While the heat is up this summer Roni Proter has a few easy recipes that not only look cool but will also cool you and your guests down.
Beer is an iconic drink to have poolside or while grilling, but it can be very filling. Wine spritzers, which are lower in alcohol and refreshingly fizzy, are a tasty alternative to beer. They won't leave you feeling bloated.
Next up, instead of just drinking water make some Cucumber Greek Yogurt Soup. Cucumbers and yogurt both help lower body temperature. It's also a great way to fill up on something healthy and delicious. It's everything cooling and refreshing about Tzatziki but in a bowl of smooth soup.
Spicy foods, surprisingly, lower your body temperature and keep you cool. Roni says you can take shrimp ceviche with a little Jalapeño Ginger Beer Granita on top and make a light appetizer that will help chill you out. It has just the right amount of kick to spice up your palate. Also, since you are eating seafood, your body won't hold onto it like it would with a heavy burger.
However, if you want to get your meat fix you can always add a little bacon to your guacamole dip. It's the same coolness of guac with a hint of meat to tide you over. You can also substitute fresh veggies for chips while you're dipping.
Shrimp and Lobster Ceviche with Jalapeño Ginger Beer Granita
1 lb Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined (I live near the Gulf, so that's super fresh for me, but wild caught is great too)
1 lb wild caught lobster tails
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped very fine
1/2 red onion, chopped very fine
1 large handful cilantro, chopped fine
generous slug of Extra Virgin Olive oil (chili infused oil would be great too)
juice of 5 limes
salt and pepper to taste
Bring a pot of water to boil and salt it generously. Have an ice water bath nearby. Place the shrimp in the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and shock in ice water. Place the whole lobster tails in the water for 3 minutes, then remove and add to ice bath. Drain the water and remove the lobster tail. Chop both shrimp and lobster into bite sized chunks, add them to a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, toss and cover. Chill and allow to marinate over night. Serve on tortilla chips with Jalapeño Ginger Beer Granita, recipe follows
Jalapeno Ginger Beer Granita
1 bottle good Ginger Beer of your choice
1 jalapeno, depending on your heat preference, whole, with seeds or seeded and pith removed
1 Persian Cucumber, skin on
juice of 1 lime
salt to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a high powered blender and completely puree. Place in a freezer safe container and freeze overnight. Then, using a fork, scrape the top until a fluffy ice forms. Place on top of each ceviche topped tortilla chip.
Chilled Cucumber Soup
10 small Persian cucumbers, sliced in 1 int pieces
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1 cup of low fat Greek yogurt
1 cup low fat buttermilk
juice of 2 limes
generous salt and a little pepper to taste
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until very smooth. Pour into a pitcher and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight, adjust any seasoning and serve with chopped red onion and cucumbers.
1/2 pineapple, diced
2 small roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cup (or more if you love cilantro like I do) cilantro, chopped
juice from 2 limes
generous salt and pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss. Refrigerate for several hours and serve. I like to scoop out the flesh of the pineapple and save the spiky exterior to use as my bowl. It is always a big hit at parties! This salsa would be delicious simply with chips, or as a sweet accompaniment to grilled pork, spicy beef tacos or even chicken.
For more recipes head on over to Roni's website!