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Preparing for Your Fourth of July Barbecue

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Justin Beach

Jon Stone

Media Relations Manager

Jon Stone

Feature  •
Business  •
Denver 4th of July

Are you looking for some ideas for what to serve alongside your Fourth of July hamburgers and hot dogs?

How do spiced apple salad and prosciutto crostini sound? Timothy Downs, executive chef at Knoebel Events in the Daniels College of Business, has created something new for you to try or perhaps bring as a side dish to someone else’s house.

Situated inside the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management, Knoebel Events hosts hundreds of occasions each year ranging from corporate events to wedding receptions. Inside the Meyer Family Kitchen, a student staff is led by Downs and a team of hospitality veterans.

Knoebel Events does more than $1 million in business each year. Clients can order from a set menu, make special requests and even have the kitchen prepare a family recipe.

For this Independence Day, Downs shows us two new ideas for a festive celebration:

Spiced Apple Salad

  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 apple diced (fresh and local is best)
  • 3 ounces brie cheese (sliced)
  • 1 cup sweet dried cherries or 1 cup pitted and rough chopped fresh cherries
  • ½ cup candied walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons dressing
    • ½ cup balsamic
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1.5 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 cup canola oil (or neutral oil)
    • salt to taste

Dressing: combine the balsamic, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl with a whisk and leave it to sit for at least 10-15 minutes to allow the cinnamon to bloom. While whisking, slowly drizzle the oil in to allow for a temporary emulsion. Season with salt. If you make it in advance, you may need to re-whisk to bring the vinegar and oil back to together.

Salad: Combine the arugula and the dressing in a bowl and season if needed with salt and pepper. Display on a serving platter and sprinkle all other ingredients on top to make it look amazing. Serve immediately so the apples do not oxidize and the lettuce does not wilt.

Prosciutto Crostini

  • 1 loaf of soft Italian bread
  • olive oil as needed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon capers (chopped fine)
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 2 cups arugula chopped (one or two cuts)
  • 10­–12 thin sliced Prosciutto
  • fresh parmesan (sliced with a vegetable peeler to form ½- to 1-inch-long pieces)

Cut bread and coat one side with olive oil, salt and pepper (not too much oil but enough to barely coat one side). Lightly grill on an open flame until a grill mark is visible — you want that charred flavor. Combine mayonnaise, caper and lemon in a side bowl. Spread the mayonnaise mixture evenly on one side of each piece of bread. Layer the arugula, prosciutto and then the sliced parmesan cheese. If you have truffle oil, consider drizzling it on top as a final touch.  Serve as an appetizer or accompaniment to the salad above.

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