After a day of play, this summertime feast comes together easily
After a day at the beach, treat your tribe to a sunset supper. Many of these tasty dishes can be prepared in advance and are best served chilled; others come together quickly on the stovetop. All of them take advantage of summertime produce picked in its prime.
Frozen Watermelon Margaritas
4 cups chopped watermelon
1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice
1⁄2 cup silver tequila
1⁄4 cup triple sec
4 lime wedges, for garnish
Place chopped watermelon on a large baking sheet and freeze until hardened, at least 2 hours.
In a blender, combine frozen watermelon, lime juice, tequila and triple sec and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish with a lime wedge. Serve immediately.
Blistered Shishito Peppers
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups whole shishito peppers, washed and dried
Flaky sea salt
Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Cook peppers, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister on all sides. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.
Black Bean and Corn Salad with Sweet Heat Vinaigrette
Yields: 6 servings as a side dish
2 ears fresh corn
1 cup red onion, chopped
1 (14.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
1⁄2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano
3⁄4 teaspoon cumin
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (2 peppers from 1 can)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the corn, cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the corn from the water and let cool.
In a large bowl, cut the kernels off the cob in strips. Add the beans, red onion, red bell pepper and cilantro.
Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or mini food processor; process until smooth.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Right before serving, slice the avocado in half and carefully remove the pit. Using a butter knife, cut a grid in each half of avocado and use a spoon to scoop the cut flesh into the salad bowl.
Gently toss the salad. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve cold. This dish makes a tasty side dish, or pair it with corn chips to serve as an appetizer.
Basil Green Goddess Dressing
1 1⁄2 cups fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 cup good mayonnaise
1 cup green onions, white and green parts, chopped
1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream
Place the mayonnaise, scallions, basil, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy paste, salt and pepper in a blender or Vitamix. Blend until smooth. Add the sour cream and process just until blended.
If not using immediately, refrigerate the dressing until ready to serve.
Grilled Wedge Salad
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 head iceberg lettuce, sliced into 6 portions
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
3 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Green Goddess Dressing, see recipe
Heat a grill pan over medium high heat and using a silicone basting brush, evenly coat the pan with vegetable oil. Carefully place salad wedges, cut side down, on grill pan for 5-6 minutes or cook until grill marks are visible.
Transfer each wedge of lettuce on a separate plate. Drizzle dressing over each serving and top with blue cheese, bacon and tomatoes. Serve with extra dressing on the side, if desired.
1 cup Old Bay seasoning
1 pound large (31/35) shrimp
2 cups good mayonnaise
Juice of half a lemon
1-2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
5 dashes Tabasco sauce
1⁄2 cup finely chopped green onions
3 stalks celery, finely chopped (1⁄2 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1⁄2 teaspoon white pepper
Sliced bread, crackers or Bibb lettuce, for serving
Bring 6 cups of water and the Old Bay to a boil in a large pot on high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until they start to curl and turn pink, about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath in a medium bowl.
Using a mesh strainer, transfer the shrimp to a bowl of ice water. Let sit for 2 minutes, drain the shrimp and then put them on paper towels to dry. Peel, devein and chop the shrimp. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.
In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, wine, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, onions, celery, parsley, garlic salt, cayenne, paprika and white pepper. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.
About 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve the salad, add the shrimp and return the bowl to the refrigerator. Serve immediately.
1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon table salt
1 1⁄2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Zest of half a lemon
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1⁄4 cup sour cream
3 to 4 tablespoons cold water
2 cups fresh blueberries
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Juice of half a lemon
Pinch of salt
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Coarse sugar for sprinkling
Dough: Combine flour, salt, sugar and zest together in a large bowl and whisk to mix. Quickly work the butter into the flour with a pastry blender (or with your fingertips) until mixture resembles a coarse meal. The largest bits of butter should only be the size of a pea.
Stir sour cream and 3 tablespoons water together in a small dish and pour into butter-flour mixture.
Using a flexible spatula, stir the dough as best as you can. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and use your hands to knead the mixture into a rough, shaggy ball.
Wrap in plastic and flatten into a disc. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Galette: Heat oven to 400 F. Sprinkle your counter or work surface with flour and remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll it out into a large round shape, about 14 to 15 inches across.
Carefully transfer the rolled dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Stir together all of the filling ingredients and spread them in the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. If you’re making a round galette, fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit.
Brush the egg wash over the outer crust. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake the galette for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes, then slide it onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve.
Alicia Cahill is the owner of The Kitchen Chick, 2402 Market St. in Galveston.