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

Raspberry and Blackberry Buttermilk Shortcakes

This is a Guest Post by my wonderful and very culinarily talented sister Martha Biddle. Martha is a knitter, baker, juice enthusiast, summer camp counselor, and aspiring psychologist.    My favorite summer dessert is strawberry shortcake. While my girlfriend’s family make … 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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Grilled Leg of Lamb with Mint Pesto

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Grilled Leg of Lamb with Mint Pesto (Serves 6-8)
  • LAMB
    • 3 1/2 -4 1/2 lb Butterflied Leg of Lamb
    • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
    • 1/2 cup chopped mint
    • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste
  • MINT PESTO
    • 1/2 cup mint
    • 1/3 cup parsley
    • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Coat lamb in olive oil and lemon juice. Combine Salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs in a small bowl. Press into the lamb and let sit covered in a cool room for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hrs.
  2. Start grill. It should be VERY HOT.
  3. Blend all pesto ingredients together in a blender, set aside.
  4. When the grill is hot, lift the lamb from the marinate, allowing excess oil to drip off and place on the hottest part fatty side down. Because of the oil and herbs it will probably flair up. That’s awesome. Just step back so you don’t burn your eyebrows off.
  5. Grill for ~10 minutes per side depending on the size of the roast. Note: grill longer if you don’t like your meat rare/medium rare.
  6. Let sit for at least 15 minutes, preferably longer, before slicing. Top with mint pesto and serve with warm pita, grilled vegetables, and tzatziki sauce.

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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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.