Make a last-minute 4th of July picnic with flair

Last minute? No problem! Lucinda Scala, the executive food director at Martha Stewart, shows you how to make a picnic that's easy and fun. And we're not talking hot dogs and hamburgers here—Scala serves up shrimp rolls, potato salad with celery, cress and bacon, and a coconut cake with berries and cream.

Shrimp rolls
Servings:

10 servings

Ingredients

    • Coarse salt
    • 3 pounds unpeeled medium shrimp
    • 1/3 cup finely chopped scallions (white and pale-green parts only), plus 2 tablespoons scallion greens thinly sliced on bias (from 7 scallions)
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
    • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
    • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
    • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced on bias (2 cups), inner leaves reserved, divided
    • 5 tablespoons butter, softened, divided
    • 10 split-top hot dog buns

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high, and add shrimp. Poach until opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes (the water should never return to a boil). Drain shrimp, and spread on baking sheet; let cool. When no longer steaming, refrigerate to cool completely, about 40 minutes. Peel and devein shrimp. Shrimp can be refrigerated up to 1 day.2. Mix together chopped scallions, tarragon, lemon zest and juice, and mayonnaise. Stir in shrimp, sliced celery and 1 teaspoon salt. Refrigerate until cold, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.3. Preheat a griddle or grill to medium-high heat. Brush butter on inside surface of each bun. Place buns on griddle or grill, buttered sides down, and toast until golden brown or lightly charred.4. Divide shrimp mixture among buns. Top with celery leaves and scallion greens.

Potato salad with celery, cress and bacon
Servings:

6 servings

Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 pounds small fingerling potatoes
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 4 strips thick-cut bacon (about 6 ounces)
    • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
    • 1 cup thinly sliced celery (2 stalks)
    • 1 cup celery leaves
    • 2 cups watercress, large stems trimmed

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Place potatoes in a medium pot; cover with 2 inches water. Season water generously with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook potatoes until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain. When just cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise.2. Meanwhile, cook bacon over medium heat until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Break into bite-size pieces.3. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl; gently toss with oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper; fold in celery and leaves, watercress, and bacon. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Coconut cake with berries and cream
Servings:

12 to 14 servings

Ingredients

    • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pans
    • 6 large eggs, separated
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/3 cup flaked unsweetened coconut, toasted and finely ground
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
    • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
    • 1 can (13.75 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
    • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
    • 3 cups mixed fresh berries (about 12 ounces), for serving

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9-by-13-inch glass baking pan. Whisk together egg whites, baking soda and salt in a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment on medium speed, until soft peaks form, 4 to 5 minutes.2. Add egg yolks to egg-white mixture, and whisk until completely combined. Gradually add sugar, and whisk until combined. Fold in butter and coconut with a rubber spatula.3. Sift 1/4 cup flour onto mixture; fold to combine. Repeat with remaining flour, folding in 1/4 cup at a time. Pour batter into pan; bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.4. Meanwhile, whisk together 1 cup heavy cream, the coconut milk and condensed milk. As soon as cake is removed from oven, pour cream mixture over cake. Let cake cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cover cake with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 5 hours and up to 8 hours.5. Just before serving, whisk remaining cup heavy cream until soft peaks form, and spread over cake. Serve with mixed berries.

Cucumber cape codder
Servings:

6 servings

Ingredients

    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup water
    • 2 cups grated English cucumber (about 1 cucumber), plus cucumber wedges, for garnish
    • 9 ounces vodka, chilled
    • 12 ounces cranberry juice (no sugar added)
    • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from about 4 limes)
    • Ice, for serving

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, stir in grated cucumber and let cool. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl or large glass measuring cup, and discard solids (you should have 2 cups syrup). Cucumber syrup can be refrigerated up to 3 days.2. Combine cucumber syrup, vodka, and cranberry and lime juices in a 2-quart pitcher. Cocktail can be refrigerated up to 8 hours. Serve over ice and garnish with cucumber wedges.

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