Get excited: tomorrow is National Piña Colada day! Since the piña colada is the only blended drink I enjoy, I wanted to share my favorite recipe. I first made these coladas back in 2005 when I lived in Spain. After a long day at the pool, I craved the tropical combination of pineapple, coconut, and rum. Since I couldn't order it in a bar, I found a recipe that calls for fresh pineapple. It's a simple concoction that results in a sublime cocktail. It's thick, frothy, fruity, and potent. Leave out the rum and you've got a special treat for the kiddies. While you make the drink, I highly recommend listening to "Escape/The Piña Colada Song" — it will get you in the mood! (I may have listened to it while writing this story . . .)
Posts for July 9th 2010
We're not going to lie: After a long holiday weekend of eating, drinking, and kicking back with family and friends, it was hard to get back to work. Thankfully, getting back to work here can be a boatload of fun — especially when we're making turkey burgers, coleslaw, and blueberry pie! Have you kept your eye on everything that's gone down? Take the quiz!Take the Quiz
- Salads, Seafood
- North American
1/2 medium red onion, very thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from about 8 limes)
8 ounces baby spinach
1 large mango (about 1 pound)
10 ounces large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Combine onion and 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon lime juice. Cover, and let stand for at least 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Place spinach in a large bowl. Peel mango. Cut along both sides of the pit to create two portions of mango. Slice each portion lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Add to spinach.
- Cut remaining mango from pit, and puree in a food processor or a blender with remaining 1/4 cup lime juice (you should have 1/2 cup puree).
- Strain onion and add to spinach, reserving juice. Toss shrimp with reserved lime juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
- Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook until soft, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add shrimp mixture, and cook until opaque, about 2 minutes. Add mango puree, toss, and heat through. Add cilantro. Remove from heat, and toss with spinach, onion, and sliced mango. Serve immediately.
- Main Dishes, Shellfish
1 cup Greek-style (2% or nonfat) yogurt
1 cup 1/4-inch cubes English hothouse cucumber
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice plus additional for drizzling
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 1/4 teaspoons aniseed, finely crushed, divided
Olive oil (for brushing and drizzling)
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left intact
8 cups baby spinach leaves
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Mix Greek-style yogurt, cucumber, dill, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, shallots, and 3/4 teaspoon crushed aniseed in small bowl; season tzatziki generously with salt and pepper. Chill.
- Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush grill with oil. Thread shrimp onto 4 metal skewers. Brush shrimp all over with olive oil; sprinkle with salt, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon crushed aniseed. Grill just until shrimp are opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side. Divide spinach among 4 plates; drizzle lightly with additional lemon juice and olive oil. Top each with 1 shrimp skewer. Spoon tzatziki over shrimp; sprinkle with feta cheese and serve.
- Salads, Greens
- North American
3 peaches, pits removed and sliced into large wedges
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups mixed greens
1/2 cup snap peas, sliced into 1-inch pieces
3 scallions, dark greens removed, sliced on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup, toasted slivered almonds
2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a grill to medium. Place the peaches on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Grill the peaches over medium heat until soft and grill marks appear, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and let cool.
- In a large bowl combine the greens with the snap peas, scallions, almonds, goat cheese, and peaches.
- In a small jar with a lid, combine the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Shake well to emulsify then pour over the salad in the bowl.
- Toss well to combine and enjoy immediately.
After I found myself drooling over CasaSugar's steak frites, I realized I was long overdue to make a large, juicy chunk of beef for dinner. That's when I remembered an interesting recipe I'd come across for a steak marinated in cachaça, the national liquor of Brazil. Although the meat should sit in this marinade for a couple of days, the prep is minimal, which makes this recipe an overall piece of cake.
A week later, I'm still waxing poetic about the dish and its bold, robust flavor; if you've ever had Chinese drunken chicken, this steak possesses the same booziness factor. Ask your butcher to give you the flattest, thinnest hanger steak he has; it'll make for a more even-cooking, attractive piece of meat. For a different steak dinner, keep on reading.
The other day when I was making jalapeño nacho cheeseburgers at home, my guy unassumingly asked me, "Are you making the patties from scratch?" I told him I most definitely was — and that I'd never think not to. Growing up, I remember my family eating premade, frozen patties from Sam's Club, but from the moment I realized it takes, oh, about 2.5 seconds to season ground meat and mold it into the shape of a patty, I started making my own and never turned back. What about you?
At least once a week I receive a call, text, or email from a friend or family member asking for culinary advice. "What's a good Champagne to give as a gift?" "Can I make roast chicken in my new Le Creuset pan?" "Do you have any easy barbecued chicken recipe suggestions?" While I love answering their questions and am honored they look to me for guidance, I don't know it all. When I have a cooking question of my own, I call my dad or email YumSugar. They always help me out! Since everyone has a person they look to for help in the kitchen, I want to know: who is yours? Is it your mother? Your older sister? Your friend who happens to be the editor of an online magazine devoted to food?