetta and Sweet Corn
and  at Topping Rose House, Bridgehamton
 Photo: NK 

The Composed Salad as beautiful as it was delicious,
 at Topping Rose, Bridgehampton, NY

We enjoyed a great dinner and a few well-crafted cocktails. In fact, that glass to the right was a Margarita made with with Beet Juice! A Beet-a-Rita.Talk about farm to table, right? Believe it or not, it was delicious, even if you don't love Beets as much as I do. 

I know that I don't have to tell you that it just wouldn't be July without grill-time. Since we had time a day ahead for an easy and quick blender marinade, it just seemed to me make sense that we grill one of our favorite easy yet wildly delicious Tacos Carne Asada

The recipe, which uses flavorful Skirt Steak, works wonderfully on your outdoor grill (and equally well on your indoor grill pan). With both the Marinade and the Pico De Gallo being make ahead, this dish also lends itself to parties. The recipe multiplies easily and it's fun for guests to assemble their own Taco creation. For the Tacos Carne Asada recipe click HERE.

Tacos Carne Asada, Photo: NK 
What's for dessert, you ask? None other than this luscious Pretzel and Strawberry Sundae (inspired by Tom Colicchio's Topping Rose House as well). For the recipe, head to Neurotic Kitchen's version HERE

I am happy to report that as our seaside vacation drew to a close, we were relaxed, happy and well fed.  As it always does, the East End of Long Island inspired our cooking. I am excited to share yet another recipe for our latest obsession, Crudo, in next week's post. Until then, CHEERS to the weekend! 

Domaine Sautereau Rose Sancerre, my favorite wine to pair with Oysters!
Photo: NK 

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