Seattle Outsider Musings

teamusasoccer

Oh, sure.  It would’ve been nice if Team USA had been able to pull off a last-minute victory in its overtime World Cup match against Belgium, thus providing a good excuse for setting off some early fireworks…   If only Coach Klinsmann had sent-in 19-year-old newbie phenom Julian Green before the game’s last remaining 10 minutes of overtime play!  We’ll toast  him and the amazing goalie, Tim Howard, anyway for a valiant effort while  gathered at the family picnic table on the Fourth of July.
Like most of our special family gatherings, everyone’s obliged to contribute something homemade for the feast.  Independence Day is no exception to this rule.  With this in mind, Chef Maggie (yes, Wordsmith Maggie’s other day job is cooking professionally) offers the following seasonal recipes for the upcoming holiday weekend.  (Editor’s note: If your garden isn’t quite bursting with fresh fruit & veggies just yet, purchasing the freshest, preferably organic, ingredients available is always recommended).
mojito2
L I B A T I O N S
Pineapple & Passion Fruit Mojito – Serves 4 to 6 (this amended recipe is compliments of Alida Ryder, http://simply-delicious-food.com).  If you’re a teetotaler, leave out the rum for a “virgin” version.Ingredients:
1                 Pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped into chucks (be sure to use the top for presentation!)
50 ml          Pineapple juice
2  tsp          Sugar (optional)  Editor’s note: Unless you’re a sweet freak, you really don’t need this–it’s just fine without the added sugar. Your cavity-prone teeth will thank you!)
10               Fresh mint leaves
2                 Limes or lemons, sliced
150 ml        Light rum
2 cups        Passion Fruit juice (although considered “exotic”, boxed juice is available in most grocery stores)
Club Soda (adjust accordingly)
Ice, lemon slices and fresh mint to serve1.  Blend the pineapple, juice (and sugar, if using) together until you have a smooth puree.
2.  To make the cocktail, combine the pineapple puree, rum, mint, lemon/lime and passion fruit in a jug.  Muddle together.
3.  Pour a little of the pineapple mixture in the botom of four glasses.  Add ice, then top with club soda.  Add fresh mint and a few slices of lemon &/or lime and serve.
Are you salivating yet?   Not so fast; there’s more!
H O R S  D’ O E U V R E S / S I D E S

cado

Avocado Tartare
This vegetarian version of the nearly-banned raw Steak Tartare classic doubles as both a terrific topping on toasted baguette slices or as a side dish atop a romaine leaf “boat”.  You and your guests are going to absolutely L O V E  it!

Ingredients
2          TBSP Extra-virgin olive oil
2          TBSP Minced red onions
1          TBSP Dijon mustard
1          TBSP Fresh lemon juice
1          TBSP Drained capers
1          TBSP Chopped parsley
1/2       Small jalapeno, minced
2          Medium Haas avacados, peeled and diced
5 drops of Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, stir the olive oil with the onion, mustard, lemon juice, capers and parsley.  Stir in the jalapeno and Worcestershire sauce and season with salt & pepper.  Gently fold in the avocados.  Ta dah!

MAIN COURSES
Whether grilling steaks, chicken, fish or fresh veggies, this marinade* will enhance whatever may hit the barbie (a minimum of two-hour marination is recommended).

-Teriyake Sauce

1 Cup       Tamari soy sauce (low sodium’s fine)
1/4 Cup    Orange juice
1 TBSP    Toasted sesame seed oil
2 Cloves   Garlic, minced
1 TBSP     Ginger, minced
1 TBSP     Honey or Agave syrup
1 Tsp.        Freshly grated black pepper
Combine the above and blend well.  Voila!

4th4Have a great Fourth of July weekend, all, and bon appetite!
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