Heirloom Tomato and Roasted Lemon Salad with an Orange Vinaigrette

  Sometimes during the summer, all I want to eat is vegetables. Red peppers, tomatoes, onions, carrots, cucumbers…. Sometimes I juice them and drink them all day long, and other times I make a big salad. This salad was pictured … Continue reading

Tomatoes en Papillote with Eggplant Rollatini

Freshly picked tomatoes are dead sexy. Their skin is warm to the touch, smooth, and a rich red that screams to be bitten into. When you do, the flesh inside initially resists before giving way and melting in your mouth … Continue reading

Chilled Shrimp Salsa

As I’ve written about on my other blog, I cater events at my loft sometimes for shits and giggles. For these events, I have a bad habit of trying out recipes that I’ve never done before. I come up with the menu, buy the ingredients, and hope for the best. So far I haven’t had any major catastrophes and it’s generally a lot of fun!
Tuesday night we hosted an event for Nick Troiano, an independent, citizen-funded candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District who also happens to be totally awesome. Since the weather has been unbearably hot lately in NYC, I wanted to put food out that was light, fresh, and healthy without sacrificing bold flavors. Cue the idea for a seafood salsa. This chilled ‘salsa’ is delicious served on thinly sliced cucumber, as a dip for tortilla chips, or as a taco filling with avocado, sour cream, and queso fresco.

Chilled Shrimp Salsa on Cucumber Rounds

Chilled Shrimp Salsa 
*Serves 30-40 as an hors d’oeuvres or 10-15 as an appetizer
2 lb fresh or thawed shrimp, deveined and tails removed
4 cloves garlic
1/2 lemon, sliced
3 Tomatoes, minced
1 red onion, minced
1/3-1/2 cup cilantro, minced
3 limes, juiced
Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Fill a large pot with water and place over medium/high heat. Add garlic, lemon slices, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil.
  2. Turn heat off, add shrimp, stir gently until shrimp are cooked – about 2 1/2 minutes. Strain shrimp and set aside until cool.
  3. Once cool, chop shrimp into small pieces less than 1/2″ in size.
  4. Combine tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, and shrimp in a bowl. Add lime juice and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cover and return to fridge until chilled. Serve cold.

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A Twist on A Classic Mignonette

 

 

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Mignonette, the acidic sauce served beside or on top of oysters, helps to balance out oysters salty sweetness. You might not make one often, but having a mignonette in your cooking repertoire is a must. This is especially true as the weather heats up and summer barbecues fill our calendars. When you pick up your oysters, say no to the sickly sweet cocktail sauce and whip up your own quick mignonette. This recipe uses the milder and more nuanced white balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar and makes enough for one dozen oysters, scale up as needed and serve in a small dish.

Mignonette

  • 2 tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp minced parsley

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve.

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Crispy Skinned Salmon Over Rice with Wilted Spinach

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Need a simple dinner that’s healthy and sure to wow?

  1. Cook a pot of rice.
  2. Sauté minced shallots and chives in butter over medium heat.
  3. Pat salmon dry, season, and place in a VERY hot pan with coconut or peanut oil skin side down.
  4. Throw spinach into pan with shallots and chives. Turn heat to simmer and stir.
  5. After 4 minutes flip salmon, cook for 1-2 minutes before removing to paper towels. This will produce rare salmon with crispy skin. To ensure crisp skin, use a flexible metal spatula and do not try to flip the salmon until it releases easily from the pan.
  6. Pour a little bit of warm cream into the spinach.
  7. Plate.

*Note: The skin is not only edible, but delicious. If you won’t at least try it you are reprehensible.

Watermelon with Grilled Halloumi and Mint

Halloumi cheese is magic. It’s cheese…you can grill. Yes, grill, on heat. Serve it on top of chilled fresh watermelon with a sprig of mint for a light, fresh, and healthy hors d’oeuvre that no one will be able to turn down.

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Watermelon with Grilled Halloumi and Mint (Serves 8) 

  • 1 medium watermelon, chilled
  • 1 container halloumi cheese
  • 16 mint leaves
  • olive oil
  1. Slice watermelon into 1″-1.5″ cubes.
  2. Slice halloumi thinly (about 1/4″). Cut each slice into squares that fit on top of the watermelon cubes, trying to be as uniform as possible.
  3. Grease your hot grill or grill plate with olive oil. Place slices of halloumi on the grill, flip after 2 minutes or when they have grill marks. Grill on both sides and transfer to a plate.
  4. Top watermelon cubes with grilled halloumi. Garnish with a mint leaf.

Summer Corn Salad

SummerCornSalad

Summer brings a lot of amazing things – sun, longer days, vacation, and an excuse to drink rose like water. Summer’s bounty food wise is a marvel. Starting right about now and continuing until early-september farmer’s markets are overflowing with sweet corn, tomatoes, berries, and so much more. I don’t like to pick favorites with food but I have to say, I wait all year to eat just-picked sweet corn and sun-ripened tomatoes.

This salad is a flavorful, light, and healthy, recipe that makes use of those two amazing summer ingredients. Serve it alongside anything fresh off the grill. This past weekend in Sag Harbor we paired it with grilled whole lobster basted with an herb garlic butter.

Summer Corn Salad (Serves 6-8) 

  • 4 cups of cooked corn, cooked in the husk on the grill or steamed and cut off the cob.
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6 large basil leaves, chiffonaded (cut into thin strips)
  • 1/3 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite vinagrette
  • salt
  • pepper

Toss all ingredients in a salad bowl and serve!