American Pie and More Recipes for an Epic Fourth of July Meal
For Los Angeles–based chef Maire Byrne, her love of food stems from the delicious memories it can create. While she has spent time honing her craft at gourmet restaurants Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Ajax Tavern in Aspen, and Aqua in San Francisco, Byrne’s favorite teacher is her mother. Byrne loved learning how to cook for her large family by helping her mom in their Southern California kitchen. That sort of seasonal, family-driven cooking is definitely at the heart of Maire Byrne’s culinary career.
After several years of running her successful company Thyme Catering, Byrne opened Thyme Café & Market. The communal environment serves comforting, home-cooked food and, according to Byrne, “the delicious memories it can create.” Thanks to its tremendous success, Byrne is opening a second Santa Monica location, called Local Kitchen & Wine Bar. Handcrafted pizzas, small plates, delicious wines, and a craft cocktail bar are all part of Byrne’s latest endeavor. We’ll take the Neapolitan pizza, please!
In celebration of her forthcoming eatery, Byrne has generously shared the recipes for her melt-in-your-mouth chargrilled corn and decadent raspberry sour cream tart. We think they would make delicious additions to your Fourth of July menu.
American Flag Pie
Decorated like a flag and completely scrumptious, this tart will win over family and friends on the Fourth! The graham cracker crust provides the perfect crunch for the rich, creamy filling.
Ingredients for Crust
8 whole graham crackers, coarsely broken
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Ingredients for Filling and Topping
6 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 half-pint baskets raspberries
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
Directions for Crust
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grind crackers and sugar in processor until coarse crumbs form. Add butter and process until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Bake until crust is firm to touch, about 8 minutes. Cool crust on rack.
Directions for Filling and Topping
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Beat in sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla. Spread filling in cooled crust. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; keep chilled.) Arrange berries over filling. Whisk jam in small bowl to loose consistency. Drizzle over berries. Serve immediately, or chill up to 3 hours.
Lobster Pasta Salad
Just looking at this recipe will make you hungry. Fresh, tender lobster meat mixed with corn, tomatoes, pasta, and other delicious ingredients make this a great side dish to serve family style on the fourth. And the lobster pasta combo gives you a little more red and white.
NOTE: Serves 8.
Good olive oil
1/2 pound small pasta shells
Kernels from 4 ears of corn
6 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 yellow or orange bell peppers, seeded and small-diced
1 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1 lbs. cooked fresh lobster meat, medium-diced
3/4 cup good mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup minced fresh dill
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt with pasta. Allow pasta to cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the corn and cook it for 2 minutes, until the corn is tender. Drain the pasta and corn together and pour them into a large mixing bowl. Add the lobster, tomatoes, scallions, diced pepper, sour cream, mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and lemon juice, and mix. Add the dill at the end and mix. Keep covered for 5 to 6 hours and serve at room temperature.
Chargrilled Corn With Chili Lime Butter
Make sure you slather on extra butter—those “holiday calories” don’t count! And this lime-zested, paprika-flavored recipe is a Fourth of July BBQ must.
12 whole corn, husked, with a small portion of the husk attached
2 cups softened butter
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 tbsp. salt
1 1/2 cups cotija cheese
Combine butter, spices, lime, and salt together in a bowl and set aside. Husk the corn, leaving a short amount at the bottom. Approximately 2 inches. Evenly spread each corn ear with the butter mix, and save remaining spread. Grill each corn so that there are char marks on each side of the ear. Once the corn is evenly charred, remove from the grill and spread another layer of butter over each one.