Eat Now: July Fourth


There’s certain things that scream “Fourth of July”— stars and stripes, fireworks, burgers and barbecues— but why not shake it up a bit by thinking outside of the box? We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here— we love a good burger— but why settle for store-bought potato chips and/or questionably pre-cut crudité, when you could have oyster sandwiches, watermelon and blue cheese salads and summer vegetable dips as accompaniments? Thanks to New York Chef Andrew Carmellini, SoHo’s The Dutch offers just that. The perfect mix of crowd pleasers and chef’s picks, its annual July 4th cookout features dishes like the above, plus watermelon punch, shrimp hush puppies with pickled jalapeño, fried chicken with slaw, smoked brisket, the infamous Dutch burger and seasonal desserts like peach pie with blackberry buttermilk ice cream and devil’s food cake with black pepper icing. In honor of the holiday weekend and the restaurant’s big bash (it runs from 11 am-10 pm this Saturday, July 4th), Carmellini is sharing three featured recipes with CITIPHILE; talk about raising the stakes at your own rooftop potluck. #Winning. (*The Dutch is recommended by Laurel Pantin and Lele Sadoughi; 131 Sullivan St.; For reservations, call 212.677.6200;


EGGPLANT DIP (serves 6-8)
By Chef Andrew Carmellini
*2 1/2 c Japanese eggplant (about 3), peeled and cut
*1 c Japanese eggplant (about 2), small dice, skin on
*1/2 c plus 3 tbsp plain greek yogurt
*1/2 c plus 3 tbsp mayonnaise
*2 1/2 tbsp roasted garlic (see recipe below)
*1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
*3/4 tbsp fresh mint, chopped plus leaves for garnish
*1/4 c plus 1 tbsp lemon juice
*4 tbsp EVOO plus a drizzle for garnish
*Cayenne pepper and salt to taste

For the Roasted Garlic:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Take 2 heads of garlic and cut off the tops.
3. Season with EVOO, salt and pepper, then wrap in foil.
4. Roast in oven until lightly browned (caramelized) and soft.
5. Pass the garlic cloves through a fine sieve.

For the Eggplant Dip:
1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Season peeled and cut eggplant with EVOO, salt and pepper and roast until tender.
3. Pulse in a food processor until almost smooth.
4. Sauté diced eggplant with EVOO and salt until just tender.
5. Once cool, mix with the puréed eggplant and the remaining ingredients.
6. Garnish with a pool of EVOO and fresh mint leaves. Serve with crackers of choice.


OYSTER SLIDERS (serves 12)
By Jason Hua, The Dutch
*12 mini-sesame brioche buns
* Grass-fed butter
* Iceberg lettuce, same size as bun, crunchy parts only
* 12 Oysters, fresh and shucked (large size such as pacific oyster)
* Cornmeal mix: 1 c cornmeal, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp smoked spanish paprika
* Pickled okra sauce: 1/2 c mayonnaise, 3 tbsp grainy mustard, 3 tbsp diced smokra (Rick’s Picks brand), 1/2 tsp chopped capers, 1 tsp diced cornichons, 1 tsp chopped parsley, 1/4 tsp chopped chervil, 1/4 tsp chopped tarragon, 1/2 tsp smokra pickling liquid, 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1. Mix all ingredients together for pickled okra sauce.
2. Mix all ingredients together for cornmeal mixture.
3. Cut brioche in half. Butter the buns and warm on a griddle until brown. Spread pickled okra sauce on inside of buns.
4. Shuck oysters and dip in cornmeal mix.
5. Fry oyster at 350 degrees until golden, then season with salt to taste.
6. Assemble sandwich with iceberg lettuce beneath the fried oyster. Serve.



Bittersweet Cream Filling (best made a day ahead)
*1 c heavy cream
*3 egg yolks
*2 tbsp sugar
*3 1/2 oz 64% bittersweet chocolate (I use Valrhona Manjari)
*1/4 tsp kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
*1 tsp powdered gelatin
*2/3 c crème fraîche

1. Put the chocolate and salt in a medium heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
2. Put gelatin in small bowl with a tbsp of the heavy cream.
3. Put the rest of the heavy cream in a small sauce pot with half the sugar. Bring to heavy steam.
4. Whisk together the yolks and the rest of the sugar and then temper the hot heavy cream into this mixture.
5. Pour back into the sauce pot and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula until it thickens slightly and leaves a clean line on the back of the spatula when you draw your finger across it.
6. Off the heat, stir in the gelatin to dissolve it and then pass through a fine strainer directly onto the chocolate and salt. Whisk together to incorporate all of the chocolate and then add the crème fraîche, then blend with a hand blender to completely emulsify.
7. Clean down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then press plastic wrap directly on top of it. Cool over ice or in the refrigerator until completely set.

Devil’s Food Cake
* 1/2 c plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
*1/2 c plus 1 tbsp cake flour
*3/4 tsp baking soda
*1/2 tsp baking powder
*1 1/2 c dark brown sugar
*6 tbsp unsalted butter
*1/2 tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
*1 tsp vanilla paste
*3/4 c cocoa powder
*1/2 c plus 2 tbsp lukewarm water
*1 large egg
*1  large egg white
*1/2 c plus 2 tbsp buttermilk
*2 tbsp cocoa nibs
*1 tbsp ground espresso beans

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of three 8-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment.
2. Sift together the first four ingredients.
3. Put the butter, brown sugar, salt and vanilla paste in the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream until lightened.
4. While the above creams, slowly whisk the egg, egg white and then the water into the cocoa powder, taking care to avoid leaving lumps of cocoa. Once it is a smooth paste, slowly add it to the creamed butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice to make sure all of the sugar is being mixed in completely and not sticking to the sides and bottom of the bowl.
5. Once it is fully incorporated, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dries.
6. Divide the batter between the 3 pans and smooth tops of each cake.
7. Bake until the center of each cake springs back when touched, approximately 15-20 minutes.
8. Cool for 5 minutes in pan, then overturn on a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
9. Assemble the cake: if necessary, trim the top of the three cake layers so they are flat. Place the bottom layer of the cake on a plate or cake turntable. Mix half of the bittersweet chocolate cream with a rubber spatula to get rid of any lumps, then spoon it onto the cake.  Smooth until you have an an even layer spead over the cake. Add the second layer of cake and repeat the process with the second half of the filling.  Add your top cake layer and then place in the refrigerator to set, about 3 hours.
10. Make icing while the cake chills.

Black Pepper Boiled Icing
*1 c sugar
*1/2 c water
*1/4 tsp salt
*3 egg whites
*1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Set aside 2 tbsp of the sugar in a small bowl along with the salt.
2. Place the rest of the sugar in a small sauce pot with the water.
3. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer with the wick attachment.
4. Over medium/high heat and with a candy thermometer in the syrup, bring the moistened sugar up to a boil. At the same time you are heating the sugar, begin to whisk the egg whites on medium/high speed. When the egg whites are foamy and lightened, slowly add the reserved sugar and salt and continue to whisk until you form firm peaks.  Just when your whites are done, your syrup should reach 240 degrees (F). Adjust the speed of the mixer or the height of the flame to coordinate the two.
5. When both are done, remove the thermometer from the pot and slowly pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg whites while they are beating on medium/high speed. Continue to whip the meringue until it has cooled back down to room temperature.
6. Spoon the icing on top of the cake, then smooth it over the sides with an offset spatula to cover the entire cake.
7. When the cake is covered completely, use a kitchen torch to lightly brulée the entire cake. Serve. 



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