Shrimp and Grits with Lobster Butter

Shrimp and Grits with Lemony Lobster Butter and Grilled Corn, Okra, Tomato, Shishito

Shrimp and Grits with Lemony Lobster Butter
Grilled Corn, Okra, Tomato, Shishito Peppers
Gremolata, Feta Cheese, and Chive Flower Garnish

Shrimp & Grits gets a make-over. White corn grits are topped with fresh summer vegetables from the farmers market. For a smokier-than-usual version, the vegetables and shrimp are grilled instead of sautéed. A heavenly lemon-lobster butter (try it on popcorn!) adds sophistication. Tangy sheep’s milk feta takes the place of the ubiquitous cheddar cheese, while gremolata makes the shrimp sing out with bright citrusy-garlicky notes. And it’s interesting how a single purple chive blossom in the center gives the whole dish a visual pop.

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Summer Squash Lasagna with Fried Basil #glutenfree

Summer Squash Lasagna with Fried Basil #glutenfree

Summer Squash Lasagna with Fried Basil
Made with Gluten-Free Green Lentil Lasagna Noodles
Crookneck Squash, Zucchini
Ricotta, Mozzarella, Parmesan

Marinara Sauce, Italian Sausage, Basil

My friends at Explore Cuisine make an extraordinary noodle for lasagna recipes. It is produced in Italy of green lentil flour (50%), green pea flour, and brown rice flour. These no-boil noodles soak up sauce to two-and-a-half times their size to a perfect al dente texture. They are full of plant-based pea protein, a lovely olive-green color, organic and gluten-free. They are also higher in fiber and lower in carbs than traditional lasagna noodles.

I bake these unique noodles with roasted summer squash for a delightful seasonal dish, then top the lasagna with fried basil for snazzy garnish with an herbal crunch.

Summer Squash Lasagna with Fried Basil Recipe

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An Ode To The Fish Taco

An Ode To The Fish Taco - Panko Crusted Halibut, Cabbage, Fennel, Carrot Slaw, Fresh herbs, Baja White Sauce, Tortilla Strips

An Ode To The Fish Taco

Panko Crusted Fresh Halibut
Cabbage-Fennel-Carrot-Radish-Pepitas Slaw
Key Lime Serrano Cumin Vinaigrette

Pickled Red Onion, Fresh Herbs, Baja White Sauce
Mexican Lime, Tortilla Strips

Dear Fish Taco – you are irresistible. Your flavors conjure up spicy memories of our saucy adventures in Ensenada. Fresh-caught fried fish, crisp shredded cabbage, salsa, white sauce and a squeeze of lime on a corn tortilla. A fish taco and a margarita are una pareja celestial. Baja California is the birthplace of the fish taco and home to Hussong’s Cantina, where they claim to have invented the margarita in 1941.

Fast forward a several decades since your “invention” where I reimagine your essence. This is perfectly crusted local halibut topped with a cabbage slaw studded with organic rainbow carrots, peppery radish matchsticks, fennel slivers, and pumpkin seeds.  A zippy Mexican lime vinaigrette with sliced serranos, cumin, and fresh thyme dresses the slaw. Corn tortillas are sliced thin and fried for the topping. And it wouldn’t be a Baja taco without your salsa blanca – so here, tangy Mexican crema combined with mayonnaise and minced garlic provides a creamy balance to the crispy golden-brown fillets.

Fish Taco – you have aged gracefully. You are fabuloso! But we will still always crave your youthful side. See you in Baja!

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Grilled Chicken Cutlets, Pickled Sweet Cherry Pepper Sauce

Grilled Chicken Cutlets, Pickled Sweet Cherry Pepper Sauce

Grilled Chicken Cutlets
Pickled Sweet Cherry Pepper Sauce

Grilled chicken breasts can be pretty boring, right? But here, a vivacious sweet cherry pepper sauce adds bright tangy flavor and a pop of color to simple chicken cutlets. Serve the smoky juicy chicken over mixed greens, and the sauce doubles as a dressing.

In fact, this sauce has so much personality that the chicken needs no marinade. Just coat the cutlets with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then toss them on a hot grill. An efficient cook could have this fabulous low-carb dish prepped and plated in less than 15 minutes. Here’s to summer grilling season!

Pickled Sweet Cherry Pepper Sauce Recipe

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“Margarita” Salmon Burger with Tequila, Lime, and Hatch Chiles

"Margarita" Salmon Burger with Tequila, Lime, and Hatch Chiles

“Margarita” Salmon Burger with Tequila, Lime, and Hatch Chiles

This unconventional salmon burger – spiked with flavors of a refreshing Margarita and studded with spicy-hot fire-roasted chiles – captures the essence of summer’s last days and our beloved Hatch chile season. Where the tequila and fresh lime add zing, and the Hatch chiles add heat – these fresh ground salmon burgers are lively, sure to perk up the last long hot days of summer. Relax on Labor Day, enjoy a Margarita or sip some tequila, and savor a spicy “Margarita” salmon burger!

How to Make “Margarita” Salmon Burgers

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Grilled Peach Salad, Maple Bourbon Dressing

Grilled Peach Salad, Arugula, Farro, Blueberries, Red Onion, Bleu Cheese, Pistachio, Maple Bourbon Rosemary Dressing

Grilled Peach Salad

Bourbon Grilled Peaches, Arugula, Farro
Blueberries, Red Onion, Bleu Cheese, Pistachio Nuts

Maple Bourbon Rosemary Dressing

The kinship between peaches and bourbon is the foundation for this wildly flavorful summer salad. The natural flavor attractions and diverse tastes and mouthfeel of pickled red onion, bleu cheese, and pistachio nuts pull it all together like a molecular bond. Blueberries add a fresh sunny pop while farro adds a chewy texture and nutty earthy notes. It is all harmonized by the dressing, an over-the top sweet & savory maple-bourbon-rosemary blend that will have the adults swooning.

Grilled Peach Salad Recipe

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Korean BBQ Chicken, Lettuce Cups, White Seaweed Salad

Korean BBQ Chicken, Lettuce Cups, White Seaweed Salad

Spicy Korean BBQ Chicken with Iceberg Lettuce Cups
garnished with
White Seaweed Salad, Sliced Scallion & Chiffonade of Perilla

Warning: This is not your ordinary barbecued chicken. Here, grilled Korean-style spicy smoky chicken with a hint of sweetness (dak bulgogi) is nestled in refreshingly crisp iceberg lettuce cups, topped with a white seaweed salad dressed with garlicky mayonnaise and sesame seeds, then finished with slices of scallion and herbaceous ribbons of perilla.

The chicken marinade’s main ingredient is gochujang – a Korean red chili paste with sweet heat and a fermented umami richness. It is definitely spicy – but also has a balanced fruitiness, slight smokiness and depth of flavor from the sun-dried Korean red peppers.

The chicken is served in “under-appreciated” iceberg lettuce cups. Iceberg is the perfect vehicle for transporting the chicken – the leaves are pliable, just the right size, with a beautiful pale green color, and adequate crunch. My unique white seaweed salad is made of crunchy springy kelp noodles. Perilla (wild sesame leaf) is sliced into thin ribbons and sprinkled over the chicken, adding a complex herby flavor.  It’s all very fresh and summery. Low-carb too.

Korean BBQ Chicken, Lettuce Cups, White Seaweed Salad

Korean BBQ Chicken, Lettuce Cups Recipe

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