This month we are all about dining al fresco! Check out some of our favourite summertime recipes below.
I love making this Cuban cocktail in the summer. I begin with making my own Simple Syrup in advance and keep it in the refrigerator. It’s quick and easy. Take equal parts of water and sugar and bring it to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. Let it cool and then transfer into a glass jar that can be kept in a refrigerator for up to a month. The classic mojito consists of five ingredients: white rum, simple syrup, lime, soda water, and fresh mint from my garden. I drop at least 6 mint leaves into a mortar, squeeze 1/4-1/2 of a lime, and then muddle them with a pestle. Pour into a highball glass with 2-3 ice cubes, add 1-1/2 oz of white rum, 1-2 tablespoons of simple syrup (based on your sweetness preference), top with soda water, stir, garnish with a spring of mint leaves and lime and serve. White rum can be substituted with gold rum or vodka. I prefer the fresh, clear tropical feel of white rum.
My favourite is watermelon salad: watermelon, fresh mint leaves, feta and balsamic vinegar or reduction.
Sweet watermelon is paired with salty feta, fresh mint, and lime juice in this delicious Watermelon Salad, making the perfect side dish for any summer gathering!
Steps: Keep the diced watermelon in the fridge until you’re ready to add the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and olive oil with salt and pepper. Note: You can use lemon juice instead. They’re both excellent, and you can decide which flavour combo you prefer. Chop up the mint. Pour the dressing over the chilled watermelon along with the mint and gently toss to combine. Sprinkle the feta cheese over the salad and serve immediately.
This salad is best prepared just before serving. Enjoy!
These are my favourite summer tacos, with a peanut sauce and citrus slaw – Super yummy and tasty.
Serves 2 and takes about 20 mins.
You will need: 10 oz chicken, 6 flour tortillas, 1 blood orange, 6 oz purple cabbage, 1/2 red onion, 4g fresh cilantro, 1 lime, 1 oz peanut butter, 2 packs of soy sauce, 1 pack of sriracha sauce or hot sauce.
Step 1: Prepare the ingredients – get a bunch of small containers and fill them with these ingredients: dice the red onion, thinly shred purple cabbage, zest the lime skin and then halve the lime, thoroughly chop cilantro, peel and slice blood orange into rounds and then cut the rounds into thin wedge.
Step 2: BBQ chicken – bbq the chicken on the grill until cooked (reaches 165 F) set aside chicken to rest. Feel free to add your own flavour, I cook it with a little bit of avocado oil.
Step 3: Toss the lime salsa & citrus slaw. In a small bowl, add the lime zest, cilantro and diced red onion to taste. Stir to combine. In a large bowl, add the purple cabbage, blood orange, 1 tbsp of oil and juice from half the lime. Toss to coat.
Step 4: Mix the peanut satay sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk the peanut butter, soy sauce, sriracha sauce, juice from the remaining lime, and 2 tbsp of water. Slice up chicken into pieces.
Step 5: EAT. Fill the tortillas with the chicken, citrus slaw and lime salsa. Drizzle on the satay peanut sauce. Enjoy with a nice summer drink like cider!
I tried this recipe recently and it’s become a favourite go-to!
Barcelona Beef Medallions with Spanish Couscous Salad
Ingredients: Grated zest and juice of 1 medium orange, 1/4 cup (50 mL) each minced onion and cider vinegar, 1 tsp (5 mL) each chopped garlic and crushed dried rosemary, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt, pepper and ground cumin, 4 Beef Marinating Medallions (Inside Round, Sirloin Tip or Cross Rib), cut 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick (about 1-1/2 lb/750 g)
Steps: Combine orange juice and zest, onion, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper and cumin in a large sealable freezer bag. Pierce medallions all over with fork and place in bag with marinade. Seal and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. Discard marinade; pat medallions dry with a paper towel. Grill on lightly oiled grill over medium-high heat in closed barbecue for 6 to 7 minutes per side for medium doneness. Remove to a clean platter; tent with foil for 5 minutes.
Spanish Couscous Salad Instructions
Measure 1 cup (250 mL) couscous into a large heatproof bowl. Pour 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) boiling water over couscous; cover and let stand for 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in 1/4 cup (50 mL) EACH chopped sweet red and green pepper, segments from 1 medium orange (coarsely chopped) and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh cilantro—season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.
Ingredients: Graham cracker crust (store-bought or homemade), 2 300mL cans of sweetened condensed milk, 2/3 cup plain greek yogurt, 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 tbsp freshly grated lime zest.
Steps: Preheat oven to 350° F, Combine condensed milk, yogurt, lime juice and zest and whisk until smooth, pour the mixture into the crust and make for 20 minutes, cool at room temperature for 15 minutes, then refrigerate for 3 hours , serve with whipped cream.
Sweet iced coffee is blended with vanilla ice cream for a homemade version of a coffeehouse treat.
Ingredients: 3 medium scoops vanilla ice cream,1 cup ice, 1 cup chilled brewed coffee, 1/2 cup milk, 2 tablespoons Simple syrup for iced coffee drinks, whipped cream, cocoa powder.
Steps: Blend ice cream, ice, coffee, milk, and simple syrup in a blender until smooth. Pour into a tall glass, top with ice cream or whipped cream, and dust with cocoa powder. Add an environmentally friendly straw and ENJOY!
Sambaram, morum vellum (in Malayalam) / Majjige (Telugu) / Majjige Huli (Kannada) / Mor (Tamil) are all the local names for Buttermilk. Today I share this Sambaram recipe to prepare salty, tangy and spicy, light-green drink, which is an instant energy booster in an active afternoon. Adding a little spice to sambaram will make it a good refreshing drink in hot summer days. It is also served at the end of sadhya (a Kerala feast), which helps to improve digestion.
This drink is considered to be originated in Kerala. This was a welcome drink in all Kerala familie’ homes in the past.
Steps: Whip Yoghurt and add water to it. Clean and separate a few curry leaves from the stalk. Chop the curry leaves along with ginger and green chilies. Add few crushed ice cubes along with salt, and blend all the ingredients together. Puree until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer if you wish. Transfer to a large pitcher and chill in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. Fill tall glasses halfway with the ice cubes. Pour the chilled buttermilk into these glasses. Top with a spoonful of foam (from blending) and top with coriander leaves. Enjoy!
Ingredients: Doritos, black and green olives, white beans with red sauce, pickled hot banana pepper rings, green and red peppers, jalapeño, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, sour cream, black pepper and salt
Steps: Prep the toppings – dice the tomatoes, onions, peppers, jalapenos, and shred the cheese. Arrange the nacho chips in a single layer on a sheet pan. Add your toppings, and smother everything with a generous layer of cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!
Ingredients: ½ red onion, very thinly sliced, 1 pound fresh shrimp – diced into 1/2 inch cubes, 2–3 garlic cloves very finely minced (use a garlic press), 1– 1 ½ tsp kosher salt, start with 1, add more to taste, ¼ tsp black pepper, ¼–½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped,1 fresh serrano or jalapeño chili pepper, seeded and very finely chopped. Start conservatively, more to taste, ¾ cup fresh lime juice ( 4–6 limes) freshly squeezed (try to use ripe limes), 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half (or 1 cup diced tomatoes), 1 cup diced cucumber, 1 tablespoon olive oil
Steps: Slice the red onion very thinly and salt generously. Let stand 15 minutes until it begins to release its liquid (this will remove the bitterness). Rinse well, squeeze dry. Place shrimp, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, fresh chilies, and lime juice in a shallow serving bowl, gently mix, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. The longer you marinate, the firmer and the more “cooked” the shrimp will become. Before serving, gently toss in the fresh cilantro, cucumber, and tomato, with a drizzle of olive oil, gently mix. Taste to salt and add more if necessary. Serve with tortilla chips and a margarita! Salud!
Prepare beef: Trim off excess fat with a sharp knife. Fold thin tip end under to approximate the thickness of the rest of the roast. Tie with butcher’s twine, then keep tying the roast with twine every 1-1/2 to 2 inches (to help the roast keep its shape). Snip silverskin with scissors to keep roast from bowing during cooking. Then, mix oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, pepper and salt; rub over roast to coat. Set meat aside.
Either build a charcoal fire in half the grill or turn all gas burners on high for 10 minutes. Lubricate grate with an oil-soaked rag using tongs. Place beef on hot rack and close lid; grill until well-seared, about 5 minutes. Turn meat and close lid; grill until well-seared on the second side, another 5 minutes.
Move meat to the charcoal grill’s cool side, or turn off the burner directly underneath the meat and turn the remaining one or two burners (depending on grill style) to medium. Cook until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest section registers 130 degrees for rosy pink, 45 to 60 minutes, depending on tenderloin size and grill. Let meat rest 15 minutes before carving.
I typically accompany this delicious dish with a side of fresh roasted BBQ asparagus (a light touch of olive oil + sea salt & pepper) + crispy roasted rosemary mini potatoes.
And voila… best BBQ dish of the summer
Here’s my recipe for the perfect summer mojito:
Ingredients: Simple syrup, one Bag of limes (6-10), white rum, fresh mint, soda water and ice
Start by making your own simple syrup. It’s as simple as adding a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar (honey or agave nectar work well too) to a bowl and bring it to a boil. Stirring constantly, let the pot boil for 1-3 minutes. Once completed, cover and leave in the fridge.
Juice limes. Roll out each lime under your hand on a cutting board as if you were trying to roll dough into a long string. This loosens the flesh inside the limes. Once completed, cut limes in half horizontally. Taking a fork, stab and twist each lime half into a bowl. Each lime half should create 0.5oz of juice. Ideally, create 10-12oz of juice.
Pick mint leaves from stalks. Discard stems and store them in a cool place with a wet paper towel inside the container to preserve freshness.
In a tall glass, mix 2oz white rum, 1oz of lime juice, 1oz simple syrup.
Place 6-8 mint leaves inside the glass. Use a pestle or any other blunt tool to muddle the leaves. Be sure to crack leaf spines to release mint flavour.
Top glass with ice, fill with soda water and stir to allow leaves to float away from the base of the glass.
Serve and enjoy!
Add cucumber, watermelon, or raspberries before muddling to enhance the flavour.
Multiply recipe x5 to mix a jug for sharing.