4th of July Hand Pie

4th of July Hand Pie

We love our country, and we love our hand pies. Portable and delicious, these little pies will be the hit of your 4th of July event. Keeping with our festive theme, fill your tasty delights with either blueberries or cherries and top with white icing. If you want both flavors, as we did, just simply split the fruit ingredients in half and prepare in two separate saucepans.

3 cups fresh or frozen cherries or blueberries, stemmed and pitted, fresh cherries cut in half
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoons cornstarch
Pie dough for two piecrusts – recipe follows
1 egg white
2 tablespoons turbinado or raw sugar
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

The day prior, combine the fresh fruit with the sugar and 1 tablespoon of water. Cook over medium heat, occasionally stirring, until the juices are released, and the fruit collapses, about 20 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon cold water in a small bowl to blend thoroughly. Add cornstarch mixture, continuing to simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Working with one disk at a time, roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife, dough cutter, or pizza cutter, cut and reroll the scraps of dough for both disks until you have eight 10×3″ rectangles. Whisk the egg white and 1 teaspoon water in another small bowl to make an egg wash.

Working with one 10×3” shape at a time, place on a work surface and brush edges with egg wash. Cut a star shape out of one side. Scoop 2-3 tablespoons fruit mixture on the other side then fold the star side of the dough over filling to form a 5×3″ packet. Crimp all edges with a fork to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Brush tops with egg wash, then sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Place back in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°. Bake the hand pies until tops and bottoms are golden browns, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Whisk the confectioner’s sugar with vanilla and 1 tablespoon water. Add more water or sugar to reach the desired consistency for icing. Drizzle over the hand pies and let the icing set for 15-20 minutes before serving. Make 8 hand pies.

Pie Crust
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
8-10 tablespoons cold water

Add the flour, salt, and sugar in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse to mix thoroughly. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is the size of peas. With the food processor running, add the water then pulse until the dough comes together.

Dump out onto a floured surface and using your hands gather together to form a large disk. Cut in half and place each half in two floured plastic bags. Form and flatten into a disk in the bag. Refrigerate over-night.

Basil Gelato With Iced Lemon Cookies And Blueberry Sauce

Basil Gelato With Iced Lemon Cookies And Blueberry Sauce

Cool down after a hot day with this irresistible seasonal dessert. This refreshing and creamy herbaceous gelato pairs exceptionally well with a sweet Blueberry Sauce and Iced Lemon Cookies. Made with basil, it’s a delicious alternative flavor with an incredibly refreshing taste. Our easy blueberry sauce is made with Perfect Purée of Napa Valley’s Spearmint & Lime or Key Lime which can be ordered online direct or through Amazon.

Blueberry Sauce
1 quart blueberries
½ cup Perfect Purée of Napa Valley’s Spearmint & Lime or Key Lime*
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, mix the blueberries with the syrup. Cook over moderate heat until the blueberries begin to burst and collapse about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Transfer to a blender and puree; strain through a fine mesh strainer. Stir in the lemon juice, cool to room temperature and refrigerate.

Basil Gelato
2 cups whole milk
1 cup cream
2 cups packed basil leaves
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
6 egg yolks

Place the milk, cream, and basil in a blender. Blend until completely smooth. Add to a saucepan over medium heat and cook until just starting to simmer. In a large bowl whisk the sugar, salt, and egg yolks together until pale yellow. Temper the warm cream/milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Transfer the mix to back to a saucepan and over medium heat cook, continually stirring, until the eggs thicken and the sauce thickly coats the back of a spoon. Set a smaller bowl inside a larger bowl that is filled with ice. Remove the custard from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into the smaller cold bowl. Set the bowl in an ice water bath to rapidly chill. Chill, occasionally stirring, until cold, then refrigerate overnight or for 8 hours.

Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze until ready to use.

Lemon Butter Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Finely grated lemon zest, for garnish
1 tablespoon sugar crystals

Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter an 8”x8” baking pan, line the bottom and up two sides with parchment paper. Butter the parchment and then flour the pan, tapping out any extra flour.

Whisk together the flour and salt in a bowl; set aside. Using a stand mixer fitted with a bowl beat the butter with the confectioners’ sugar until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Add the lemon zest and juice, then reduce the speed and add in the flour and salt mixture until just incorporated. Pour the dough into the pan, smooth the top and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pan 10 minutes. Carefully remove from the pan using the excess parchment and set on a rack to cool completely. Remove the parchment and cut into long thin bar-shaped pieces.

When the cookies are cooling, make the frosting. In a bowl, whisk 1 cup confectioners’ sugar with the lemon juice until smooth. Use the remaining sugar by adding small amounts to thicken the icing – only if needed. In another small bowl, combine the lemon zest with the sugar crystals. Spread the lemon icing over the cooled cookies and sprinkle with lemon zest mixture. Let stand until the frosting is set, about 30 minutes.

Fresh Basil Leaves

Add the sauce to a bowl. Top with the gelato, cookies, and a basil leaf; makes 6-8 servings.

*The Perfect Pureé of Nappa Valley products are available on Amazon or https://www.perfectpuree.com/shop/.

Pretzel Bun Burger with Cheddar, Bacon, Spicy Mustard Sauce, and Grilled Fingerling Potatoes & Onions

Pretzel Bun Burger with Cheddar, Bacon, Spicy Mustard Sauce, and Grilled Fingerling Potatoes & Onions

Get the grill going and make Dad’s dinner on Father’s Day memorable with a pretzel bun burger topped with cheddar, bacon, spicy mustard, and a side of grilled fingerling potatoes and onions. If you’re feeling adventurous for this special occasion, we include Fresh Chef Experience’s special burger beef combo to create a fantastic grind-your-own recipe to go with an easy-to-make, tasty mustard sauce.

Pretzel Bun Burger
24 ounce of ground burger, formed into eight thin burger patties, about 3 ounces each (See our fresh grind recipe below)
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
8 thinly-sliced cheddar cheese slices
8 slices cooked applewood smoked bacon
Mustard sauce, recipe below
4 pretzel buns, sliced open

Heat a grill to hot. Set the burgers out 30 minutes before grilling. Lightly salt and pepper both sides. Add the burgers and cook 3-4 minutes per side. Add the cheese and continue to grill, about one minute before removing. Layer two burgers with 4 pieces of bacon and the mustard sauce on the bun. Serve with roasted potatoes and onion – recipe below.

Mustard Sauce
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons Colemans mustard
1 tablespoons maple syrup
⅛ teaspoon or 4-5 drops hot sauce
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Whisk all of the ingredients together. Spread on both sides of the bun when assembling the burger.

Fingerling Potatoes & Onions
1 ½ pounds fingerling or small potatoes, sliced in half
1 large Vidalia onion, slice into thin wedges
2 cups of baby spinach
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra

Add the potatoes to a large saucepan, cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until a small knife easily passes through the potato about 12-15 minutes. Strain off the liquid and set the potatoes aside to dry. Heat a grill to high; brush the potatoes and onion with olive oil. Grill until well marked and the onion is cooked through. Remove to a large bowl, add the spinach and two teaspoons of olive oil. Toss gently. Serves 4.

Fresh Chef Experience’s Grind Burger Mixture
¾ pound rib eye steak, cubed
½ pound skirt steak, cubed
2 large short ribs, (about 1 pound with bone) bone removed and cubed

Using a meat grinder, grind the beef together twice through a course to fine grind. Form into 8 patties about 3 ounces each. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Grilled Trout & Artichokes With Easy Lemon Aioli

Grilled Trout & Artichokes With Easy Lemon Aioli

The perfect grilled combination – delicious brook trout and tender artichokes served with lemon and garlic aioli. Easy to find now at most groceries, these tender, smoky artichoke halves, quickly and beautifully grill along with fresh trout while the aioli sauce comes together in minutes.

Once you get a taste of grilled trout, you’ll be hooked and it’s easier than you think. A super-clean cooking grate is a secret to preventing sticking. So remember to heat the grill on high heat, then use a grill brush to clean off any bits of protein or sauce sticking to the bars. Oil the fish well before placing the grate and then brush the fish again with oil just before turning.

Grilled Artichokes
one lemon
4 globe artichokes

Prepare a one-quart bowl of water. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze in the bowl with the water and then add the lemon halves. Using a sharp knife cut off the smaller leaves around the base of the artichoke and cut the stem, so you only have about a half inch left. Cut the artichokes in half and put them immediately in the water.

Working with one artichoke at a time, remove the furry core or “choke,” scraping out any remains pieces with a spoon. Once cored, immediately place into the lemon water and continue until all are completed.

Heat a large saucepan with a steamed fitted inside. When steam is rising, place the halved, cored artichokes, cut side down, into the steamer and steam for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove and set aside to drain.

Brush the cut side with olive oil and place on the grill for 15 minutes or until well marked.

Grilled Trout
Four 1-pound fresh brook trout without a head, scaled, gutted, and butterflied open (skin on)
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Thinly sliced lemon

Heat a grill to high. Brush trout on both sides with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill, skin-side down, until slightly charred and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Brush the top with more olive oil and carefully turn each fish over and continue cooking until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove from the grill and serve hot topped with lemon slices, the artichokes, and lemon aioli.

Easy Lemon Aioli
½ cup mayonnaise
finely grated lemon zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt

Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl to combine. Serve with the grilled artichokes and trout.