Gulf Coast Flavor: A Foodie-Approved Fourth of July Feast

Summertime is finally here! There's no better way to celebrate the season than with a fabulous feast on the Fourth of July. We've rounded up our favorite foodie-approved menu with recipes from some of the best chefs around. Fear not! They're not complicatedóbut simply delicious and easy to prepare. You're guaranteed to delight your guests and their tastebuds, as well as your own.

We've chosen recipes that incorporate many of the finest and freshest ingredients that can be readily found on Florida's Gulf Coast. Make your shopping list and get cookin'! They can all easily be made right from the comfort of your Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores beach rental.

Jacques Pépin's Watermelon Salad with Feta & Mint

French chef extraordinaire Jacques Pépin knows what he's talking about when it comes to good food. Nothing says summer like a lovely, sweet and juicy watermelon. Check out the local markets and choose one to bring home with you. Grab some fresh mint while you're there!

Forget about soggy lettuce, this Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint combines a few simple ingredients that pack a punch when it comes to flavor. It's different, it's refreshing, and it's promised to be a picnic showstopper.

Some easy prep is all that's required (mainly the cutting or balling of the watermelon), the whisking of a few choice ingredients for the dressing, and then a quick toss of the watermelon, feta, olives an onion and you're done! You have a beautiful presentation and a mouthwatering taste of summer in a bowl.

You can find Jacques Pépin's Watermelon Salad with Feta & Mint recipe here.

Martha Stewart's Orange & Thyme Grilled Shrimp

Gulf Coast shrimp is the star of this dish! Pick some up at the local fish market and get ready to dress it lightly with some orange zest and juice, olive oil, garlic and fresh lemony thyme for quick marinade before skewering and grilling them to absolute perfection. Dipping sauce is included.

Martha Stewart has mastered combining simple elegance with culinary expertise and turned it into an art form. You won't spend a lot of time preparing this dish and it won't take long for it to disappear off the plate. Your guests will be coming back for more, that you can be sure of.

Check out Martha Stewart's Orange & Thyme Grilled Shrimp recipe here.

Food Network's Crab Cake Sliders

Gulf Coast seafood is a highlight of this area, so we're making the most of it this July 4th. Next up on the menu for your dining pleasure are some spectacular Crab Cake Sliders courtesy of the folks at the Food Network. Gulf Coast crab is available year round, so it's easy to find fresh, local lump crabmeat whenever you're here.

Golden and delicious crab cakes broiled to perfection sit nicely atop mini potato buns for the ultimate crab cake slider. Topped with crispy bacon, fresh tomato, thinly sliced red onion and lettuce then finished with a light and bright lemon-mayonnaise, the Crab Cake Sliders are sure to please every palate.

You can find Food Network's recipe for Crab Cake Sliders here.

Pioneer Woman's Spicy Pasta Salad

Who doesn't love Pioneer Woman's Ree Drummond's down-home and delightful dishes. Everything she touches turns out awesome! Her Spicy Pasta Salad is no different.

This summer side will become your new favorite and become a regular part of your meal planning. What sets it apart from other regular old pasta salads? Good question! This one has smoked Gouda cheese and chipotles in adobo to help turn up the heat and give it a little kick. There is also plenty of fresh summer basil in there to brighten the dish both in color and flavor.

Ready to give it a try? You can find the Pioneer Woman's Spicy Pasta Salad recipe right here.

Gordon Ramsay's Grilled Pineapple with Spiced Caramel

Love him or hate him, there's one thing everyone can agree on: Gordon Ramsay is a culinary genius. His creative hand and innovative vision shines through in every dish he creates. We're choosing his tropical-themed dessert as part of our foodie-approved Fourth of July feast. What's not to love about fresh pineapple and homemade caramel? Nothing!

It only gets better as Gordon Ramsay gives the pineapple some grill marks and adds some exotic spice to the caramel in true Master Chef style. He uses an indoor griddle in this recipe, but in the spirit of summer we'd use an outdoor grill. He even shows you how to expertly cut and slice up perfect pineapple spears. It's all surprising easily and the result is stunning.

Watch Gordon Ramsay himself create this dessert masterpiece. You can find the Grilled Pineapple with Spiced Caramel video and recipe here.

This is our Fourth of July menu this year. What's yours? Happy Independence Day!

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