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    21 DIY Summer Appetizers: Countdown to Summer Solstice

    June 17, 2013

     

    Summer may already be here for a few of us, but the summer solstice has yet to arrive! June 21st marks the first day of summer, and in anticipation of the longest day of the year, we've found 21 great DIY appetizers for your summer solstice party or any summer barbeque. Check them out!

     

    1. New England Steamers

     

    Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine


    Ingredients
    1 celery stalk
    water
    1/4 onion
    1 bay leaf
    peppercorns
    3 lbs. steamer clams
    melted butter (optional)

     

     

    Directions


    1. Bring 2 1/2 cups water, 1/4 onion, 1 bay leaf, 1 quartered celery stalk and a few peppercorns to a boil in a large pot. Add 3 pounds scrubbed steamer clams; cover and cook until they open, about 10 minutes (discard any that do not open). Drain, then strain the liquid. To eat, remove the clams from their shells and rinse in the liquid. Dip in melted butter and serve with lemon wedges.


    2.  

     

    2. White Bean Dip with Pita Chips

     

    Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis via foodnetwork.com


    Ingredients
    1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
    2 cloves garlic
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1/3 cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
    1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
    Salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    6 pitas
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    Directions
    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

     

     


    1. Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.

    2. Cut each pita in half and then into 8 wedges. Arrange the pita wedges on a large baking sheet. Pour the remaining oil over the pitas. Toss and spread out the wedges evenly. Sprinkle with the oregano, salt, and pepper. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until toasted and golden in color.

    3. Serve the pita toasts warm or at room temperature alongside the bean puree.


    4.  


    3. Mini Italian Club Sandwiches

    Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis via foodnetwork.com


    Ingredients
    3 large eggs
    2 tablespoons whipping cream
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon (about) unsalted butter
    10 slices bacon
    2 (8-ounce) round loaves focaccia bread (7-inch diameter)
    1 cup purchased pesto
    8 ounces thinly sliced turkey
    4 ounces thinly sliced provolone cheese

     

     

    Directions


    1. Whisk the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl until well blended. Heat a 6-inch-diameter nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Brush the skillet with some butter. Pour 1/4 cup of the egg mixture into the pan, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. Cover and cook until the egg crepe is just set, about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Invert the skillet over a plate, and allow the egg crepe to drop onto the plate. Repeat to make 4 crepes total, brushing the skillet with melted butter as needed and stacking crepes on the plate.

    2. Cook the bacon in a heavy large frying pan until crisp. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.

    3. Preheat a griddle or grill pan over medium-high heat. Cut the focaccia horizontally in half. Place the focaccia cut side down on the griddle and cook until the focaccia is heated through and golden brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Spread the pesto over the toasted sides of each halved focaccia. Cover the bottom halves of the focaccia with the egg crepes, turkey, provolone and bacon, dividing equally. Cover with the top halves of focaccia, pesto side down. Cut the sandwich into bite-size wedges. Arrange the sandwiches on a platter and serve.


    4.  

     

    4.Barbecued Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps

     

    Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray via foodnetwork.com


    Ingredients
    2 cups, 4 handfuls, fresh shiitake mushrooms
    1 1/3 to 1 1/2 pounds thin cut chicken breast or chicken tenders
    2 tablespoons light colored oil, such as vegetable oil or peanut oil
    Coarse salt and coarse black pepper
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 inch ginger root, finely chopped or grated, optional
    1 orange, zested
    1/2 red bell pepper, diced small
    1 small tin, 6 to 8 ounces, sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
    3 scallions, chopped
    3 tablespoons hoisin, Chinese barbecue sauce, available on Asian foods aisle of market
    1/2 large head iceberg lettuce, core removed, head quartered
    Wedges of navel orange -- platter garnish

     

     

    Directions


    1. Remove tough stems from mushrooms and brush with damp towel to clean, Slice mushrooms. Chop chicken into small pieces.

    2. Preheat a large skillet or wok to high.

    3. Add oil to hot pan. Add chicken to the pan and sear meat by stir frying a minute or 2. Add mushrooms and cook another minute or two. Add salt and pepper to season, then garlic and ginger. Cook a minute more. Grate zest into pan, add bell pepper bits, chopped water chestnuts and scallions. Cook another minute, continuing to stir fry mixture. Add hoisin Chinese barbecue sauce and toss to coat the mixture evenly. Transfer the hot chopped barbecued chicken to serving platter and pile the quartered wedges of crisp iceberg lettuce along side. Add wedged oranges to platter to garnish. To eat, pile spoonfuls into lettuce leaves, wrapping lettuce around fillings and squeeze an orange wedge over.


    4.  


    5. Pork Lettuce Wraps with Grapefruit

    Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine

    Ingredients
    2 tablespoons fish sauce
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
    3 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
    1 medium pink grapefruit
    3 tablespoons chopped roasted salted peanuts
    1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
    1 teaspoon hot Asian chili sauce (sambal oelek or sriracha)
    2 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1/2 pound lean ground pork
    1 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
    1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
    Romaine or Bibb lettuce leaves, for wrapping

    Directions


    1. Mix the fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar in a small bowl; set aside.

    2. Lightly toast the coconut in a skillet over medium heat; cool. With a sharp knife, peel and segment the grapefruit, removing the white pith. Toss the segments in a bowl with the coconut, peanuts, mint, chili sauce and scallions.

    3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pork and cook, breaking it up, 4 to 5 minutes (do not brown). Transfer the meat to a bowl and drain any excess liquid; set aside. Raise the heat to high, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet, then the ginger and red onion; cook to soften, about 1 minute. Add the onion to the meat, pour in the fish-sauce mixture and gently toss.

    4. Divide the pork mixture among lettuce leaves and top each with some of the grapefruit salad.


    5.  

     

    6. Asparagus and Zucchini Crudi

    Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis via foodnetwork.com

     

     

    Ingredients
    2 zucchini, trimmed
    1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 ounce shaved Pecorino Romano, for garnish

    Directions


    1. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the zucchini into long thin strips. Thinly slice the asparagus on a diagonal. Toss the slices together and place the salad in a serving bowl.

    2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and drizzle over the vegetables. Toss to coat. Garnish with the pecorino shavings. Serve.


    3.  


    7. Margarita Chicken Skewers

    Recipe courtesy of Sandra Lee via foodnetwork.com

     

    Ingredients
    1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 12 strips
    1 10-ounce can frozen margarita mix, thawed
    2/3 cup tequila
    1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    2 tablespoons chicken seasoning
    Vegetable oil, for the grill
    Baby arugula and lime halves, for serving

    Directions


    1. Place the chicken, margarita mix, tequila, cilantro and chicken seasoning in a large resealable plastic bag; squeeze out the air and seal. Massage the bag to combine the ingredients. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, soak 12 wooden skewers in water.

    2. Preheat a grill to medium. Remove the chicken from the marinade; thread each piece onto a skewer. Oil the grill grate; grill the chicken skewers for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until the meat is cooked through. Serve on a platter with arugula and lime.


    3.  


    8.Shore Is Good Seafood Dip
    Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen via foodnetwork.com

     

    Ingredients
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 medium green bell pepper, diced
    1 medium onion, diced
    2 stalks celery, diced
    1/2 of a 10 3/4-ounce can cream of shrimp soup (discard top half and use bottom part of soup)
    1 cup mayonnaise
    1/2 pound freshly grated Parmesan
    1 (6-ounce) can crabmeat, picked free of any broken shells, drained
    6 ounces shrimp, fresh or canned, drained
    1/2 teaspoon white pepper

    Directions


    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

    2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, onion, and celery and saute for 2 minutes. In a bowl, combine the soup, mayonnaise, Parmesan, crabmeat, shrimp, and pepper. Stir the sauteed vegetables into the seafood mixture and spoon this mixture into a lightly greased 8 by 11-inch casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with toast points or crackers.


    3.  


    9. Chicken Flautas with Avocado Cream
    Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson via foodnetwork.com

     

    Ingredients
    For the Flautas:
    Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
    1 tablespoon butter
    1/2 small red onion, diced
    1 jalapeno, diced
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat finely shredded
    1 cup salsa
    1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
    1 cup shredded Cheddar/Monterey jack blend
    1 lime, juiced
    Salt
    16 (5 to 6-inch) flour tortillas
    2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce, for serving
    For the Avocado Cream:
    1 very ripe avocado, halved, pitted and flesh removed
    1 (4-ounce) container sour cream
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    Salt
    Special equipment: toothpicks

    Directions


    1. Fill a large pot with enough oil to reach 2 inches up the side of the pan. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reads 375 degrees F. To make the flautas: In a pan over medium heat melt butter and saute onions and jalapenos until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and cayenne pepper and cook until fragrant, another 2 minutes. Add chicken and salsa; stir to combine. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro, cheese and lime juice. Let cool slightly.

    2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

    3. Working with 4 tortillas at a time, spread a heaping spoonful along the middle of each tortilla. Roll tortilla tightly around the filling and secure with a toothpick. Using tongs, hold each flauta in hot oil until firm, then release to continue cooking. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt. Keep flautas warm in the oven on a sheet tray while assembling and cooking the remaining tortillas.

    4. To make the Avocado Cream: In a serving bowl, mash avocado, sour cream and lime juice until smooth. Season with salt, to taste.

    5. To serve, arrange flautas on a platter of shredded lettuce and serve with Avocado Cream on the side.


    6.  


    10. Roasted Eggplant Spread

    Recipe courtesy of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook via foodnetwork.com

    Ingredients
    2 medium eggplants, peeled
    1 red bell pepper, seeded
    1 red onion, peeled
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    3 tablespoons good olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    2 tablespoons tahini
    3 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish

    Directions


    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

    2. Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, cayenne and salt and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking. Cool slightly.

    3. Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the lemon juice and tahini, and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Taste for salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and add the chopped parsley. Garnish with extra parsley.


    4.  


    11. Fried Zucchini

    Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis via foodnetwork.com

     

    Ingredients
    Olive oil, for frying
    1 3/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan
    1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    2 large eggs
    3 medium zucchini, cut into 3-inch long by 1/2-inch wide strips

    Directions


    1. Pour enough oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F.

    2. Stir 1 1/2 cups Parmesan, the panko, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Whisk the eggs in another medium bowl to blend. Working in batches, dip the zucchini in the eggs to coat completely and allow the excess egg to drip back into the bowl. Coat the zucchini in the panko mixture, patting to adhere and coat completely. Place the zucchini strips on a baking sheet.

    3. When the oil is hot, working in batches, fry the zucchini sticks until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried zucchini to paper towels and drain.

    4. Arrange the fried zucchini on a platter. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and serve.


    5.  


    12.Jumbo Shrimp Stuffed with Cilantro and Chiles
    Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchens

     

    Ingredients
    8 jumbo shrimp, in the shell (about 1 1/4 pounds)
    3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
    Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 clove garlic, chopped
    1/2 large jalapeno, with seeds
    2 scallions (white and green parts)
    1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

    Directions


    1. Prepare an outdoor grill with a medium-high fire. Without removing the shells, slit about 3/4 of the way through the shrimp down the ridged back and remove the vein that runs down the center. Rinse and pat the shrimp dry. Whisk thyme leaves, lime juice, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and black pepper, to taste, in a shallow nonreactive bowl or dish. Lay the shrimp cut side down in the lime mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    2. In a food processor, pulse the garlic, jalapeno, scallions, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to make a coarse paste. Add the cilantro and pulse just enough to incorporate into the mixture. Spoon the mixture into the opening in the shrimp and close the shrimp. Grill the shrimp shell side down (to keep filling from falling out) for 3 minutes. Turn to the other shell side, cover, and grill another 2 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink and are slightly firm to the touch. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

    3. Cook's Note: Shrimp cooked in the shells are more intensely flavorful. Leaving the shells on provides a buffer against overcooking, a misfortune many shrimp suffer. Shrimp, even these jumbos, continue to cook once removed from the grill. It's always best to cook them just until opaque and let the delicate shellfish finish cooking off the heat.

    4. Jumbo shrimp in the shell can be a knife and fork sort of deal unless you're outside and it's summer and you are feeling very relaxed. Serve these with lots of napkins if your crowd is the peel-and-eat type.


    5.  


    13. Grilled Grape Leaf-Wrapped Goat Cheese

    Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine

    Ingredients
    6 to 8 grape leaves (sold in a jar), drained, rinsed and patted dry
    1 3/4-to-1-pound round piece goat cheese, such as bucheron, at room temperature (or 2 smaller pieces, stacked)
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
    2 sprigs fresh rosemary
    Pinch of red pepper flakes
    Kosher salt
    Crusty bread, for serving

    Directions


    1. Preheat a grill to medium high. Wrap the grape leaves around the cheese to cover it completely; tie with kitchen twine.

    2. Brush the wrapped cheese with olive oil and grill, turning once, until the leaves begin to char and the cheese is soft, 5 to 8 minutes.

    3. Meanwhile, mix 1/4 cup olive oil, the rosemary, red pepper flakes and salt to taste in a bowl. Transfer the warm cheese to a serving plate, pour the oil on top and remove the twine. Serve with bread.


    4.  


    14. Grilled Watermelon Salad
    Recipe courtesy of Claire Robinson via foodnetwork.com

     

    Ingredients
    1/2 (5-pound) seedless watermelon
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    Extra-virgin olive oil
    Kosher salt (specialty salt is great here, if on hand)
    2 cups fresh baby arugula, washed and dried
    1 cup goat cheese, crumbled, preferably a French Chevre
    Fresh finely cracked black pepper

    Directions


    1. Stand the watermelon half cut side down on a cutting board and slice away the rind, leaving a solid block of melon. Turn the block on its side and cut it into 8 squares, roughly 3 by 3 inches and 1-inch thick.

    2. Pour the vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to a thick syrup consistency. Set aside.

    3. Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle just enough olive oil over watermelon slices to thinly coat and place on hot grill pan. Grill each side about 2 minutes until grill marks appear; transfer to a plate and season with salt.

    4. To assemble the salads, put about 1/4 cup of baby arugula on a serving plate, followed by a grilled slice of watermelon in the center, and top with a tablespoon of crumbled cheese and another 1/4 cup arugula. Add another watermelon slice and another tablespoon of cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Finish each salad with a very light drizzle of olive oil and balsamic syrup. Dust with black pepper and serve immediately.


    5.  


    15. Grilled Potato and Goat Cheese Napoleon with Balsamic-Basil Vinaigrette
    Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay via foodnetwork.com

     

    Ingredients
    5 large red potatoes, scrubbed
    Kosher salt
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    1 clove garlic
    2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
    3/4 cup olive oil
    Freshly ground black pepper
    8 ounces fresh goat cheese
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (optional)

    Directions


    1. Put the potatoes in a pot of salted cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, but still firm, 12 to15 minutes. Drain and let cool before cutting each potato in 1/2-inch-thick slices.

    2. While the potatoes are cooking, combine the vinegar, garlic, mustard, basil and 1/2 cup of the oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

    3. Heat your grill to medium.

    4. Brush the potato slices on both sides with the remaining 1/4 cup oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the potatoes on the grill, close the cover, and grill until lightly golden brown and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.

    5. Carefully transfer the potatoes to a flat surface. Make stacks by layering the following: 1 slice potato, 1 tablespoon goat cheese, 1 slice potato, 1 tablespoon goat cheese, 1 slice potato. Place the stacks back on the grill, close the cover, and grill until the cheese begins to melt, about 1 minute.

    6. Transfer the potatoes to a platter, drizzle some of the vinaigrette on and around the potatoes, and sprinkle with the chives.


    7.  


    16. Pineapple Polenta Squares with Shrimp

    Recipe courtesy of Karen Dawson via foodnetwork.com

    Ingredients
    For the Polenta:
    2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
    1/2 cup polenta
    Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
    1/2 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
    Vegetable oil, for brushing
    For the Shrimp:
    1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple
    12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
    6 thin slices prosciutto, halved lengthwise
    For the Sauce:
    1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    1/4 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
    Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

    Directions


    1. Make the polenta: Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in the polenta and cook, whisking, until thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the sage and pineapple. Brush a 9-inch square baking dish with vegetable oil; add the polenta and spread evenly. Press a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the polenta and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

    2. Prepare the shrimp: Puree the pineapple in a blender until smooth. Place 1/4 cup of the puree in a bowl (reserve the rest for another use) with the shrimp, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss, then cover and marinate at room temperature, about 20 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and wrap a strip of prosciutto around each piece.

    3. Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat and cook until brown flecks appear. Remove from the heat and stir in the pineapple.

    4. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium and brush with vegetable oil. Cut the polenta into 12 squares and grill until marked, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Grill the prosciutto-wrapped shrimp until the shrimp is pink, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

    5. Serve the shrimp on polenta squares, drizzle with the butter sauce and garnish with parsley.


    6.  


    17. Salsa
    Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown via foodnetwork.com

     

    Ingredients
    6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    2 seeded and minced jalapenos, plus 2 roasted, skinned and chopped jalapenos
    1 red bell pepper, fine dice
    1/2 red onion, fine chopped
    2 dry ancho chiles, seeded, cut into short strips and snipped into pieces
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 lime, juiced
    Chili powder, salt, and pepper, to taste
    Fresh scallions, cilantro or parsley, to taste

    Directions


    1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Place in refrigerator for up to 12 hours for flavor infusion.

    2. Serve with tortilla chips.


    3.  


    18. Guacamole

    Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown via foodnetwork.com

    Ingredients
    3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
    1 lime, juiced
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne
    1/2 medium onion, diced
    1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
    2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
    1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
    1 clove garlic, minced

    Directions


    1. In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.


    2.  


    19. Spicy Thai-Style Pineapple Wraps

    Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchens 

    Ingredients
    Juice of 2 limes (about 14 cup)
    2 teaspoons sugar
    2 teaspoons chile paste, such as sambal oelek (see ShopSmart, right)
    2 teaspoons fish sauce
    2 cups roasted peanuts or cashews, roughly chopped
    23 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)
    12 Bibb lettuce leaves (about 1 head)
    Half a medium fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into bite-size chunks (about 3 cups) (see page 274)
    Kosher salt

    Directions


    1. Whisk the lime juice, sugar, chile paste, and fish sauce in a bowl until the sugar dissolves. Add the peanuts and cilantro and stir until evenly dressed with the sauce.

    2. When ready to serve, arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter. Put about 14 cup of pineapple in each leaf and season with salt to taste. Top the pineapple with the nut mixture. Serve, letting your guests wrap (or fold) each lettuce leaf to enclose the filling.

    3. Cook's Notes:

    4. Sambals are potent Indonesian condiments packed with chiles. There are different kinds, but the slightly tangy sambal oelek is a blend of hot red chiles, salt, vinegar or tamarind, and sometimes garlic. Other Asian chile pastes are suitable substitutes.

    5. It is important to chop the nuts by hand-not in a food processor. Machine-chopped nuts will be overworked and pasty. The dish is so much better when the nuts have a distinct texture.


    6.  


    20. Summer Salsa with a Shot

    Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchens

    Ingredients
    1 clove garlic
    2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
    4 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and diced
    1/4 medium red onion, finely diced
    1 jalapeno, stemmed and minced (with seeds for more heat)
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    1 to 2 tablespoons silver tequila (optional)
    White corn tortilla chips, for dipping

    Directions


    1. Smash the garlic clove, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt, and, with the flat side of a large knife, mash and smear the mixture to a coarse paste. Mix the garlic, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro in a serving bowl. Add the tequila, if desired, and season with the remaining salt, adding more to taste if necessary.

    2. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour at room temperature. Serve with the tortilla chips.


    3.  


    21. Picnic Potato and Chicken Salad Cups

    Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson via foodnetwork.com

    Ingredients
    4 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
    1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    1 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast
    3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
    1/4 cup diced celery
    1/4 cup diced onion
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    2 teaspoons mustard
    1 tablespoon paprika
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    2 fresh sage leaves, chopped
    2 heads Bibb lettuce, leaves separated

    Directions


    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, toss with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast until golden and tender, about 30 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile, place the chicken in a saucepan and cover with water; bring to a simmer over medium heat and poach until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and let cool for a bit, then cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.

    3. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, chicken, bacon, celery, onion and garlic. Mix in the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, paprika, fresh herbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve the salad in lettuce cups and roll up to eat.


    4.  

     

    Thank you to foodnetwork.com for the inspiration! Try some of these recipes at your next summer barbeque! Check out our previous posts about 4th of July recipes and pool party venues. Have you tried any of these recipes? Have a suggestion? Leave a comment below or on Facebook or Twitter.