Wednesday, June 13, 2012

5 Tasty Summer Recipes

I've lived in Florida my whole life and know how hot, humid, and downright fun summer can be for myself and others. I spend some of my time inside, preparing wonderful Summer-themed dishes for my family and decided to post some of my favorite recipes for you to try.

1. Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs

3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 2 inch pieces
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained

In a shallow glass dish, mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, sherry, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic powder. Stir the chicken pieces and pineapple into the marinade until well coated. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken and pineapple alternately onto skewers. Grill 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, or until chicken juices run clear.

yields 8 servings

2. Baked Lobster Macaroni & Cheese with Truffle Oil

1 box of medium pasta shells, cooked
1.5 lbs cooked lobster meat (tails and claws)
3 cups of milk
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 stick of butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
12 oz. shredded gruyere
9 oz. shredded extra sharp white cheddar
2 oz. shredded extra sharp yellow cheddar
2 oz. shredded fontina
White truffle oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 1/4″ slice of pancetta, diced
1 whole nutmeg
Fresh black pepper
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions, drain and drizzle with truffle oil to prevent sticking.

In a large saute’ pan, cook the pancetta until brown. Set aside and reserve the fat. Cut the lobster meat into bite-size pieces and squeeze excess water from it.

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and heavy cream, not allowing it to boil. In a large heavy pot, melt butter along with 2 tablespoons of the truffle oil. Whisk in the flour and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. (Chef’s note: “In the past, I’ve made the roux with true truffle butter, but time constraints forced us to improvise with the butter/oil mixture”). Still whisking, add the hot milk and cream and cook for another minute or two until it’s smooth and thickened. Fold in the gruyere and white cheddar, mixing well, until you have a smooth, creamy sauce.

Grate in about 3/4 of the nutmeg and about a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, mixing well. Add the pasta, stirring well, then fold in the lobster. Lightly coat the inside of a 9 X 13 casserole dish with oil and pour in the mixture. Sprinkle the top with the shredded yellow cheddar and fontina.

In a small bowl mix the panko with the cooked pancetta and its cooking fat. Top the casserole with the bread crumb mixture and bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

3. Scott Hibb's Amazing Whiskey Grilled Baby Back Ribs

2 (2 pound) slabs baby back pork ribs

Coarsely ground black pepper

1 tablespoon ground red chile pepper

2 1/4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup minced onion

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup tomato paste

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring
2 teaspoons whiskey
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/ 4 teaspoon paprika
1/ 2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dark molasses
1/ 2 tablespoon ground red chile pepper

Preheat oven to 300 degree F (150 degrees C)

Cut each full rack of ribs in half, so that you have 4 half racks. Sprinkle salt and pepper (more pepper than salt), and 1 tablespoon chile pepper over meat. Wrap each half rack in aluminum foil. Bake for 2 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir the onions in oil for 5 minutes. Stir in water, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, honey, and Worcestershire sauce. Season with 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, liquid smoke, whiskey, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, dark molasses, and 1/2 tablespoon ground chile pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 1 1/4 hours, uncovered, or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat, and set sauce aside.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.

Remove the ribs from the oven, and let stand 10 minutes. Remove the racks from the foil, and place on the grill. Grill the ribs for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Brush sauce on the ribs while they're grilling, just before you serve them (adding it too early will burn it).

yields 4 servings

4. Summertime Delight Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

Pecan Crust:

1 cup(s) (about 25 wafers) crushed vanilla wafers
1 tablespoon(s) granulated sugar
1/2 cup(s) toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoon(s) melted unsalted butter


3 ounce(s) white chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup(s) whipping cream
3/4 cup(s) granulated sugar
3 strip(s) lemon peel, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 pound(s) cream cheese, softened
1 cup(s) sour cream
2 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
4 eggs
1 cup(s) medium toasted pecans, chopped
Fresh raspberries

White Chocolate Frosting:

2 tablespoon(s) whipping cream
2 ounce(s) white chocolate, chopped
4 ounce(s) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon(s) lemon zest

Raspberry-Grand Marnier Sauce:

16 ounce(s) fresh or frozen raspberries
1/3 cup(s) granulated sugar, add more to taste
2 tablespoon(s) orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)

In a food processor, finely chop vanilla wafers. Add sugar and pecans; chop fine. With the machine running, pour in butter. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm.

Place white chocolate in small bowl. Gently warm cream and pour over the chocolate. Let stand, stirring often, until chocolate is melted. Cool slightly.

Place sugar and lemon peel in a food processor work bowl fitted with a metal blade. Process until the lemon peel is very fine, about one minute.

Add softened cream cheese and process until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl several times. Mix in white chocolate, cream, sour cream, and lemon juice. Add eggs, one at a time, and process until smooth, another 30 seconds.

Pour half of the mixture over the chilled crust, and drizzle with 1/4 cup of the Raspberry Sauce. Top with remaining batter.

Place the cheesecake in a baking pan about 2 1/2 to 3 inches deep and wide enough so there is at least an inch of room around the cheesecake. Pour boiling water into the baking pan to about half way up the sides of the spring form pan.

Bake in the center of a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Turn oven off and let the cheesecake remain in oven, with door closed, for another 60 minutes. Remove from water bath and cool in the pan, away from drafts. When cool, remove from pan and refrigerate.

To finish dessert, cut a piece of parchment or wax paper in a six-inch round, using a saucer as a guide, and place in the center of the cheesecake. Frost the sides and top, around the paper, with White Chocolate and Cream Cheese Frosting. Press chopped pecans into the frosting. Remove paper and chill until frosting is firm, about one hour. Spoon Raspberry Grand-Marnier Sauce into the center and garnish with fresh raspberries.

To make the frosting: Place whipping cream in a small bowl and gently heat. Add white chocolate to cream and stir until melted. Cool to room temperature. With electric mixer beat cream cheese and lemon zest together. Add white chocolate and cream; whip until smooth. If frosting is too soft, refrigerate until it is thick and creamy.

To make the sauce: In a saucepan, heat berries until just warm, and juice is released. If using fresh berries, add 1/4 cup water. Force the mixture through a sieve or juicer. Return juice to saucepan; discard solids. Add sugar to taste. If using fresh berries 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar should be adequate. If using pre-sweetened berries, little or no additional sugar may be needed. Cook over medium high heat until liquid is reduced by half. Remove from heat, add orange liqueur and cool.

5. Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi

3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1 clove garlic, crushed or to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 (6 ounce) mahi mahi fillets
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

In a shallow glass dish, stir together the honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic and olive oil. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper, and place them into the dish. If the fillets have skin on them, place them skin side down. Cover, and refrigerate for 20 minutes to marinate.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove fish from the dish, and reserve marinade. Fry fish for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, turning only once, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove fillets to a serving platter and keep warm.

Pour reserved marinade into the skillet, and heat over medium heat until the mixture reduces to a glaze consistently. Spoon glaze over fish, and serve immediately.

yields 4 servings

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