Summer has kicked into full effect, and we are cruising, icy margarita in one hand, grilled shrimp skewer in the other. From barbecues to pool parties, we've got alfresco entertaining on the brain. Also on the mind? The season's most treasured ingredients: tomatoes, watermelon, peaches, cherries, zucchini — the list goes on! Besides these July gems, there are several other items we're currently obsessed with. Here they are: the things you've gotta have to make the most of the next 31 days.
Posts for July 1st 2011
The start of a long weekend calls for a celebratory cocktail, and today I'm toasting with this fizzy, raspberry mojito! It's got all of the usual suspects of a classic mojito — rum, lime juice, and mint — but it's given a girlie twist with the addition of raspberries and sparkling wine. The libation is fruity, refreshing, and downright delicious. The only problem with it? It's too easy to drink! Start making a second round before you've finished the first and you'll be good to go. Here's the easy recipe.
From Katie Sweeney
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup fresh herbs, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Additional seasonings, optional: minced garlic, spices like cayenne pepper or paprika, finely grated hard cheese or crumbled soft cheese, minced anchovy, minced shallot, etc.
- In a medium bowl, combine the butter with the herbs. Stir well to incorporate fully. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the additional seasonings if using.
- Use the butter immediately or refrigerate: spread a long sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface. Mound the butter in the middle and form into a log shape. Cover with the plastic wrap while shaping the butter into a tube, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to a month.
Makes about 3/4 cup butter.
Use the butter: on chicken, fish, or steak. Toss with cooked shellfish, pasta, or vegetables. Spread on bread and make garlic bread. Spread on cooked corn on the cob.
One of the easiest appetizers ever, which I've made countless times, is baked goat cheese. Normally I smother it in marinara sauce and serve it with toasted baguette, but recently I came across a recipe that turns the baked goat cheese into a Tex-Mex-style dip. The marinara is replaced with roasted tomato salsa and tortilla chips stand in for the crostini.
The resulting dip is so good I couldn't help but wonder, "why didn't I think of this?!" If you've got time, make your own salsa, but when you need an app fast, simply pour your favorite store-bought salsa over the goat cheese and pop it in the oven. For a festive Fourth of July spin, serve the red and white dip, hot from the oven, with blue corn tortilla chips. Here's the scrumptious recipe!
From Don Q
Raspberry Mojito Royale
6 mint leaves
1 1/2 oz. white rum
3/4 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup
Splash of Champagne or sparkling wine
- Muddle raspberries first, then mint.
- Add rum, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice.
- Shake vigorously.
- Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice.
- Top it with a splash of champagne or sparkling wine.
Makes 1 drink.
- Anthony Bourdain has a new Travel Channel show, 24-Hour Layovers. — Eater
- How long does baking soda really last? — KitchenDaily
- Get acquainted with the kati roll, India's famous street wrap. — Food Republic
- National restaurant performance has sunk for the first time in six months. — Wall Street Journal
- Check out the dramatic trailer for upcoming restaurant reality drama Famous Food. — VH1
- Zucchini recipes to help you get creative with Summer squash. — The Daily Meal
- BBQ sauce 101: Find out the difference between South Carolina mustard and East Carolina mop. — TLC
- Grant Achatz will release the first of Next restaurant's pay-what-you-want e-books. — Grub Street CHI
Inspired by Chaos in the Kitchen
Salsa Baked Goat Cheese
4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups of your favorite tomato salsa (homemade or storebought)
Blue corn tortilla chips, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a medium bowl, combine the softened cheeses with a whisk or fork.
- In an oven-proof serving dish, mound the cheese mixture in the middle. Pour the salsa around the cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the cheese and salsa are hot. Serve immediately with blue corn tortillas.