Red, White And Blue Dishes For Your July 4th Celebration

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Kathy's strawberry-blueberry tart. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Kathy's strawberry-blueberry tart. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

With the holiday coming up on Thursday, Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst has recipes using red, white, and blue food to share with hosts Robin Young and Lisa Mullins.

Blue Corn Nachos With Tomatoes, Salsa And Sour Cream

When are nachos a bad idea? That's right, almost never.

This red, white and blue version piles black beans on top of blue corn tortilla chips, red salsa, chopped tomatoes, white cheddar and crumbled blue cheese. Blue cheese on nachos? Open up your mind. Surprisingly delicious. A dollop of white sour cream on top finishes it all off.

Serves 4 (maybe 6).


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed, drained
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) blue corn tortilla chips
  • 3/4 cup tomato salsa, mild or spicy
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 3/4 cup white cheddar, grated
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Garnishes: Salsa, hot pepper sauce, cubed ripe avocado, chopped fresh cilantro.

Blue corn nachos with tomatoes, salsa and sour cream, from chef Kathy Gunst. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Blue corn nachos with tomatoes, salsa and sour cream, from chef Kathy Gunst. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)


  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a medium skillet heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce to taste. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
  2. Place the chips in a single layer on a large baking sheet or cookie tray. Spread the beans on top and then spoon the salsa on top, distributing it evenly. Add the tomatoes, cheddar and blue cheese. Alternately you can use a small baking dish and create two layers: half the chips and half the beans and half the salsa, tomatoes and cheese and then top with the second half. Good either way.
  3. Bake on the middle shelf for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  4. Remove and spoon the sour cream on top with dollops scattered across the top. Serve with extra salsa, hot pepper sauce and any other garnishes you like.

Blue Crab Tostados On Blue Corn Tortillas With Tomato Salsa And Lime-Sour Cream

Tostados — fried tortillas— are perfect when made with blue corn tortillas and topped with blue crab, red salsa and white sour cream. Of course if you’re not a red, white and blue purist, you can add cubes of buttery avocado and sprigs of fresh cilantro. Red, white, blue and green!

This also works as a more traditional taco — warm the tortilla in a low oven or over a low heat in a dry skillet and pile the fillings on top and fold.

Serves 2 to 4.

The Tostados

  • About 1/3 cup vegetable or safflower oil
  • 4 blue corn tortillas

The Crabmeat And Toppings

  • 8 ounces blue crab meat
  • 1 scallion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into small cubes
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into thin slices, optional

The Lime-Sour Cream Mixture

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Tostados — fried tortillas— are perfect when made with blue corn tortillas and topped with blue crab, red salsa and white sour cream. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Tostados — fried tortillas— are perfect when made with blue corn tortillas and topped with blue crab, red salsa and white sour cream. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)


  1. Fry the tostados: in a medium skillet heat the oil over high heat. When it's hot (drop a speck of salt in and it should immediately sizzle) add one tortilla at a time and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  2. Mix the crabmeat mixture: In a small bowl mix the crabmeat, scallion, lime juice and salt and pepper.
  3. Make the sour cream mixture: In a small bowl mix the sour cream, lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To assemble: place a tortilla on a plate. Add a heaping tablespoon or two of the lime sour cream on top, spreading it around. Top with 1/4 of the crabmeat, mounding it in the center. Surround the crabmeat with 1/4 of the tomatoes and the avocado if using. Repeat.

Make America Sweet Again: Strawberry-Blueberry Tart

This red, white and blue tart is made with (red) strawberries, (blue) blueberries and (white) sweetened crème fraîche (or marscarpone) in a buttery crust. If you make the crust ahead of time, you can put the tart together in no time at all. It also tastes great the next day.

If you're nervous about making pastry or simply don't have the time, you can buy a premade graham cracker crust.

Serves 6 to 8.

The Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • About 1/3 cup ice water
  • or 1 premade pie crust, pastry or graham cracker crust

The Fruit Filling

  • 16 ounces (1 pound) strawberries, hulled, and cut into thick slices
  • About 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup crème fraîche or marscarpone (a fresh Italian cheese similar to crème fraîche or cream cheese)
  • 1/4 cup strawberry or cherry jam
  • 1 cup blueberries


  1. Make the crust: in a food processor whirl the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse about 15 times until the butter is the size of coarse cornmeal. With the motor running, add only enough ice cold water until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Place in a large sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap, mound in a ball, and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit 15 minutes. Working on a well-floured surface, roll the dough out to a 9-inch circle. Place inside an 8 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom or a pie plate, fluting the edges.
  3. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the tart and fill with about 2 cups old beans or rice. This is called prebaking the crust. Bake on the middle shelf for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and the beans or rice and bake another 12 to 14 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and looks fully cooked. Remove and cool.
  5. Alternately, if using a premade crust, place in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes if graham cracker or follow baking directions above for pastry crust.
  6. Meanwhile, make the filling: place the sliced strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Toss and let sit while the pastry bakes.
  7. In a small bowl mix the crème fraiche with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar.
  8. When the crust is fully cool, spread the sweetened crème fraiche on the bottom, smoothing it with a soft spatula. Spread the jam on top of the crème fraîche. Add the strawberries in concentric circles, overlapping as needed. Place the blueberries in between or on top of the strawberries. Pour any sugar syrup from the bottom of the strawberry bowl on top. Chill for one hour before serving.

This segment aired on July 2, 2019.

More From Our Resident Chef:

Kathy Gunst Resident Chef, Here & Now
Kathy Gunst is a James Beard Award-winning journalist and the author of 15 cookbooks.



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