For July 4th this year I had it in my head to do a meal with a summery beach/tropical/island feel to it. Most of my dishes were straight from recipes online.. focaccia with caramelized leeks (see below for more on this), green goddess dip with crudites, backyard jerk chicken (although we broiled it instead of grilling), grilled swordfish with cilantro, lemony olive roasted potatoes, summer creamed corn (see below for more on this), and key lime pie.
When planning the menu, I had an idea in mind for a drink, but I could find nothing online that sounded like what I wanted - I wanted something refreshing but everything was too fruity. So Michael and I tested some ideas and the very first one we tried was spot on. I LOVE this drink. I’ve had one almost every night since the 4th. It was just perfect - refreshing and light, but with a tropical twist. And I’ve realized that I love cachaca! It’s such a yummy rum.
Island Mint Iced Tea
(Makes 1 drink)
2 parts Mint & Honey Tea (we used Sweet Leaf)
1 part pineapple juice
Juice of ½ a lime
1 oz of Cachaca
Fill glass with ice, add tea, then pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, rum and stir well. Garnish with pineapple wedge.
Go sit on a beach (or pretend you’re sitting on one) and relax. :)
I wanted to post the focaccia and the corn because those were my other favorite dishes. For the focaccia I used this base recipe and then topped with caramelized leeks, fresh dill, fresh chives and WAY too much salt. I used the large crystal salt and went a little overboard, but I really liked the basic flavors and the basic bread dough. I was light with just the right chewiness.
And finally, the corn. Oh My. I did not think this dish would be this good. I wanted to do a corn dish because corn is in season and what I'd seen at the grocery looked so good. This dish has just a slight amount of cream and the lime juice makes it so light and fresh, with this tartness that you don’t usually get with corn. And the pinch of cayenne was just enough to give it this little kick. It was incredibly addictive and I may have to make it again this weekend.