giada

In the Kitchen: A Fourth of July Menu by Giada De Laurentiis

She may be Italian, but Giada De Laurentiis sure knows how to celebrate America’s birthday in style.

We asked the Food Network star to give us a peek at her Fourth of July menu—and we immediately saw fireworks. From smoky pork burgers with apple and onion chutney to ginger-peach beer coolers, you’ll be the gastronomic genius of the Fourth with these five dishes.

Have a happy (and full) Fourth!

Orzo with Artichoke Pesto and Grilled Corn
Makes 4 to 6 servings

 

What You’ll Need:
1 pound orzo pasta
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 ears corn, shucked and silks removed

For the pesto
12 ounces (about 3 cups) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, 1 cup reserved
1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted* see Cook’s Note
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves
Zest of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups (about 28) cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

What You’ll Do:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large serving bowl.

2. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.

3. Using a pastry brush, brush the corn with oil. Grill, turning frequently, until the corn is tender, about 10 minutes. Allow the corn to cool slightly. Using a large knife, remove the kernels and add to the serving bowl.

4. For the pesto: In a food processor, combine the artichokes, walnuts, parsley, oregano, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil. Blend, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed, until the mixture is thick and smooth.

5. Chop the remaining artichoke hearts into 3/4-inch pieces and add to the serving. Add the pesto, tomatoes and cheese. Toss until all the ingredients are coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

Cook’s Note: To toast the walnuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using.

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Smoky Pork Burgers with Apple and Onion Chutney
Makes 6 servings

What You’ll Need:
Vegetable oil cooking spray
Olive oil for drizzling
6 soft burger buns, halved
Lettuce leaves and sliced tomatoes (serving suggestion)

For the chutney 
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced into 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup apple juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the burgers
6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, finely diced
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and shredded
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground pork

What You’ll Do:
1. For the relish: In a medium saucepan, bring the apples, onion, apple juice, vinegar, maple syrup, and thyme to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid has almost evaporated and the apples are soft, about 45 minutes. Cool and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Can be made 1 day in advance.

2. For the burgers: In a large bowl, combine the pancetta, cheese, apple, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add the pork and mix well. Form the mixture into 6 patties, each 4 1/2 inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick.

3. Place a grill pan over medium heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Oil the grill with vegetable oil cooking spray. Drizzle the burgers with olive oil and cook on low heat for 10 minutes each side until cooked through or when a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees F. when inserted into the side of the burgers. Allow the burgers to rest for 10 minutes. Place the burgers on buns and top with Apple-Onion relish. Serve with lettuce leaves and sliced tomatoes.

Cook’s Note: The burgers can also be cooked in a non-stick skillet or on a non-stick griddle over low heat for 10 minutes on each side.

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Chicken Sausage Skewers
Makes 4 to 6 servings

What You’ll Need:
For the marinade
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
Zest of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the skewers
1 large lemon, cut into 3 (1/2-inch-thick) slices and each slice cut into quarters
1 pound (5 to 6) chicken sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces to yield 24 pieces
4 medium zucchini, ends trimmed, cut into 24 (1-inch-thick) slices
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 16 (1-inch-square) pieces
2 fennel bulbs, ends trimmed, quartered and bulb pieces separated
Vegetable oil for oiling the grill
Special equipment: 8 (10-inch) bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes to prevent scorching or 8 metal skewers

What You’ll Do:
1. For the marinade: In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, garlic, lemon zest, parsley, chives, and pepper. Set aside.

2. For the skewers:  Alternating the vegetables and meat, thread 3 pieces each of sausage, zucchini, and lemon, and 2 pieces each of bell pepper and fennel onto each skewer. Pour or brush the marinade over the skewers. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour until ready to grill.

3. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Oil the grill with vegetable oil. Grill the skewers, turning occasionally for 15 to 20 minutes until the sausage is cooked through.

4. Arrange on a platter and serve.

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Peach and Blueberry Crumb Pie
Makes 6 to 8 servings

What You’ll Need:
Butter for greasing the pie dish

For the filling
1/4 cup quick cook tapioca pearls, recommended: Minute Tapioca
1 pound frozen and thawed peaches or 3 large peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
1 pound frozen and thawed blueberries, drained, or 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 large lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 a large lemon)
1 (9-inch) unroll-and bake refrigerated pie crust
1 egg white, lightly beaten

For the topping
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, chilled
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup quick cook oats

What You’ll Do:
1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch ceramic or glass pie dish.

2. For the filling: Place the tapioca in a food processor or spice grinder and process for 1 minute until finely ground. In a medium bowl, combine the peaches, blueberries, sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

3. Unroll the pie crust and place in the prepared pie dish. Brush the inside with the beaten egg white.

4. For the topping: In a food processor, pulse together the butter, sugar, almond flour, almonds, and oats until the mixture begins to form small chunks.

5. Pour the filling into the crust. Crumble the topping over the filling and bake for 55 minutes until the top is golden brown (if, after 30 minutes of baking, the edges of the crust begin to brown too quickly, cover the edges of the pie dish with strips of foil).

6. Cool the pie for 30 to 40 minutes before slicing.

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Ginger-Peachy Beer Cooler
Makes 6 servings

What You’ll Need:
3/4 cup ginger simple syrup (recipe follows)
3 (12-ounce) bottles chilled beer (light or mild such as Modelo Especial not dark beer)
3 cups (24 ounces) chilled peach nectar (bottled R.W. Knudsen brand or canned peach nectar)
2 fresh peaches, each pitted and cut into wedges or 1/2 of a 10-ounce package frozen peach slices, thawed

For the ginger simple syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 – 4 inch piece fresh ginger, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

What You’ll Do:
1. For the simple syrup: Place the ginger, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring the syrup to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Let cool completely, about 20 minutes. Strain before using.

2. Combine the syrup, beer, peach nectar, and thawed peaches in a large pitcher; stir to blend. Serve immediately.

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