Posts Tagged ‘Cocktails’

From Dish Nicole:

So far this summer has been a blast. I can’t believe it’s already August; so much fun has been had. One of the highlights from this summer took place waaaaay back in June. My dear friend Leila (whom I never get to see) set out on a road trip from California to Southampton, New York. I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to stay with her at her Aunt Shelby’s beautiful beach house for the weekend. Of course I said hell yes and Leila and I got to catch up over cocktails, dips in the ocean and fabulous meals. Aside from the obvious benefits of having a beach weekend with a bestie, Shelby was an amazing hostess and even better cook. Everything she made was delicious but seemed effortless. She turned me on to the refreshing Aperol spritz and these ingenious grilled artichokes. Leila and I certainly were living the good life.

For the artichokes you will need:

4 large artichokes (figure about ½ per guest)
2-3 lemons, quartered
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 stick butter melted
3 sprigs thyme removed from stem

To prepare the artichokes you start by cutting off the top section. Next you need to trim the top of all of the leaves with scissors. Once all are trimmed, cut the artichokes in half and scoop out the “choke” (if you haven’t really worked with artichokes before, the choke is the fuzzy center). You want to remove all of the fuzz but try not to scrape out too much of the heart. Squeeze lemon juice on the hearts to prevent them from turning brown and set aside.

Next you will want to get out your largest pot and fill with about 2 inches of water. You can add some lemon slices in for extra flavor. Bring to a boil and add the artichokes. Reduce the heat to medium and cover. You will want to let the artichokes steam for about 15 minutes.

Now that the artichokes are occupied for a few minutes, prepare your grill and let it heat up. The next step is preparing the basting sauce. In a small skillet, melt butter over a low heat. Add in chopped garlic. Allow the butter to start to bubble and remove from heat. You just want the garlic to infuse the butter with flavor, but not brown. Pour the mixture into a small bowl and add the thyme, a tablespoon of lemon juice and salt and pepper.

Okay now its grill time! Hopefully you have a friend with you who’s preparing your cocktail while you grill. If not, prepare your cocktail before the grilling. Brush the artichokes with the butter sauce. Make sure to get it in between the leaves. Place the artichokes on the grill. Grill for about 5-10 minutes, basting with the butter sauce and turning frequently, until the tips are a little charred. Serve immediately.

Ingredients for the Aperol Spritz:
3 parts (ounces) Prosecco
2 parts Aperol
splash of soda or seltzer
Ice, half a slice of orange

For the Spritz you will want to take a large wine glass or a highball glass and fill it halfway with ice. Add in all parts and garnish with the orange. I prefer to use a large wine glass. It really shows off the beautiful orange color.

The final step is to enjoy the ‘chokes and cheers to good friends, fun in the sun and staying cool the rest of this hot east coast summer.

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Saucy Little Dish welcomes Guest Dish Linda Lou, aka The Cheeky Chef! We first met Linda when she helped to execute the stunning L-Train Dinner alongside friends of SLD A Razor, A Shiny Knife (a team that includes one of our very own Spicy Sides of Meatball). Very soon, Linda will embark on a cooking adventure in Sicily, but before she goes she has made time to share an original recipe with our lucky readers:

I’m Guest Dishing this month and wanted to make a real simple summer meal…paired with a cocktail, of course. I am a firm believer in using local seasonal ingredients to create my version of “travel-inspired food”. With my plans to head to Sicily for a few months this fall, I’ve been experimenting with some classic Italian dishes like this Cheeky Chef recipe for a carbonara dish. Carbonaro is the Italian word for “coal burner” so I’m picturing myself serving this dish to my tall, dark, and handsome Italian coal miner boyfriend after a long day of work. Obviously, this is how it all plays out in my mind. In reality, it’s a meal I can whip up quickly without too much use of the stove on a 90-degree day in Brooklyn.

Here is my version of an Italian carbonara made with fresh summer vegetables and a Strawberry Limoncellade bevvie.

Recipe makes 4 servings

1/2 lb. Orzo Pasta
1 large Zucchini
2 small Yellow Squash
4 Egg Yolks
1/2 cup Milk
1 T. Olive Oil
3 strips of Bacon
3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
Lemon Basil (or regular basil)

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add enough salt so it tastes like seawater. Prep the vegetables while the water comes to a boil. Slice the yellow squash and zucchini then scoop out the seeds from the inside and discard. Chop the veg on an angle into pieces about the same size as the pasta you’re using. Feel free to sub out the orzo and use penne, gemelli, or any other adorably shaped dried pasta.

When the water comes to a boil, cook the pasta according to the timing on the package. For orzo, it takes approximately 8 minutes. Slice the bacon into small pieces. Heat a saute pan with a tablespoon of oil and saute the bacon until crispy. Set aside on a paper towel until needed. After the bacon comes out of the pan, saute the zucchini, squash, basil and thyme in the oil until the veg are lightly softened.

In a small bowl, combine 4 egg yolks, 1/2 cup of milk (or cream), and about a half cup of Parmesan cheese. In my case, I was planning on using heavy cream and when I brought home my half-pint from the Spanish bodega on my corner, it had spoiled and I was forced to use milk instead. Guess what? It tasted just fine. You can use milk or cream to add to the egg mixture. Maybe adjust to use slightly less milk so it doesn’t become too runny. With a fork, mix together the egg yolks, cheese, and milk then season with salt and cracked black pepper. I like to use a lot of pepper in my carbonara but it’s up to you.

When the pasta is cooked, strain into a colander and add immediately to the vegetables, while hot. Save a little bit of pasta water to add to the carbonara if it gets too thick later. Mix the vegetables, pasta, and reserved bacon, then add in the egg mixture. Keep stirring to combine and cook over low heat until the eggs thicken the sauce. Not too high or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs. Add another handful of Parmesan cheese and garnish with additional fresh herbs.

While enjoying your Orzo Carbonara prepare yourself a nice little cocktail. Since I’m new to Saucy Little Dish, you might not know yet that “Where there is a Linda, there is a cocktail”. I made a delicious strawberry lemonade with TriStar Strawberries from the greenmarket and froze some in ice cube trays with bite-sized strawberries inside.

To make the Strawberry Limoncellade: place two lemonade cubes in a glass, add a little bit of chilled Limoncello, top with additional strawberry lemonade and a splash of sparkling water. Give it a stir, and enjoy with your pasta.

Buon Appetito!

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From Dish Danielle:

There’s nothing better than a bright spring-y PUNCH when having your best gals over for a night of clothes swapping. It’s finally the perfect weather to start introducing all things bubbly back into your beverage repertoire, and festive PUNCH cocktails for a night with the ladies seemed reason enough for me.

I wanted kumquats and Prosecco, but wasn’t quite sure how to make it happen in a light & balanced way. Luckily, with a little guidance from my cocktail slinging, Whisk & Ladle bartending roommate Nicholas Bennett, I was able to make my PUNCHY vision a reality. The finished product was bright and delightful, packed the perfect amount of PUNCH– but most importantly–was springtime sippable.

¾-1c kumquat simple syrup (recipe below)
¾ fresh squeezed lime juice, (about 8 limes worth)
1c white rum
½c Hawaiian dark rum, (I used Koloa, which is pretty darn sweet & vanilla-y)
1½c Prosecco
2c club soda
tbsp agave nectar (if needed)
handful of iced cubes

Kumquat simple:
3c water
3c sugar
2½c rinsed & sliced kumquats (you don’t need to de-seed cause you’ll strain it later– and the seeds are actually the sweetest part!)

First make your simple syrup: Throw above ingredients into a small saucepot and let boil for a while. You want the liquid to reduce to about half. Once it’s reduced strain it, and let it come to room temp. You’ll wind up with enough to make a double batch of the punch, or you can have it around the fridge for later use, (you can also save candied kumquats for snacking/ice cream topping purposes).

Now for assembly. This is really tough. Are you ready? Pour all ingredients except agave into a pretty punch bowl and stir. Here’s the most important step: taste it.

Does it need a touch more sweet? If so, add a bit of agave. Feel free to add more/less to your own liking. I wound up fiddling with my initial proportions and the above is pretty in keeping with the final ratio I settled on. It can certainly be tweaked for an even boozier batch for the right occasion.

Garnish with some lime wheels and kumquat slices, throw your best gals a pound and PUNCH it out.

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