Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Yummm! Summer Entertaining...

I cannot wait until my hubby-to-be and I have the means to get our own place! Do you know what one of the first things I am going to do? I am going to organize a dinner for my friends and familia.

I am so much of an entertaining dork!! I think it's the result of watching Curtis Stone on "
Take Home Chef" too much! LOL

I am always planning menus for dinners and lunches I plan on having. Since I love cooking and recipes, I thought I would make this something I post regularly in this blog. This is my first idea, an island-inspired summer dinner. Enjoy!



Honey & Ginger Roasted Plantain


2 large, fairly firm plantains
5cm ginger piece
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tsp thyme leaves
2 limes
50g unsalted butter
1 tbsp clear honey


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7.
  2. Peel 2 large, fairly firm plantains and cut into 2cm slices. Peel and thinly slice a 5cm piece of ginger and crush 2 cloves of garlic. Heat 2 tbsp sunflower oil in non-stick, oven-proof frying pan and add the plantain, ginger and garlic, as well as 2 tsp thyme leaves. Fry for a few minutes.
  3. Add the grated zest of 2 limes, season to taste and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the plantain for 10-12 minutes. Add 50g unsalted butter and 1 tbsp clear honey to the pan and return to the oven for 4-5 minutes.

Chef Jeff's Crispy Crab Cakes


  • 2 item large eggs
  • 3 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon barbecue sauce
  • 3 item dashes of Tabasco sauce
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 1 item Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup minced red onion
  • 3 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 item grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cup dried cornbread crumbs for filling and breading
  • 3 tablespoon canola oil


1. Combine the eggs, mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, barbecue sauce, and Tabasco in
a mixing bowl. (Note: If the crab is very moist, you may not need all of this egg mixture.)

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3. Using a spoon, gently fold three-quarters of the egg mixture into the crab. Season the
crab with salt and pepper as you mix it. Mix in the pepper, onion, cilantro, lemon zest and
juice, but be careful not to overmix; you want the crab to be as lumpy as possible. Gently
fold in the remaining egg mixture now if you need it.

4. Add enough cornbread crumbs to the mixture to absorb excess moisture. The mix-
ture should be just firm enough to hold together. Taste the mixture and adjust the season-
ings. Form into medium-sized crab cakes (about 21⁄2 inches in diameter). Cover and
refrigerate the cakes for 15 minutes.

5. Remove the crab cakes from the refrigerator and dust both sides with cornbread

6. Heat the canola oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Working in batches if necessary,
add the crab cakes to the oil and fry until crispy brown on both sides. Place the crab cakes
on a baking sheet and bake in the 350-degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and drain
on paper towels and serve immediately.

Grand Watermelon 'Tini


  • 4 item parts watermelon juice
  • 1 item part watermelon-flavored light rum (we used Bacardi Grandmelon)
  • 1 item ice


In cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients. Shake; pour into martini glasses. Garnish with watermelon wedges.


Red Stripe Chicken


  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds chicken
  • 2 cups canned coconut milk/cream
  • 1 cup Red Stripe beer
  • 1 Large onion (chopped)
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • Salt and pepper
Cut the chicken into serving pieces
De-deseed green bell pepper and chop up onion
Heat vegetable oil in Dutch pot
Brown the chicken in oil (both sides)
Remove the chicken
Pour off some of the oil.
Leave 2 table spoon of oil in the pot
Return the chicken to the pot
Add the coconut milk and red strip beer
Once the pot is boiling reduce to heat to a simmer
Cook for 30 minutes
Add onion, bell pepper
Add salt and pepper to taste
Let simmer for 15-20 minutes as the liquid reduces and thickens.
If the liquid evaporates before the chicken is done replenish more Red Stripe beer.
Serve while hot
Serving size 4-6

Chili-Rubbed Wild Salmon & Potatoes


  • 1 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved or quartered lengthwise
  • 1 item large fennel bulb, discard blemished outer stalks, trim root end and feathery tops (use as garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, rosemary or oregano and/or snipped green fennel top
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon oil
  • 4 item skinless wild salmon fillets (4 to 5 ounces each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder


Heat oven to 450°F. Lightly coat rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray. In bowl, combine potatoes, fennel, herb and 1 tablespoon oil; mix well. Spread vegetables on prepared baking sheet. Roast about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, rub salmon all over with 1 teaspoon oil, salt and pepper; sprinkle fillet tops with chili powder. Remove pan from oven; push vegetables to side. Arrange fillets in pan. Roast until fish is opaque throughout and potatoes are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Delicious with a mixed green salad.

Mixed Green Salad (of course!)


  • 1 (5-oz.) bag mixed salad greens, thoroughly washed
  • 2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup peeled, cubed jicama (about 1/2-inch cubes)
  • 6 tablespoons Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette


1. Toss together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Serve immediately with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette.

Mango Passion Punch


  • 1/2 item gallon mango nectar
  • 1 item quart passion fruit juice
  • 1 item quart pineapple juice


In large pitcher or punch bowl, combine all ingredients. Add ice. Garnish with fresh fruit. Add rum or vodka to make cocktails.


Pineapple Upside Down Nutty Spice Cake


  • 14 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 12 ounce pineapple rings
  • 5 to 10 item maraschino cherries
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 item egg
  • 1/2 cup cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts


Special equipment: 8-inch cast iron skillet

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a cast iron skillet on medium heat add 6 tablespoons butter, the brown sugar and pineapple juice. Simmer for a few minutes until sugar dissolves then remove from heat. Arrange pineapple slices and cherries in sugar glaze, filling in spaces with cherries.

In a large bowl sift flour, baking powder, salt, cloves, cinnamon and sugar. In a smaller bowl whisk egg, milk, vanilla and remaining butter. Pour wet ingredients over dry and blend until just combined, fold in walnuts. Pour cake batter into the cast iron skillet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let rest for 5 minutes before turning out onto a platter.

Melon Granitas


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 to 1 cup sugar, according to taste
  • 4 cup peeled, seeded ripe melon, cut into large chunks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


In small saucepan, heat water and sugar until sugar dissolves; let cool. In food processor, combine melon, lemon juice and sugar syrup. Puree until smooth. Pour mixture into baking pan. Freeze 1 to 2 hours, stirring every half hour until frozen solid. Break into chunks; return to food processor. Process mixture until smooth. Return to baking pan and freeze 20 to 30 minutes. To serve: Scrape and spoon into chilled parfait glasses or bowls.

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