We Orange County residents are lucky to have year-round warm weather. However, we still get the same feeling of excitement when summertime approaches. As the June gloom fades we look forward to beach trips, seasonal fare, and one of our favorite holidays: Fourth of July. It seemed fitting for us to introduce Newport Local on this holiday because it is our favorite one to cook for. Christmas and Thanksgiving meals are lovely but Fourth of July gives us the chance to be outside, use the freshest seasonal ingredients, and cook most everything on the grill.
For our star-spangled menu we wanted to include the Fourth of July classics- corn on the cob, cole slaw, and strawberry shortcake, but with our own twist. After a quick trip into our recipe vault we put together our perfectly simple Fourth of July meal.
Tequila-Lime Tiger Prawns, Liberty Corn, Greek Yogurt Cole Slaw, and Boozy Summer Berry Shortcake
Sometimes the recipe inspires the ingredients and sometimes the ingredients inspire the recipe. When we saw these gorgeous tiger prawns at Santa Monica Seafood Market, we knew that we wanted to marinate them, skewer them, and grill them.
Start by cleaning six large tiger prawns. Remove the legs, shell, and intestines of every prawn, but leave the tails attached. Set them aside and prep the tequila-lime marinade.
In a large Ziploc bag combine 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice, 1/3 cup canola oil, and 1/3 cup good tequila (we used Hornitos). Add in 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric. 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger, 1 Tbsp garlic paste, 2 tsp spicy chili garlic sauce, 1 Tbsp white sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.
Mix ingredients together and add in the cleaned shrimp. Set aside and let marinate for at
least one hour while you prepare the rest of your meal.
Liberty corn is an easy addition to your barbecue recipe repertoire. Take four large ears of corn and remove the outer layers of husk until you have just one layer around the kernels. Gently pull back your remaining layer, carefully as to not remove it, to reveal the kernels and silk. Remove as much of the silk as you can and rinse the whole ear of corn, making sure to get the husk nice and wet to protect it from burning too much on the grill.
Take a bottle of Trader Joe’s Creamy Cilantro Salad Dressing and brush a tablespoon of the dressing onto each of the ears of corn. Use more as needed to cover all of the kernels thoroughly. Gently pull the husk back around the corn and set aside.
Cole slaw is a staple for the American barbecue. Our version uses Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise to lighten it up and a combination of red cabbage, Napa cabbage, and shredded carrots to add color and flavor.
Start out by combining 1 1/2 cups of low-fat Greek yogurt, 4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar, and 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro in a large bowl.
Remove the outer leaf from your red cabbage and cut it in half. Remove the core and chop the cabbage into fourths width-wise then cut into thin strips. We like to keep our strips slightly larger than one would cut it for a normal cole slaw recipe because we love the
texture and flavor.
Do the same with the Napa cabbage and add 2 loose packed cups of each into the yogurt mixture. Throw in one cup of shredded carrots (we purchased already shredded carrots as a time saver) and toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Top the slaw with 1/4 cup rough chopped roasted peanuts and 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh mint.
Time to start grilling! Pre-heat your grill to at least 400 degrees beforehand. Start by putting the corn on the grill. Leave it on for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so to ensure that each side gets a nice char, but doesn’t burn.
The shrimp will take much less time, so wait until you’ve had the corn on the grill for at least ten minutes until you cook the shrimp. Skewer all six shrimp onto a metal skewer (you can also use a bamboo skewer, just make sure to soak the skewer ahead of time so that it won’t burn).
If you have a grill pan, put it on the grill for 5-10 minutes beforehand to heat it up. If you don’t, you can put a large piece of aluminum foil on the grill to keep the shrimp from sticking. Place the skewer onto the pan or foil and grill for 3-4 minutes on each side until the prawns are pink throughout.
The prawns should have distinct grill marks on both sides. Remove the shrimp for the skewers and serve everything buffet-style.
Boozy Summer Berry Shortcake
Summer is not the time for a song-and-dance dessert. Dessert should be full of fresh flavors and easy to throw together so there is ample time to eat it and enjoy the company of family and friends. Our Boozy Summer Berry Shortcake can be prepared ahead of time and takes no time at all to throw together after dinner.
Start by slicing up 2 cups of fresh strawberries and put them into a Ziploc bag with 1/2 cup whole blueberries. This is a step that would be great to do before you begin prepping dinner, to save time later on.
Right before you sit down to dinner, pour 1 cup of Chambord liqueur and 1 Tbsp white sugar into the bag with the berries and gently mix. Leave the berries to marinate for at least 20 minutes before serving.
One of the things that make this desert extra delicious is the special attention that is paid to the store-bought dessert cups. You could just put them on the plate straight from the package, but doesn’t frying them in butter sound so much better?
Add 1 Tbsp of butter to a sauce pan and melt over medium heat. Put 4-6 of your dessert cups (depending on the size pan you used) into butter and let cook for a couple of minutes until the sugars have caramelized and the cakes are golden brown. Flip and do the same for the other side.
Place each cake onto individual plates with a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream and a healthy couple of spoonfuls of the berries and syrup.
Top the dessert with a dollop of whip cream, a sprig of mint, and serve.
While you can prepare each dessert for all of your guests, we think it would be much more
fun to lay everything out on a tray and let your guests put their own together!
Barbecues are all about great food and great people. So keep the meal deliciously simple and enjoy the good times with the people you love. Happy Fourth of July!
Tequila-Lime Tiger Prawns (Serves 6)
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup good tequila
- 5 tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 2 tsp chilli paste
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- ¼ tsp coarse black pepper
- ½ tbsp salt
Mix together ingredients in a large Ziploc bag and add 6-8 cleaned tiger prawns. Marinade prawns for at least one hour. – grill to 400 degrees. Use either a grill pan or aluminum foil on the grill to reduce sticking. Skewer prawns and grill for 2-3 minutes a side, until pink throughout and the grill marks are distinct. Serve immediately.
Greek Yogurt Cole Slaw (Serves 6)
- 2 cups loosely packed purple cabbage
- 2 cups loosely packed Napa cabbage
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 5 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp each sea salt and coarse black pepper (to taste)
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- fresh mint
- ¼ cup rough chopped peanuts
Mix Greek yogurt, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, and chopped cilantro together in a large bowl. Wash both cabbages and remove outer leaf from each. Halve and remove the tough core. Cut cabbage lengthwise into 4 parts then chop into small strips, slightly thicker than you normally would for cole slaw. Add cabbage to the bowl and mix until combined. Top with rough chopped peanuts and mint.
Liberty Corn (Serves 6)
- Trader Joe’s Cilantro Salad Dressing
- 6 ears of white corn, outer layers and silk removed
- salt and pepper to taste
Remove outer layers of husk from corn, leaving just one layer. Gently pull back leftover husk and remove as much silk from the corn as you can. Rinse, making sure that the husk gets good and wet to prevent burning. Brush 1 tablespoon of the cilantro dressing onto each ear, covering the kernels thoroughly. Pre-heat grill to 400 degrees and place the corn on the grill. Cook for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes to ensure an even char. Serve immediately.
Boozy Summer Berry Shortcake (Serves 6)
- 2 cups cleaned and sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup of blueberries
- 1 cup Chambord liqueur
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 6 store-bought shortcake cups
- 1 tbsp butter
- good quality vanilla ice cream
- whipped cream
- sprigs of mint
Combine strawberries, blueberries, liqueur, and sugar in a large Ziploc bag. Let marinade from 20-30 minutes while you enjoy dinner. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Place shortcake into pan and brown on both sides until the sugars caramelize and brown. Serve shortcakes with a healthy scoop of vanilla ice cream and a few spoonfuls of berries and syrup. Top with whipped cream and mint.