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Stars, Stripes & Sharks

It’s America’s Independence Day! Time to turn on JAWS, crank up the grill and tip back your favorite ice-cold beverage. Although nothing can replace a classic burger and fries on the 4th of July, sometimes you need to take a ride on the wild side. Compliments of some of Culinary Book Creation’s amazing partners, we’ve outlined a few of our favorite non-traditional holiday fare.


Great White Bite

From the cocktail book TIKI WITH A TWIST by Lynn Calvo & James O. Fraioli

This cocktail was created several years ago when Lynn's friend Carl asked her to set up her traveling tiki bar on the dock at his marina during one of the local shark tournaments. For those unaware, Montauk, New York is a breeding ground for many sharks, including the blue, mako, thresher, and the notorious great white. Lynn wanted to create a unique twist on the traditional margarita, and it had to have a bite - a great white bite! She hit the local farmers market in town to visit her friend David, who is a local East End farmer, and known locally as the “Pepper Guru.” She purchased some jalapeño peppers and fresh cilantro, then went home and got to work. After some experimenting, the Great White Bite took shape. The next day, Lynn pulled into the marina in her mobile tiki bar – a long bed Chevy truck painted “Sunset Orange Effect” with large hibiscus flower stickers adorning the sides, and a palm thatched palapa above a teak bed cover that served as her bar top. She served up her concoctions, and the Great White Bite became an instant hit. To this day, it is still a top seller at Lynn’s Hula Hut in Montauk, New York.

Serves 1

1/2 fresh lime

2 ounces silver tequila (Patron)

3/4 ounce Cointreau

1 teaspoon Cucumber Cilantro & Jalapeño Purée (page 000)

Lynn’s Lemonade (page 000)

Kosher salt, as needed

Fresh lime wedge

Fresh cilantro sprig, for garnish

Slice a lime in half and squeeze or press the juice from one of the halves into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add the tequila, Cointreau, and Purée. Top with lemonade, cover, and shake vigorously for about 10 seconds while dancing to salsa music (a good bartender is always able to multitask). Rim a margarita glass with lime and salt, strain the mixture into the glass, garnish with a fresh lime wedge and cilantro sprig. Serve and enjoy


Narragansett Bay Clams Casino

From the cookbook GOLDEN STEER STEAKHOUSE LAS VEGAS by James O. Fraioli

In the film JAWS, there is a scene in which Chief Brody is having dinner at home after a long day at work. On his plate are a few large clams. To keep with the movie and Fourth of July theme, try this amazing clam appetizer!

Like Rhode Island Crab Cakes, this appetizer originates from Golden Steer Steakhouse owner Dr. Michael J. Signorelli’s home state of Rhode Island. Since its introduction in 1917, Clams Casino has remained a popular American classic, particularly with Italian Americans. It was also the requested appetizer by regular Steer guest Frank Sinatra, who’d eat dozens at a time before moving on to his main course. When making this savory appetizer at home, after you shuck the clams and pack them with the Clam Mixture, you can stop and freeze the clams for up to 1 week if you prefer to serve them later. To prepare, simply defrost for 2 minutes in the microwave (do not cook) and finish in the oven as noted below.

Serves 1 or 2

5 large fresh clams

Clam Mixture (recipe follows)

Crumbled cooked bacon

Lettuce, for garnish, if desired

Lemon wedges, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Shuck each clam to loosen the clam meat from the muscle. Keep the meat in the shell, and detach and discard the other/empty shell. Next, pack the clamshell with 1 or 2 tablespoons of Clam Mixture, depending on its size. The mixture should be rounded off on top. Add some crumbled bacon to the top of the mixture, pressing slightly so the bacon doesn’t fall off. Arrange the clams on a baking sheet.

Place the sheet of clams in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and arrange the baked clams on a serving tray lined with lettuce (if desired) and accompanied by lemon wedges.

Clam Mixture

Makes enough mixture for 12 clams

1/2 roasted red bell pepper, diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 yellow onion, peeled and diced

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

2 pinches dried oregano

2 pinches white pepper

1 pinch salt

1 tablespoon salted butter

1/4 cup white wine

1 cup chopped clams

1/2 cup clam juice

1/2 cup bread crumbs

Roast a red bell pepper by placing it under the broiler or on a hot outdoor barbecue, turning often to blister all sides. When the skin is charred and soft, remove from the heat and immediately place in a paper bag, foil, or sealed container to trap the steam. Keep sealed for about 10 minutes. Slice the roasted pepper, removing the stem, seeds, and loose skin, and dice.

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the diced pepper, onion, garlic, oregano, pepper, salt, and butter. Let cook for about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce the heat to low, letting the mixture simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the chopped clams and clam juice, and simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the bread crumbs to thicken the mixture. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Main Course:

New York Strip with Pizzaiola Sauce

Also from the cookbook GOLDEN STEER STEAKHOUSE LAS VEGAS by James O. Fraioli

Finally, because Chief Brody in the movie JAWS is from New York and likes his red wine, it’s only fitting to showcase a classic New York steak recipe paired with a red wine. After all, those grills will be sizzling this Fourth of July, so why not try this recipe too?

The New York strip, as it’s referred to outside New York (it’s simply strip steak to New Yorkers or Kanas City strip to Kansans), is a moderately tender cut of beef with good marbling and beefy flavor from the short loin of the cow. The Golden Steer Steakhouse serves its 16-ounce cut without the bone. This also happened to be Frank Sinatra’s favorite steak, which he preferred medium-rare and always topped with Golden Steer Steakhouse’s house-made Pizzaiola Sauce. Elvis, who happened to be the longest tenured guest at the Golden Steer Steakhouse, would devour two or three New Yorks in one sitting before his performance on stage, while race-car legend Mario Andretti, still a regular guest, prefers to take his time, often consuming his New York with Peppercorn Sauce during his three- to four-hour dining experience with family and friends.

Serves 1

1 16-ounce prime New York strip steak

Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

Pizzaiola Sauce (recipe follows)

Lightly season the New York strip with the seasoned salt. Place it on a prepared outdoor grill or under the broiler, and cook until your desired internal temperature is achieved, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Remove from the heat and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Plate and serve with Pizzaiola Sauce (or Peppercorn Sauce, page 000, for Andretti fans) over the top.

Pizzaiola Sauce

1/2 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 beefsteak tomato, chopped large

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 pinch salt

1 pinch white pepper

1/2 tablespoon salted butter

1 tablespoon Marinara Sauce (page 000)

1/2 tablespoon white wine

1 pinch oregano

1/2 teaspoon Roux (page 000)

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the tomato, garlic, salt, pepper, and butter. Toss well to combine, and cook for about 1 minute. Add the Marinara Sauce, white wine, and oregano, and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the Roux to reduce the water in the pan. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, or until the tomato is soft and the liquid is the consistency of a thin sauce. Remove from the heat, sprinkle with parsley, and serve atop the steak.

Suggested Pairing:

Banfi Brunello di Montalcino, Sangiovese, Italy

In 1978, John and Harry Mariani, owners of the US wine importer Banfi Vintners, established the award-winning vineyard estate and winery Castello Banfi in the Brunello region of Tuscany. This extraordinary property is a constellation of single vineyards located on ideal sites that cover about one-third of the seventy-one-hundred-acre estate. Ruby red with aromas of violets and vanilla and hints of licorice, this exquisite Sangiovese offers a velvety palate with tart-cherry flavors and traces of spice, along with supple tannins, good acidity, and a long finish.

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