JAMAICAN COCONUT RUM PUNCH
8 cups (refrigerated) passion fruit juice cocktail
4 cups coconut rum
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1 (12-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 (2-liter) bottle Jamaican ginger beer, chilled
Optional garnishes: Pineapple spears, orange wedges, sliced fresh gingerroot, sugar cane
Makes about 5 1/2 quarts.
Combine first four ingredients and blend well, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to one week. Just before serving, stir in the ginger beer. Garnish if desired.
JAMAICAN CURRIED CHICKEN SALAD TARTS
2 packages frozen mini phyllo tart shells (15 in each), thawed
1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons Jamaican Jerk (paste) seasoning
2-3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried tropical fruit blend
1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted and salted macadamia nuts
Makes 30 tarts.
Chicken: Rub the jerk paste over both sides of the chicken breasts. Cover with plastic food wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least eight hours or up to 24 hours ahead of cooking.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot (but not smoking) add oil and swirl the skillet to coat the bottom. Sear the chicken in the hot skillet until nicely browned on both sides. Lower heat to medium and cook through on both sides, turning halfway through the cooking. Do not overcook. Transfer the chicken to a plate and place in the refrigerator to cool.
Dressing: Whisk together the dressing ingredients place in the refrigerator, covered until ready to use.
Salad: Cut cooled chicken into small dice and combine with the remaining salad ingredients. Add the dressing to the salad. Stir to blend well. Refrigerate at least two hours or up to four days ahead.
Assembly: When ready to serve, spoon chicken salad into the phyllo tart shells. (Can be filled up to 2 hours ahead.)
WHITE WINE SUMMER SANGRIA
1 1/2 cups amaretto
1/2 cup honey
4 nectarines, pitted and thinly sliced
1 pound strawberries, caps removed, cut in half
1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled, core removed, cut into chunks
2 (750-mililiter) bottles pinot grigio
4 (12-ounce) cans lemon-lime soda, chilled
Serves a small crowd.
Whisk together the amaretto and the honey. Place prepared fruit in a large mixing bowl and top with the honey amaretto mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least eight hours or up to 24 hours ahead of serving.
Pour chilled wine into a punch bowl. Add the amaretto/honey/fruit mixture to the punch bowl. Top with the soda. Ladle into glasses with some ice.
1/2-inch thick slices bakery French bread
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup prepared mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh basil
2 cloves finely minced garlic
Sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups baby arugula, coarsely chopped
1 cup diced (seeded) vine-ripe tomato
1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Makes about 24 pieces.
Crostini: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush bread slices with melted butter. Arrange bread slices in a single layer, side-by side closely together. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly toasted. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, prepare the aioli and salad.
Aioli: Combine all ingredients and blend thoroughly. Transfer mixture to a plastic food storage bag and seal securely.
Salad: Combine first three ingredients. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
Assembly: Spoon a bit of B.L.T. salad on each piece of slightly warm toast. Snip a small hole in one corner of the plastic bag containing the aioli. Drizzle over B.L.T. salad.
MAGNOLIA BLOSSOM COCKTAIL
1 jigger vanilla vodka
1 jigger half-and-half
2 tablespoons vanilla infused simple syrup
1/4 teaspoon orange flower water
4-6 ounces chilled lemon-lime soda
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
Makes one cocktail.
Place vodka, half-and-half, vanilla simple syrup and orange flower water into an ice filled cocktail shaker. Place lid securely on top of cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Strain into a tall glass half-filled with ice. Add a bit of lemon-lime soda to the glass and garnish the top with a the freshly grated lemon zest.
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Makes seven cups.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place melted butter in roasting pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar and egg whites. Beat on high until foamy. Stir in the seasonings. Add the pecan halves and stir to evenly coat the pecans.
Transfer coated pecans to the roasting pan. Spread evenly in the pan. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir well. Evenly redistribute the pecans in the pan. Return to the oven and repeat roasting and stirring process for a total cooking time of 1 hour.
During the last 10 minutes of roasting, spritz the nuts with water and stir to distribute; this makes for crisp, glazed nuts. Cool on a cooling rack, stirring several times while cooling.
When thoroughly cooled, store airtight at room temperature for up to three weeks or in the freezer for up to three months.
SUGAR & SPICE ROASTED PECANS
8 ounces (2 cups) grated sharp Cheddar cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
11/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon poppy seeds, sesame seeds or coarsely crushed black pepper
Makes about 80.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine Cheddar and butter in mixing bowl and blend together. Sift together the flour, salt and cayenne. Add to the cheese mixture and blend briefly, but thoroughly.
Fill the empty barrel of a cookie press with the dough and fit with the 5-petal blossom shaped disk. Press out “blossoms” onto ungreased cookie sheet, allowing a bit of space between. Using a fingertip, press a wee bit of sesame seeds into the center of the blossoms.
Bake one tray at a time in the center of oven for 16-20 minutes, until desired degree of doneness. Store airtight at room temperature for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up four months.
TRAVEL FOOD RECIPES
Sweet Potato Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 cup sliced red onion, slices cut into half-moons
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/2 fresh serrano chile, seeded and finely chopped
Place potatoes in a large pot, add enough water to cover them, cover pot with a lid, and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are pierced easily with the tip of a sharp knife, 15 to 20 minutes. The cooking time will depend on the size of the potatoes. Drain and let cool until you can handle them. Peel and cut into 1/2-inch slices, then cut slices in half.
Toss together potatoes and red onion in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar, garlic and serrano chile. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and serve, or refrigerate for several hours to overnight. Serve at room temperature.
Black Bean Salad
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil or other mild vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, finely ground
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 (14-ounce cans) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium green pepper, stem, seeds and ribs removed, diced
1 medium red, orange or yellow pepper, stem, seeds and ribs removed, diced
1 medium red onion, skim removed, diced
Serves 10 to 12.
Make dressing: Combine vinegar, sugar, oil, celery seeds, salt and black pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
Combine black beans, chopped peppers and onion in a large bowl. Pour over dressing. Let sit in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight.
Cold Rice Salad
6 cups cooked brown rice
3/4 cup dried currants
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 Granny Smith or other tart apple, cored and chopped
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup capers
1/2 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger root
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Mix together rice, currants, almonds, apple, onion, pepper, capers and ginger root in a large bowl.
Make dressing: Place vinegar, sugar, curry powder, dry mustard, cardamom, mace, salt, cinnamon, cayenne and black peppers in a food processor or blender and process until blended. With machine running, slowly drizzle in the oil until the mixture is creamy.
Pour dressing over salad and chill for several hours. Pack salad in a two-quart covered container to transport. This salad can be served at room temperature.
Cold Zucchini Soup
3 medium zucchini, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of parsley
1 sprig of thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Place zucchini, onion, bay leaf, parsley and thyme in a medium-sized saucepan with 1 cup chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer mixture for about 10 minutes, or until zucchini is tender. Remove bay leaf, parsley and thyme. Puree mixture in a blender or food processor until it is of uniform consistency.
For a smooth soup, strain puree by pressing it through a strainer or sieve with the back of a spoon. An unstrained soup will have a slight texture. Add remaining chicken stock, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and white pepper and stir well to blend. Pour soup into a 1 1/2-quart covered container; chill for at least 1 hour before packing in a cooler.
Granny Smith Apple Salsa
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cups diced Granny Smith apples
5 cups seeded and chopped Roma tomatoes, drained on paper towels
1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 cup chopped yellow onions
3/4 cup seeded and diced poblano peppers
1/4 cup seeded and finely diced jalapeno peppers
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Makes about seven cups.
Combine lime juice and apples in a medium-sized bowl as soon as the apples are diced to prevent browning. Stir to fully coat apples.
Add the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in apples and lime juice until all ingredients are evenly mixed together. Store in a sealable container and refrigerate overnight. On game day, keep in a cooler until ready to serve. Stir again before serving and serve with tortilla chips.
GRANOLA BAR RECIPES
1 cup packed pitted, soft dates
1 cup warm water
1 1/4 cups crisp brown rice cereal
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted or toasted nuts or seeds, such as peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup natural, unsweetened nut or seed butter, such as peanut, cashew or sunflower
1/3 cup honey, agave nectar or pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Makes 12 bars.
Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, letting the ends protrude from the pan by a couple of inches; spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine the dates and warm water in a small bowl. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes, until the dates are soft (time will vary according to the dryness of the dates). Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
In a large bowl, stir together the cereal, oats, nuts or seeds, flaxseed meal and cinnamon.
Place the dates in a food processor. Using on/off pulses, process until finely chopped. Add to the bowl with the cereal.
In a small saucepan, combine the nut or seed butter and honey. Heat over medium-low, stirring, for 2 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is melted and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and salt.
Immediately pour the honey mixture over the cereal mixture, mixing with a spatula until coated. Gently stir in the chocolate chips.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Place a large piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap (coated with nonstick cooking spray) atop the bar mixture and use it to spread, flatten and very firmly compact the mixture evenly in the pan. Cool at least 1 hour until firmly set.
Using the pan liner, lift the mixture from the pan and transfer it to a cutting board. Cut into 12 bars. Tightly wrap bars individually in plastic wrap. Keeps at room temperature 3 days, in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks and in the freezer for 3 months in an airtight container (let thaw 1 hour before using).
For Crunchy Peanut Butter Bars: Omit the chocolate chips and cinnamon; use peanut butter and chopped, roasted, lightly salted peanuts for the nut butter and nuts.
For Oatmeal Raisin Pecan Bars: Replace the chocolate chips with 1/3 cup raisins, increase cinnamon to 3/4 teaspoon, and use chopped toasted pecans for the nuts.
For Blueberry, Cherry or Apricot Almond Bars: Replace the chocolate chips with 1/3 cup dried blueberries, dried cherries or chopped dried apricots. Replace the vanilla with 3/4 teaspoon almond extract, and use almond butter and chopped toasted almonds.
1 1/2 cups chopped assorted raw or toasted nuts and/or seeds, such as cashews, sunflower seeds green pumpkin seeds, peanuts, pecans
1/3 cup crisp brown rice cereal
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit, such as raisins, apricots, berries, dates
1/3 cup organic light corn syrup or brown rice syrup
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, optional
Makes 10 bars.
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, letting the ends protrude by a couple of inches. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, stir together the nuts or seeds, cereal and dried fruit. Add syrup and salt; stir until evenly coated.
Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Place a large piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap (coated with cooking spray) atop bar mixture; use it to spread, flatten and very firmly compact the mixture in the pan. Discard the paper.
Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until slightly browned at the edges, but still somewhat soft at the center. Cool 20 minutes in pan on a rack.
Lift mixture from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 10 bars. Cool completely. Tightly wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap. Keeps 3 days at room temperature, up to 2 weeks refrigerated and up to 3 months in the freezer in an airtight container.
For Apple Pecan Bars: Use chopped dried apples and pecans; add 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon along with the syrup.
For Seeds of Friendship Bars: Omit dried fruit; use 2 cups raw or toasted seeds (pepitas, sunflower, hemp, sesame) instead of nuts.
For Ginger Sesame Bars: Use 1 cup almonds or cashews and 1/3 cup sesame seeds for the nuts and seeds, and chopped dates for the fruit. Add 1 teaspoon ground ginger along with the syrup.
Paleo Power Pucks
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon honey, agave nectar or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup chopped nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, almonds
1/2 cup seeds, such as sunflower, pumpkin, hemp hearts
1/3 cup chopped dried fruit, such as dates, prunes, apricots
Makes 10 servings.
Line 10 cups of a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a bowl, whisk egg white, honey, cinnamon and salt until blended. Add nuts, seeds and dried fruit, stirring until completely combined.
Divide mixture among the muffin cups. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Tightly wrap pucks individually in plastic wrap. Keeps 5 days at room temperature, up to 2 weeks refrigerated and up to 3 months in the freezer in an airtight container.
For Tropical Paleo Pucks: Add 2 teaspoons grated lime zest to the egg white mixture and substitute ground ginger for the cinnamon. Replace the dried fruit with 1/2 cup unsweetened flake or shredded coconut.
For Rosemary Golden Raisin Pucks: Omit the cinnamon, add 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves and 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest; use golden raisins for the fruit.
For Chocolate Paleo Pucks: Omit the cinnamon; add 2 teaspoons natural, unsweetened cocoa powder to the egg white mixture. Replace the dried fruit with 1/4 cup finely chopped dates and 3 tablespoons cacao nibs.