Friday, July 4, 2008

a Florida Fourth

Look at this table! How pretty, right? My mother-in-law Judy is a photographer and food stylist and has cabinets full of cool dishware that she also uses for entertaining, like this Fourth of July BBQ. Although Judy did most of the cooking (including a terrific steak that was marinated in guess what--Kraft Catalina dressing!) we contributed a few dishes, like watermelon salad and twice-baked potatoes. The rain, which poured on and off all day as it does in South Florida, broke just in time for us to sit outside around the pool and eat shrimp cocktail and later on, watch fireworks over the Intracoastal waterway.

Fourth of July menu:
Shrimp cocktail
Guacamole and chips

Hanger steak
Corn on the cob with lime-chile butter
Watermelon-feta salad
Twice-baked potatoes

Cookies and strawberry sorbet

Twice-baked potatoes with cheddar and green onions
A very very tweaked version of this Bon Appetit recipe, which called for the potatoes to be filled with goat cheese and chives. We already had a block of sharp white cheddar on hand, and I thought sour cream and green onions would go nicely.
(Serves 6-8 people)

6 large red skinned potatoes
1 Tsp. oil (any kind)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
4 Tbsp. chopped green onions
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prick the potatoes all over with a knife, then rub them with oil. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until very tender. Let cool for 10 minutes, then use a serrated knife to slice them in half. Use a teaspoon to carefully scoop out the flesh of each potato, leaving about a 1/2-inch thick shell. Transfer the potato flesh into a large bowl. Add the milk, butter, and sour cream and mash with a potato masher or electric mixer until smooth. Fold in 1 cup of the cheese and 3 Tbsp. green onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fill the potato shells with the mashed potato mixture. Top with the remaining cup of shredded cheese and 1 Tbsp. green onions. Keep the potatoes covered until you are ready to re-bake them (20 minutes at 375 degrees).


Katie said...

How did you ever come up with watermelon-feta salad? What a phenomenal idea! I'm definitely going to give that one a try :)

Lisa said...

thanks! I can't remember where I originally found the idea, but it's a really wonderful and easy recipe.

Vanessa said...

MMm, steak in Catalina sounds pretty good! That reminds me of my family's famous taco salad, which particularly offends my boyfriend: just ground beef with taco seasonings, iceberg lettuce, shredded "mexican" cheese, tomatoes, scallions, and crushed Doritos, tossed affectionately in Catalina dressing. He says it's "not food" but I think it's heaven.

Daniel said...

Heaven must be missin' tacos...

Anonymous said...

Heaven must be filled with Catalina dressing. Love the taco salad recipe.


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