Simplicity at the Beach Pad...

For years, the 4th of July has always seemed to have revolved around food in this country, and plenty of it! I have cooked many different things during this holiday gathering, from slow braised this and that(mostly my beloved pork in various forms and fashion), savory and hearty steaks and grilled meats or poultry, firecracker shrimp, briny clams and sweet mussels cooked in seawater(with flavor enhancers of course), sous vide halibut cheeks, pastries of all sorts, and yes...fire roasted foie gras! That was quite a blast. Most all the meals are centered around the abundance of the local offerings obtained from the markets that day or couple days prior. And, most would swear to it that at my place, it generally takes on an influence of my favorite nature...spicy southern american. I more often than not send in fiery reinforcements to just about every dish. Fire is good...fire is our friend! This year, we had just returned from Cannon Beach, Oregon(see last post) and the bounty of the farmers was first and foremost on my mind. A couple stops at a local bakery and a farmers market, a quick read of food and wine and I was quickly off on a bit of an Italian mental wandering through the Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany! From marinated spicy fresh Shrimp, roasted with Basil, Elephant Garlic, Lemon and Pinot Gris to a very tasty Panzanella Salad, adorned with fire grilled Garlic Como, Olives, Tomatoes, Ricotta from Jacobs Farm(OR.), fresh Mozzarella, Basil, White Balsamic Vinegar and Italian EVOO.
Various spreads and dips, Chickpea Salad with Red Onions, Sheep's Cheese, Tomato Confit and Red Wine Vinaigrette and of course...hand-formed Ground Sirloin Patties, laden with herbs, spices, balsamic vinegar, chilies and a platter of freshly Macerated Berries and Nectarines(in a brown sugar, vanilla, honey, lemon, & black pepper bath) on a pillow of soft, luscious and silky Ricotta-Mascarpone(again from Jacobs Creamery) "fondue" laced with honey, vanilla and orange and topped with Fleur de Sel. All this was splashed with a bit of 30 year-old Balsamic Condiment. As we sat and enjoyed the company, the libations and the meal at hand at the waters edge, one would be hard pressed to find a reason to complain. With such simplicity...can life be any easier?


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