In my world, 4th of July is a lot like Thanksgiving. But with sunburns and pyrotechnics. An underlying feeling of patriotism and national gratitude, a day off work and an evening of food and celebration with friends and family.
But unlike Thanksgiving, the food is all fair game. There are no requisite poultry centerpieces, or traditional casseroles, you are free to cook and eat whatever you like. Most people gravitate towards easy, low maintenance grill style food, or appetizers and dips that can just hang around the kitchen waiting patiently for attention.
Here are some of my favorite foods for low key afternoon get together:
And the Man of The Hour:
BLT Mini Tarts with Bacon Jam, Arugula & Grape Tomatoes
For the tart dough:
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1/3 cup ice cold water
For the topping:
A double batch of Bacon Jam
1 cup arugula leaves
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
In a food processor, combine 1 1/3 cup flour, salt, sugar and butter, process until well combined. Add the remaining flour and process again until combined. Transfer to a bowl and add the water with a wooden spoon (don’t add the water while the dough is in the food processor or your dough will be brittle and cracker-like). If the dough isn’t moist enough, you can add more water, a tsp at a time until the consistency is right. Form dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Preheat your oven to 375.
Roll your dough out on a floured surface. Using a 3 inch biscuit cutter, cut out 20-25 circles.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the dough circles on the bakign sheet. Prick eat circle with a fork. Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Spread each mini tart circle with bacon jam, top with arugula and grape tomato halfs.