When it's 90+ degrees outside, the last thing you want to do is turn on the stove or oven! Whether you've got friends stopping by or just want a great tasting snack, these are two of my favorite "no-cook" recipes.
Crispy Lettuce Wraps w/ Shrimp, Bean Sprouts, & Peanut Dipping Sauce
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon oriental sesame oil
1 1/4 pounds cooked, deveined jumbo shrimp, rinsed and tailed removed
1 medium-size red bell pepper, cut into matchstick-size strips
1 medium carrot, cut into matchstick-size strips
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts (about 3 ounces)
18 leaves from hearts of romaine lettuce
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
For dipping sauce: In a blender (or mix by hand with a whisk) combine all ingredients until the mixture is smooth and transfer the sauce to a bowl. The sauce may be made 2 days in advance and kept covered and chilled.
To assemble: Arrange romaine lettuce leaves on serving platter. Divide filling among leaves. Sprinkle with chopped green onions and serve, passing dipping sauce separately.
Flatbreads with Ricotta, Prosciutto, Fresh Fig and Honey
4 pre-made flatbread rounds or ovals, about 8 inches in diameter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh ricotta, strained
½ lb thinly sliced prosciutto
1 pint fresh figs, quartered
2 tablespoons honey
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
To assemble: Brush each flatbread with olive oil. Spread ¼ cup of the ricotta on each flatbread leaving 1 inch space to outer edge. Divide remaining toppings evenly and layer each flatbread with the prosciutto, and figs. Drizzle with honey and season with salt and pepper. Cut flatbreads into fourths and serve.
Anyone who has eaten a Haitian pattie knows how delicious (and addictive) they are! This recipe uses a French style pre-made dough. Much easier than preparing the dough yourself. I've also written this so that you can prepare one large pattie and slice it, however if you've got the extra time, by all means prepare them individually (as in the photo above).
Dough: 1 package of Dufour (preferred) or Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry dough. Remove from freezer before prepping filling.
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic clove, minced
1 medium shallot, diced
1 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. Adobo seasoning salt
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper, chopped
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. rosemary
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. olive oil
1 egg yolk + 1 TB milk
Preheat oven to 375°.
Over medium heat, heat oil in a skillet or saucepan. Add onions, garlic, shallot, peppers and seasoning mixture. Sautee for 1 minute until softened. Add the meat and simmer with water until meat is tender and water is absorbed. Add tomato paste and stir well until medium brown about 5-7 minutes.
Lightly dust a clean surface area with flour to prevent dough from sticking. Using a rolling pin, separately roll two sheets of the the dough to remove any creases. Place the filling in in the center of the first layer of dough, leaving half inch around. Brush the edges with the egg wash, then gently lay the top layer of puff pasty dough on top. Seal the edges by crimping with a fork. Brush more egg wash on top and cut a small hole in the center of the pattie (this is called a "vent" and allows steam to escape during baking).
Bake at 300° until golden brown. Cut into 12 squares. Serve warm.
Watermelon Margarita Wedges
This is my favorite recipe for a Summer party. I’ve been making this recipe for over 10 years and it’s always a hit! I love how refreshing the watermelon tastes, but you are also enjoying the great taste of a margarita.
1 small seedless watermelon, quartered and cut into 1-inch wedges
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
½ cup tequila
¼ cup orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier (Triple Sec works also)
¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
½ bunch fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced, for garnish
flake salt, for garnish (optional)
- Bring sugar and water to a boil until sugar dissolves. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Arrange watermelon in a shallow serving bowl. Pour sugar-water mixture, tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice over watermelon.
- Refrigerate for one hour (or up to one day) and allow margarita mixture to soak into watermelon.
- To Serve: Garnish with mint leaves and flake salt (or margarita salt)
As with EVERY year, August is a light month in the catering and events world. New Yorkers mistake themselves for Europeans and all go on "holiday". I decided this would be a perfect time to work on a project I've been talking about forever. I'm currently shooting a fun web series that is full of cooking and entertaining tips, but you'll also get to see me doing regular $h!t in and around NYC. Watch me struggle to lose these last few lbs (my baby is 13 months!), explore new ways to stay fabulous on a budget, and meet some of my favorite people. It all builds up to what is bound to be a weekend of surprises when I head to Las Vegas for one of my bestie's wedding!
Sneak peak pic: This is my answer to the oh-so-popular "avocado toast". Unfortunately, I'm allergic to avocado. This is sweet pea puree with fresh herbs on baguette toast topped with smoked salmon, a fried egg and creme fraiche. Yep! That's the kinda stuff we're serving up!
Coming soon! Fall 2015