I have two 4th of July recipes for you. Later I'll describe what we did for the 4th.
The first recipe is for the holiday classic; potato salad. What would the 4th be without it. We all have our own favorite way of making it. This is mine and with all due modesty I can say that its really really good.
Mary’s Potato Salad
Mary was my next door neighbor when I lived in Emeryville California. Her’s was & is my favorite potato salad. She was kind enough to give me the recipe & I’ve been making it ever since.
It’s a classic for the 4th of July & has migrated well to France. The French love it!
Ingredients: (Recipe for about 10 people)
7 large potatoes (Boil with skins on until cooked through.)
1/3 Cup Italian vinaigrette (olive oil, white wine vinegar, Italian herbs,
garlic granules, salt pepper)
3/4cup Celery diced
1/3-cup onion diced
4 hard boiled eggs chopped up
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream (or crème fraische)
-1~t/2 tablespoons horseradish
11/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
-Peel cooked potatoes while still hot &.cut into bite sized pieces.
Mix the potatoes with the dressing while still hot. Chill for a couple of hours in the fridge.
- Mix all of the other ingredients with the potatoes.
- Season with salt & celery salt or seeds to taste.
Then cool in fridge for another 2 hoursHere's the second recipe
I love roasted marinated peppers, but have always found the traditional way of doing them to be a pain in the neck. Holding under or over the grill, placing in bag, peeling … a lot of work I thought. So, being a lazy devil I decided to see what I could do to make life simpler. What follows is my simple method of doing roast peppers.
Ingredients: (for a generous appetizer)
- 1 green bell pepper per person
- 1 red bell pepper per person. (or you can use yellow or all one color)
- 1 good sized clove of garlic per pepper plus at least one ‘for the pot’
- 1 tablespoon of good quality olive oil per pepper plus extra to taste.
- 1 teaspoon of sherry vinegar per pepper plus extra to taste.
- A sprinkling of either piment de Espalion or cayenne pepper.
- About a teaspoon of drained capers or more to taste.
- Coarse ground sea.
- Day old bread about 1 ‘slice’ per person.
- Fresh endive; 4 or 5 leaves per person.
NOTE: All of the above measurements are just guidelines. Feel free to play with the proportions until you get the taste you like best.
Also note that I've used only red bell peppers this time. The simple reason is when I was making this & taking pictures I happened to have ONLY red peppers. No big deal.
Method: (turn oven grill on to high heat. That’s 275C on my oven. Adjust the top rack to about mid-oven.)
- Julienne the peppers being careful to remove all seeds and white veins.
The julienne should be lengthwise on the peppers & about 1/8 to ¼ inch wide.
- Place the pepper strips on a rack in a roasting pan.
- Place the roasting pan on the top rack. Roast the peppers until they become soft. As the top ones start to brown turn the peppers, using tongs, to expose new strips to the direct heat. It’s nice to have some browning, but not essential. The peppers are done when you start to see juices in the bottom of the roasting pan. The roasting process will take anywhere from 15 minutes upwards depending upon quantity, heat and placement. Don’t try to do them too fast.
- While the peppers are roasting, peel & finely chop the garlic. Place it into a good sized bowl and mix thoroughly with the olive oil & sherry vinegar. Add the salt & “pepper”. Add the capers. Adjust the dressing until you have the taste you like.
- Remove the peppers from the oven when done and immediately mix them with the dressing. Mix well and then cover the bowl with cling film. Let cool for a while then place in the fridge. The peppers should marinate for at least one hour, longer is better & overnight is ideal. (If overnight then take the peppers out of the fried well before serving. They are best slightly cool or at room temperature.)
- Next & this is optional; make some croûtons. Cut day old bread into 3/8 inch cubes. Mix with a very light coating of olive oil (use your hands to mix), add S&P plus oregano or another favorite herb, place one deep on a cookie tray then roast in the oven until crisp & slightly browned.
- To serve. Carefully break off endive leaves from their stalk and place them around a plate. Add to each a portion of roasted pepper, heaping it up over the endive so that it looks nice. Sprinkle on some croûtons.
I find it wise to hold some roasted pepper back when serving this dish. Seconds are normally appreciated especially by the guys.
Simpler to do than to write up, but this dish never fails as an appetizer. I’ve never tried to keep it for more than a few days so don’t know about longer term storage.
Without the endive presentation this is a great picnic dish as it travels well.