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Fourth of July Feast

Chef Michael Otsuka
and Chef Diane Forley

New York, N.Y.

Sparkling Ginger Lemonade
Green Gazpacho
Grilled Trout
Corn On The Cob
Nectarine and Cherry Cobbler

Serves 6 to 8

4 cups fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pound tomatillos, peeled and washed
1 bunch of scallions, white parts only
8 cups chopped cucumber (about 2 pounds peeled then chopped)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons honey or to taste
1/2 cup creme fraiche
torn basil sprigs

Blanch the basil in boiling salted water, then refresh in ice water. Squeeze dry.

Combine the vinegar, oil and 1 cup of water in a blender or food processor. Add the basil, then tomatillos and cucumbers in small batches, pureeing as you go. Add the paprika, cayenne and honey and puree. Thin the soup, if necessary, with water. Then adjust the seasoning with salt, cayenne and honey. Chill and serve with teaspoon of creme fraiche and freshly torn basil sprigs.

Sparkling Ginger Lemonade

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup chopped ginger
1 cup strained lemon juice (equals to 9 or 12 lemons depending on their size)
club soda to taste

Method: Combine sugar, water and ginger in small saucepan. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Let cool. Blend mixture and strain through fine strainer. Add lemon juice.
Recipe may be made several days in advance up to this point.

To serve: Fill a three-quart-capacity pitcher with ice and lemon slices with seeds removed. Pour syrup over ice and fill with club soda or seltzer water. Stir well and serve.

Grilled Stuffed Trout

4 semi boneless trout
1 piece fennel bulb, small dice
1 bunch tarragon, cut into one inch pieces with stems (save 2 sprigs for vinaigrette)
1 red onion, small dice
1 bunch parsley, cut into one inch pieces with stems
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon black peppercorn
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoons salt
1 lemon, zested

Mix together herbs, vegetables, spices and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and lemon zest. Fill cavity of trout with stuffing. Place trout on foil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap trout in foil. Grill or bake until done, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Unwrap and drizzle with vinaigrette.

Lemon vinaigrette:
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped
Blend together.

Corn On The Cob

Method: Soak the whole corn (husk and all) in cold water. Wrap with foil. Grill or bake corn until tender. The water allows the corn to "steam" in the foil. It also prevents the corn from drying out. About 20 minutes.

Nectarine and Cherry Cobbler

8 oz. butter
8 oz. sugar
8 oz. cake flour
8 oz. rolled oats
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon clove
1 lb. cherries
4 nectarines


Prepare fruit. Pit cherries and stem. Section nectarines into eight pieces. Toss together and place in oven-proof casserole. Cream together butter and sugar. Add remaining ingredients. Crumble onto top of crisp. Bake in 350 oven for one hour or until fruit is cooked through and bubbly.