There’s nothing like throwing a fun summer party and with a little shopping, a little effort and 20 minutes or less for assembly, you can create the kind of carry-out food that will put the local food shops to shame all the while saving you a small fortune!
Here are just some of our favorite quickies from Mark Bittman of the NY Times: 13 Fast Recipes For Inspired Summer Entertaining
Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Puree roasted red peppers (jarred are OK) with feta, marjoram or oregano and parsley, olive oil and garlic. Serve with pita chips.
Cut boneless chicken breasts into small pieces. Dip in milk or buttermilk then dredge in seasoned crushed corn flake crumbs, cornmeal or panko. Pan-fry in oil, drain, cool and eat cold with celery sticks and ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.
Combine two pounds of ripe tomatoes, one pound of cucumbers in a blender with lemon grass (only the most tender part), cilantro, fish sauce and lime. Chill and serve.
Ultimate Stuffed Celery
Process a cup or two of cashews, a chili or two, some garlic, a splash of soy sauce and enough water to get the food processor going; fold in chopped cilantro or chives, fill celery sticks and chill. This is the best celery filler since cream cheese!
Grate cooked beets. Add pistachio or hazlenuts; dress with orange zest and juice and olive oil. Add bits of goat cheese and chopped parsely. Tomatoes & Peaches Toss together sliced seeded tomatoes and peaches, along with thinly sliced red onion and chopped cilantro or rosemary. Dress at last minute with olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper.
Cucumber & Chicken
Cut one or two cucumbers in half; scoop out the seeds. Slice thin, salt and set aside for 5 minutes. Squeeze out some of the liquid. Combine cucumber with with shredded cooked chicken, some fresh ginger, soy, salt, pepper and cilantro. On a baguette, it’s reminiscent of banh mi.
Grapes & Cheese
Mix feta cubes and green grapes (can also substitute grape tomatoes or pieces of watermelon). Add mint, salt, pepper and some olive oil. Roast Beef & Blue Start with whole grain rolls. Smear blue cheese on one side and horseradish on the other. Add red onion and thin-sliced roast beef. Serve with lettuce and tomato on the side.
Pesto Zesty Corn
Brown fresh corn kernels in hot oil with chopped chili and garlic, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and toss with a generous amount of cilantro and lots of fresh lime juice. Yum-meee!
Season and grill chicken cutlets. Brush Lavash or any other type of wrap-type bread with pesto; layer with the chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and arugula. Roll up and cut in half on the bias.
Cook fusilli or other cut pasta; rinse in cool water but don’t bother to chill. Combine with chopped, seeded tomatoes, cubed fresh mozzarella, chopped basil, olive oil, salt and pepper. Do not call this pasta salad because pasta salad is no good and this is.
Cook rice vermicelli and drain. Toss with Kimchi, lots of cilantro and cooked shrimp or chicken. There’s nothing like throwing a fun summer party and with a little shopping, a little effort and 20 minutes or less for assembly, you can create the kind of carry-out food that will put the local food shops to shame all the while saving you a small fortune!