Upgrade your Fourth of July picnic

July 1, 2012

As many will have the day off, how about getting outside and celebrating with a picnic? Chef Renee Everett from Le Cordon Bleu (www.chefs.edu) came into our ABC7 studio kitchen to show us dishes that make for great picnic fare.

Chef Renee's Recipes: Cool Shrimp Rolls with Quick Pickles and Cilantro Herb Vinaigrette Slaw

For the Shrimp Salad:
makes 4 sandwiches or 4 salads
1lb. cooked shrimp
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
dash cayenne pepper
2 pinches salt
1/2 lemon squeezed over the shrimp
2 tsp chopped chives
1 tbs thai basil leaves (the tiny center leaves can be left whole, larger leaves rough chop)
2 tbs greek yogurt or mayo (just enough to coat the shrimp)

Toss all ingredients together and chill until ready to serve.
This can be made a day ahead and left to chill overnight.

Quick Pickles:
1/2 cucumber, sliced thin, longwise
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1/2 red pepper, sliced thin
1/2 jalepeno, sliced thin
1/2 cup vinegar (any except balsamic is fine)
1/4 cup sugar

Bring vinegar and sugar to a boil.
Pour over vegetables, and let sit until pickles change color slightly and are room temperature.
Leftover pickles can be stored an a jar and stored in the fridge.

For a Gluten Free/carb free version:
Skip the bread, and serve the shrimp salad over the slaw for a light a refreshing salad.

Cilantro Herb Vinaigrette Slaw

For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
2 scallions, green and white part, cleaned
3 tbs Quick Pickle liquid
1 heaping tsp cumin
1 clove garlic
5 mint leaves
juice of one lime
1/4 cup vegetable oil (canola, grapeseed, soybean, rice bran)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender.
Blend, and slowly add oil to emulsify vinaigrette.
Taste, and adjust seasoning.

For the slaw:
2 cups shredded cabbage (napa, green or red or a combination of all three)
1/2 cup shredded carrot
2 scallions, sliced thin
6 mint leaves, roughly chopped
sprig of tarragon, roughly chopped
2 tbs chives, roughly chopped

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, toss with enough vinaigrette to coat, and chill until ready to serve.

Gluten Free Pound Cake
1 pound butter, softened
3/4 pound sugar
7 eggs, separated (whites whipped to stiff peaks; yolks reserved)
1 pound Gluten Free Flour *see note
6 tbsp Half & half
2 tsp vanilla
1 tbp grapefruit zest

Gluten Free Flour:
Blend 1 1/4 pounds rice flour (fine grind) with 1/4 pound tapioca starch, 1/2 pound potato starch and 1/2 tsp xanthan gum. Reserve any leftover flour for another use.

Cream softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add egg yolks, vanilla and grapefruit zest.
In a separate bowl, whip egg whites to a stiff peak, and set aside (add this to batter last)
Add flour to butter, sugar, yolk mixture. Mix well.
Add 1/2 & 1/2, mix well. Batter should be thick.
Fold in egg whites, and stir gently to fully incorporate whites
Pour batter in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper, and bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes.
Let cool, and serve with your favorite berries, ice cream, flavored yogurt or enjoy plain.

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