Celebrating Sun, Season

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yesterday we had a wonderful solstice celebration. good food and drink, great company, perfect weather and a few heart felt games of cornhole.

the menu included roasted dill potatoes with garlic mayo, cold soba noodle salad, caprese salad, mango shrimp, grilled veggie/chicken kabobs (no recipe here–be creative: lots of veggies. marinate everything overnight with your favorite spices and quality olive oil and vinegar), veggie pot stickers with spicy soy dipping sauce, quinoa salad with mint, feta and cucumbers, build your own berry shortcakes, and pimm’s cup.

DILL POTATOES
1 pound new red potatoes, bite size dicing
1/3 cup fresh dill
quality olive oil
salt, pepper, cayenne—to taste

Dice potatoes toss with dill, oil, and spices. 

Roast at 400 until tender. About 20 minutes. Serve with garlic mayo (made with 1 clove garlic, diced and 1/3 cup mayo).

SOBA NOODLE SALAD
15 ounces soba noodles
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons lime
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 carrots, grated
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup smoked tofu, diced

Cook soba noodles–add to boiling water and cook until tender (about 5 minutes). While noodles are cooking, mix all other ingredients together. Drain and rinse the noodles with cold water. Toss noodles in with veggie/sauce mixture. Refrigerate minimum of 1 hour–I made the salad the night before. Serve cold.

CAPRESE SALAD
1 cup baby mozzarella balls, drained
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

mix ingredients, drizzle with oil and vinegar and season to taste. so fresh, so simple, so good.

MANGO SHRIMP
1 ripe mango
8 ounces fully-cooked shrimp, i used salad shrimp
1/4 cup finely-diced red onion
1 large avocado, diced
1/4 cup finely-chopped cilantro
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and dice the mango. Mix the mango and the shrimp together in a bowl. Add the avocado, onion, cilantro, lime juice, cayenne, salt and pepper. Cover and chill until time to serve.

VEGGIE POT STICKERS
1 red onion, diced
2 tablespoon minced ginger 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 cup white cabbage, shredded
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup chopped chives
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 package wanton wrappers
Canola oil

In a wok, add a little oil and saute onions and ginger. Add the mushrooms and stir. Add the cabbage, carrots and chives. Season. Cook until mixture is soft. Add the sesame oil and cilantro when mixture is cooled. Check for seasoning. Assemble wanton wrappers with mixture. In a hot non-stick pan, coat with oil and place dumplings. When bottom gets brown, add 1/4 cup of water and immediately cover. This will steam the dumplings. Carefully watch the dumplings and completely evaporate the water so that the bottom gets crispy again and sticks to the pot. Makes about 25.

SPICY SOY DIPPING SAUCE
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup sliced scallions
1 teaspoon sesame oil

QUINOA SALAD
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cucumber
4 oz feta
juice of one lemon
1/3 cup fresh mint
1 tomato, diced
2 cloves garlic
quality olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook quinoa and let cool (one cup quinoa, two cups water–takes about 20 minutes to cook). Let cool.  Add diced cucumber, mint, feta and tomato to quinoa and mix. dress with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. 

BERRY SHORTBREAD STATION
1 pint blueberries
1 carton strawberries
1/2 pint blackberries
Country Style biscuits
whipped cream
homemade strawberry rhubarb compote (my first attempt at cooking with rhubarb–rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, lemon, cooked until tender and delicious!)

Bake biscuits, wash and mix berries together.  assemble as you please, top with plenty of whipped cream….YUM!

PIMM’S CUP
1 part Pimm’s No. 1 (gin based liqueur)
1 part lemonade
1 part cucumber water
spash of ginger beer (reed’s is a great option)
dress class with lemon wedge and cucumber slice

We had this version while on vacation in Asheville.  The cucumber water (64 oz warm water, 1 cucumber, juice of 1 lemon–mix and refrigerate) gives this drink a refreshing, clean taste.

Happy summertime!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr0tTbTbmVA&feature=related

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