Fourth of July Feast

Stars and Stripes pie by The Upper Crust Pie Bakery

   Chef Renée Kelly was an obvious choice for our Fourth of July feast. This vibrant, flame-haired, powerhouse chef has already made a name for herself in the culinary community,


and she's only 35. At age 23, she refurbished a turn-of-the-century stone house in Shawnee known as Caenen Castle into a romantic venue for a private supper club, then weddings, and as of 2012, a magnificent farm-to-table dining destination that is open to the public.

   While "farm-to-table" is a ubiquitous catchphrase, Kelly comes by her food gospel quite personally. After a long bout with Candida albicans and various food allergies, Kelly became a devout convert to the organic, seasonal, natural eating that cured her symptoms. The very name of her eatery, Harvest, embodies the delicious bounty of the season, and Kelly works closely with various local farms for her meats and produce. However, healthy cooking is never sacrificed to flavor—this chef still employs plentiful bacon in her recipes and even wrote a blog entry curating small-batch butters! Her meticulous menu changes about every 10 days to reflect the new produce on hand. Think flavor-laden, all-American fare such as colorful farmers' market salads; ginger-honey glazed trout; chilled corn soup; crispy risotto "arancini" served with tomato jam; duck dumplings with orange apricot; and her famous "Scotch filet," which is prosciutto-wrapped and served with roasted potato, pistachio and parsley butter, demi-glace and sauteed spring greens.

   The restaurant itself offers various levels of dining from more formal tasting-menu suppers within the castle, to intimate drinking and snacking in the bar/lounge area, to alfresco Sunday brunches on the patio fueled by farm 'ritas.

   Kelly's custom Fourth of July menu, created exclusively for 435 Magazine and shot on the terrace of Harvest, bursts with vibrant tastes, bold colors and fresh flavors of the height of summer and, of course, makes use of that favorite summer holiday pastime: backyard grilling.


   The sister-run The Upper Crust Pie Bakery provided the culminating sweet note to Kelly's feast with and old-fashioned, from-scratch Stars and Stripes pie with cherry and blueberry filling. Elaine Van Buskirk and Jan Knobel's charming Overland Park bakery produces a bevy of nostalgic treats from lemon sugar cookies, salted caramel pecan bars and Snickerdoodles, to various fruit (raspberry, blackberry, gooseberry), cream, and meringue pies listed on a daily chalkboard menu. And if you order a slice for in-house consumption, you can get it a la mode or with cold milk served in a glass bottle with a straw—Norman Rockwell-style Americana at its finest.

Renée Kelly's Harvest, 12401 Johnson Drive, Shawnee Mission, Kan., (913) 631-4100,

The Upper Crust Pie Bakery, 7943 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, Kan., (913) 642-2999 or 115 Westport Road (on the lower level of Pyrde's), Kansas City, Mo., (816) 561-4990,



Glazed Flank Steak

(serves 4-6)



2 tablespoons chile paste

1 tablespoon lime juice

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup soy sauce 

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon ground pepper


1-1 ½ pounds flank steak


Mix all ingredients together for the marinade.

Pour over the flank steak, reserving 2 tablespoons, for glazing.

Marinate the steak for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 3 hours.


Over high heat, grill the flank steak on each side for 60 seconds.  Move over to a medium heat side of the grill and cook until desired temperature is reached.  Flip the meat halfway through the cooking time.


Orange Beets 

(serves 4-6)


2 large beets, large, washed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon salt


1 orange, segmented, and orange zest

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon pumpkin seed oil

1 teaspoon honey

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper


Coat the beets in olive oil and salt. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Peel and cut into round coins.

Mix together the orange, zest, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper.  Toss the beets in this mixture.  Drizzle with the pumpkin seed oil. 

Serve with arugula, mache or by itself.



Lacquered Chicken

(serves 4- 6)

1 whole chicken, back cut away.



4 cloves of garlic

2 shallots, cut in quarters

2 lemons, halved

1 cup of fresh, torn herbs, including tarragon, parsley, thyme, cilantro

1 tablespoon of coriander, whole

2 cups sugar

1 cup salt

1 gallon of water


Place prepared chicken in brine for 6-8 hours.



1 cup hoisin sauce

¼ cup honey

1 orange, juiced

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons fish sauce or coconut liquid aminos

1 teaspoon chile flakes


Mix all together.  Baste the chicken every 20 minutes, reserving about 1 tablespoon for the citrus.


Grilled citrus:

2 lemons

2 limes

2 oranges

1 tablespoon of the glaze


Brush each piece of citrus with the glaze.  Grill flesh side down on medium heat for 3 minutes.


For the chicken:

2 stalks lemon grass, bruised

1 brined chicken


Set your grill or smoker at 210 F. Place lemon grass on the grates and chicken with bone-side down on top of the lemon grass.  Smoke chicken for 45 minutes; then flip so the skin is touching the lemon grass.  Smoke for 45 minutes, flip again, and smoke for an additional 45 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 F. Glaze every 20 minutes.


Grilled Romaine Salad

(serves 4-6)



4 heads of romaine split in half lengthwise

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

4 pieces bacon

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon pepper


Heat oven to 400°F.  Place the bacon on a sheet pan. Sprinkle each piece of bacon with sugar and pepper. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until crispy.  Drain the bacon fat and reserve for use in the dressing. 



2 charred poblanos

2 tablespoons bacon drippings

3 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon honey

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper


To char poblanos, place on the grill for 5 minutes per side or until the skin blisters and turns black.  Place in a bowl and wrap in plastic.  Rest for 30 minutes.  Rub off the charred skin, and remove the seeds.


Place dressing ingredients in a food processor and pulse until mixed together.


Salad Toppings:

1 quart strawberries, topped and cut in half

1 cup of hearts of palm cut in 1/4 “ coins

½ cup queso fresco


Brush the heads of romaine with the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.  Grill for 3 minutes.  Drizzle with dressing. Finish with the strawberries, bacon, hearts of palm and queso fresco. (You may use feta too!)



Truffle Salt Baked Potatoes with Herb Greek Yogurt

(serves 6-8)


8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and scrubbed

¼ cup truffle salt

2 tablespoons olive oil


Herb Yogurt:

4 ounces Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon truffle salt

1 teaspoon chives, chopped

1 teaspoon thyme, chopped

1 teaspoon sage, chopped

½ teaspoon lemon zest


Mix together and refrigerate.


For the potatoes:

Coat each potato in olive oil and drench in truffle salt, creating a crust.  Wrap in foil and place on the grill for 45-60 minutes, depending upon the size of the potato.


Remove, cut a slit in the top of the potato, and dollop with the herb yogurt.


Vegetable Linguine

(serves 4-6) 



4 carrots, peeled and spirialized

2 zucchini, spiralized

1 small yellow sweet onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil



½ cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon lemon juice

zest of 1 lime

1 teaspoon cilantro, chopped

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper


Mix together and set aside.


Heat a sautee pan with the olive oil. Sweat the yellow onion and garlic, about 2 minutes. Toss in the carrots and zucchini and sautee for 2 minutes. Drizzle with dressing.


Grilled Peaches 

(serves 6) 


6 ripe peaches, washed and pitted

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons clover honey, plus extra for garnish

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 pinch sea salt

blueberries for garnish (optional)

lavender for garnish (optional)

Serve with ice cream or gelato of your choice. I like sea salt and caramel gelato or marscapone gelato. 


Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.

Toss the peaches into the marinade, and let stand for 20-30 minutes. Then place on hot grill for about 2 minutes on each side.


Scoop ice cream on top, garnish with lavender (optional), blueberries (optional) and drizzle with additional clover honey. Note: these grilled peaches go great with the buttermilk panna cotta recipe.



Buttermilk Panna Cotta

(serves 6)


1 tablespoon powdered gelatin

15 ounces buttermilk

13.5 ounces coconut milk

1 vanilla bean pod, split

2 cups chilled heavy cream or milk substitute plus 1 teaspoon extra of the powdered gelatin

¼ cup confectioners’ sugar or 1/8 cup Stevia baking substitution

1 teaspoon cardamom


Sprinkle gelatin over 3 tablespoons water and allow to bloom.  (If using a cream substitution, add the extra 1 teaspoon gelatin here plus 2 teaspoons more of water.) Heat the buttermilk and coconut milk, with the vanilla bean pod, just to scalding (tiny bubbles along the side of the sauce pot).  Whisk in the gelatin, lower heat, and stir with a rubber spatula until gelatin is dissolved.  Remove from heat.


In a bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar until dissolved.  Strain the coconut mixture into the cream mixture.  Stir until incorporated.  Place mixture in an ice bath until cool, but not set.


Pour mixture into 6 serving dishes, and chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours.



Stars and Stripes Flag Pie by Upper Crust Pie Bakery 


Filling for cherry section of pie

2 pounds tart cherries
(we use fresh-frozen tart cherries, water-packed)

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1/2 teaspoon red food coloring (optional)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter


To make the cherry filling:

Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan, gradually add the cherries and juice. Place saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and is thickened. Simmer for one minute, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and blend in the lemon juice, almond extract, red food coloring (if using), and butter. Set aside to cool.


Filling for blueberry section of pie:

1 cup wild blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

dash of salt

dash of lemon juice


To make the blueberry filling:

Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon & salt. Add blueberries and gently toss with sugar mixture. Add lemon juice, lightly tossing.


Pie crust recipe: 


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter

1/3 cup ice water (approximately)


Mix together flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Working quickly to prevent softening, cut butter into ¼-inch pieces.  Add the butter to the dry ingredients.  Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, chop the butter into pie-sized pieces.  Drizzle 1/3 cup of ice water over the flour and fat mixture.  Mix together with rubber spatula until mixture looks evenly moistened and begins to form small balls.  Press down on the dough with the flat side of the spatula.  If the balls of dough stick together, you have added enough water; if they do not, drizzle over the top 1 to 2 tablespoons more of ice water.  Cut the water into the dough, then press with your hands until the dough coheres.  Divide the dough in half, press each half into a thick, flat disk, and wrap tightly in plastic.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Once chilled, roll out.



Ingredients for assembling the pie: 

1 egg

2 disks of refrigerated pie dough


To assemble the pie:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Fit one round of dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the edge leaving approximately ½-inch overhang. Refrigerate while you continue. Cut the remaining piece of dough into approximately five 1 ¼-inch-wide strips as well as 4 to 5 star shapes.
Spoon the blueberry mixture into the upper left-side section of dough-lined pie plate. Spoon the cherry mixture in the remaining portion of pie plate. Arrange stars and strips of dough on top of filling to resemble an American flag. Roll up and crimp the edges of the pie crust. Lightly beat an egg and brush on the top. Sprinkle lightly with sugar.
Place the pie on a lined baking sheet in the oven and bake until filling is bubbling, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let the pie cool before serving.