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▣ Beat the Heat with an Easy No Cook Dinner Party

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on August 7th, 2010 at 3:27 PM

38 Comments added to this post

 

Whew . . Beat the Summer Heat in Tucson with Chef Mary Ann’s No Cook Dinner Party!
 
Recently, I “hanging out” with some of my friends and we were all talking about what all Tucsonans talk about this time of year . . . the weather! We were complaining about the recent bout of humidity. Ugh!
Our next conversation then quickly moved to one of my favorite subjects . . . FOOD! My friends were challenging me to come up with a simple and healthy dinner party menu that needed no cooking to help beat the heat. Was I up to the challenge? You bet!
The following is the menu that I prepared along with the easy to follow recipes
 
THE MENU
  • Cantaloupe Granita (A grown-up snow cone!)
  • Chilled Avocado Soup Infused with Lime and Ginger
  • Shrimp Salad Served with Tabboulegh & Vegetable Stuffed Pita Pockets
  • Grandma Mary’s Italian 3-Bean Salad
  • Make your own Sundae’s
 
 
THE RECIPES
 
Cantaloupe Granita
Serves 6
 
4 cups chopped Cantaloupe
1 ½ cups of Italian Sparkling Wine
¾ cups sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
 
Puree cantaloupe and transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients; stir to dissolve sugar. Pour mixture in 9 inch square metal baking pan. Freeze mixture until partially set, whisking twice about 2 hours. Freeze uncovered without whisking until completely set – 3 hours or overnight. Run tines of fork across surface of granita to form icy flakes. Cover with foil; freeze until ready to serve up to 3 days!
 
Chilled Avocado Soup
Serves 6 to 8
You can add crab to this soup for a heartier meal!
 
2 Tablespoons Butter
3 shallots minced
1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 14 ½ oz cans low sodium chicken broth
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
Dash cayenne pepper
2 large avocados, peeled, pitted and mashed
½ cup half and half (you can use fat-free half and half to lighten up the soup if you wish)
 
Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add shallots & ginger and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add chicken stock, lime juice and cayenne pepper, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Puree avocado and half and half in blender and whisk into soup. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours up to one day. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a lime slice and chopped parsley or cilantro.
 
Shrimp Salad
Serves 6
 
1 ½ lbs large shrimp peeled and deveined
2/3-3/4 cups each of light mayonnaise & light sour cream
½ cup finely diced onions
¼ to ½ cup finely chopped dill
2-3 tablespoons of chopped pimento and capers if desired
 
Toss raw shrimp with olive oil, salt and pepper. Sauté on stove top in large skillet or roast in a 400 degree oven on baking sheet until pink (approximately 7-10 minutes. Let shrimp cool. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add Shrimp and stir to coat. Serve immediately.
 
 
Tabboulegh & Vegetable Stuffed Pita Pockets
Serves 6
 
1 cup bulgur wheat
1 cup water
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cucumber peeled and diced
1 container of grape tomatoes quartered
1/2-3/4 cup Crumbled feta cheese
1/4-12 cup Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
3 pitas cut in half
 
Combine bulgur wheat and water in a large bowl until bulgur absorbs water and is tender (approximately 2 hours). Next add juice of lemon and rest of ingredients through salt and pepper. Toss and taste to make sure the tabboulegh is seasoned to your liking. Fill pita pockets with the salad mixture and serve.
 
 
Make your own Sundaes!
 
Use your imagination and provide lots of variety. Use fat full or light ice creams or frozen yogurt. You can use a variety of fresh fruit toppings, nuts, granola, coconut, your favorite candy or crumbled cookies, syrups or liqueurs. But don’t forget to top it all with real whipping cream. YUM!
Place all of your toppings in small bowls so that your guests can create their own frozen, gooey delight!
 
 
 
 

last edited on August 7th, 2010 at 8:41 PM

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