Fourth of July Menu


Fried Green Tomatoes

Recipe from Down Home at the Neely’s


Ingredients (for 6 servings)
6 hard green tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c well-shaken buttermilk
Dash hot sauce
3/4 c yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 c Japanese panko bread crumbs
vegetable oil, for frying
1 recipe Basil Mayonnaise (recipe follows)

Basil Mayonnaise (makes about 1 ¼ c)

2 c loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 c mayonnaise
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T Creole mustard
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper


1. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Place the flour on a plate. Whisk together the buttermilk and hot sauce in a shallow bowl or a pie tin. Whisk together the cornmeal and panko bread crumbs in a separate pie tin.

2. Working with one green-tomato slice at a time, coat the tomato first in flour (knocking off excess), then in the buttermilk, then finally in the cornmeal-bread crumb mixture. Transfer the breaded slice to a baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining slices.

3. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels.

4. Heat 3/4 inch of vegetable oil in a medium skillet to 350°F. Working in batches, fry the tomato slices until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked tomatoes to the prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Keep the cooked tomatoes in the warm oven while you fry the remaining slices. Serve the tomatoes warm, with a generous dollop of Basil Mayonnaise.

Basil Mayonnaise

Pulse the basil, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and mustard in a food processor fitted with a metal blade until smooth, then transfer to small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Note: The Basil Mayonnaise can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Squash Blossoms


Fill squash blossoms with ricotta mixed with herbs, or goat cheese mixed with herbs. Dip in tempura batter and fry in pan with at least 1-2 inches of oil heated to 350 degrees. When finished, put on drying rack and sprinkle with sea salt.

Tempura Batter
1 egg yolk
1 c ice cold water
1/2 c flour
1/2 c corn starch
1/2 t baking powder

Mix all ingredients lightly. Chill for 10 minutes before dipping. Batter should be consistency of crepe batter. 

French Potato Salad

Recipe by Ina Garten

Ingredients (for 4-6 servings)

1 lb small white boiling potatoes
1 lb small red boiling potatoes
2 T good dry white wine
2 T chicken stock
3 T Champagne vinegar
1/2 t Dijon mustard
2 t kosher salt
3/4 t freshly ground black pepper
10 T good olive oil
1/4 c minced scallions (white and green parts)
2 T minced fresh dill
2 T minced flat-leaf parsley
2 T julienned fresh basil leaves


1. Drop the white and red potatoes into a large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until they are just cooked through. Drain in a colander and place a towel over the potatoes to allow them to steam for 10 more minutes. 


2. As soon as you can handle them, cut in 1/2 (quarters if the potatoes are larger) and place in a medium bowl. Toss gently with the wine and chicken stock. Allow the liquids to soak into the warm potatoes before proceeding.
3. Combine the vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Add the vinaigrette to the potatoes. Add the scallions, dill, parsley, basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Oven Baked Barbeque Ribs


Ingredients (for 4-6 servings)
5 lbs beef back ribs

For the marinade

1 c canola or vegetable oil
1/2 c cider vinegar
3 T packed brown sugar
1 T plus 1 t soy sauce
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t kosher salt


1. Whisk all ingredients together until well combined. In a large baking dish, pour marinade over ribs and refrigerate, basting occasionally, for a minimum of 2 hours, but preferably overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 300°F. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and cook ribs for 2 hours.

3. Increase the oven temperature to 350°F. Remove the aluminum foil and baste ribs with barbecue sauce. Continue cooking for 45 minutes, basting with sauce every 15 minutes. The ribs should easily separate with a knife and the meat should be fall off the bone tender.

4. Serve ribs with remaining barbecue sauce on the side.

Dry Rub for Ribs

1 c brown sugar
2 T chili powder (ancho is recommended) or paprika
1 T salt 
2 t garlic powder
1/4 t ground cloves
1/2 t ground cinnamon


Homemade BBQ Sauce

Ingredients (for about 2 ½ cups)


2 c ketchup
3 T brown sugar
2 T soy sauce
2 T vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
2 T cider vinegar
1/8 t red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (about 2 t)


1. Add all ingredients to a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, and continue simmering for 15 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place in an airtight container. Keeps refrigerated for up to one week.


Recipe by Tricia Wheeler

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut beet greens off, leaving an inch of the stalks on each beet. Leave root end on beet and scrub beets lightly until clean. Place beets in single layer in a Dutch oven and cook until a knife pierces easily, about 1 hour depending on size of beets. Let cool slightly. With latex gloves on, rub off skin and slice beets, then top with a little butter and sea salt. You can also top with goat cheese.

To cook beet greens: Remove greens from stalks and clean well. Sauté with shallot, garlic and a little olive oil. 

Queen Victoria Sponge Cakes

Sponge cake


175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
175g sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
1 t vanilla extract
175g self-rising flour
pinch of salt


6-8 t raspberry or strawberry jam



1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the tin.

2. To make the cakes, cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is pale and light. Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time. Add the vanilla extract and mix again.

3. Sift the flour and salt into the bowl and fold in until the mixture is glossy and smooth.

4. Add mixture to greased cake pan.

5. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 15 minutes until golden, well risen and a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of one of the cakes comes out clean.

Leave the cakes to cool in the tin for 2 minutes and then ease out onto a wire cooling rack and leave until completely cool.

6. Whip cream with confection sugar.

7. Cut each cake in half, smear with strawberry jam and top with whipped cream. Place the sponge tops on and lightly dust the cakes with icing sugar.

We baked our in silicon star shapes and a tin can! Both equally delicious. 

We baked our in silicon star shapes and a tin can! Both equally delicious.