How can I help you make entertaining EASY? I know many of you are up north, in Rhode Island or at the Cape so I thought I would get you some easy recipes for entertaining this summer. I also know there are active Farmer’s Markets everywhere around New England. Here is a link to Yankee Magazine’s top New England Farmer’s Markets:
Yankee Magazine Best of New England Farmers Markets
For summer entertaining purposes, simplicity and flexibility are key. If a recipe calls for certain vegetables and you can’t find them at the farmer’s market, try replacing them with another veggie. Use recipes that have few ingredients, especially since your pantry at your summer house/rental might be “lean”. Do make sure you have some essential ingredients like olive oil, balsamic, kosher salt, whole black pepper (to grind in a spice mill), your favorite spices, chicken stock, hot sauce, dijon, garlic, soy sauce, honey, garlic, romano or parmiggiano cheese, dried pasta, long grain rice, flour and canned tomatoes.
Some of the easiest things to prepare for your guests or family:
A whole chicken cut up and marinated in:
2 large garlic cloves minced
cup Fresh herbs like tarragon, lavender, rosemary, thyme
2-3 T- Any of these dry herbs/spices: rosemary, thyme, cayenne (go light), herbes de provence, tarragon, lavender
2 T. dijon mustard
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 T olive oil
1-2 T kosher salt
1 t. fresh ground pepper
I usually just blend all these ingredients in a food processor but you can manually do this quite easily. Just cover chicken pieces well with marinade and leave out on counter for 1/2 hour or refrigerate overbite. Throw on a medium hot grill for 25 minutes, turning often. My kids and friends favorite recipe that I make.
Mexican Street Corn
Boil some 6 ears fresh corn from the farmers market. While corn boils, mix 1/2 cup mayo with 2 T. fresh cilantro, 1 T. lime juice, 1 minced garlic clove, a t. chile powder and t. salt. Roll boiled corn in this mixture and then roll in finely chopped farmers cheese or queso fresco. To die for delicious.
Easy Chicken Enchiladas- I can’t keep these in the house! Addictive!
1 store bought chicken- skin and bones removed, chicken shredded
2 red peppers- chopped
2 jalopenos- chopped
1 medium or large onion- chopped
2-4 T. olive oil
Jar pepperoncini’s- drain and chop
1 T each of cumin and ground coriander (If you can get cumin seed and coriander seed, they make the dish so much tastier. You just toast the seeds and then put them in a spice grinder or smash with the flat side of a knife)
Chicken stock- 4 cups (I love “Better than Bouillon”. It comes in a jar)
salt and pepper to taste
cup low-fat sour cream
4 cups shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese
Package of Flour tortillas
Heat large saute pan on medium high. Add olive oil. Add peppers, onions and jalopenos. Saute until soft- around 12 minutes. Add spices and chopped pepperoncini’s. Mix. Add chicken stock. Add salt and pepper to taste. Combine well.
Now you want to remove around 2 c. or so of this yummy stock from the pan and place in a wide shallow dish or bowl.
Now, add 2 cups of the cheese mixture and the sour cream to your pan of veggies. Mix well. Add in shredded chicken. Mix again well.
Take one tortilla at a time and dip on both sides in warm chicken stock. Place tortilla in large pyrex or disposable aluminum baking dish. Using tongs, take a good portion of chicken and veggie mixture and place down center of tortilla. Roll the tortilla up tight with seam on the bottom and move filled tortilla to the end of the dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and chicken/veggie mixture. Sprinkle remaining 2 cups of grated cheese on top. Pour any remaining liquid from the chicken mixture or the tortilla wetting bowl into and around the tortillas. They like lots of moisture when baking.
Place in a 350 preheated oven for 15 minutes and serve immediately. Do not overcook. They will get dry quickly. If you want to make these ahead of time and freeze them, do so before baking them. Just wrap in seran wrap, then aluminum foil and freeze. To cook, I would defrost first in refrigerator for a day and then bake for maybe 30 minutes covered with just foil.
The bad news is your family and friends will pester you to make these often. I usually double the recipe and freeze a pan.
Steaks with Adobo Rub and Chimichurri sauce<
This is one of my all time favorites because it’s soon easy and EVERYONE loves it!
Any steak you like- Rib-eye, flank or skirt, sirloin
2 tablespoons each fresh ground black pepper, paprika, onion powder, ancho chili powder, ground cumin, dark brown sugar, ground ginger, garlic powder, kosher salt.
¼ c. olive oil
Mix the above ingredients in a mixing bowl. Rub the mixture over your steak(s). Save any leftover mix in a zip-loc bag. Let the steak rest on counter for an hour and then grill as you usually do.
½ c. chopped cilantro
4 cloves garlic
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
2 bay leaves, center stem removed, crumbled
1 T. dried oregano or 1 t. fresh
1 t. Kosher salt
1 c. chopped parsley, chopped
4 T. white vinegar
½ c. olive oil
Combine ¼ c. cilantro, garlic cloves, jalapenos, bay leaves, oregano and salt in bowl of food processor. Blend until finely chopped, scraping down sides with spatula often. Add parsley, vinegar, oil and remaining cilantro. Blend until coarsely chopped. Season with pepper.
Another summer favorite is a version of Legal Seafoods “Bluefish with Mustard Sauce”
Many of you probably have access right now to the freshest bluefish. Treat yourself. There’s nothing better than bluefish on the grill!
Buy yourself 2 lbs. bluefish filets. Lightly oil the filets and place on a hot grill for around 8 minutes turning halfway. Make the following sauce and spread on top of the filets. Close the grill and finish cooking for 3 minutes.
1/3 c. dijon
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
1/4 c. minced onion
1/4 c. finely chopped flat parsley
Hot pepper sauce
The farmers markets are bursting with great produce right now. Gorgeous beets, red chard, mustard greens, spinach, corn, tomatoes, green beans, salad greens of all types, pickling cakes.
Try roasting some red or orange beets individually in aluminum foil squares for an hour. Run under cold water and remove skin. Cut up and mix with chopped toasted walnuts, orange segments, fresh herbs, a little olive oil and some baby arugula.
Chop up fresh tomatoes, pickling cukes, vidalia onion (sliced), green peppers. Add in fresh or dried oregano to taste, a sprinkling of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, some extra virgin olive oil (or regular olive oil), and a touch of rice wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar. You can also use any vinegar you like. I just happen to like my vinegar on the sweeter side.
Cook your corn on the cobb. When cool enough to work with, slice the kernels off your cobbs and try sautéing in olive oil with some cumin, kosher salt and pepper. Once cool, can add cut up avocado, chopped tomatoes, cukes, peppers or any other favorite veggies.
A lovely green salad with ANY salad greens from the market, vidalia onion, tomatoes, cukes and a simple vinaigrette. Can add crumbled gorgonzola.
These are easy and fun to make.
Orzo goes with anything…. feta, basil, tomatoes, kalamata olives, chopped cukes and olive oil… or try toasted sliced almonds, chopped scallions, chopped parsley, lemon juice, olive oil and chopped tomatoes.
Bow-ties with fresh buffalo or regular mozzarella, fresh chopped basil, chopped tomatoes, olive oil. Just make sure pasta is cool before mixing with mozzarella.
And always season your salads with salt and pepper!
For dessert on hot summer days, I don’t have it in me to bake so I beg guests to bring something and I do a simple fruit kebab with cantaloupe, honeydew melon and pineapple chunks and serve them with a sweet mojito dip. Warning: The dip has rum in it!
Zest and juice of two limes
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves chiffonade- roll several up together and slice in very thin strips (I like combo of peppermint and spearmint but any will do)
1/2 c. white rum
1/2 c. simple syrup (or agave nectar)
We hope you are having the time of your life, enjoying time with your kids, family and close friends. Call us for any catering or staff help when you get back! Susan’s cell is 508-783-1663. Cheers!
Susan Lane Events Web-site