Our family celebration for the Fourth of July was bright and colorful with a theme of fireworks. We began with that great American tradition, fajitas! Grilled filet mignon and savory chicken breast were joined by caramelized onions, brilliant yellow rice and, my favorite, a mixture of multi-hued beans, corns and tomatoes which mimicked the colors of pyrotechnics in the night sky.
Joining the traditional toppings of sour cream and grated cheese was that gorgeous salsa of avocado and pineapple, the recipe my mother created a few weeks ago. This sweet and savory salsa of pineapple, avocado, green onions, tomatoes, citrus and fresh herbs is a new family favorite.
The fireworks continued into the dessert course with another family favorite, a light and fluffy Victoria Sponge Cake adorned with berries and whipped cream evoking a pattern of festive lights bursting over a balmy summer evening.
This classic sponge cake, a recipe that’s been in use for centuries, is baked in a “tiara pan.” It’s then spread with a layer of lemon curd. This keeps the next layer from making the cake soggy. The lemon curd is topped with a thick spread of luscious, rich, home-made French pastry cream. Fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, glazed with warmed jam, adorn the top—glistening sparks in a pattern of pyrotechnics. The finishing touch is piped, freshly-whipped cream. Perfection.
The best part was, we got all the fireworks without the crowds, heat, mosquitoes, and traffic! And, in my mind, there's nothing better than good food. So, as far as I'm concerned, it was the finest Fourth possible!